Home Nonmilitary action Harland & Wolff returns to action with its first new construction

Harland & Wolff returns to action with its first new construction

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Historic Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff has announced it has secured its first newbuild order since taking over from administration in 2019.

The shipyard, best known for building the Titanic, is returning to action after being acquired by London-based company InfraStrata. The yard announced on Wednesday that it had been awarded an initial contract worth around £8.5million to build 11 barges for British waste management and recycling company Cory, setting the stage for the first new project of the yard’s shipbuilding in nearly two decades.

Harland & Wolff said it would build the barges at its Belfast site, with the first set of steel to be cut within around eight weeks.

The schedule for the program calls for the construction of four tandem barges, with the entire construction program expected to be completed by mid-2023.

The fully fabricated barges will be delivered to Cory for transport of recyclable and non-recyclable waste from London on the River Thames.

Harland & Wolff Group CEO John Wood said: “With this hardware deal, we will open our extensive undercover manufacturing halls in Belfast and make full use of our new line of robotic welding panels.

“This contract gives us the opportunity to optimize our production flows in anticipation of other manufacturing programs in our pipeline and it demonstrates the variety of manufacturing work that our facilities are ideally placed to perform.

“I am delighted to have been awarded this contract with our new client, Cory Group, and look forward to working closely with them on their new barge investment program in the future.”

HMS Atherstone
In a separate announcement on Wednesday, Harland & Wolff also revealed that it had acquired the former HMS Atherstone from the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD). The yard said it intended to convert the decommissioned minehunting vessel for non-military use, discussions with interested parties have already begun.

Harland & Wolff, which primarily focused on overhaul, overhaul and repair work, is also competing for the MOD regeneration program for another decommissioned minehunter, HMS Quorn (M55), and said he believed the acquisition of HMS Atherstone would help de-risk the M55 regeneration program as the two ships share a number of spare parts and components.

“We can now significantly reduce the risk of the M55 regeneration program by using common spares and components for both ships, which has been acknowledged by the MOD and will certainly help conclude negotiations over the next few weeks,” Wood said.

“We can also use this platform as a base for other clients’ projects, which will be a valuable source of revenue for 2023.”