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New Horizon: Damen to develop refit yard in Montenegro

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Dal Kikin
December 30, 2018

Damen, the Dutch group behind Amels, has entered into a contract with Adriatic Marinas and the government of Montenegro to develop a superyacht repair and refit facility in a former shipyard in Bijela, Boka Bay. It is expected to become fully operational in 2021, according to Yacht Harbour.

The redevelopment of the yard, according to Damen, will be completed in early 2020 with the new yard starting to be at full capacity by early 2021. Official statements say the project will create 300 new jobs and bring trained marine works to Montenegro.

"Together with our partners we take a long-term view on making yacht maintenance and refit in Montenegro a success," commented Damen CEO, Rene Berkvens. "A strong customer base at Porto Montenegro and yacht maintenance and refit skills within the Damen Group will contribute to the success of this venture."

Nearby Porto Montenegro started when Peter Munk, a Hungarian-born, Canadian businessman purchased a site in Montenegro for €23 million in 2007 with the purpose of building a superyacht marina that would rival mainstream destinations. With backing from LVMH Chairman, Bernard Arnault, Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska and Lord Jacob Rothschild, the Barrick Gold founder set out to develop the largest private-sector investment in the country.

Located near the coastal city of Tivat, Porto Montenegro's ambition was to become a homeport for some of the world's largest yachts by providing their crew and visiting owners with high end facilities. The development also included the construction of a strong ecosystem around the marina with condos, restaurants and a five star hotel.

Over its several years of development, Porto Montenegro caught the eye of new investors and in May 2016 it was confirmed that the development was acquired the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the city-state's investment arm. "The internationally renowned Porto Montenegro presents an opportunity for ICD to access a successful business with significant potential for expansion both in the marina and landside" His Excellency Mohammed Al Shaibani, Executive Director of ICD said at the time of the sale.

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