Good news, bad news for Fincantieri

JULY 2, 2015 — It's been a bad news, good news week for Italian shipbuilding giant Fincantieri.

On the down side, operations at its Monfalcone shipyard, remained closed for the third day under a court imposed seizure of key areas of the yard.

On the upside, Fincantieri and Finmeccanica, Italy's leading manufacturer in the high technology sector, were awarded a EUR 1.1 billion contract for the construction and equipment of a multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD) for the Italian Navy.

Waste management probe

The Monfalcone seizures are part of a probe into alleged illegal waste management at the site, launched by local prosecutors in May 2013 with seven individuals being investigated. According to the ANSA news agency, they include  former shipyard manager Carlo De Marco and subcontractors operating at the site.

At issue is a temporary storage area where waste is kept prior to disposal. Apparently, this was used by subcontractors as well as Fincantieri and prosecutors are saying that they, as well as Fincantieri, needed individual authorization to use the site. Though the prosecutors have lost two previous rounds in the legal dispute that has followed, the seizures followed a recent appeal that went their way. Until Fincantieri can get that reversed, around 4,500 shipyard workers and subcontractor personnel are effectively locked out with only 100 shipyard maintenance workers still at work.

Naval order

The LHD contract is worth about EUR 853 million euros to Fincantieri and EUR 273 million to Finmeccanica.

The LHD is set for 2022 delivery and is part of a planned EUR 5.4 billion Italian naval renewal program that is also planned to include up to ten multipurpose offshore patrol ships and a logistics support vessel.

All three classes of ships will feature a high level of innovation providing them with a considerable degree of efficiency and flexibility in serving different mission profiles. In particular, they will be dual use vessels, that will be suitable for civil protection and rescue at sea operations as well as regular naval missions.

LHD - Landing Helicopter Dock

The LHD will be approx. 200 meters long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will be equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODOG) and will be able to accommodate over 1,000 people, of whom more than 700 will be military or civilian personnel being transported by the ship

The LHD's main mission is the transport of people, vehicles and loads of different kinds and their transfer to land via port facilitiess or via various vessels, including small LCM landing craft units with a load capacity up to 60 tons. Four of these can be launched or recovered via the well deck at the stern of the vessel.

In civil assistance mode, the ship's capabilities will include the supply to shore  of drinking water from onboard desalination plants and the supply of 2,000 kW of electricity to land with distribution through containerized conversion and distribution units

About  4,500 sq. m of space is available in the LHD's dock garage and hangar garage and on a continuous open deck, able to receive wheeled vehicles of various kinds, containers and helicopters.

There will be access to the ship via  stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be managed by internal ramps and elevators.Facilities board will include a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist's office, and hospital rooms capable of hosting 28 seriously injured patients (further hospital space can be added using suitably equipped container modules.

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