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Shipyard picks up steam

Shipbuilder Slovenské Lodenice Komárno Bratislava (SLKB) should turn out more than Sk1 billion worth of production this year, the company has said.

More than 900 people will be employed at the firm by the start of next year, SLKB board of directors member Jaroslav Papp said December 4.

The company, which was created from the remains of the bankrupt SLK shipmaker, in June this year won a Sk500 million ($10 million) contract to build three ships for the German market. The first of the three will leave the yard in January 2002, the second should be delivered in the spring.

The orders allowed the company to secure a 30 million Deutsche mark loan from the import-export bank Eximbanka, guaranteed by the Slovak government.

SLKB's success in winning the orders has revived the yard, which after SLK folded lost more than 1000 workers. The district's unemployment rate has been kept at the same 25% level only through the local labour office offering seasonal work and introducing the government's public work-for-welfare scheme.

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