Category: News

Devonport Dockyard workers land inflation-busting 13% pay hike

Workers at Devonport Dockyard are to receive an inflation-busting 13% pay rise this year, union bosses have said. Unite the Union said its members working for dockyard operator Babcock International Group Plc will benefit from an increase in their pay packets to help offset the cost of living crisis.

The union revealed an offer from Babcock of an across-the-board £1,500 per year pay increase had been accepted by Unite’s members at the site. For the lowest paid, the deal is worth 13%. Inflation is currently running at 9% in the UK but the Bank of England has predicted it will hit 10% this year.

In 2021, Babcock swung back into profit after recovering from the effects of the Covid pandemic and its restrictions. The FTSE-250 company’s half-year results for the six months to September 30, 2021, showed it made a statutory operating profit of £75.4m compared to a £785.3m loss in the prior year.

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UK Power Networks Services enables Port of Felixstowe towards Net Zero

UK Power Networks Services has won a contract to take the UK’s largest container port, and one of the largest in Europe, a step closer to Net Zero.

It will supply new electrical technology needed at the PORT OF FELIXSTOWE LIMITED to allow the port to step away from a reliance on red diesel, meet its Net Zero aspirations, reduce emissions and increase the resilience of the port’s electricity network.

This is the energy infrastructure company’s first major project in the ports industry and one of its largest projects in the last five years. The company already has proven experience and expertise from other industries such as rail, defence and aviation.

The three-year decarbonisation project includes upgrading the existing 11,000-volt electricity network to supply the seventeen new electric gantry cranes to help load and unload some of the four million containers they lift each year.

The electrification upgrade will also allow 48 new electric tractor units for the port to replace some of the existing diesel vehicles which transport containers around the port for distribution.

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Brunel’s paddlesteamer to be rebuilt in £20m tourism project for Bristol

The world’s first transatlantic ocean liner, Brunel’s famous paddle steamer the Great Western, is to be rebuilt from scratch and form the centrepiece of a new £20m tourist attraction in Bristol. The project will see the Albion Dockyard – the dry dock next to the SS Great Britain on the harbourside – conserved and restored into what those behind the project say will be a ‘world-class maritime attraction inside a thriving working shipyard’.

The project, which has been rumoured for years in Bristol, is now being formally launched with the announcement that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded an initial grant of £600,000 to develop the project. The project will effectively more than double the size of the current SS Great Britain visitor attraction. The total cost of the project is being put at £20 million, of which £5 million is proposed to come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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Aberdeen Subsea 7 bags contract worth up to £600m for work on a major Scottish offshore wind farm

Subsea 7 has announced that Seaway 7 ASA(1) has been selected by Seagreen 1 Limited as a preferred supplier for the Seagreen 1A offshore wind project, offshore Scotland.

Seagreen 1A lies adjacent to the existing Seagreen project that Seaway 7 is currently progressing and represents approximately 500MW of additional renewable energy generation capacity.

Seaway 7’s scope of work is under final negotiation and may include the full engineering, fabrication, transport and installation of 36 foundations, transportation and installation of the offshore substation and the procurement and installation of inner-array cables. Execution of the scope will be led from Seaway 7’s Aberdeen office.

The project is expected to commence in 2023 with offshore work commencing in late 2024 and could be operational by 2025/26.

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UK Squanders Major Economic Benefit from Offshore Wind

China’s Dajin Heavy Industry Corporation has signed a binding contract for the construction and delivery of XXL monopiles for the 860MW Moray West offshore wind farm in the UK.

According to Dajin, the XXL Monopiles will be “one of the largest to be installed so far in the world and first in the wind industry history to be supplied from Chinese Tier 1 supplier – Dajin Heavy Industry.” The monopiles will weigh almost 2000 tonnes and have 10 meters diameter.

OW Ocean Winds, a 50-50 joint venture between EDP Renewables (EDPR) and ENGIE, with a presence in eight countries, is the major shareholder developing the Moray West project.

Dajin Heavy Industry describes itself as the largest offshore foundation fabricator in the world with one million tonnes per year production capacity in China and expanding with local content contribution investments into Europe.

Dajin’s base scope of work for the project is the supply of 48 monopiles based on the steel secured from Chinese Steel Mills. The steel cutting for the first monopile production has already started.

According to the company, Dajin Heavy Industry has acquired and is now developing a new 100h fabrication yard in the South of China and is planning a foundation facility in Europe. 

The award is the second major scope of manufacturing work for Moray West that has been sent outside of the UK in recent months.

In March, Ocean Winds signed a capacity agreement with UAE-based Lamprell worth in excess of £150m, covering the supply of 62 transition pieces, including 60 wind turbine jackets and kit for the scheme’s two offshore substations.

Commenting on the Dajin award, GMB Scotland senior organiser Gary Cook said: “New contracts, same old story. Scotland continues to fight for scraps from its own offshore wind market while the rest of the world carves up the spoils.

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Promotion of UK shipyard capabilities lands Harland & Wolff £8.5m Ship build contract

Great to have worked with the team at Cory to help identify UK partners and shipyards that could best support their significant investment and commitment to the UK.

During 2021, National Maritime engaged with Cory regarding the building of barges and solid steel waste containers and were asked to facilitate introductions via our UK maritime network.  Our purpose was to promote UK shipyard capabilities and help retain this work for UK yards.

Following an EOI by John Wood to our CEO and further meetings with Harland & Wolff, it is fantastic to see that they have been awarded an initial contract worth approximately £8.5 m for the fabrication of eleven barges. The barges will be used by Cory to transport London’s recyclable and non-recyclable waste on the River Thames.

Fabrication will take place at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast site, with first steel being cut within approximately eight weeks’ time. The programme schedule allows for four barges to be built in tandem, with the entire build programme ending around mid-2023. Fully fabricated barges will be sequentially delivered to Cory on the River Thames.

National Maritime is the UK’s largest maritime network. Our objective is to drive trade and growth for all. There are 912 supporting partners that subscribe to our services. 73% of these are involved in shipbuilding and ship repair, marine engineering, ports and logistics.

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£160m floating offshore wind fund open for expressions of interest

Ambitious plans to expand offshore wind around the United Kingdom to power homes and businesses with cheap, homegrown energy received a further boost recently with a multimillion-pound manufacturing fund opening for expressions of interest.

The Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) will provide £160 million in UK government funding to boost floating offshore wind capability around the UK at sites in Scotland, Wales and elsewhere by supporting manufacturers and giving private investors the confidence to back this emerging sector which is expected to rapidly expand in the years ahead.

The emerging UK floating offshore wind sector already has two operational projects generating power off the coast of Scotland at Hywind Scotland and Kincardine.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) £160 m of funding is expected to unlock further deepwater port infrastructure and support private investment in new factories to mass-produce major components for floating offshore wind, with ambitions for projects off the coast of Wales.

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UK’s Type 45 destroyers to undergo £300M ballistic missile defence upgrade

The UK is set to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles as it commits to a significant upgrade of Britain’s fleet of Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers.

The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant.

The UK Ministry of Defence has placed an initial contract for this work with MBDA which, when delivered, will be worth more than £300 million and support more than 100 jobs across the UK – including highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

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New Thames National Flagship built from the four corners of the UK better placed to promote British businesses to the World

As we await the unveiling of the final design for the new £250m national flagship ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, National Maritime asks would a new, smaller ‘UK flagship’, funded by the private sector, operating in central London be a far more effective way to showcase the very best in British shipbuilding craftsmanship & zero emissions tech to the World?

A vessel built & furnished from the four corners of the UK showcasing the very best in cutting-edge British design, engineering & green technology.

Over many centuries (until the late 1990s), as a nation proud of our mastery of shipbuilding, a London cruise on the ‘Royal Barge’ or state boat had always been incorporated into the State Visit itinerary for Royalty & the Government. The river Thames was a safe & convenient way to travel between the historic sites of power, Hampton Court, Chelsea, Westminster, Tower Hill & Greenwich.

This tradition is still reflected during a 21st century State Visit cruise, the monarch would be accompanied by her Royal Bargemaster & some of her 24 Royal Watermen (one of the most ancient royal appointments) who still wear the traditional watermen’s costume, with a scarlet skirted coat, bearing the royal cipher on a front panel creating a truly dramatic imagery from the riverbank.  

State visit cruises in recent times have continued due to excellent security, no travel disruption, & iconic views of landmarks such as Tower Bridge & the Houses of Parliament. The last vessel to carry out this duty for over 40 years was the ‘Royal Nore’ owned by the Port of London Authority & operated by Woods’​ Silver Fleet.

In 2012, the traditionally built Royal Row barge Gloriana, was financed by Lord Sterling & financial donations from Lloyd’s Register & charitable foundations. The Gloriana has led many key State celebrations since however this royal barge, again, offers low capacity for guest entertainment & showcases the excellent traditional wooden boatbuilding skills (Mark Edwards MBE, Master Boatbuilder, Richmond) rather than the capabilities of today’s British shipyards.

A 50-60m inland waterway vessel, featuring contemporary exterior & interior design by a designer of international standing, would be pictured throughout the World with international dignitaries. A vessel built by UK ship builders & maritime industries showcasing the latest cutting-edge British design, engineering & green technology while boosting trade & driving investment.

A maritime hospitality company could invest in the vessel & as worked well in the past, charter for private events when not required for royal & diplomatic work thus making the vessel no burden on public funding.

And to those that often portray London as the villain, it is the very best of cities to help promote British businesses to the world.

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Plymouth’s Millbay Docks to become a key strategic freight port & cruise terminal

Plans are being worked on which would see Plymouth’s Millbay Docks become a key strategic freight port and cruise terminal.

Plymouth City CouncilAssociated British Ports and Brittany Ferries have combined to press the UK government for funding to expand operations at the docks so it could also welcome superyachts and water taxis.

The organisations are working on a funding strategy which is likely to consider strategic Government cash available for freight, net zero and ports as well as private investment. While the details are being worked up, the changes proposed for the port are expected to include improvements to the quayside – not just for ferry and cruise passengers, but to enable a new generation of freight to come into the country from the continent and beyond.

The three organisations also want to create a sustainable “green” shipping port through the availability of shore power to help minimise emissions from vessels. Millbay could also support marine innovation hubs with access to the water and space to trial new and innovative technology.

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