Home > Spotlight
MARIANO PANE: "IN CHINA TO GROW"
Rome (Ign) - "This is our big chance, and I am sure we will know how to make the best of it". This is the answer we received from Mariano Pane, chairman of Globeco, when we asked him to talk about the agreement with the Chinese government for a joint venture with his company. The deal was also celebrated in the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, and represents an opportunity for the company from Sorrento to consolidate its position as a leading builder of anti-pollution vessels.
Could you give us a few details of the agreement with China?
Globeco has clinched a deal with the Chinese Changsha yard, leading to the creation of 'Phoenix Globeco Environmental Ship-tech', based in Beijing. Thanks to the know-how of the Italian company, there will be built in China the first 150 anti-pollution and monitoring vessels for use in Chinese waters, as well as to be exported all over the world. The joint venture will operate thanks to public sector contracts with provincial and town councils. The Chinese economic boom has led to an uncontrolled disposal of waste in its territorial waters, but now that they have realised the seriousness of the situation, the Chinese authorities want to take action fast.
How will your boats be used?
Globeco's first five ecological boats, built in Italy, will reach China by the end of January 2007. These vessels will be used for demonstration purposes, to promote our services to local provincial councils and ensure contracts with our company for the cleaning and safeguarding of their watercourses. Engineers from Italy will supervise cleaning operations and training in China, but Chinese pilots, ecologists and environmentalists will also come to Sorrento to be trained.
Do you think you will be able to increase turnover thanks to this agreement with the Chinese?
Of course! The extreme competitiveness of Chinese shipyards will allow Globeco to boost sales in other countries and particularly in Nigeria, where the Chinese will make significant investments for environmental protection. The deal also included the support of the Chinese banking system, which will back up the exports with seven-year loans, initially for 150 boats. But it's not as though we are newcomers to the international scene: Globeco has also availed itself of the experience obtained in Thailand where, with Asimar from Bangkok - listed on the stock exchange - it has set up a joint venture, 'Ecomarine', which has already started to build ten anti-pollution vessels both for the domestic market and for Indonesia. The first two vessels are already in the water.
But how long has your company been on the market?
Globeco has been around for 40 years, while its ecology division was set up in 1982, to deal with cleaning seas and rivers and fighting pollution from oil and similar substances. The first contract was with the Italian Merchant Navy for the supply of 30 vessels. Today we build 15 different models of ecological boats and in our development centre in Sorrento we are working on a new prototype ship for environmental protection, which has been given EU approval. We dedicate over 30% of our turnover to research. Our successes include the battle against the mucilage of Venice in 1989, when we removed 255,000 tonnes of seaweed from the Adriatic which were threatening the lagoon city, not to mention a small job on a little island in the New York area …
Do you mean Manhattan?
That's right! Together with Pirelli in the 1990s we helped lay a cable weighing 7000 tonnes, which served to supply the entire island with electricity. Our ships sailed round the island and provided the technology necessary for the operation, which was rather complex and delicate. The thought that New York shines at night also thanks to us, in our own small way, still fills me with pride.