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FLENSBURGER CHIEF REPLACED IN MOVE TO SAVE YARD

Monday, February 4, 2019 

German media reports say that MD of the financially-troubled Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), Rüdiger Fuchs, has been asked to leave. Parent group Siem Industries has nominated Alexander Gregg-Smith as the new CEO.

Gregg-Smith had previously run FSG for Siem for several months before Fuchs was appointed, following Siem's acquisition of the yard in 2016. Gregg-Smith, with other FSG management, has met the federal Minister for Economic affairs, but it seems the state is not in a position to provide financial support unless the yard can show it is likely to return to profit. This seems difficult, as its last delivery - ro-pax WB Yeats for Irish Ferries - was delayed, leading to penalties.

An LNG-fuelled cruise ferry, Honfleur (pictured) for Brittany Ferries is currently under construction, but knock-on effects of the previous project mean this too will be delayed beyond its planned delivery in summer 2019, leading to further potential losses.

The delay to WB Yeats was said to be due to various technical challenges for FSG, which had not previously built a ro-pax ship of this size or to SRP standards, as well as damage to one of the main engines which the yard put down to an act of sabotage.

The Norwegian-owned Siem Industries has stated that it intends to honour all outstanding supplier invoices, loan payments and staff salaries, and does not regard insolvency as an option for FSG, prefering to renegotiate existing contracts. Unconfirmed reports suggest that a new investor may have been found which will help Siem to turn the yard's fortunes around.

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