German shipyard Meyer Werft suspends operations for 6 weeks

   July 19, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

German shipyard Meyer Werft halts production and suspends operations from Monday, July 20, for 6 weeks (through August 30) due to a slump in orders because of the pandemic.

One of the world's largest shipbuilding companies, Meyer Werft specializes mainly in building large-capacity cruise liners. A spokesperson for Meyer Werft said the shipyard was still working on the delivery of 2 ships.

Over the next 5 years, Germany's largest shipbuilder needs to save ~EUR 1,2 billion (~USD 1,4 B) due to canceled or stretched orders for new liners.

Meyer Werft's shipyard in Papenburg Germany (on Ems River) is hoping to receive financial help from the federal government and Niedersachsen / Lower Saxony state's government.

The company's owner Bernard Meyer described the suspension as "precarious," and that the shipyard will have to fight for survival during its 225th anniversary year. 

3000+ workers are still waiting for the vacation pay, a bill that amounts to EUR 14 million, which will be paid out later in 2020. Meyer Werft said it was going to agree with staff representatives and move to part-time working hours until the end of the year.

With locations in Papenburg, Rostock and Turku Finland, Meyer Werft was planning to deliver 3 large cruise ships prior to the pandemic but is currently negotiating with clients to extend orders.

One of the vessels, Iona, was planned for delivery to P&O UK in May 2020. In March, the ship was moved (via Ems River) but virus-related hygiene requirements delayed works on the ship's interior in Port Bremerhaven. A Meyer Werft spokesperson said the company was hoping for successful delivery in late-August 2020.