Baglietto define sustainable growth in La Spezia
Fabio Ermetto, Baglietto CCO, discusses project BZERO and a consolidated philosophy for the Italian shipyard…
Fabio Ermetto, CCO of Baglietto, outlines a positive year of development. After consolidating brands and restructuring, Baglietto has 13 yachts under construction, both sold and speculative. In addition, it has continued its development of hybrid technology system integration, both at the shipyard and on board its fleet. In a booming industry with environmental imperatives and a changing ownership demographic driving innovations, it is a perfect time to catch up with a long-standing stakeholder in the industry to discuss how its philosophy has evolved to meet the changing market.
Fabio Ermetto CCO of Baglietto
"At present, we are very happy; in less than a year, we have sold four units in the DOM line as well as four 52m yachts. Imagine that? Four 52m yachts sold before the first unit has been delivered," Starts Ermetto, who goes on to describe the ownership demographic of the recent orders: "The ownership is a mix of The Americas and Europe, and when we say America, we always include all of The Americas." This comes as a refreshing change in approach to the region and suggests a more diverse uptake of ownership from an emerging market.
Having the support to build on speculation undoubtedly helps a relatively high volume shipyard; as Ermetto explains, "We are also building another 38m custom yacht, so right now we have the right mix between custom and semi-custom yachts. And obviously, we are very lucky to have a primary shareholder who believes in and understand the market. He's always been happy to support us in our building on speculation, which obviously helps us a lot with delivery."
With the industry-wide conversation on hybrid propulsion gathering speed, an equally diverse range of approaches has also been highlighted. A part of the consultation of brands and restructure, Baglietto showcased its vision at The Monaco Yacht Show 2021 with the BZERO project, summarised in the below video.
The BZERO system involves the implementation of a hydrogen production module which, using filtered and deionised seawater, produces hydrogen with 5 degrees of purity at a maximum pressure of 35 bar, for a total power of about 55 kW. The pressurised hydrogen produced is stored in solid form at low pressure and room temperature in metal hydride cylinders.
Baglietto's BZERO System
An often sighted barrier to the uptake of new systems is risk aversion by owners, partly due to a lack of effective communication about the technologies and an inability to experience the difference (or lack thereof) in operational profile and efficiency of the yacht with these systems. Part of Baglietto's project BZERO will involve incorporating the technologies within the shipyard itself, theoretically providing a 1:1 scale demonstration of the technologies in action.
"We have already put together a group of partner companies, and we are investing a lot of money to build the first system which will be installed in our shipyard, hopefully by the end of next year," explains Ermetto, who describes a scenario whereby an owner may be able to visit the shipyard in La Spezia and see how, for example, the solar panels on the roof of the shipyard are converting seawater into hydrogen. An ambitious vision, but as Ermetto points out, the technology is already there:
“ All of these components are not new. They are already in production. They are built for other uses, so the only difficulty to bring them together and integrate them on a yacht.”
"Owners are primarily interested in; how will their life change onboard? What is the primary advantage for the operation of the yacht? Secondarily, what is the impact of having these systems onboard in terms of space? And lastly, what is the economic impact?" Explains Ermetto, who believes that the first two factors are not an issue once explained and demonstrated to the client. The price remains the most significant hurdle, as he continues, "You have to be quite motivated to pay the price difference, which is more relevant on a 40m yacht. Obviously, the bigger the yacht, the less relevant the price differential is."
In a booming market, Baglietto also appears to be taking a more measured approach to development whereby growth at all cost is not the guiding principle, as Ermetto clarifies: "We are receiving requests for larger yachts from buyers. However, we have decided for the time being not to build any yachts larger than 65m. Logistically, we could, still, at the moment, it does not fit our strategy, so we prefer to focus on the smaller market segment."
“Our shareholder's main business is not this shipyard. So his vision is not to double the capacity. We have a clear instruction from him that we should consolidate our business.” Says Ermetto.
Summarising the directive from its primary shareholder and its vision for the future, Ermetto concludes: "We should not exceed the five-unit delivery barrier but invest in quality, invest in the organisation, invest in the facility, we are looking to improve all the values of our company." As the BZERO system continues to develop, with the support of classification society RINA and Bagiletto's other technology partners, SuperyachtNews will report on the system and hopefully visit La Spezia once operational.
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