To keep moving forward, sometimes it is valuable to look back and see how far you’ve come. That’s exactly what the top management at Prysmian Group decided to do at the end of March to celebrate the arrival of Leonardo da Vinci, its state-of-the-art new cable-laying vessel, with a gala event and ship christening in Naples, Italy.
An outstanding vessel deserves an outstanding ceremony. The Leonardo da Vinci christening was a moment for Prysmian Group leaders to share their pride in past accomplishments and outline future goals with around 200 guests including customers, suppliers, LDV construction suppliers, insurers, and bankers.
The event kicked off on March 23, when guests were welcomed with a toast on the terrace of the majestic Royal Palace of Naples, overlooking the city’s renowned gulf and the Vesuvius volcano. Then guests moved inside for a gala dinner, soaking up the atmosphere of the 17th-century royal residence of Bourbon kings.
The next day, the group made the short trip to the picturesque port of Pozzuoli for the vessel launch ceremony, where they were welcomed on the pier by Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group Powerlink CEO Hakan Ozmen, and Head of Submarine Systems Installation Sebastiano Aleo.
After a few short speeches, the guests gathered around the towering blue and white vessel. Anna Panariello, Production Manager at Prysmian Group’s nearby Arco Felice submarine cables plant, strode across the pier, ascended a stairway, and cut the red ribbon. The bottle of champagne smashed against the ship’s side, and the crowd burst into applause.
It was ear-to-ear smiles all around, and a well-deserved moment of satisfaction in a journey that began in 2018. The Leonardo da Vinci was built by Vard (Fincantieri Group). Measuring 171 meters in length and 34 meters in width, it is the largest cable-laying ship in the world, with a price tag of over €170 million. This vessel will make it possible to shorten the time needed to carry out submarine interconnection projects, while also reducing environmental impact.
Of course, the Leonardo da Vinci has not been idle awaiting its christening. It has already been deployed on Viking Link between the UK and Demark, the world’s longest interconnector. And Prysmian Group’s order backlog means the vessel will be busy in the coming months.
The event was an informal opportunity for five top managers to illustrate growth plans for the coming years. The group is spending €1 billion by 2024, mainly targeted at developing businesses that support the energy transition, said CEO Valerio Battista in a presentation of the Group’s 2021 results and growth strategy.
Hakan Ozmen, Executive Vice President of Projects BU outlined Prysmian Powerlink’s growth strategy in the power transmission business, with 60 projects currently in execution, 15 concluded last year and active projects in 25 countries worldwide. The Projects division had €1.6 billion in sales in 2021, with an EBITDA margin of 13.2% (compared to 7.7% for the group as a whole).