The Norwegian company Vard Brevik, which specialises in design and construction of offshore vessels to the oil industry, cuts 106 jobs due to closure of its operations in Porsgrunn, Telemark. The closure is scheduled to take place before the summer of 2020. The closure follows an economic downturn since the oil crisis in 2014-2016. The shipyard is currently working on two ships, one that is most likely to be the world's first electric and autonomous ship.
The Board of Vard Brevik is hoping for a sale that will save the shipyard at Brevik and the jobs. The trade union representative states that the employees have been aware of the economically unstable situation, but that this was still sad news for the employees.
Vard Brevik is part of Vard Group AS (formerly STX Europe), which has headquarters in Ålesund. The main shareholder is the Italian group Fincantieri. Vard owns five shipyards in Norway, including Vard Aukra, Vard Brattvaag, Vard Brevik, Vard Langsten and Vard Søviknes. Vard Aukra is also experiencing economic difficulties and announced in October 2019 that it will cut 80 jobs in December 2019. Vard also owns two shipyards in Brazil, one in Romania and one in Vietnam. The Vard Group has 9,500 employees worldwide and about 1,600 in Norway.