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and marine engineers — 600 v. 60 — and offer owners full service from design through manufacture, as well as a larger engineering capacity and valu- ables services for large fleets. The com- bined company today employs 11,000, and while the trend in big business inside and out of the marine industry has been to slim forces in the face of eco- nomic slowdown, Casanova is adamant to retain a highly trained workforce.

Market Opportunities

IZAR is truly looking to leverage its combined engineering and financial base to help not only fulfill market needs, but define them. While the com- pany lost an estimated 100 million

Euros in 2000, it is anticipated that the company will break even by 2003. This prospect may seem unlikely to some outsiders, given the tight margin nature of the shipbuilding business and the pre- carious nature of subsidy reduction pro-

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Navion Oceania grams, but Casanova and his executive team feel confident that this renewed focus on providing technologically superior, diverse products will make the difference.

In particular, the company sees vast opportunities in the business of trans- porting oil and gas products, given the current level of sustained high freight rates, the pressure from international and national authorities to provide trans- portation of such products in a manner that maximizes environmental protec- tion, which of course include a strong demand for double hull units. Several recent cases, from the Erika to the Cas- tor, lend credence to this assertion.

Much of the investment of the next four years will be spent on producing the capability to design and build ves- sels that are more automated and fuel efficient, which is where the company's

Systems Division will play a key role. www.maritimetoday.com www.maritimejobs.com 22

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