Damen Shipyards SA wants ‘strategic partnership’ with Curaçao Dock Company (CDM)
WILLEMSTAD – The Council of Ministers have already agreed in early December 2015 with the start of the project to attract a strategic partner for the Curaçao Dokmaatschappij (CDM). The Minister of Economic Development, Eugene Rhuggenaath has indicated that he will begin negotiations with the Dutch company Damen Shipyards SA Gorinchem. This is evident from the reply Rhuggenaath gives to questions raised by opposition MP Gerrit Schotte, who wanted to know if there is an agreement signed by Damen Shipyard.
Reason for Rhuggenaath to start this negotiation process with Damen Shipyards is because the fact that the company has been expressing for years their wish to enter into a strategic partnership with CDM.
In his written proposal to the Council of Ministers Rhuggenaath states that a multidisciplinary team should be established and should prepare the ground for a period of six months to achieve the strategic partnership for CDM Holding, which also includes the costs associated with the implementation.
The minister explained that the only basis for the negotiations is that the government of Curaçao remains 100 percent owner of CDM Holding, and leases the facilities and infrastructure to an operating company, which is wholly owned by Damen Shipyards.
In addition to this requirement, the Minister also presented other requirements in his proposal:
(A) Damen Shipyards should hire all CDM’s current staff on a permanent position;
(B) Both Damen Shipyards as CDM Holding must be willing to invest in the infrastructure and facilities;
(C) Parties (CDM Holding and Damen Shipyards) will jointly offer this in-depth analysis carried out at the level of these investments. Given the fact that these facilities are in very poor condition, the government will actively explore the possibility of providing the current package of tax benefits to the future operating company, to enable them to commit the investment and also increase the number of jobs;
(D) The Government will endeavor to resolve all outstanding issues surrounding CDM so that these troubles will have no negative impact on the process to reach a cooperation agreement with Damen Shipyards.