By David Robinson

The Montenegrin government-owned Bijela shipyard – a former naval repair facility and for some time proposed as a superyacht refit and maintenance centre – is reportedly to be bankrupted this year in order to achieve new ownership of the assets. The government, through the Montenegro Council for Privatisation, is keen to get rid of these assets.

In a statement on BalkanInsight.com, the Council indicated: “After four unsuccessful tenders in 2014, the government is determined also to get rid of the deeply troubled shipyard in the town of Bijela, which no foreign or domestic investors have showed much interest in so far. Attempts to sell the company’s shares were a waste of time. It is proposed that through a programmed bankruptcy, a sale of the company’s assets should be allowed, also enabling conversion of the shipyards into a new capacity for the repair of megayachts, for which some respectable investors expressed interest.”

Among those “respectable” investors is a joint approach by Porto Montenegro and the Damen Group, parent of the Amels superyacht building business in the Netherlands.

Danilo Kalezic, PR manager for Porto Montenegro, told SB: “We are, of course, still interested in Bijela shipyard; we are in constant communication with the government to find the right model of collaboration when it comes to this project.”

The Bijela yard is located very close to Porto Montenrgro, offering a natural opportunity for it to develop a key superyacht refit facility with the growing number of superyachts that are now visiting or based at the marina.