A huge £2m cargo vessel is due to arrive at Devon’s Appledore shipyard marking its revival as a major engineering facility.
The MT Entsha offshore supply ship is expected to arrive at the shipyard during the third week of October 2021.
Fabrication work has already started on a major crane upgrade at the yard and on creation of a mezzanine deck as part of wider conversion works that will be undertaken once the vessel has docked.
The Appledore shipyard was bought by InfraStrata Plc, owner of Harland & Wolff, for £7million in August 2020 after previous owner Babcock International Group Plc closed it a year earlier.
And now work on the Entsha effectively reactivates Harland & Wolff (Appledore)’s fabrication halls and demonstrates the yard’s readiness to take on larger and more complex works programmes.
In June 2021, Cornwall’s Inyanga Marine Projects raised £2m to fund the purchase of the Entsha, a computer-controlled DP2 multi-purpose cargo vessel, that will be based out of Falmouth.
The work is among a series of key contract wins for Harland & Wolff, the wholly owned subsidiary of InfraStrata plc, soon to be known as Harland & Wolff Group Holdings plc.
Team Resolute, a UK consortium consisting of Harland & Wolff, Spanish shipyard Navantia, and BMT, has been down-selected by the Ministry of Defence for the Fleet Solid Support Programme and has been invited into the next phase of the programme – the Commercial Procurement Phase (CPP).
The stores-carrying Solid Support Ships come under the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and don’t have to be built in the UK, unlike warships.
Also, as the UK Government recently launched the National Shipbuilding Office, an announcement was made that the Harland & Wolff led consortium that includes Foreship and SMC has been successfully down-selected for the design phase of the prestigious National Flagship Programme.
The ship, the first of its kind to be built and commissioned by the UK, will be built in the UK with construction expected to begin as soon as next year.
The vessel will be used to boost British trade and drive investment into the economy. It will be used to host high level trade negotiations and trade shows and will sail all over the world promoting British interests.
Meanwhile the Harland & Wolff (Belfast) team provided its first major in-service support to Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady cruise vessel. The team provided the necessary support efficiently and without having to take it out of operation.
This is a significant step towards providing high value add services to clients whilst ensuring vessels remain in operation – saving clients’ money by avoiding dry dockings and the need to take vessels out of service.
Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
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Harland & Wolff (Belfast) is bolstering its global reputation as a large vessel ready facility that is open for business. Currently home to the P&O Azura, the largest cruise vessel to have entered the Belfast yard thus far, and at the quayside of the Repair Dock, Harland & Wolff (Belfast) is also set to welcome the Dorset Spirit, a crude oil tanker measuring over 279 meters in length. Sailing from Canada into Harland & Wolff’s Building Dock for repair works, this is the first time since the acquisition of the assets in 2019 that a vessel of this size will enter the Building Dock.
John Wood, group chief executive, said: “It is fantastic to see multiple contracts being awarded to Harland & Wolff across Belfast and Appledore. These range from minor ‘bread & butter’ type of works to major contracts that have the capacity to grow even more in value over time. We are now being recognised as a shipyard business that is professional, cost effective and customer attentive. This recognition is clearly demonstrated by a series of new client wins and repeat business from our existing clients. Looking ahead, I believe that we have laid the firm foundations for rapid growth and the build-up of a contractual pipeline for 2022 and beyond.”
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