With a clear vision and a steady hand, Mr Pierre Balzan, Managing Director of Melita Marine Group was determined to build a one-stop-shop operating a boutique shipyard. Today MMG owns and operates one of the largest floating docks for superyachts in the Mediterranean, with the capability of receiving yachts of up to 110 metres in length and lifting up to 5,000 tonnes. The Group’s superior services have earned it a prestigious award by a leading industry body, for being among the Best Superyacht Shipyard facilities in the Mediterranean.
Melita Marine Group was established in 1989, when at the age of 20, Mr Balzan took on his company’s first client – the owner of a thirty five metre yacht. Soon after his first commission, Mr Balzan focused on the potential for growth and invested in visiting trade shows, in order to connect with the leading yacht broker and management companies in the Mediterranean. In addition, he understood the need to run a professional and lean organisation, despite being a sole-family operation – which is why he opted to bring
in a management board to oversee the company’s various operations. As part of the company’s early growth plan, Melita Power Diesel was set up in 1998 and today offers engine repair services, overhauling and reconditioning. Within a year Melita Marine Group established a subsidiary, Melita Yacht Painters Ltd; expanding the range of services which the company was offering. Melita Marine took over the dilapidated Mgarr Marina in Gozo and completely refurbished the area, enabling it to offer 300 spaces, catering comfortably for yachts of up to 45 metres.
The Group is currently looking into the possibility of extending the outer section of the North Breakwater to accommodate superyachts of up to 70 metres, as part of its expansion plans. The company has grown and evolved to now offer a suite of services, including Yard Facilities for yachts up to 100 metres, Agency, Yacht charter, customs clearance, duty- free supplies and bunkering. Under the watchful eye of Mr Balzan, the Group has become a significant player in the Mediterranean yachting industry, and beyond. The Group now operates on a 24-hour basis, which is particularly vital since their client base includes ferries for both passengers and cargo shipments.
We have expanded
in Malta, Spain,
Greece, Cyprus and
also Libya – today
we cover yachting,
products, oil and
gas, and industrial
Since its inception, MMG has been on a strategic expansion plan, which has seen the company evolve from a one-man operation to a network of specialised inhouse teams which provide a comprehensive range of yachting services (for vessels of between 24 and 100 metres) at its yards, in the Mediterranean.
puts us at the
“We have expanded in Malta, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and also Libya – today we cover yachting, commercial marine, defence, power generation, sustainable products, oil and gas, and industrial and mining engineering in all these locations,” Mr Balzan proudly explained.
The Group’s ambitious and well thought out expansion program includes plans for the Balearics, to be implemented during the last quarter of 2022.
The Melita Marine portfolio also includes operating the Mgarr Marina in Gozo, as well as working with the Greek defence department to overhaul submarines and frigates.
The Group’s expansion in Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Libya eventually led to the setting up of Melita Power Diesel (MPD), which is the appointed exclusive distributor in various Mediterranean regions for MTU, the main brand of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG. This is the world’s leading provider of high and medium speed diesel, and gas engines, distributed energy and fuel injection systems. “MPD is not a traditional power generation company. It focuses on new technology, which combines solar and wind energy channels with a backup of gas and other traditional fossil fuel solutions,” Mr Balzan said. MPD delivers a fast, meticulous service using the latest techniques and testing equipment. “Whether it’s a specification for a new build, a refit project, a report for insurance purposes, or to diagnose a generic problem such as harmonics disturbances or corrosion issues, our team of experts is ready to support our customers globally,” Mr Balzan explained.
photo: an MTU Series 2000 engine. These engines, which are proudly exclusively supplied, serviced and maintained in Malta, Greece and Libya by Melita Power Diesel, offer industry leading load factors up to 100% for data centres, up to 85% for standby and up to 75% for prime power applications, exceeding the established industry norms.
He added that the sub-company MPD Onsite-Energy was founded to specialise in research and development: “This branch of MMG puts us at the forefront of technological breakthroughs in environmentally- friendly power generation.” Mr Balzan’s vision was driven by his passion for the yachting sector, working with dedication, engagement and a deep commitment to all the projects he has taken on, with a strong focus on providing superior customer service. “The company’s success and its competitive advantages rely largely on the quality of equipment and technology it uses along with the commitment of its staff,” Mr Balzan added. As the company’s Managing Director, he is keen to see his team members being equally enthusiastic of their role in the company and is therefore adamant about only engaging fully- qualified professionals, committed to keeping abreast of developments in the field.
“We consider continuous training to be an integral part of our operation, which is why we hold regular specialised training in Germany covering electronics, engineering and automation capabilities,” Mr Balzan explained. A good part of MMG’s employees have been with the company since its inception and many have grown from operational team members to team leaders, in parallel with the company’s evolution. It is not just the staff which is certified for its professional standards. “Melita Marine has been awarded certifications from entities such as Lloyds, BVand ISO Certifications 9001, 14000 and 18000, which exemplify the quality of the services we provide,” Mr Balzan explained. Furthermore, the company’s ERA-approved processes guarantee its commitment to environmentally conscious practices. “Our client base is highly conscious of the environment, particularly in terms of what is discarded, and how this occurs.
Melita Marine has
entities such as
Lloyds, BVand ISO
14000 and 18000,
the quality of the
services we provide
photo (DOI – Jason Borg): a superyacht being serviced at a Melita Marine dry dock during the attendance of the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and the Ministry for the Economy and Industry at an announcement made in 2021 by Melita Marine Group on an additional €5 million investment in its operation.
Yachting by nature is environmentally immersive in that it requires a healthy and pleasant environment to be truly enjoyed,” Mr Balzan said. Retaining a satisfied high-end client base is no mean feat and in addition to being competitively advantageous to Melita Marine Group, it also benefits the Maltese economy at large. “Some of our clients’ yachts individually employ a 30 to 50 strong crew. Between the owners, guests and the crew, we are looking at an above-average tourist expenditure,” he said. Mr Balzan explained that the industry’s growth is highly dependent upon ancillary services in the local economy, such as entertainment, locations, accommodation and other attractions. “This is what superyacht owners are looking for in a destination and Malta needs to invest in this infrastructure and the support services so as to level up.
Some of our clients’
employ a 30 to
50 strong crew.
and the crew, we
are looking at an
Especially in view of competing destinations in the Mediterranean it is crucial that ships as well as locally-based infrastructures are fully compliant to the expected quality standards. This boosts our efficiency as well as health and safety standards,“ he added. Unsurprisingly enough, considering how he managed to evolve a one-man operation into an international enterprise, Mr Balzan has an eye firmly set on the future. The Group has clearly evolved over the years and has diversified its portfolio to new areas, related to its core businesses. “In addition to diversifying our geographical markets, we are also moving into new ‘product’ markets, such as Libya, which is not a typical yachting market but a commercial one,” he explained. The group has a strategic plan in place that will see it through to 2030. “We will always continue pushing forward!” he concluded.