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Global cruise line MSC Cruises has formed a joint venture (JV) with Palumbo Group to operate the Palumbo Malta Shipyard.

With the new JV, MSC Cruises will acquire a 50% stake in the shipyard and be an equal partner with Palumbo Shipyards, the current owner.

A major upgrade for the shipyard is planned to boost the operations while also increasing its focus on the specialist cruise line.

The shipyard will receive custom from the vessels of MSC Cruises and from cargo vessels and ferries of MSC Group. It will also serve its loyal clientele.

With the introduction of cutting-edge technology, the shipyard will be able to serve and repair new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships that are constructed for the fleet of MSC Cruises.

LNG is one of the most environmentally friendly maritime fuels available.

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By GlobalData

Palumbo Group founder and chairman Antonio Palumbo said: “I am happy with this joint venture with the Aponte family because, in addition to having a personal and consolidated friendship over the years, it unites us with common business philosophy.

“This agreement is not just a financial transaction but is aimed at strengthening our network and is part of a group corporate strategy.

“Today, I am proud to expand our services, consolidated over the years, thanks to far-reaching experiences, through this partnership with a world-class player.

“I am sure that the future will prove us right, leading this shipyard to consolidate itself as one of the most important multi-purpose structures in the markets of cruise, merchant and advanced-technology ships, providing refitting services, general maintenance and installation of eco-friendly systems where Palumbo Shipyards already holds a leading position. Not least, the whole Maltese community will benefit from a new economic boost.”

In February, Abu Dhabi Ports signed a long-term agreement with MSC Cruises to award berthing rights to its cruise ships at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach.