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Irish Sea Shipyard In UK Cammell Laird Reports Strong 2020 With Continous Work

20th October 2020
SPORTING A NEW LOOK: Former Royal Mail Ship, RMS St. Helena that served its South Atlantic UK territory namesake is now to be used to transport a new electric off-road racing series called Extreme E. The 30 year old Scottish built ship simply renamed without its RMS status as St. Helena, last month completed 18 months in dry dock following a multi-million pound refit contract at Cammell Laird on Merseyside. On the opposite side of the Irish Sea at Dublin Port, the RMS St. Helena made a notable once off visit during a special charter cruise in 1995. SPORTING A NEW LOOK: Former Royal Mail Ship, RMS St. Helena that served its South Atlantic UK territory namesake is now to be used to transport a new electric off-road racing series called Extreme E. The 30 year old Scottish built ship simply renamed without its RMS status as St. Helena, last month completed 18 months in dry dock following a multi-million pound refit contract at Cammell Laird on Merseyside. On the opposite side of the Irish Sea at Dublin Port, the RMS St. Helena made a notable once off visit during a special charter cruise in 1995. Credit: Extreme-E -twitter

The Irish Sea shipyard of Cammell Laird in the UK at Birkenhead on Merseyside has reported a strong 2020 despite the challenges of Covid-19 – with its construction hall, workshops and dry docks in continuous use since the start of the year.

Speaking about operating during a global pandemic, the CEO of Cammell Laird, David McGinley said: “Despite the restrictions and challenges of the last few months, the needs of our clients have not changed, and we have seen consistent demand for our engineering expertise and on-site facilities.

“The team has shown fortitude, commitment and agility throughout, which has been instrumental in keeping clients’ vessels operational and maintaining our reputation for engineering excellence.”

Projects of note during 2020 have included achieving a series of important milestones in the construction of RRS Sir David Attenborough – the research ship that will transform how ship-borne science is carried out in the Polar Regions.

Cammell Laird has tested and commissioned the vessel’s lifeboats and power systems and most recently, the water mist fire protection system. Work is now focused on readying the vessel for sea trials in October, which includes commissioning and testing the marine propulsion systems as well as checking the vessel’s scientific underwater sensors and deployment mechanisms.

Other notable projects include the ongoing transformation of unique cargo-passenger ship RMS St Helena (see Irish call) and later London, as she becomes a mobile hub for the Extreme Electric SUV racing series. 

Cammell Laird is also preparing for the start of the next ferry season, which will see the return of all four Calmac Ferries (CalMac) for their annual maintenance periods.

Focusing on Cammell Laird’s roster of defence work, the yard has welcomed the first of the UK's Royal Navy’s Type 45 class of destroyer to Birkenhead. 

Dauntless is undergoing her Power Improvement Programme (PIP), which will improve the resilience of the power and propulsion systems by replacing two diesel generators with three new systems and modifying the high voltage system.

In addition Afloat adds contracts for the RFA'S Tide class replenishment tankers that entered service for the UK's Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2017. These ships provide in the provision of fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to RN vessels around the world.

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Shipyards

Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

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