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Harland & Wolff Welcome The Prince of Wales as Part of 160 Year Celebrations

19th May 2021
The Prince of Wales finished the visit by unveiling a celebratory plaque marking the 160th anniversary of Harland & Wolff.
The Prince of Wales finished the visit by unveiling a celebratory plaque marking the 160th anniversary of Harland & Wolff.

Harland & Wolff, the iconic shipyard on Belfast Lough with over 160 years of maritime and offshore engineering pedigree, welcomed The Prince of Wales on 18 May 2021 to mark its 160th anniversary.

Arriving at Harland & Wolff (Belfast), His Royal Highness toured the yard, met with workers and signed the company Visitors’ Book. During this ceremony, The Prince was then presented with a framed photo of his late father, The Duke of Edinburgh, on a visit to the shipyard in 1977 along with an original copy of the ‘H&W News’ which featured The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit.

The Prince finished the visit by unveiling a celebratory plaque marking the 160th anniversary of Harland & Wolff.

Addressing staff, The Prince commented:

“I’m so pleased to hear that there is all sorts of potential new activity here and new fabrication opportunities, that could be really encouraging, and I hope you could encourage a lot more of the young to become apprentices and understand the importance of manufacturing and to also understand how this country has led the way in so many of these areas.”

“We owe all of you an enormous debt of gratitude for your skills and ingenuity, which are so remarkable. Well done all of you and thank you for all the hard work you put in.”

Founded on April 11 1861 by Sir Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, Harland & Wolff’s heritage includes work on some of the most iconic ships, including the famous RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic, right through to the SS Canberra for P&O and the Myrina tanker – the first supertanker built in the UK.

John Wood, Group CEO commented: “It has been a pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness onto site to commemorate our 160th anniversary. As one of the most iconic names in shipbuilding, this visit marks an incredible moment in our history. We have a great past, and now we’re proud to be building a great future. Through our newly launched apprenticeship scheme, we will continue to pass on those skills and traditions and in doing so, put British shipbuilding back on the map. This is no mean feat but as one team, we will return Harland & Wolff to its former glory.”

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry. 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.

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.

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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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