Szent Istvan

History

History before W.W. 2


The story of our Shipyard begins in the year 1892, when German shipbuilding house Howaldts Werke of Kiel set up a smaller shipyard within the premises of today's Yard pursuant to a contract concluded with the city authorities.

The contract having expired at the end of 1902, Howaldts Werke decided to quit the site, which thereafter remained vacant until 1905. New tender announced in that year attracted ambitious industrial entrepreneurs Danubius, Schonichen and Hartman of Budapest to bid. Winning the contract, they organise a partnership with a wiev to undertaking a comprehensive reconstruction and technological updating, along with enlargement of the shipyard premises and enhancement of shipbuilding capacities. All formalities having been conformed with, in 1906 the Shipyard appears under the name "DANUBIUS", and initial works got underway.

As Austro-Hungarian imperial administration happened to choose the Shipyard as principal builders for the imperial navy, lavish financing support, arranged through prominent banking institutions, was fortunately secured.

In 1910, investments were provided to fuel a modernisation project to be impleme nted at the Shipyard to make it fit for realisation of most ambiti ous visions of naval ship constructions.

On initiative from two prominent banks involved in the financing of the project, a merger was then arranged between "DANUBIUS" and well placed Budapest foundry & machinery works "GANZ & CO." for a further consolidation of the "DANUBIUS" business standing. That having been accomplished, in 1911 the Shipyard reappears under the name "GANZ & CO. DANUBIUS". The modernisation project having been carried out within about two years, orders for naval units started to virtually pour to the Shipyard. Well eguipped with everything necessary, above all with capable experts and skilled work force, the Shipyard tackled the work with vigour and zeal.

And rather rewardingly, already by 1916, the results achieved appeared to have been indeed so remarkable to reserve the Shipyard a ranking among leading European shipyards of the era. An achievement of such a scale appears ever more remarkable in wiev of the fact that the great war had been ravaging Europe eversince 1914.

Shortly after the outset of the World War I, Rijeka and its Shipyard fall under Italian rule, pursuant to the Agreement of Rapallo (1920). Nava1 shipbuilding having continued to be its prevailing production orientation, the Shipyard was renamed "CANTIERI NAVALI DEL QUARNERO". Disfavoured within longer term state policies and exposed to fierce competition against reputed Italian yards, the Shipyard's prosperity that was, started to decline. Nevertheless, technical standards remained solid, and some of the naval units built within the period were distinct, particularly with regard to their specific perfomances.

History after W.W. 2


Upon capitulation of Italy (1943), Rijeka was sized by German army, and until 1945 the Shipyard lives its greatest stagnation ever. Shortly prior to its retreating, the army destroyed every vital facility in the Shipyard.

With enormous efforts, the shipbuilders of new Yugoslavia engaged in repair and renewal of the ravaged shipyard, inasmuch as almost everything had to be restarted with very modest resources at disposal. Until 1948, the Shipyard had been known as "KVARNERSKO BRODOGRADILISTE", and eventually it was decided for it to be named "3. MAJ", in honour of the date (3rd May 1945) on which Rijeka has been liberated, and reunited to its mother country. Principal production orientation shifted to construction of merchant cargo vessels. Smaller ships for domestic needs were built already during late forties, and during early fifties, the Shipyard ventures into construction of ocean-going merchant vessels.

With modern shipbuilding technologies having been successively acquired, annual outputs rose steadily. First export contract forthcomes in 1956, and in 1961, marine propulsion diesel engines production starts under licence from "SULZER Bross." of Switzerland.

Substantial number of subsequent export shipbuilding contracts having followed throughout the sixties and seventies, with range of ship types/designs expanding, the Shipyard dedication was shifting ever more to sophisticated vessels.

Quality and distinctiveness were becoming reascertained, and Shipyard's reputation regained. Built to thoughtfully own developed designs, always tailor made, vessels from "3. MAJ' became again praised and acknowledged for design, workmanship and reliability.

The recent unfortunate political developments having ensued in a most brutally aggressive war (1991-1996), imposed inestimable setbacks to any aspect of the country š economic activity. However within endeavours aimed at aieving economic recovery and progress in our newly born, independent state, comparative advantages of domestic shipbuilding industry have been given due priority in trust that truly promissing prospects for Croatian shipbuilding are yet to unfold.

Resourceful and staunch, we have been catching up with the newest developments in this industry in which our tradition is many centuries old, at a pace one might hardly expect, keen to respond but to the most demanding of challenges.