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Onex plans $550m further investments in Greek ship repair revival

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The ship repair picture is changing in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Med in particular as the shipyards of Greece continue their revival.

The shipyards on the island of Syros and Attica’s Elefsina have repaired over 500 ships, foreign and Greek-owned, since the New York-based ONEX Shipyards and Technologies group took over their operations. 

Led by Panos Xenokostas, Onex took over the Syros shipyard in 2019, and shortly afterwards took the next step, acquiring the Elefsina-based Elefsis shipyard turning the troubled companies around. 

Just over eight in 10 of the 500+ ships repaired at the yards are Greek-owned "proving Greek shipowners once again trust the domestic shipbuilding industry and support in practice the economic and geostrategic upgrading of the country," said Onex.

"The number of ships that have been repaired at the two shipyards is a record for the industry, especially if one considers the bad condition they were in for almost three decades," Onex added. 

A breakdown of the figures shows that 438 of the ships were repaired at Syros, while repair work on 62 of them was completed at Elefsis. The most recent was the chemical tanker Olympic Glory, 36,990dwt, built 2005, which is in Syros and is the 500th vessel to be repaired at the Onex shipyards. 

The Onex group's business plan includes investments worth $550m for the shipyards with the goal to boost repair operations to 300 vessels per year. 

Supporting these ambitious plans, US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) ceo Scott Nathan recently signed a financing agreement for a $125m loan to Elefsis Shipyards and Industries (Onex) as part of a broader recovery plan.

“We are building shipyards for Greek shipowners,” said Xenokostas at the time, noting that 80% of vessels repaired at the two revived yards belong to Greek shipowners.