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Displaying items by tag: H&W

Employees according to Belfast Telegraph, have returned to work at Harland and Wolff after the sale of the closure-threatened shipyard.

There were cheers as the remaining staff walked through the gates in Belfast at 9am.

It followed a nine-week campaign which saw a worker-led round-the-clock occupation of the historic site – where Titanic was built – after it was placed into administration over the summer.

Workers claimed victory earlier this week when it was announced that a buyer had been found.

Harland and Wolff has been bought for £6 million by InfraStrata, a London-based company that specialises in energy infrastructure projects.

Steel worker and GMB shop steward Barry Reid described Thursday morning at the shipyard gates as “the day we prayed would come”.

Click this link for further details on this development. 

Published in Belfast Lough

Shipyard Harland & Wolff has taken a step closer to survival with confirmation that the consortium to which it belongs has been awarded a £1.25bn contract to build new warships.

As the News Letter reports, East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson described the decision – giving the green light for the Babcock-led consortium to build the Type 31e Royal Navy frigates – as a “boon” for the Belfast shipyard and said it was “hugely encouraging”.

The news come as Belfast Harbour launched a strategic plan to invest £254 million in new infrastructure which will help generate 7,000 new jobs.

The development at Harland & Wolff is a vital lifeline for a company that went into administration just over a month ago.

For more click here on the story

Published in Belfast Lough
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A formal legal process to place Harland and Wolff into administration will be completed later today.

As the BBC News reports an insolvency request is expected to be filed at the High Court in Belfast.

On Monday, the company announced that accountancy firm BDO had been appointed administrators to the Belfast shipyard.

Having employed more than 30,000 at its peak, the move could now put 120 jobs at risk and spell the end of the iconic firm, best known for building the Titanic.

Unions representing workers have called for the shipyard to be renationalised, arguing it would be cheaper for the government to keep the shipyard open.

However, the government has said the crisis is "ultimately a commercial issue".

For more on this story in addition to the history of the famous shipyard click here.

Published in Belfast Lough
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An emergency meeting is to be held by Belfast Council on Friday in a bid to help save the historic Harland and Wolff shipyard from closure.

The meeting writes Belfast Telegraph has been called by SDLP councillor Brian Heading and Green party councillor Anthony Flynn and will take place at City Hall at 1.30pm.

They have tabled a motion which would see the council convene an urgent forum between Trade Unions, Invest NI, the Department for the Economy and the UK Government to secure the future of the shipyard.

Administrators are set to be appointed at Harland and Wolff on Monday.

Since the news was announced members of the shipyard's 130 staff have protested at the gates in Belfast docks, calling for an intervention to save it from closure.    

The newspaper has more here on the story. 

Published in Belfast Lough

BBC News reports that the UK government has said that the crisis at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast is "ultimately a commercial issue".

Unions say the yard is at imminent risk of closure and have called for it to be nationalised.

A government spokesperson said there was "every sympathy for the workers". They added that the government will "do all it can" to offer support.

It is understood administrators are now expected to arrive on Monday.

The firm's Norwegian parent company Dolphin Drilling is having serious financial problems and put Harland and Wolff up for sale late last year.

There were exclusive negotiations with a potential buyer but they cooled in the last two weeks.

For more on the 'commercial issue' click here. 

Published in Belfast Lough

Harland and Wolff workers, writes BBC News, have closed the shipyard's gates as part of a protest following news that the business is up for sale.

They have demanded Boris Johnson's government renationalise the yard and saves their jobs.

The protest began on Monday afternoon and has continued into the night.

The Unite union said workers decided to take this action ahead of the expected arrival of administrators on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Norwegian parent company of Harland and Wolff said the company had no comment to make at this stage.

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Belfast Lough

Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast reports BBC News, can only survive until the end of the month without a deal, Unite the Union has said.

The business has been up for sale amid serious financial problems at its Norwegian parent company.

Trade unions have been hoping that the yard could benefit from plans to build more Royal Navy ships in the UK.

But now fear there is a risk that it will not survive for long enough to participate in that.

Susan Fitzgerald, the regional coordinating officer with the Unite trade union told BBC News NI's Evening Extra programme that if the yard the government needs to step in.

The yard employs around 130 people and specialises in wind energy and marine engineering projects.

It is also part of two consortia which are bidding for work on the Navy's new Type 31e frigate.

For more click this link.

Published in Belfast Lough

#belfast- Business advisers are carrying out a valuation of Belfast's Harland & Wolff ahead of a likely disposal by its parent company this year, the Independent can reveal.

Accountants have been sent in to carry out the work to establish the asking price of Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd, which is to be sold as part of restructuring by Norwegian parent company Fred Olsen Energy.

Harland & Wolff covers two sites on Queen's Island in east Belfast, including the Belfast Repair Dock where some ship work is still carried out, including the current refit of some Stena Line ferries.

Click here for more on this development. 

Published in Belfast Lough
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#ferries - Work has begun on ferries from Stena Line which involves a £5 million refit programme of its local fleet at Belfast's Harland & Wolff shipyard.

The 10-week upgrade schedule reports the Irish News, will see five Stena vessels dry docked consecutively to facilitate refurbishment and maintenance works.

The move continues the carrier's long-standing relationship with H&W, and will represent a considerable boost to the supply chain.

For comments made from the ferry operator and the shipyard, click here. 

Published in Ferry
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#BelfastLough - Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, must be maintained for industrial use and not sold off to property developers, Lord Empey has said.

As The Belfast Telegraph writes, the former UUP leader was speaking after it emerged last week that the historic Belfast company was up for sale as its Norwegian parent company Fred Olsen carries out a major restructuring.

The former shipbuilder behind the Titanic has diversified into renewable energy installations since the last ship sailed out of its famous yard in 2003.

The decline of shipbuilding has also been marked by a steady fall in employee numbers from as many as 30,000 in the 1930s to around 100 today.

Harland and Wolff covers two sites on Queen's Island in east Belfast, including the Belfast Repair Dock where some ship work is still carried out.

There is also the main building dock and manufacturing halls where the famous Samson and Goliath gantry cranes operate.

The combined surface area of the sites is nearly 90 acres.

Former Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Lord Empey has said that he fears the site may now fall into the hands of property developers.

For further comments by the former politician, click here.

Published in Belfast Lough
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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!

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