Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) will take over the shipyard location of MV Werften in Wismar. With this move, one of the most traditional shipbuilding locations in Germany once again has a long-term outlook. Depending on orders, tkMS could produce submarines in Wismar during the course of 2024.
The employees were informed about this development at a meeting on Friday, 10 June, by the insolvency administrator, Dr. Christoph Morgen, in the presence of the Minister of Economics Reinhard Meyer, CEO Oliver Burkhard and IG Metall district manager Daniel Friedrich.
MV Werften filed for bankruptcy in January 2022 after owner Genting Group got into financial trouble as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The same applied to the Lloyd Werft. Genting Hong Kong used the shipyards to build cruise ships. When the cruise market collapsed, Genting had to file for bankruptcy for its German shipyards.
German submarine order
The main impetus for building submarines at this location in 2024, is an order for more submarines from the German government and the resulting investments in the upgrading of the shipyard. The extent of such a commitment by tkMS depends on the scope of the contract award: more orders mean more jobs.
If production ramps up in the course of 2024, some 800 new employees could be hired by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. Moreover, if additional orders are received in the surface sector, this number could even increase to over 1,500 employees at the Wismar site.
‘We come to Wismar to give not only Marine Systems, but also the location and the people here, a real perspective,’ says CEO Oliver Burkhard. ‘Shipbuilding is where we come from and shipbuilding is where we want to go. And we will do this together with the workforce – and with as many as we can! We are convinced that together we can be successful and that this partnership is good for everyone.’
Open investment process
The contract now signed marks the end of an open investment process for the Wismar shipyard lasting several months. The insolvency administrator of MV Werften, Dr. Morgen, has thus achieved the best result for the insolvency creditors and at the same time developed a strong outlook for the future.
He says: ‘I am delighted that with thyssenkrupp Marine Systems we have found a new owner who will uphold shipbuilding in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania over the long term and even expand it wherever feasible. However, I am also aware that the road to a fresh start will be long for the employees of the shipyard. That is why I shall continue to do everything I can to shape the transition and to secure employment for as many employees as possible.’
Further qualification of staff
The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. In addition to the necessary investments in the infrastructure, further qualification of the staff is also necessary. If the order situation allows, they will be recruited primarily from a transfer company set up for the former employees of MV Werften.
In addition, there is consensus on, among other things, the employment of apprentices and the establishment of co-determination structures. This was agreed by tkMS and IG Metall Coast.
‘With Wismar, we are sending a clear signal: thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is growing and intends to shape the future of this industry. The Wismar site and its employees have now been given the genuine prospect of a bright future, thanks to thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. Today is indeed a good day for both Wismar and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems,’ Burkhard told the employees.
Picture: From left to right: Reinhard Meyer, Minister of Economics of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Oliver Burkhard, CEO tkMS, Ines Scheel, Chairwoman of the Works Council MV Werften, Daniel Friedrich, District Manager IG Metall Küste, Thomas Beyer, Mayor of the Hanseatic City of Wismar, and Dr. Christoph Morgen, Insolvency Administrator MV Werften (photo: Andreas Laible).