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NAVIMOR INTERNATIONAL - 25 YEARS OF THE COMPANY - OUR HISTORY
WRITTEN DOWN BY EDITOR MACIEJ GONISZEWSKI

Navimor International was established in March 1991 by Romuald Kinda, Teresa Zając and several specialists of unique experience in foreign trade and working in Africa, who, as was fairly common at that time, wanted "to be in the driver's seat," gave up jobs in state owned companies and invested their own money in their own company. The decision was enhanced by the state owned PHZ Navimor, which allowed its former employees to use (for a fee) its trademark NAVIMOR.

 

The professional experience of the founders of the new company let it specialize in exports of ships, ship structures and ship equipment, mainly to the customers in Africa. Later the company acquired new customers from Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East.   

* 1991 – 1993   THE FIRST PROJECTS
WKR-25 fishing boats built for Nigeria in 1992

 

At the beginning NAVIMOR INT. provided guarantee services of fishing boats delivered to Nigeria and was commissioned the so called technical service of Nigerdock shipyard in Lagos.  As a part of that project, a group of fifty Polish engineers started to work in the shipyard and launched the first specialist production there. Marian Dołęga, a distinguished shipyard manager from Gdańsk, became the Technical Director in NIGERDOCK appointed by Navimor Int.  The next contract of Navimor Int., signed in 1992, was for supply of passenger ferries WB-280, and mixed passenger/vehicle ferries PD-120 for Nigerdock Shipyard, and in 1993 – for construction and delivery to Nigeria of WKR-25 type fishing boats. The contract in 1993, which was widely described by the Nigerian media, included delivery of elements for the construction of two ferries - mixed passenger/vehicle PCF-26 ferry and another 2 WBK -280 ferries.

 

The ferries were engineered in CKD (completely-knocked-down) system. Their individual elements were prepared in Wisła Shipyard, packed in containers and delivered to NIGERDOCK, where they were used to construct the first seagoing vessels in the history of Nigeria.

 

At that time it was a very rare case of transfer of specialist "know-how", which resulted in a great confidence of the Nigerian authorities in the company of Navimor Int., and consequently in signing new contracts. (The Nigerian authorities were so proud of the construction of the new ferries that they issued a special series of postage stamps to celebrate the occasion).

 

 

WB-280 passenger ferries – the first ships built in Nigeria.

 

Apart from the founders, the following persons were the key figures in the company at that time: Jarosław Popis - the current President of Navimor Int. Com. Ltd., Marian Dołęga, Bogdan Baranowski, Danuta Jędrusik, Dariusz Polasz, Tomasz Lesner, Janusz Madej, Barbara Maksymowicz, Tadeusz Dźwigaj, Hanna Szarmach.

*1993-1995 – NAVIMOR INVESTS IN WISŁA SHIPYARD

In 1993 NAVIMOR INT. establishes cooperation with partners outside Africa. The company provides a set of ro-ro ship ramps for a Swedish company Kvaerner. This contract marks a new type of activity of Navimor Int. and is now one of the three pillars of its operation - MODULAR DESIGN SHIPS for West European shipyards. To be able to develop this activity Navimor needs its own production facilities.

 

Therefore, the company buys from a trustee the areas of the liquidated Wisła shipyard, which went bankrupt because of the collapse of cooperation with the Soviet Union companies. NEW WISŁA SHIPYARD was founded, the shareholders of which were Roman Kinda - Navimor Int. and Jerzy Pawlak, a prominent shipbuilding designer and CEO of the new company. What is more, a group of employees of the bankrupt Wisła Shipyard joined the new shareholders.
Navimor Int., together with its partners, creates a new concept of the company, carries out an extensive modernization of the shipyard and acquires new customers for its marine production. In 1994 the company launches the construction of superstructures for the largest European shipyards, which is continued until this day.

 

In 1995 Navimor Int. rebuilds 2 hulls purchased in Ustka Shipyard into shrimping boats for a Norwegian company Havmannen, and in 1996 - builds a series of fishing boats for customers in Denmark and in the Netherlands.

 

Panorama of Wisła Shipyard
Roman Kinda and Jerzy Pawlak  founders of New Wisła Shipyard.

 

Wisła Shipyard specializes in the production of ships intended for tropical waters within the group Navimor Int. It also becomes a subcontractor of large West European shipyards and producer of specialized fishing vessels for the tropics. Wisła provides, inter alia, hull modules to our main customer  MEYER WERFT shipyard, which builds the largest and most luxurious passenger cruisers for the key players in the cruise market, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Int., AIDA Cruises, Royal Cruise Line, Dream Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Star Cruises.

 

 

Navimor and Wisła Shipyard delivers hull modules for the first two helicopter-carriers MISTRAL type, which weight over 7000 tons, built in the French shipyard DCN Brest, and offshore structures to the Norwegian company AkerKvaerner. On a regular basis Wisła supply ship modules and superstructures to the Norwegian shipyard Kleven Verf AS. Wisła specializes in constructions demanding high-end qualifications – e.g., construction of a whole stern of the ship or superstructures made of thin materials. Wisła Shipyard processes currently ca 9.000 tons of steel structures per year - which is one of the best results in Poland.

 

Modules built in Wisła Shipyard for German shipyards.

 

 

Ships built in Wisła Shipyard

 

Construction of fishing vessels for tropical zones fisheries became the second specialization of Wisła Shipyard, unique in Poland. Their design is carefully adapted to high temperatures of air and water, and to catch specific fish species. During that period, the Navimor/Wisła team is joined, inter alia, by: Krzysztof Jankowski, Maciej Dobosz, Jerzy Dragański, Andrzej Strykowski, Stanisław Bernacki, Jarosław Antoszewski.

*1996-1998 – EXTENSION OF NIGERDOCK SHIPYARD

Signing in April 1996 a $55 million contract for the development of Nigerdock Shipyard with the Federal Ministry of Transport of Nigeria was the key moment for the further development of the company. The choice of NAVIMOR INT. was a consequence of the fact that, during five years of its existence, the company had become a strategic technical partner for the Nigerian shipyard industry.

 

CONSTRUCTION PROCESS 

 

 

 

Nigerdock Shipyard – Lagos (Snake Island)
Floating dock
   
Shipyard opening ceremony
New halls in Nigerdock II

 

 

The goal of the shipyard extension was to adapt it to the needs of the oil industry, which was dynamically growing in West Africa. Navimor Int. created a consortium with an American company specializing in investments for offshore industry, which brought the necessary know-how. The project began with a strengthening of soil by placing 3.500 stilts allowing lifting and moving structures weighing up to 1.600 tons. Large halls fit for construction of structures for mining industry, equipped with the most modern machinery, were built on such prepared area.

 

Those halls allow building 140 meters long and 40 meters wide structures, which are then transported to the coast and put into 120 meters long floating dock from Poland built in Gdańsk Remontowa Shipyard. The Nigerdock is clearly different from similar businesses in African and Asian countries, as it is fitted with the latest technology and provides its employees a very high standard of work.
Nigerian Government as the most cutting-edge in the country. For Poland it was one of the most important project in Africa at the time.

 

Launching of a floating dock built for Nigeria by GRS 

 

The experience gained at both that and previous contracts made Navimor International an expert in doing business in the African market. The company belongs to a small group of Polish companies best prepared for business in Africa. The NIGERDOCK project was also the beginning of a very fruitful cooperation between Navimor INT. and Gdańsk Remontowa Shipyard.

 

During that period, the Navimor Int. is joined by a distinguished group of professionals, such as: Andrzej Olpiński - Director of Construction Office of the Shipyard, now Director of African Affairs at Navimor, Małgorzata Nadolska - current President of Navimor II, Krzysztof Postoł - an excellent marine constructions designer: Jerzy Adamonis, Jan Bartosz, Franciszek Chmarzyński Waldemar Grabowski, Włodzimierz Mikołajewski, Lech Olechnowicz, Jerzy Warszycki, Dorota Wężyk, Sławomir Ziółek, Dariusz Karasek, Anna Ołpińska, Andrzej Pietkiewicz.

* 1998-2001 –  FROM CONTAINER SHIPS IN PÓŁNOCNA SHIPYARD TO PRIVATISATION IN GDAŃSK REMONTOWA SHIPYARD

Reinvestment of profits made on the extension of Nigerdock largely decided on the directions of NAVIMOR development in subsequent years. Thanks to the profit made on expanding Nigerdock, the company was able to make further investments, including, among others, building its headquarters in Sopot and purchase of Dagoma company, which later proved to be very a good investment.

 

Navimor's headquarters

 

In 1998 Navimor International continued the cooperation with Nigeria. A container ship B-172 Abuja commissioned by the Nigerian National Shipping Lines was built in Północna Shipyard. The vessel was 121.5 m long, had 6 thousand tons deadweight and was the largest ship in the fleet of the company. Navimor's decision to build the container ship in Północna Shipyard helped this company survive this very difficult period, providing it with work for some time. Navimor Int. fully financed and controlled the production process of the ship in that project.

 

Roman Kinda with representatives of Nigerian Government

during naming of Abuja container ship
Abuja container ship

 

 

A training ship Horizon II for Gdynia Maritime University was built in a similar way. Navimor bought the hull of an unfinished yacht Polaris and, together with Remontowa Shipyard, completed the project to build a vessel as a training ship for Maritime Academy - Horizon II. During that period Navimor also built in Wisła Shipyard a passenger ferry Odoragushin, passed in 1999 to Nigerian Lagos State Ferries Corporation. It was constructed on a prefabricated twin catamaran hull previously used by the Żegluga Gdańska under the named Onyx and Opal.

 

Training ship – Horizon II
Odoragushin passenger ferry

 

Other vessels delivered by Navimor to Nigerian customers made the company enjoy the highest confidence of the government of this country, which was proved by the commission to repair NNS Lana battleship for the NIGERIAN NAVY. The repair of the ship required to finding and purchasing non-standard parts in the UK market and could be accomplished only thanks to the exceptional commitment, expertise and contacts of the employees of Navimor Int.

 

After the construction of a floating dock, another joint project of Navimor Int. and Gdańsk Remontowa Shipyard was the construction of the aforementioned training ship Horizon II for Maritime Academy in Gdynia in 1998, and then - in 1999 - purchases of machinery and equipment within a specific budget for the container ship B-196 built in Remontowa Shipyard. Business cooperation resulted in mutual trust and a good knowledge of the potential of both entities. When in 2000, the privatization of Gdańsk Remontowa Shipyard was planned, The Chairman Mr. Piotr Soyka made a proposal to Navimor International to take part in the privatization process.  Future participants of the process established management and employee company INVEST-REM. INVEST-REM takes part in competition for best offers - wins it and starts negotiations with MINISTRY OF TREASURY to buy Gdańsk Remontowa Shipyard. As a result of long negotiations, INVEST-REM and MINISTRY OF TREASURY  sign privatization contract. The contract apart of agreed price, social package, investment package and a number of detailed arrangements, also included financial guarantee of The Chairman - Mr. Piotr Soyka and Navimor's Chairman Mr. Romuald Kinda .

 

Signing the Remontowa Shipyard privatisation agreement in the Ministry of Treasury 

 

Remontowa Shipyard, now a REMONTOWA HOLDING group, under the leadership of the President Piotr Soyka during 15 years as a private company has achieved spectacular successes in Poland and around the world.

* 2001-2008 – DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES OF NAVIMOR

In 2001 NAVIMOR acquired the shares of Dagoma from the liquidator of the company. Located in the historic center of Gdańsk, the factory producing jams and spices was yet another investment challenge for Navimor, which in 2002, began a long process of restructuring the newly acquired company. It included production transfer of Dagoma to Puck and construction of residential and comercial complex "Szafarnia Water Front ".

 

Navimor undertakes to build a new quarter of the city at the area of the foremer industrial plants. Navimor co-operates with Pekao Development (later Pirelli Development) to build the apartment and comercial complex "Szafarnia Water Front ". One of the elements of this investment is HOTEL GDAŃSK.  It was arranged in a revitalized 17th century "Góra" Granary, previously devastated through the function of an ordinary warehouse. 

 

CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL COMPLEX "Szafarnia Water Front"

 

 

 

 

REVITALIZATION OF XVII CENTURY GRANARY

 

 

 

 

The area with Góra Granary in 2001 - 2016

 

Opening of Hotelu Gdańsk

 

 

The whole process took seven years and each stage required a huge commitment and the use of the company's experience gained at previous projects. The success of this project was possible thanks to the experience in restructuring and managing companies. The first step was to build the new DAGOMA factory in a new place in Puck, to equip it with modern machinery, to train the staff and to transfer the whole production of the company there. In 2006 Dagoma has been sold to specialized company of Mr. Jerzy Orfanos, well known businessman from Tricity. The success of the restructuring  process is best proved by the delicious products of DAGOMA trademark available in stores throughout the country today.

 

 
 
Production launching in the new location of Dagoma company in Puck.

 

The last and most mediagenic stage of the project was to save the only 17th century granary in Gdańsk, which survived World War II undamaged, but later gradually fell into ruins. At the time of the acquisition, the building threatened to collapse and required immediate emergency work involving strengthening of the whole structure, carrying out the process of micro-piling and making a rim linking all the walls. Only after stabilizing the building, the works aiming at adapting the object to hotel function could begin. All the works were carried out under a strict supervision of the conservator and in accordance with his very specialist technologies he had indicated.

 

Together with a specialized construction company DORACO, Navimor Int. carried out all the works - not only the construction but also the conservation works, which helped preserve the historical values of the building. Despite earlier assurances of the conservator to refinance 40% of the costs incurred to save this historical building, in 2009 the Ministry of Culture refused to refund any expenditures without giving any justification of its decision.

 

Damian Kinda and Lidia Ciszewska were the Navimor’s leaders of the hotel project. 

 

HOTEL GDAŃSK was recognized by the local authorities and the City Council passed a resolution allowing using the name of the city Gdańsk, and above all by the guests of this unique object. They have at their disposal not only the rooms with the ambiance of old Gdańsk, which is aroused by the 400-year-old walls and beams, but also the hotel brewery, which continues the tradition of Gdańsk brewers, offering exclusive and unique drinks. The hotel hosted, among others, Spanish national football team, FC BARCELONA and JUVENTUS FC teams, Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, presidential couples Lech and Danuta Wałęsa, Jolanta and Aleksander Kwaśniewscy, Bronisław and Anna Komorowscy, representatives of the Government of Angola, the presidents of Slovakia and Romania, and many well-known singers, actors and artists. The current director of the hotel is Ms. Karolina Wójcik - an experienced expert in hotel business.

 

 

 

Our hotel was visited by many sports stars, among the others by  Lionel Messi, Neymar, Gionluigi Buffon and representation of Barcelona.

 

Our hotel was visited, among the others by President Lech Wałęsa,  Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński  and President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President Bronisław Komorowski

 

Oktoberfest in Hotel Gdańsk

 

Hotel Gdańsk, which has own mini-brewery, organize each year in September, the celebration of beer - "Gdańk Oktoberfest".

 

During that period the staff of Navimor Int. was joined by: Karol Kalicki - president of the company Navo-Investment, Filip Kwaśniewski - the current vice-president of Wisła Shipyard, Damian Kinda, Lidia Ciszewska, Henryk Zemsta and Iwona Jasionek.

* 2006-2016 – CONTRACTS WITH ANGOLA

From the very beginning, NAVIMOR developed its acquisitions also in Angola, which eventually became one of the main markets of the company. In 2000 Navimor co-financed the activity in Angola of a Polish fishing company Atlantis, which began to operate in Luanda.

 

In 2006, Navimor signed a contract to build four super modern stern shrimping trawlers for the Ministry of Fishery of Angola.  Those ships were fully designed and built in Wisła Shipyard, which becames the main Polish manufacturer of fishing vessels for tropical waters. In Angola for technical efficiency of vessels were responsible a group of Polish engineers, lead by Sebastian Antoszewski. That contract resumed contacts dating back to the 1980s, when the PHZ Navimor together with GRS created the Helder Neto Vocational Training Centre in Namibe (now Moçâmedes). This school prepared Angolan youth to pursue careers in the marine industry.  Teachers in the Helder Neto were Polish experts, among the others Mr. Piotr Soyka and Mr. Professor Janusz Mindykowski.

 

One of trawlers for Angola during the cruise to Luanda
Krzysztof Pawlak - trawlers designer, now chairman of Wisła Shipyard

and Andrzej Ołpiński- Director for Africa
Trawler built by Navimor for the Ministry of Fishery of Angola.

 

The positive experience both in education and contracts in the fishing industry helped Navimor Int. convince the Angolan authorities to continue the construction and establishment of the first Maritime Academy in the country and in this part of Africa. The employees of the company, together with staff from Maritime Academy in Gdynia developed the concept of creating this school from scratch. Discussions on the implementation of the project were held since 2004 and, as a result, the project was submitted by Angola to the program of Poland’s activities for developing countries.

 

In 2007 NAVIMOR INT. signed a contract with the Ministry of Fishery of Angola to build the ACADEMY OF FISHERY AND MARINE SCIENCES IN NAMIBE - the largest educational project in Africa and also the largest Polish project at that time on the African continent.

 

 

 

Signing the contract
Minister of Fisheries Victória de Barros Neto, Director of Research, 
Development and Statistic Office Isabel Cristóvão with Chairman of Navimor Group Roman Kinda

 

  

 

2016 - Academy of Fishery and Marine Sciences in Namibe 

 

The most modern Maritime Academy in West Africa was established at a surface of 80 hectares, with the participation of nearly 100 Polish companies. It has 50.000 m2 of classrooms, the most modern rescue center in Africa, 30 specialized laboratories, captain's bridge simulator, engine room simulator and research programs developed by the Maritime Academy in Gdynia. Prof. PhD. Eng. Janusz Mindykowski, who had already been in contact with Angola as part of its research work, became the main scientific patron of the project. The Angolan people call the Academy the Pride of Angola and the European Union wants to present it as a model example of how to cooperate with Africa. Over the next few months 1.500 students - also from outside Angola - will begin their study at the Academy.

 

The project managers on the part of Navimor were: Andrzej Ołpiński, Jarosław Popis, Dariusz Polasz, Jacek Wasilewski, Emilia Wójciuk, Piotr Jutrowski and a group of eminent construction professionals, who in addition to the expertise had to demonstrate knowledge of the Portuguese language.

 

The first visit on the site of the future Academy
The celebration of transfering the handbooks to the Academy of Fisheries and Marine Sciences in Namibe

Visit of the Minister of Fishery of Angola, the Polish Ambassador in Angola, Governor of the province 
of Namibe on the occasion of completion of the second construction stage of the Academy.

Angolan press about the Academy:

"Academy of Fishery - proud of Angola"
"Academy of Fishery - the hidden treasure of  

economic diversification"

 

 

"African shore under the Polish flag" -  Bussines pulse newspapper
 "Polish superschool in Africa" - newspapper Rzeczpospolita

 

*2014-2016 COOPERATION WITH NIGERIA

In 2014, using their knowledge and experience in the construction of fishing boats for tropical zones, Wisła Shipyard built a research and training ship Bayagbona for the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Exploration of the Seas. The vessel is a combination of a specialized research and training ship and an industrial fishing vessel.

 

The ship was entirely designed by a group of Polish designers at the head of which stood Krzysztof Pawlak Junior - current President of Wisła Shipyard.

 

Naming of Bayagbona ship, participated by the First lady of Nigeria – Dr. Patience Jonathan.

 

Chairman of Navimor Group Roman Kinda with President of African Development Bank and President of Sopot Jacek Karnowski

At that time Navimor Int. staff was joined by another group of distinguished professionals: Joanna Kinda, Jacek Wasilewski Piotr Jutrowski, Włodzimierz Mikołajewski, Wojciech Charchalis, Piotr Konderski, Tolimira Pietkiewicz.

 

In 2016 NAVIMOR INT. successfully continues the activity in the mentioned above areas.

CHARITY AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES OF INT.

For many years Navimor has been carrying charitable activities by supporting two major foundations - Pomorskie Children's Hospice Foundation and Hospice run by the parish priest Kazimierz Czerlonka at Gwiazda Morza Parish in Sopot. The company also gave its support to a branch of pediatric hematology at the Medical University of Gdańs, the Polish Red Cross and urology department at Medical Academy, which renovation was supported by Navimor. Navimor participates, on a regular basis, in a variety of charity actions, such as: “noble Parcel, Action – A copybook for a Pupil or the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. It also took financial care of large families from Kaszuby.

 

The biggest social achievement of the company was to initiate and co-organize the "Junior Gdańsk 2012" program under which there were built 16 sports field, the number of teams participated in Euro2012. The project started in 2010 and it invloved more than a dozen companies, each sponsoring the construction of a sports field at a different school in the Tricity. Navimor financed the construction of a multipurpose sports field at Primary School No 80 in Gdańsk. The "Orlik" project to build similar sports fields throughout the country financed from the state budget was based on the initiative of Navimor Int.

 

 
Handing off a football pitch- Junior Euro Cup 2012 Gdańsk.

 

In 2016 Navimor was awarded by National Chamber of Maritime Economy with AMBER DUCK, for realization turnkey implementation of the biggest educational project of European Union in Africa - Academy of Fisheries and Marine Siences in Namibe.

Navimor's Amber Duck

 

27 May 2014, took place the Polish-African Day in the Polish Parliment and the Economic Forum on economic cooperation between the Polish and African countries. During the event, Navimor's President was awarded with a prize "Friend of Africa" in category entrepreneur.

 

The award ceremony "Friend of Africa". Navimor's President Roman Kinda and member of Parliment John Godson

21 October 2016 Navimor was awarded with the "Polish Prize of Inteligent Development" in the category Innovative Company.

 

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81-752 Sopot, Poland

Phone +48 58 5501020

Fax: +48 58 5501022

office@navimor.pl

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