Cammell Laird throws weight behind plans for two £150m disaster relief ships
Cammell Laird is supporting plans by former international development secretary Penny Mordant for the building of two £150m disaster relief ships, paid for from the foreign aid budget.
Daily Telegraph has reported this week that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been in talks with Ms Mordaunt over plans dubbed “Britannia 2.0” for two new ships to be deployed around the world to help with relief efforts and also promoting British business.
Under the plans one of the new ships would be called “Britannia” and the other named the “Florence Nightingale” or “Mary Seacole”.
The plans could align with proposals put forward by Britannia Maritime Aid (BMA) and Cammell Laird for a new £150m disaster relief ship at London International Shipping Week in September when Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani lent her support to the project. The registered charity wants the vessel to be built at Cammell Laird and equipped with innovative British technology. The ship would be permanently based in the Caribbean, tasked with supporting disaster relief efforts and providing specialist training.
The Telegraph disclosed that Mr Johnson held talks with Ms Mordaunt in August about her plans and is due to receive a written submission later this month.
Ms Mordaunt has worked with consultants, the Navy, charities and merchant shipping to develop the concept of “Britannia 2.0”. The first ship would cost around £150million, with the second slightly less.
Tony Graham, Cammell Laird Chief Operating Officer, said the BMA ship design is a variant of Cammell Laird’s Ro-Pax platform, developed in conjunction with ship designers Leadship and first unveiled at the Nor Shipping trade fair in Oslo this summer.
Rather than being a one-off specialised vessel with limited applications, the first-of-its-kind disaster relief and training ship will have strong, versatile commercial Ro-Pax capability.
Mr Graham said: “Cammell Laird is proud to be supporting Britannia Maritime Aid in developing a design and build offer for a UK Aid and Training Ship. It is very encouraging that Boris Johnson and Penny Mordant are examining a similar concept and are considering building two disaster relief ships. We very much hope this can align with BMA and Cammell Laird’s plans.
“Our commercial design ensures great value for money and protects the vessel’s resale value as a cutting-edge Ro-Pax. We have also managed to incorporate and consider advanced technology concepts such as autonomous vehicles to maximise its operational capability and its future relevance.”