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Job losses feared in Lloyd Werft restructuring

(Photo: Lloyd Werft)
Lloyd Werft is among Germany's most renowned yards for cruise ship conversions
With Genting Hong Kong-controlled Lloyd Werft to focus on megayacht construction, cruise ship repairs and conversions, the Bremerhaven yard faces a restructuring and board member Dirk Petersjohann is leaving by year's end of his own volition.

The yard said improving quality and efficiency are among the restructuring's objectives, which are supported by Genting to ensure Lloyd Werft's long-term viability. The yard has a contract for a megayacht newbuild. No details have been disclosed about the project or the shipowner, but rumors link the order with Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

The restructuring has sparked intense concerns among Lloyd Werft's 448 workers and the works council. Works council chairman Daniel Müller called the possibility of a massive workforce reduction 'disastrous' and said he aims to save as many jobs as possible.

No details about redundancies have been announced. Bremen media are speculating up to one-third of the yard's jobs may be at risk. Already in October Lloyd Werft implemented reduced working hours.

The decision to focus the Bremerhaven yard on megayachts, repairs and conversions—rather than cruise newbuilds—was made at least as far back as July, when Genting made a hefty investment in MV Werften, a trio of shipyards in Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund, to build for Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises.