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Displaying items by tag: Cammel Laird shipyard

#Shipbuilder - UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird saw profits and sales fall last year – but the shipyard on Merseyside which Afloat has noted is where Irish Ferries flagship Ulysses awaits drydocking, remains upbeat that it will win more new contracts.

As the Liverpool Echo writes the Birkenhead company reported turnover for the year to March 2016 of £99m – down from £115m in 2015 – thanks to an expected lull in military work.

Pre-tax profits fell by three quarters to £2.5m, down from £10m, accounts filed at Companies House show. But the group is hopeful it will win more military contracts and more work in the renewable energy and offshore wind power sector.

Cammell Laird had warned last year that it expected turnover to fall as there was a pause in military work.

In 2013 it signed a five-year contract extension to maintain nine Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels.

During the year it completed refits of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s vessels Wave Knight, Black Rover, Fort Austin, Wave Ruler and Fort Rosalie. The latter replenishment stores supply ship Afloat adds is berthed in the facility's wet basin. Ulysses is also berthed here having completed a Dublin-Holyhead sailing then continued to Merseyside to arrive on Wednesday.  

The yard also completed work on parts of the Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, and did work for BAE Systems on the Astute Submarine.

Cammell Laird also completed contracts with firms including Irish Ferries, P&O and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

In November 2015, Cammell Laird won the contract to design and build the new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough – the boat almost named Boaty McBoatface. The project secured more than 400 jobs at the yard and another 100 jobs with local suppliers.

Sir David visited the shipyard last October for the keel-laying ceremony.

The Merseyside newspaper has more to report on  the shipyard's activities here.

Afloat adds that the yard also won a £6m contract to build a new carferry, Strangford II. The newbuild however during berthing trials last month on Strangford Lough as previously reported encountered vehicle ramp issues.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#NewPortaFERRY -A newbuild for the Strangford-Portaferry service under construction at Cammel Laird, Birkenhead as previously reported on is expected to deliver the 28 car / 260 passenger ferry in August this year.

According to Cammel Laird’s winter edition newsletter, the project is running on schedule with 75% of the vessel structurally complete. The yard facing opposite Liverpool’s famous waterfront on the Mersey, saw Northern Ireland Minister for Regional Development Michelle McIlveen view the progress on the newbuild Strangford Ferry which is to serve the lough route at the Narrows.

The Minister said: “It is really impressive to see the progress being made by Cammell Laird on the new ferry. The build is on schedule and I look forward to seeing the new vessel in operation by late summer 2016. This £6 million investment by the NI Executive will see the replacement of the existing MV Strangford, which is now over 40 years old. The new modern ferry has been designed specifically for this important route and will provide a more reliable and efficient ferry service for the public in the years ahead.”

The newbuild’s pipework and machinery is now being fitted, with all key equipment now on site and undergoing installation. This includes 2 Cummins engines, 2 Voith propulsion units, 2 Cummins generator sets, a Hamworthy Sewage Treatment Plant, and a full Desmi pump set.

A passenger Lounge, changing rooms, crew mess and wheelhouse have now been installed. There are currently 50 workers on the project, with over 20% of this number being made up by apprentices. A further 4 second year apprentices are expected to have joined the project in the new year to gain some invaluable new-build experience.

The newbuild met her ‘sister’, Portaferry II, for the first time in November when the vessel returned to the Mersey for her first dry docking in 14 years since being launched onto the Mersey.

Afloat, adds that this also took place on the Wirral Peninsula, when the newbuild was then completed at the nearby McTay Marine yard at Bromborough.

While the new ferry is a completely new design, many of the successful design features on the Portaferry II are reflected in it notably having the same car and passenger capacity. The two ferries will together run on the Strangford-Portaferry service operated by Transport NI.

Afloat also adds that taking place of Portaferry II's roster on the short estuary crossing is the reserve ferry, Strangford. 

Published in Ferry

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!