The official opening took place on 1 June 2014 in Perama, Greece. Those in attendance at the opening ceremony included Greece’s deputy minister for development and competitiveness, Athanasios Skordas; the deputy of the New Democracy Party, Tania Iakovidou; and the mayor of Perama, John Lagoudakis, as well as representatives from the Piraeus Port Authority, the president of the Piraeus Chamber and a number of the group’s partners and friends from the local maritime industry.
Refit work at the Perama shipyard is underway on seven superyachts, but the group hopes that over the next 12 months the facility will attract foreign clients to Greece and predicts more than 70 vessels will visit the facility, consequently strengthening Greece’s yachting sector. “This expansion … means the opening of new horizons for the yachting sector in Greece and widens the borders by joining the Greek experience with the technological developments of [today],” Nikolas Katsoulis, shipyard manager of the Spanopoulos Group’s shipyard department, told SuperyachtNews.com.
Though the nation is well-known for its attractive and idyllic cruising grounds, the state of the Greek economy has had an impact on the country’s ability to establish itself as a viable competitor against other European superyacht destinations. This is something Katsoulis hopes will change as a result of the new superyacht facility. “The new site will contribute to the Greek economy in many ways. Initially it has increased the work positions of all the specialties related to shipyard services. In addition, this investment will become a pole of attraction for new yachts from abroad and consequently the opening of new crew positions, new marinas, infrastructures or even the development of already [existing] facilities and all kinds of facilities related to the yachting industry.”
The group has also worked to strengthen its standing in the superyacht industry with collaborations already established in the sector, and has recently announced a partnership with superyacht tender manufacturer and supplier Wahoo. “Partnerships like Wahoo and others that will be announced in the near future by Spanopoulos Shipyards are strategic steps towards the development of both sides and [consequently] to create a strong brand name in the yachting industry,” concluded Katsoulis.