On Sunday March 17, 2019 the official inauguration of the renovated Panamax size floating dock “VIOLANDO” marked a new beginning for both Neorion Syros Shipyards and the wider shipbuilding industry in the country. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the shipping industry, local officials as well as important celebrities from the country’s political life.

The Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, Stergios Pitsiorlas, stated that in the effort to develop the country, the shipbuilding sector plays a major role and added that the renovation of the dock marks the revival of the sector. At the same time Mr. Pitsiorlas said that ONEX Shipyards justifies the trust of the workers and the whole island of Syros.

The geopolitical and geostrategic value of Greece as well as its role as a pillar of stability for the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans was stressed by the Minister of National Defense, Mr. Evangelos Apostolakis, who described Greek maritime as “national heritage, national capital and an important pillar of the economy” At the same time Mr. Apostolakis referred extensively to the relations between Greece and the USA, which are further strengthened by companies such as ONEX Shipyards.

The Economic Counselor of the US Embassy in Greece, Mr. William “Chip” Laitinen, in his speech said: “…Let me start by passing along Ambassador Pyatt’s congratulations on the inauguration of the Panamax-sized floating dock, which significantly expands operations at the Neorion shipyard.  Anyone who has heard the Ambassador speak over the last year knows that the U.S. views Neorion as an important American investment – commercially and symbolically – in Greece…Onex’s investment in the Neorion shipyard builds on a long history of U.S. – Greece ties in the maritime sector…Senior U.S. officials are now aware that Syros is operational and capable of supporting future servicing requirements, and so we hope the U.S. Navy will also soon be utilizing this rejuvenated facility… The rehabilitation of the facility also demonstrates what you get with a U.S. investment.  This includes hiring locally, environmental remediation to help clean up thousands of tons of waste around the shipyard, and CSR – corporate social responsibility – activities in the local community…”

From his part, the President of the International Propeller Club (Port of Piraeus), Mr. George Xiradakis spoke about  the great dynamics of Greek maritime, stressing that “as Greeks we have the sea inside us, we have a common DNA that makes us stand out all parts of the world”.

The inauguration was completed with the speech of Mr. Panos Xenocostas, President & CEO, ONEX Group who stressed that “here in Neorion is the heart of production, the truth between workers who want and employees who can”. Furthermore, Mr. Xenokostas said that the regeneration of the shipbuilding repairs in Greece is a national affair and once again committed to the workers. Finally, closing his speech, he thanked the customers – ship owners who re-believed in Neorion Syros Shipyards and their “rebirth”.