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Shipyards and environmental transition

March 14, 2024

As Navantia Shiprepairs Cadiz joins the ranks of participants in the Green Marine Europe certification process, interview with Jorge Sanchez de las Cuevas, Environmental Manager of Navantia Cadiz Bay.


Could you introduce us to Navantia Shiprepairs Cadiz?

Navantia Shiprepairs Cadiz is a specialized shipyard for the refit and modernization of large cruise ships that form part of the Shiprepairs Division of Navantia S.A., S.M.E., the leading naval group in Spain.

With a history of more than 300 years linked to the construction of ships for the Navy, Navantia is a public and strategic technology company for the defense of Spain. Its areas of specialization range from shipbuilding and ship repairs to the design and integration of systems with high technological content, life cycle support, and high value‐added services. Additionally, with its brand Navantia Seanergies, it is a global supplier for developing offshore wind energy and other green energies such as hydrogen. Navantia employs over 4,000 people directly in Spain, mainly at its sites in Ferrol Estuary (Ferrol and Fene), Cadiz Bay (Cadiz, San Fernando, Puerto Real, and Rota), Cartagena Port, and Madrid.

Ship repairs Cadiz forms part of Navantia Shiprepairs, a business unit formed by three ship repair centers in Ferrol Estuary, Cadiz Bay, and Cartagena Port, which are respectively specialized in the repair, refit, and conversion of LNG carriers, cruise ships, and megayachts, but including in their range of repair services all kinds of commercial vessels and naval units. The three centers of the ship repair division are key references in Europe for each of their specialized business lines, providing major international ship owners, managers, and operators with an unrivaled ship repair service under the highest standards of safety, sustainability, quality, reliability, and competitiveness.

The strategic location of Shiprepairs Cadiz between the European and Caribbean cruise routes, its ample technical and human resources, and the availability of specialized auxiliary industries in the area allow the shipyard to fulfill its activities in the highly demanding cruise ship market, where it has become over the past decade an international reference for the repair, refit, modernization, and conversion of cruise ships.

In Navantia Shiprepairs Cadiz, we work with very large ships, meaning that our facilities need adapted assets to meet their requirements. With that purpose, we count on one of the biggest repair drydocks in Europe, with 386 x 66 meters, capable of docking ships up to 370 x 60 meters, enabling the yard to dock the biggest cruise ships in the market today. Actually, the biggest cruise ship in the world today, with an overall length of 364.75 m, was docked in our yard in December 2023.

Among other specificities we have in our facility, there is a black and grey water treatment plant as well as an oily water treatment plant, promoting the circular economy by allowing the valorization of combustible waste and the regeneration of water in our productive processes and the watering of our facilities.

Another specificity, in this case, related to our activities is that we have improved our work processes, carrying out the ship’s surface treatment with pressurized water and minimizing the use of grit; we have also registered our carbon footprint in the Ecologic Transition and Demographic Challenge Ministry, which demands us to reduce it and carry out compensation measures; finally we are working on new sustainable technologies, proposing the idea of offering OPS (Onshore Power Supply) connection during our repairs to reduce emissions.

The influence of the activity of the shipyard has increased during the last recent years, signing fleet agreements with the leading companies of the sector, and we have repaired and/or modernized ships of key international companies such as Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Group, Disney Cruises, and other first-line cruise operators.


Navantia has a widely formalized CSR policy. How does the Green Marine Europe certification process support this CSR policy? What motivated Navantia Shiprepairs Cadiz to join Green Marine Europe?

Navantia is committed to building a safe and sustainable future through technological excellence and industrial collaboration, so it has contracts with governments and companies worldwide and ties with universities and technological and academic centers. Due to its social responsibility as a public company and as a driving force of an entire industrial ecosystem, it contributes to sustainability and innovation with its daily commitment to people and the planet, with responsible practices from the point of view of labor, environment, and economic and technological development that are viable regionally, nationally and internationally.

We have a Sustainability ESG policy focused on protecting the environment, ethical practices, and strengthening our community relations; in addition, we follow the ESG criteria that pose and strive for sustainable management of our activities. We see Green Marine Europe as an opportunity to improve further and nourish all these aspects, especially environmental protection and community relations, due to the program's focus on these aspects through its indicators and the arduous but fulfilling goals it sets.

These indicators are why we saw Green Marine as an excellent option: we perceive it as a certification that aims to reduce contamination and promote greener solutions while maximizing transparency and responsiveness towards the public.


Is there a particular achievement or project that illustrates your participation in Green Marine Europe?

Companies can and must be driving forces of change and inform and educate their stakeholders on key topics such as the care of the natural environment. It is not enough to execute actions that reduce the environmental impacts or to establish improvements about the environmental aspects, but it is also fundamental that we make them known to improve our image and, above all, create an environmental conscience and sensibilize our surroundings about the respect towards the environment. In addition, our shipyard is integrated into the city of Cadiz. Mainly because of these two factors, taking part in Green Marine Europe allows us to show our competencies and achievements to all our stakeholders (clients, citizens, public administrations, etc.). It will also help us improve our environmental and sustainable performance.