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Displaying items by tag: Harland & Wolf

An energy firm, BBC reports, that agreed to buy the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast has raised the money it needs to complete the deal.

InfraStrata raised £6m through a share issue on Monday.

The east Belfast shipyard, best known for building the Titanic, was agreed for sale to the London-based firm last month.

It went into administration in August, putting 120 jobs at risk, after its Norwegian parent company collapsed.

InfraStrata shareholders need to approve the deal at a meeting on 29 November.

More here on this story. 

Published in Belfast Lough

The Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic, Harland and Wolff is according to the Sunday Times, set to be rescued tomorrow in a £6m deal.

AIM-listed company, InfraStrata has agreed to buy the historic shipyard out of administration, will tap investors for the money tomorrow via a share placing. It is understood to have signed a conditional contract to buy Harland and Wolff from administrator BDO.

InfraStrata will use the shipyard to supply a £265m gas storage facility it is building north of the city, preserving the jobs of the 79 remaining workers.

Harland and Wolff, which employed 30,000 people in Belfast’s industrial heyday, fell into administration in August after its Norwegian parent company, Dolphin Drilling, failed to find a buyer.

For more to read, click here. 

Published in Belfast Lough

According to the News Letter, hopes that the troubled shipyard of Harland & Wolff can be rescued were rising (yesterday) after a weekend of intensive negotiations.

The iconic company based in Belfast Lough entered administration last month after its Norwegian parent company, Dolphin Drilling, failed to find a buyer.

Spurred on by support from the public, the remaining workers staged a round-the-clock occupation of the site as part of a high-profile campaign to save the yard.

They have also maintained pressure on the government in the hope that the business could be nationalised.

Click here for more on the story. 

Published in Belfast Lough
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Workers at Harland & Wolff have seen a deluge of support - from donations of suncream and food to performances by local celebrities.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the workforce continue their occupation of the historic shipyard even as the firm is placed into administration, there has been a steady stream of supporters arriving with donations and words of encouragement.

Newry singer Tommy Sands donned a Harland & Wolff cap as he performed a number of songs at the gates of the shipyard yesterday, including one he had written for the workers.

Unite shop steward and Harland & Wolff steel worker Joe Passmore thanked Mr Sands, saying his performance had made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

"Fantastic, I'm sure every shipyard worker here had the same feeling, I know you did actually," he said.

More can be read here on the story of the shipyard which as previously reported drew calls for it to be nationalised. 

Published in Belfast Lough

Leaders from trade unions in the North are appealing to the new UK prime minister Boris Johnson to nationalise Belfast’s historic Harland & Wolff shipyard to save it from closure.

As The Irish Times reports, unions have warned the yard, where the Titanic was built, is just “hours and days” from closing its doors and is struggling to find a buyer.

Susan Fitzgerald, Unite’s regional coordinating officer, said Mr Johnson should step up to save jobs and the shipyard, whose giant cranes dominate the Belfast sky line, but which currently has no contracts. The operation, whose majority Norwegian owner filed for bankruptcy in June, has been in existence for 158 years.

Ms Fitzgerald said: “Harland & Wolff – with the world’s sixth-largest dry dock – is facing insolvency next week. If that happens, the skills of the workers, as well as the yard’s infrastructure, will be lost, diminishing the economy’s potential now and into the future.

More on the story can be read here.

Published in Belfast Lough
#FERRY NEWS- The second of Stena Line's 'Superfast' new ferries Stena Superfast VIII, is en-route fresh from refurbishment in Gdansk, in advance of the new Belfast-Cairnryan route which is to open next Monday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The new route to Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan includes a new £80m ferryport terminal which will be served by the 30,000 gross tonnes sisters, the largest ever ferries on the North Channel. Stena Superfast VIII is currently in the Skagerrak off northern Denmark and follows her sister Stena Superfast VII which arrived over the weekend, having also undergone refurbishment at the Romentowa shipyard.

The relocation of Scottish terminal from Stranraer to Loch Ryan Port is seven miles closer to the open sea and sailing times are to be reduced to 2hrs and 15minutes. The new terminal is to be officially opened on 25th November when First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness will join Dan Sten Olsson, Chairman of Stena Line.

As for the 15,229 gross tonnes Stena Navigator, she made her Stranraer-Belfast sailing yesterday, after de-storing at the VT4 ferry terminal, only completed in 2008, she proceeded to berth at Albert Quay, the location of the former city-centre ferry terminal.

In the interim period to the opening of the new Belfast-Cairnryan route, the sailing schedule on the Belfast-Stranraer service are been maintained by another conventional ferry, Stena Caledonia and fast sailings by the HSS Stena Voyager.

HSS Stena Voyager is expected to lay-up at VT4 after making final sailings to and from Stranraer this Sunday. It is expected Stena Caledonia will also be withdrawn that day and berth at Albert Quay.  In the process she will pass Harland & Wolf shipyard, where she was launched in 1981 as the St. David, the last of the quartet of Saint-class ferries commissioend for Sealink/British Rail.

The career of Stena Navigator on the North Channel was short as she only entered service two years ago. She was built in 1984 as Champs Elysees first served for SNCF/Sealink's jointly run Dover-Calais route, followed by a brief spell under Stena Line as Stena Parisien on Newhaven-Dieppe sailings.

She returned to the Straits of Dover route but this time as SeaFrance Manet under the control of SeaFrance. In 2008 SeaFrance introduced SeaFrance Moliere, the former Superfast X, ironically another sister of Stena Line's 'Superfast' ships. This Superfast vessel along with two custom built newbuilds entered SeaFrance service in recent years which led to the eventual replacement of SeaFrance Renoir and her half sister SeaFrance Manet.

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!

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