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Displaying items by tag: Appledore Shipyard

Belfast's iconic Harland & Wolff shipyard, has announced the appointment of a new General Manager, Tom Hart to its Appledore shipyard in England, which was acquired a year ago.

Bringing over 30 years of experience in project, operations and construction management throughout the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, Mr Hart joins Harland & Wolff (Appledore) from Dubai based, Drydocks World where he was Director of Projects & Engineering.

He joins after the site has enjoyed major investment and upgrades since the InfraStrata plc acquisition and is now fully operational.

Mr Hart began his career in the Merchant Navy as a cadet before moving to P&O Ferries, where he rose through the ranks from Marine Engineer to Chief Engineer.

Moving shore-side, he then headed to the UAE to join Dubai Drydocks as a Ship Repair Manager. During his time in Dubai, Mr Hart moved from drydocks into the oil and gas industry, where he project managed new-build jack-up oil rigs and offshore wind turbine installation ships with MIS & Lamprell Energy. He also held various other positions such as Commissioning Manager and Group Operations Manager, where he ran three shipyards.

Mr Hart then returned to Dubai Dry Drydocks for a final two-year stint as Director of Project Management & Engineering.

Now in his role as General Manager, based in Appledore, North Devon, Mr Hart will be responsible for the overall day-to-day running of the site. This includes the organisation and logistics for all incoming projects, site safety and security as well as overseeing all monetary aspects.

Tom Hart commented: “Leaving Dubai to move “home” after 20 years was a huge decision but one that I, along with my family, are very excited about. I’m really looking forward to settling in at Appledore, and hope to share some great practices, and skills I have gained from my international experience to build up British shipbuilding and ship repair and be a part of its revitalisation. Building up business, creating work for the local community and increasing the yard’s revenue and margins with a steady flow of work will be my main goal. I am delighted to be appointed General Manager of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) – a yard with a very impressive history. I am looking forward to leading the team there and collectively bringing success to the Harland and Wolff Group.”

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry through five sectors: commercial, cruise and ferry, defence, oil & gas and renewables and six services: technical services, fabrication and construction, decommissioning, repair and maintenance, in–service support and conversion.

Its Belfast yard is one of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities, with deep water access, two of Europe’s largest drydocks, ample quayside and vast fabrication halls.

As a result of the acquisition of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) in August 2020, the company has been able to capitalise on opportunities at both ends of the ship-repair and shipbuilding markets where this will be significant demand.

In February 2021, the company acquired the assets of two Scottish based yards along the east and west coasts. Now known as Harland & Wolff (Methil) and Harland & Wolff (Arnish), these facilities will focus on fabrication work within the renewable, oil and gas and defence sectors.

Harland & Wolff is a wholly-owned subsidiary of InfraStrata plc (AIM: INFA), a London Stock Exchange-listed firm focused on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset life-cycle management.

In addition to Harland & Wolff, it owns the Islandmagee gas storage project, which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity and to benefit the Northern Irish economy as a whole when completed.

Published in Shipyards

In the UK the Appledore Shipyard in south-west England which built its last ship for the Irish Naval Service is set to reopen, it has been announced.

The historic shipyard as previously reported, has been acquired by Infrastrata, the owners of Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff.

The deal will see the shipyard, which was closed by Babcock in March 2019, renamed H&W Appledore.

Infrastrata acquired the Belfast yard in December 2019, and believe the Appledore facility will be the ‘go-to’ yard in the region for small vessel requirements.

It said while each yard will be a standalone business in its own right, Appledore would be ideally placed to handle any extra work from Belfast.

The acquisition only comes with one employee – the site manager – but the company believes the workforce can be ‘very quickly ramped up’ upon the execution of contracts, and said discussions with the Government and private vessels were already under way.

For further reading NorthDevonGazette has more.

Published in Shipyards

In the UK the Government has been accused of ‘dither and delay’ following claims a viable buyer has been lined up for Appledore shipyard for four months.

The GMB Union, according to NorthDevon Gazette, (yesterday, 31 January) criticised the Government for ongoing delays in the potential re-opening of the yard as Afloat previously reported.

GMB said it and its sister trade unions have been involved in ongoing negotiations, led by the South West Business Council, to re-open the yard and secure a viable future.

Matt Roberts, GMB organiser, said: "A buyer with a viable proposition has been lined up for over four months now, but there seems to be dither and delay from the Government, causing more uncertainty for our members.

More on this story click here 

For previous Afloat coverage on the shipyard's final vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw which last year joined the Irish Naval Service. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

In the UK at the Appledore shipyard in Devon, the facility is close to reopening, 12 months after its 164-year shipbuilding history appeared to have come to an end.

The shipyard could reopen as soon as December if a deal is secured, although the terms may not be finalised for a fortnight or more, as the Guardian understands.

The future of the shipyard, which made components for HMS Queen Elizabeth and the new generation of aircraft carriers (and Afloat adds patrol vessels for the Irish Naval Service), came under threat after Babcock International, a FTSE 250 defence and outsourcing company, chose not to renew its lease in November 2018.

Multiple parties are understood to be in involved in talks about taking on the shipyard, including a consortium led by Devon-based shipbuilders House of Santon Maritime, according to two sources. House of Santon did not respond to requests for comment.

For further reading on this development click here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

In the UK, the union for shipbuilders GMB has welcomed reports of hopes for the reopening of Appledore Shipyard, writes North Devon Gazette.

The news follows a high level meeting convened by Torridge MP and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox at 10 Downing Street last Friday (Sept 27) with the Government's taskforce dedicated to reopening the shipyard.

Afterwards Mr Cox said he was 'cautiously optimistic' about its future and was hopeful the yard could reopen.

Earlier this month, shipyard workers learned the 'bittersweet' news that former owners Babcock had been selected as the preferred bidder to provide the Government with five Type 31 frigates.

The GMB said it had campaigned to save the yard since the closure was announced last year, handing in a 10,000 strong petition to Parliament, and suggesting several plans to keep the shipyard viable.

More here on the north Devon shipyard whose final ship was the Irish Naval Service OPV LÉ George Bernard Shaw. The P60 class made a delivery voyage almost a year ago to Cork Harbour.

Published in Ports & Shipping

In the UK, a Torridge MP is ‘cautiously optimistic’ Appledore Shipyard will reopen in the near future after a crucial meeting at Downing Street.

As the North Devon Gazette reports, it follows a high level meeting convened by Geoffrey Cox at 10 Downing Street (yesterday) with the UK Government's taskforce dedicated to reopening the shipyard.

The taskforce, led by SW Business Council chairman Tim Jones has been working with the MP since the withdrawal of operator Babcock and the closure of the yard in March this year to secure new owners and to provide the Yard with a stable future.

Mr Cox, who has met potential owners and new customers to secure their support for the Yard over recent months has said that he is now 'cautiously optimistic' about its future, particularly as the Government has announced its intention to revive British shipbuilding.

The meeting heard from the Mr Cox of the shipbuilding heritage on the Torridge and its importance to the local economy.

For on this story can be read here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

A Plymouth businessman Connor Johnson reports North Devon Gazette has launched a critical campaign through crowdfunding to raise £400,000 by the end of May to seed the revitalisation of the Appledore shipyard which closed in March.

Mr Johnson says he has an investor company waiting in the wings and willing to put in £4 million if he can raise 10 per cent of the capital needed.

He has launched a gofundme online page and says those who invest a minimum of £100 will receive 100 shares in the new Appledore Shipyard Ltd company he has just created. There are also options to invest £500 or £1,000.

The director of Patriot Yachts International in Plymouth is convinced Appledore has a future as a shipyard and believes there are plenty of opportunities to win contracts in the civilian boat market. 

For further reading click here on the yard that Afloat.ie adds built a quartet of OPV90's (P60 class) ordered by the Irish Government's Department of Defence and servce a career in the Naval Service.  

The shipyard's final ship, L.E. George Bernard Shaw (P64) was last month named and commissioned into the Naval Service at a ceremony held on Waterford City quays. 

A previous pair of the OPV80 (P50 class) were too completed for the Naval Service at the facility near Bideford albeit under different ownership.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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