The Financing Agreement was signed between the American development organization DFC and the ONEX group
– “Green light” for providing 125 million dollars to the Elefsina Shipyards, through a bond loan
• As part of the event, the state-of-the-art Panamax tank “Andreadis Army” was inaugurated
In the presence of members of the Greek Government and state officials, the financing agreement for the historic Elefsina Shipyards was signed between the American development organization, DFC and the ONEX group.
The agreement foresees the provision of 125 million dollars to the Elefsina Shipyards by DFC, through the issuance of a bond loan.
The event was attended by, among others, the Minister of Development, Mr. Kostas Skrekas, the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, the US Ambassador to Greece, Mr. George Tsounis, as well as a number of representatives from the field of shipping and businesses.
The agreement marks the transition of the country’s largest Shipyards into a new era and at the same time seals the multi-level upgrade of bilateral relations between Greece and the USA. The agreement was signed by Mr. Panos Xenokostas, President and CEO of ONEX Shipyards & Technologies and Mr. Scott Nathan, CEO of DFC.
As part of the event, the inauguration of the “Army Andreadis” Tank took place. It is a new generation Tank, Panamax class, which incorporates “green” and “smart” technologies. The “Army of Andreadis” and the Tank installed by the ONEX Group at Neorio Shipyards, in Syros, are the largest that Greece has today.
The financing of 125 million dollars is expected to have a catalytic role in the transformation of the Elefsina Shipyards into a state-of-the-art shipbuilding hub, not only for Greece, but for the wider Mediterranean region. It is typical that the Elefsina Shipyards are expected to drastically increase their capacity, gaining the ability to support more than 200 ships per year. At the same time, it is estimated that within the next 3 years, the Elefsina Shipyards will directly and indirectly provide more than 3,000 jobs.
The CEO of DFC, Mr. Scott Nathan opened the series of speeches, stating: “We are ushering in a new era of cooperation. Funding for the restoration of the Elefsina Shipyards will not only create jobs, but also address a broader perspective of economic development, opportunity and security. This is the kind of partnership that President Biden has emphasized, that the US government is committed to, and that the Development Finance Corporation is working towards every day around the world.”
Mr. P. Xenokostas warmly thanked all the partners involved for their decisive contribution to the successful implementation of this major undertaking, stating that: “Today, the signing with DFC, is not a simple bond loan. It is a legacy, a seal of friendship between two peoples, the American and the Greek, who share the same values and principles of freedom and democracy. Together we are repositioning Greece geostrategically through the investments in the shipyards of Syros and Elefsina and we aspire through our work to leave the next generations a better planet than the one we received”.
The US Ambassador to Greece, Mr. Giorgos Tsounis, said among other things: “The US government is committed to financing transactions that provide our partners with high-quality infrastructure and reliable access to energy. In the person of ONEX and the Greek government, the US government has found extremely capable and effective partners. We are confident that this $125 million investment will allow Panos Xenokostas and ONEX to achieve here what they have already achieved in Syros.
At the same time, for us, as leaders of the business and political community, the most important resource is the people who go to work every day. What is happening today in Eleusis allows many people to live and work with dignity. This, I believe, is the most important achievement of this project.”
The Minister of Development, Mr. Kostas Skrekas, underlined that: “Today’s signing of the large bond loan of 125 million dollars by an American financial organization shows how much our partners believe in what Greece is doing today and in what it is doing today the ONEX. But above all, how much they believe in the potential and skills of the Greek workers in the Greek Shipyards”.
Also, concluding his presentation, he pointed out: “We, as the Ministry of Development, must, from now on, ensure that we will support the Elefsina Shipyards with all our strength, so that they can move forward. Today the Shipyards are starting to set sail on new paths of development”.
The Minister of Labor and Social Security Mr. Adonis Georgiadis, after referring to the history of the regeneration of both the Syros and Elefsina Shipyards, as well as the actions he took as Minister of Development and Investments during the previous four years, emphasized that: In the end, the driving force of a venture is always the person and the vision he has. If there isn’t that personality, who is willing to step forward, take the risk and make the work happen, nothing ultimately moves forward. In the case of both Syros and Elefsina, this man has a name and is Panos Xenokostas”.
In closing, he said: “I am extremely proud that Greek shipowners choose and support Greek Shipyards with their ship orders, because with this mentality, the shipbuilding industry in Greece and the Greek economy as a whole will be able to move forward.”