Category: News

Spotlighting the role of seafarers on World Maritime Day

Today is World Maritime Day, where the global maritime community come together to celebrate the annual day. This years theme is: “Seafarers: At the core of shipping’s future”.

The International Maritime Organization Headquarters in London will be one of several iconic landmarks to be illuminated in blue, kicking off an annual initiative to unite the maritime community and raise awareness of the vital contribution of shipping to the world. It will also draw attention to seafarers and their core role in shipping and its future.

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Cross-Channel ferries prepare for 2022 bounce-back year

English Channel ferry firms are hoping to feel the boost of Calais’ large port extension from October this year as well as injection of funds and new ferries in the fleet.

Cross-Channel operator Brittany Ferries is hoping for a ‘bounce-back year’ in 2022 with a fourfold increase on 2021 passenger numbers and a €25m injection from a new partner to boost its freight service.

Other firms which operate the Dover- Calais route are buoyed by a huge port extension – and associated new 1,000m² duty-free shop – at Calais which goes into operation in October and means it can now handle the next generation of larger ferries.

Brittany Ferries, relying on passengers for 80% of its income up to now, was hard-hit by Covid travel restrictions over the last 18 months and had to suspend several crossings between Ireland, France, England and Spain.

Now the firm has attracted new investment from French shipping and container giant CMA CGM to improve its freight capacity.

Six years of construction work, costing €863million, have resulted in a new three-kilometre dyke and three new ferry berths. It doubles the previous capacity of the port that, on average, welcomes 10 million passengers a year, in addition to its extensive freight operations.

Investment in the port already seems to be paying off. In June, Irish Ferries became the third company to operate Dover-Calais ferries, joining P&O Ferries and DFDS.

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Plans to redevelop Govan shipyard for future

A plan to redevelop Govan Shipyard has been drawn up which would modernise the yard and is hoped would help attract future orders.

The plan by owners BAE Systems is to demolish existing buildings on the site, including an historic A-listed engine shed, and extend the current shipbuilding shed back towards Govan Road.

It would allow ships to be built entirely indoors and allow the shipbuilding operation to be under cover.

The plans are at an early stage with a Proposal of Application Notice and location plan submitted to Glasgow City Council.

BAE had a previous plan to build a ‘frigate factory’ at Scotstoun with indoor ship halls which would have been a £200m investment, which it later abandoned.

The Govan plan is nowhere the scale of the frigate factory but it will modernise the operation on the south of the river.

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The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) Phase 2 is now open

The £60m Autumn 2021 competitions for Phase 2 Industrial energy transformation fund is now open. You can now apply to deploy energy efficiency or decarbonisation technologies that help an eligible industrial process to reduce their energy demand and carbon emissions. The competitions close on the 6th December 2021.

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Plans for £130m cable factory in the North East

A £130m factory making cables for offshore wind farms is to be built on the Northumberland coast, creating 170 new jobs and safeguarding another 270 in the region.

JDR Cable Systems, which already has sites in the North East at Newcastle and Hartlepool, wants to build the plant at Cambois, near Blyth, after receiving a grant to cover some of the construction costs from the Government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme.

JDR and its parent company, the TFK Group, hope to raise the rest of the funding for the project from financial instutions and the Government’s UK Export Finance scheme.

When complete, it will be the only facility in the UK capable of producing high voltage subsea cables for offshore wind farms from start to finish, supporting the growing – and increasingly lucrative – renewable energy market.

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£24 million for cutting-edge science and fisheries

The UK government has recently announced its first investment from the £100 million UK Seafood Fund to boost innovation in the fishing industry.

Fishing businesses across the UK will now have access to £24 million of investment to develop technology, trial new gear and support world-class research to improve the productivity and long-term sustainability of the industry.

Find out about the funding available through the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme and how to give feedback before applications open.

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Scottish ferries being built abroad a ‘humiliation’

The failure of Scotland’s state-owned shipyard to compete for a Scottish ferry building contract was an “international humiliation”, Scottish Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar has claimed.

It was announced last week that Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Limited had failed to make the shortlist to build two ferries serving the islands of Islay and Jura, with yards in Turkey, Romania and Poland now in contention for the contracts.

The two new boats will be the first major order by government-backed entity Caledonian Maritime Assets, which procures vessels for CalMac, since Glen Sannox and an as-yet unnamed ship, known as Hull 802, which are still under construction at the Ferguson shipyard.

Glen Sannox is currently due to be delivered in the second half of next year, more than four years late, with the two ships costing the taxpayer more than double the original contract price.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions in Parliament, Sarwar challenged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to explain “how a Scottish yard, supporting Scottish jobs and owned by The Scottish Government failed to even make the shortlist to build Scotland’s ferries”.

The Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow was nationalised by Scottish National Party (SNP) ministers in 2019 to prevent it falling into administration again.

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Small warships for Ukraine to be built in Scotland

As part of the Ukrainian Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme (UNCEP) agreement signed with the UK government in October 2020, Babcock International Group will build at least one, probably two Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) for Ukraine at their Rosyth facility.

Initial rumours suggested that FIAC based on the Vosper Thornycroft-designed Barzan class vessels could be built in the UK, possibly at the Appledore shipyard. The UNCEP subsequently appointed Babcock as the designated prime industrial partner for Ukraine and they will bring in SMEs to contribute as needed.

Industry sources suggested that BAE Systems, who had inherited the IP for the Barzan design, was willing to donate it on an ‘as seen only’ basis to other UK shipbuilders. However, Babcock assessed the Barzan as unsuitable, not least due to the drawbacks of its aluminium hull.

A former Babcock subsidiary, FBM Marine (acquired in 2000) had a portfolio of small-medium size fast patrol ship designs under the ‘Protector’ brand developed in the late 1990s. A total of eight FIAC will be built for Ukraine will be based on a modified and updated 50-metre Protector design (P50-U).

UNCEP is based on UK Export Finance in the form of a loan to the Ukrainian government and will include British-made equipment where possible and Ukrainian and other foreign content as required.

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UK Marine Hydrogen Working Group – COP26

At last week’s meeting of the UK SME Maritime Working Group at the magnificent Woods Quay, our co-chair and technology champion Tim Munn announced the launch of the National Maritime UK Marine Hydrogen Working Group during DSEI and London International Shipping Week 2021

With planning well underway, the group will first meet during the COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference where a panel of leading influencers will participate in a simulcast event between audiences in Glasgow and London.

The working group is aimed at those organisations or professionals that are either already involved in or have a desire to be involved in the Hydrogen economy.

The intention of the group is to assist with the acceleration of decarbonisation by championing the use of hydrogen. To be `the` leading voice towards government and regulatory bodies and ultimately to provide more opportunities to members by making connections.

With leading influencers in the hydrogen space alongside our members, it will be a well-informed working group discussing the technical, regulatory, and financial challenges to vessel design and conversion and infrastructure development.

To register your interest in the group and attend the events contact Tim Munn or Peter Green or e:

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Five Conferences One Place : WORLD MARITIME WEEK 2021, 5-7 October, Bilbao

Earlier this month we highlighted the export trade opportunities for UK marine businesses in the Basque Country and Northern Spain. In partnership with Santander UK Corporate & Commercial Banco SantanderBasque Trade & Investment / Agencia Vasca de InternacionalizaciónFORO MARITIMO VASCO ( BASQUE MARITIME FORUM). The webinar was supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT) teams both in the UK and Spain.

We are now looking forward to arranging 1:1 meetings on behalf of UK SME’s with companies and partners during next month’s World Maritime Week in Bilbao, the International meeting about Naval, Fishing, Ports, Oil &Gas and Ocean Renewable Energies.

Five Conferences One Place : SINAVAL, EUROFISHING , FUTUREPORT, OCEAN ENERGY Conference and OIL&GAS Conference

If you are interested in doing business during World Maritime Week we are working in collaboration with our partners Alium Consulting and the BILBAO EXHIBITION CENTRE (BEC)  to make this happen.

Contact us

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