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DCNS May Join OPV Lease Bid for Uruguay

Apr. 2, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
By PIERRE TRAN   |   Comments
A bid by DCNS on a leasing tender from Uruguay would include an offshore patrol vessel such as the Adroit..
A bid by DCNS on a leasing tender from Uruguay would include an offshore patrol vessel such as the Adroit.. (DCNS)
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PARIS — French naval company DCNS is exploring a leasing deal for offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as a tender held by Uruguay calls for procurement under a lease, a French bank executive said April 2.

“The [Uruguay] Finance Ministry has asked for a leasing,” the executive said. Talks with ministry officials are due to be held in Uruguay next week.

“The campaign is well underway,” the executive said.

DCNS declined to comment.

The French state-owned company faces competition from Fassmer, a family-owned German shipbuilder; an Israeli firm; Ocea, a French company; and there may be a British bidder, the executive said.

Uruguay has yet to draw up a short list of the bids.

Britain is interested in the Uruguay offshore patrol vessel program, but more information on the requirement is needed before lodging a bid, said a spokesman for the Defence and Security Organisation, the government’s military export arm.

“We are keen to get clarification of the requirement to allow British industry to fully explore its options,” the spokesman said.

BAE Systems, Britain’s only major naval shipbuilder, recently sold three OPVs to Brazil, Uruguay’s neighbor, and is engaged in talks over the possible sale of further vessels under license.

Website latribune.fr reported Uruguay has selected DCNS for the supply of three vessels.

DCNS funded development and building of the Adroit, which is on loan to the French Navy. The Navy’s sailing of the ship under the French tricolor flag on the open seas is seen by the company as a big boost in promoting the vessel in the export market.

Andrew Chuter contributed to this report from London.

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