Video interview: opening of the Dominicana Caribbean shipyards

Last month Ciramar Shipyards signed a strategic alliance with Fassmer Technical Projects to build and repair ships in the Dominican Republic under the name Dominicana Caribbean Shipyards.

“It was a long time since a new shipyard had to develop in the Caribbean region and the Americas in general, to be able to professionally service various types of ships transiting the region,” said Craig R. Gundry, Managing Director of Fassmer Technical. Projects. “Luis and I got together several years ago and started a relationship by working together in different ways. We were doing renovations in various industries including cruise and oil and gas. As (we were) structured, we could already serve a good number of types of vessels. But with (this) upgrade we will be able to perform major renovations, conversions and repairs on post-Panamax ships. “

Luis E. Contreras, president of Ciramar (left) said the company intends to invest $ 50 million in the shipyard to increase capacity and efficiency. Image courtesy of Ciramar

Through this agreement, Ciramar will expand its portfolio of solutions providing care and service to a potential market of more than 7,000 vessels that sail the region each year, also enabling it to exploit opportunities in the US offshore wind industry by full growth. Ciramar traditionally serves around 65 dry docks per year on a wide range of vessels, from tankers and barges to bulk carriers, container ships and tugs. Often, he found himself with ships lining up for repairs.

Via the collaboration with Fassmer, Luis E. Contreras, President of Ciramar, said the idea is to provide faster service, effectively increasing the capacity to accommodate more and larger ships each month. Contreras has high hopes for the collaboration with Fassmer, as Ciramar currently has three floating dry docks and 120,000 square meters of land, with a planned investment of $ 50 million to expand the facility. “This means adding another dry dock and also bringing a synchronized platform to move ships around the shipyard.”

Ciramar is an almost 40-year-old company founded in 1984 by the father of Contreras, also named Luis, a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, with an advanced degree in naval architecture from the University of Michigan, making him the first architect in the Dominican Republic.

While the extension agreement will impact the maritime community with more options, Contreras also sees a big impact for the local economy, as the shipyard currently has around 400 people (employees and contractors). “This new alliance… will allow the creation of more than 600 direct skilled jobs in the first stage, projecting an expansion to more than 1,200 direct jobs over the next three years,” Contreras said.
Fassmer is a 171-year-old German company with a long history of shipbuilding and repair, and this new team is looking to leverage that experience in a geographically ideal location.

“There are lessons learned, best practices and a transfer of knowledge that we can pass on,” said Gundry, ultimately giving the Dominican shipyard the tools, knowledge and training to deliver “European standards” in ship repair and dry docking. The scope of the agreement also includes the maintenance, manufacture and local marketing of mechanical products, including propellers, stabilization and steering systems, thrusters, azimuth thrusters; as well as naval automation; repair of ships; and training of personnel with advice on the design of naval devices.

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