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Fincantieri and Edge finalise naval shipbuilding joint venture

The Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri and the Arab Edge Group have officially established the Maestral Shipbuilding Joint Venture. The first order for ten ships has already been placed.

Abu Dhabi-based defence group Edge and shipbuilding company Fincantieri signed an agreement earlier this week formalising the establishment of Maestral, an Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilding joint venture between the two companies. The joint venture, which was announced in February this year, will focus on naval vessels.

Edge holds a 51% stake in the company, which is set to receive prime rights to non-NATO contracts and a number of strategic contracts from selected NATO member countries and reportedly has an order pipeline worth around €30bn. [ds_preview]

Maestral is to focus on sales, commercial operations and engineering for design and service. Immediately following the signing of the agreement, a major order from the United Arab Emirates Coast Guard for ten 51m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) worth €400m was announced. The P51MR class OPVs, based on the operationally proven Saettia class, are modern vessels that, according to Fincantieri, are characterised by their high modularity, stability in rough seas, low radar signature and high operational flexibility.

Faisal Al Bannai, Chairman of Edge Group, said: “Just three months after announcing the formation of this unique venture with Fincantieri, we are now announcing a significant national order for these advanced OPVs to be built both here at our yards in Abu Dhabi and in Italy. This not only demonstrates how quickly Edge and its partners can act and the resources we can mobilise, but also underlines our strategy of international export growth through mutually beneficial partnerships, the sharing of knowledge and expertise and the continuous pursuit of technological excellence through innovation. It also opens up the opportunity for Maestral to distribute an extensive portfolio of different maritime solutions, including a whole range of technologically advanced vessels, to navies and coast guards around the world.”

Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri, said: “We are proud to announce the creation of MAESTRAL and a first major order since the beginning of our collaboration with EDGE Group. Today’s signing is concrete proof that this joint venture is an industrial platform of great value that will allow us not only to seize the opportunities that arise in a strategic market such as the UAE, but also to further develop our commercial capabilities, creating new and important opportunities for growth and expansion in the international defence sector linked to the Abu Dhabi export platform.”

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Copyright: © FIncantieri

Caption: The "Al Zubarah" corvette for Qatar (© Fincantieri)