Fishing for opportunities

Founded in 1972, Zamakona Yards Group has evolved from its humble beginnings as a workshop dealing in ship repairs into a global partner in the shipbuilding and ship repair sector. As an innovative supplier of products services and solutions for companies within the offshore and maritime industries, the group has the expertise and more than 1000 dedicated employees working at its three prime locations, Bilbao and Pasajes in the Northern Peninsula and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to continue offering a global answer to customer requirements. Furthermore, the group’s strategic location and knowledge enables it to offer a quick response to customers in both Europe and West Africa.

The shipyard in Bilbao has been in operation since 1914, but didn’t become part of Zamakona Group until 1980. With more than 40 years experience in the industry, the group’s official inception was in 1972 when president of the group Pedro Garaygordobil created Napesca in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Starting with 12 employees, the group continued to expand through forming workships and shipyards that offer a comprehensive range of services.

Today the group has three shipyards, Zamakona Shipyard, which specialises in building tugs, fishing vessels and ferries and offshore supply vessels with the most modern design and manufacturing technologies; Zamakona Pasaia Shipyards, which specialises in building offshore supply vessels, fishing vessels such as tuna boats, freezing vessels, cargo ships and tugs, as well as repairs; and Repnaval Shipyards, which specialises in the repair, conversion and maintenance of vessels. “At present our facilities are sized for the construction of vessels up to 110 metres in length, of various types, production facilities of approximately 35,000 metre squared and the latest technical advances in respect to steel and outfitting activities,” explains Luis Magro, managing director of Zamakona Shipyard. “Our main slipway can be utilised for vessels up to 5500 tonnes and 25 metres in breadth.”

Dedicated to forming long-term relationships with its customers, suppliers and partners, the group strives for maximum quality in service provision and transparent engagement with its clients. “Our main customers are highly demanding ship owners from the north of Europe. For the last decade we have strengthened our commercial policy to attend our customers’ needs for tailor made vessels with the highest technological advances. The results of this have permitted Zamakona Shipyard to foster customer loyalty within niches such as standby vessels, anchor handlers and tug boats,” says Luis. The high standards achieved by Zamakona Shipyard stems from the group’s core values of working as a team, focusing on results, proactivity, work safety, environmental awareness and continuous innovation and training; the group also develops projects based on its own quality certification system and expertise. Furthermore, the group constantly expands and improves its installations, in terms of service and infrastructure, to improve accuracy and speed.

Linked to fishing vessels since it was first established, the group has seen an increase in demand for these ships due to a combination of new licences and stricter regulations in the farming industry. Having gained decades of expertise in this field, the shipyard won a major $35 million contract in 2012 with Echesbastar Fleet, Bermeo, as Luis highlights: “Last year we achieved one of our greatest aspirations of building a state-of-the-art tuna freezer vessel for the recognised ship owner Echesbastar Fleet, located in Bermeo.” At 89.8 metres in length, the ship will have a storage tank capacity of 2000 metres cubed and is due for delivery in the first quarter of 2014. The vessel is a prime example of the high quality work Zamakona Yards can achieve within the fishing sector and strengthens its position as a leading Spanish shipbuilder

Moreover, Zamakona Yards signed a new contract with Solvtrans for the construction of a new 3200 metre cubed well-boat, with delivery scheduled for early 2014. The new vessel will be built to the same specifications as its sister ship, Ronja Polaris, which is currently being built at Zamakona Yards. “We are building a live fish carrier of 3200 metres cubed for Solvtrans AS, the world’s largest well-boat company for transport of salmon and trout. This is the first vessel of a new generation of well-boats designed and developed by Solvtrans in co-operation with Zamakona and Rolls-Royce Marine AS.” Both vessels will boast cutting edge technology for fish welfare as well as new and improved solutions for fish handling. As part of the 22 million euro contract, Solvtrans has entered an option for an additional two vessels with delivery in the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015.

Renowned for offering ultra-modern, high quality vessels, Zamakona Yards was recognised for its efforts when the emergency response and rescue ship Esvagt Aurora was named Best Spanish Built Ship in 2012. “Esvagt Aurora was outfitted for cutting edge technology that will enable the vessel to sustain harsh weather conditions; it incorporates the latest advances in rescue boat embarkation and launching, followed by a system for ice build-up prevention and necessary equipment battling marine pollution. This was the third vessel constructed by Zamakona Yards for Esvagt, which confirms the strength of our relationship and this reputed ship owner.”

Looking ahead, the group’s strategic aim is to become a partner of its customers, while also generating new orders and focusing on strengthening the position it holds within its niche markets. “We also aim to become a solid alternative for new and interesting projects such as wind maintenance and seismic support vessels,” concludes Luis.

One of Spain’s leading shipbuilding and ship repair groups
Built the award winning Esvagt Aurora
Constructing state-of-the-art tuna vessel