Naples - Marnavi, the Neapolitan company led by the shipowner Domenico Ievoli, is strengthening its second niche business, the offshore market (the first being chemical tankers) and is placing orders for new ships. In addition to its fleet of 14 units, another three ships will be launched in 2015, taking its fleet of supply vessels to 17. The total investment is close to 100 million euros and has been financed by major banks. “The new units,” explains Attilio Ievoli from Marnavi Offshore, “ will be built by our preferred shipyards, the Turkish Selah at Tuzla, and will be delivered by the end of 2015”. The first unit will carry 5,500 tons of dead weight. It will be called Ievoli Ivory and will cost 40-42 million euros. It will be delivered in February 2015. The second ship, known for now as number 69, will carry 4,400 tons of gross tonnage, will cost 29 million euros and is scheduled for delivery in December 2015. An order has also been signed for a twin ship, number 70; it will have the same capabilities, same costs and will be delivered by the end of 2015. The three supply vessels will be deployed to serve oil platforms in Venezuela and Mexico, which are booming mining areas.
The Neapolitan company was founded in 1910 by the grandfather Domenico Ievoli and is led today by the grandson Mimmo Ievoli (his two sons Attilio and Gennaro are Vice-Presidents). The company has 35-40 units that operate in the business of chemical tankers and supply vessels. Thanks to its focus on these two niche businesses, the company has not been hit that hard by the 2008 crisis that overwhelmed the shipping business. “The supply vessel market,” confirms the president of Marnavi Mimmo Ievoli, “is stable at acceptable levels and we do not foresee any imminent danger on the horizon. This sector does not show any risk of overcapacity because we have built ships with features that ensure great flexibility, that can be used in different markets”. It is surprising though, that Ievoli, who in the past had chosen European and Italian shipyards, except for a short incursion in China, is now constantly turning to Turkish shipyards. “Our requirements when it comes to shipyards, especially in Europe, are convenience, efficient delivery timeframes, specific technical capabilities and professionalism in the construction process.
The Turkish shipyards guarantee all that.” Why exclude the Asian shipyards that are often considered more convenient? Because,” explains the shipowner, “ even among the ones we know well, we have not found any shipyards capable of building the units with the features we wanted”. At the moment, shipowners are complaining about the banks unwillingness to finance new ships. How did you achieve it? “We are a serious company, presenting valid projects. I am convinced that if projects are explained adequately and the ships meet modern requirements, the financing will be found”. In the meantime, the Neapolitan company just assigned the brand new Ievoli Sapphire to the company Topaz Energy, who will rename her Caspian Voyager and use her for operations in Azerbaijan.