Split, 13 November 2020 - The President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, accompanied by his associates, paid a visit to the Shipbuilding Industry in Split today.
The President was welcomed by Tomislav Debeljak, the President of the Management Board of Brodosplit, and Tomislav Čorak, a Member of the Management Board. They were joined by the Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Croatia Armed Forces, Admiral Robert Hranj, and the Commander of the Croatian Navy, Commodore Ivo Raffanelli.
While visiting the plant, the President was acquainted with the ongoing work and projects, especially with the continuation of the construction of coastal patrol boats, contracted for the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia.
“Impressions are good because the shipyard is working. It underwent restructuring; the state played a significant role there and it was completed many years ago. They started working and are now profiting. I am glad to see that projects include something that the Croatian Government ordered in the tendering procedure, and those are the Coast Guard ships, one of which has already sailed, that is “Omiš”. Two ships are currently being built, should be finished by the end of 2021, the other after that, and then two more every six months,” said President Zoran Milanović, expressing satisfaction that this is a job that was contracted in 2015.
“I was here to lay the keel for the first ship, “Omiš”, which is now sailing. Thus, we still have continuity as a state and as a government, and maybe there will be room for international markets as well,” continued the President.
Recently, the prototype of the coastal patrol ship “Omiš” delivered two years ago, was used by the President in paying an official visit to Montenegro. With its technical equipment and navigable characteristics, it has significantly improved the capabilities of the Coast Guard, and it is regularly used in search and rescue operations.
“There are many countries that need such products and that need to procure such ships. The demand exists, these are very high-quality products, and they are more affordable than some procured by the Mediterranean countries in the north of Europe”, said President Milanović.
“I am thankful that the President of the Republic of Croatia supports the Croatian industry and promotes it abroad. The ship is the most complex product that the Croatian industry can produce, and the ships we build for export contain 70% of the domestic components. And, of the truly affordable price at which we build these Coast Guard ships, 45% of the amount is returned immediately or in the short term to the state budget.
In addition to thanking the President for his support, we also thank the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which in this COVID crisis has found ways to continue financing the construction of the remaining four coastal patrol boats. This is very important to us because over 400 workers are currently engaged in their production process”, said Tomislav Debeljak, President of the Management Board of Brodosplit.
During the tour of the production facilities, the President was especially impressed by the polar cruiser “Ultramarine”, which is 128 meters long and will be able to accommodate 200 passengers housed in 103 luxuriously equipped cabins, which will be taken care of by 116 crew members. The ship is in the final stages of equipping, and a contract has been signed with Quark Expeditions from Seattle, USA, as part of the Travelopia Group.
“This company has already exceeded expectations, some of which were pessimistic and even vicious. I am glad it persists. Unfortunately, not everyone will, but we have several shipyards in Croatia. There are slightly fewer people working here today than ten years ago, but everyone is employed. This is now a better-organized production process”, concluded President Milanović when asked to comment on the suspicions that existed when the DIV Group acquired the shipyard.