MSC Cruises to Operate Palumbo Malta Shipyard in New Joint Venture

Antonio Palumbo and Pierfrancesco Vago

MSC Cruises and Palumbo Group today officially announced they have formed a joint venture to operate the Palumbo Malta Shipyard. The news was previously reported by Cruise Industry News earlier this year. 

The new joint venture sees MSC Cruises take a 50 percent stake in the shipyard and become an equal partner alongside the current owner Palumbo Shipyards. The yard has four drydocks of various sizes and will be available to other cruise operators, according to MSC.

The companies said they are planning a major update to the yard, which will become the yard of choice for MSC Cruises’ vessels as well as from MSC Group cargo ships and ferries, while continuing to serve the shipyard’s existing clients. 

Palumbo Malta Shipyard

Of note will be the potential introduction of cutting-edge technology to allow servicing and repair of the next generation of LNG powered cruise ships being built for the MSC Cruises’ fleet, according to a statement. 

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises said: “I am proud to be forming this joint venture with Mr. Palumbo and his group today. This is a natural culmination of our already warm and close relationship that has developed from the professionality he has shown over the years. We look forward to the professional service and repairs our vessels will receive.”

Antonio Palumbo, the founder and Chairman of Palumbo Group, added: “I am happy with this joint venture with the Aponte family because, in addition to having a personal and consolidated friendship over the years, it unites us with a common business philosophy. This agreement is not just a financial transaction but is aimed at strengthening our network and is part of a group corporate strategy.

“Today I am proud to expand our services, consolidated over the years thanks to far-reaching experiences, through this partnership with a world-class player. I am sure that the future will prove us right, leading this shipyard to consolidate itself as one of the most important multi-purpose structures in the markets of cruise, merchant and advanced-technology ships, providing refitting services, general maintenance and installation of Eco-Friendly systems where Palumbo Shipyards already holds a leading position. Not least, the whole Maltese community will benefit from a new economic boost.” 

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