ZAGREB, April 25, 2019 – A luxury polar discovery passenger vessel, Scenic Eclipse, the first of its kind in the world which the Pula-based Uljanik shipyard is building for Australian shipowner Glen Moroney, left the Uljanik shipyard on Thursday morning to be docked in the Rijeka-based Viktor Lenac shipyard.
According to sources in Uljanik, this is a regular procedure in the final stage of building a ship and docking is necessary to carry out checks and supervision of underwater works and to paint the vessel.
In normal circumstances, this would be good news because it would mean that the dock is a step away from delivering another ship. However, given Uljanik’s current dire situation, it is feared that the vessel will not be returning to the Pula-based dock.
According to information from Uljanik, however, the ship is expected to return to Pula in two weeks.
The liner, named Scenic Eclipse, will be able to accommodate 409 people, including crew, and is built for sailing on all seas, including polar and tropical regions, for which it is specially equipped, Uljanik said. It is specially “strengthened” to navigate in harsh weather conditions and frozen seas, and satisfies the requirements of high environmental standards. It also has a mini submarine for underwater adventures as well as two helicopters for exploring inaccessible areas.
Uljanik signed the contract for the ship with a company in the Scenic Group in November 2015.
When completed, the vessel will be 165.70 meters long, 21.50 m wide and will be able to reach a speed of 17 knots. The number of passengers is limited to 237, with 172 crew members. The ship is intended for the highest class of passengers who will enjoy 114 luxury cabins, while there will be 138 no less luxurious cabins for the crew.
In the meantime, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić on Thursday said ahead of a cabinet meeting that the government was attempting to “save” the guarantee for a ship that the Uljanik shipyard is building for the Belgian Jan De Nul company.
The company has asked for a refund of advance payments that the government has partially covered with guarantees, namely in the amount of 124 million euro, while the total amount of advance payments is 158 million euro.
Responding to reporters regarding the impact the situation in Uljanik could have on the budget, Marić reiterated that guarantees that were paid out last year amount to a little more than 2.5 billion kuna and that “the wish, will and intention still exists to save guarantees for the dredger.” That amount, he said, has already in some way been calculated in the public debt. He added that it will be necessary to invest certain funds so that most of the guarantee can be saved.
Asked whether the amount in question is 150 million kuna, Marić confirmed that that is about right.
As far as enforced guarantees for this year are concerned, Marić said that he expects that to be about 600 million kuna and that in the next few weeks it will be necessary to pay out 400 to 500 million kuna and, he added, “a good portion of that has been calculated in the budget.”
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