Massive MOD contract for Mersey shipyard
A Mersey based shipyard has landed a massive £28m Ministry of Defence (MOD) contract to overhaul Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Fort Rosalie.
Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd (NSL) managing director John Syvret said the contract is the biggest the firm has won since it was set up in 2001.
“This is an enormous boost for the Merseyside marine engineering industry and the result of a huge amount of effort on behalf of our team,” he said. “The deal confirms that the Mersey is now back where it belongs – as a centre of excellence for commercial ship repair conversion and military refit. Moreover it reflects our growing status with the MOD. Just before Christmas we were awarded preferred contactor status on a cluster of maintenance contracts for the RFA worth £234m. We are now negotiating our role within those contracts. These combined factors put us in a position of considerable strengthen as we prepare to rename NSL as Cammell Laird – a move we hope will catapult us forward in the worldwide market.”
Mr Syvret said NSL, which employs 400 people and is based in the famous Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, wants to use the Fort Rosalie contract to help drive job creation.
“This shipyard has a proud tradition of providing high quality skilled jobs to local people,” he said. “We are passionate about continuing that legacy. This one 10 month project will see up to 350 personnel working on the vessel at the same time.”
Mr Syvret said the scope of the Fort Rosalie contract is massive.
“The Rosalie, a veteran of the Falklands conflict, is 30-years-old and needs a complete overhaul,” he said. “This includes an upgrade of machinery, engines, operational and communications systems, weaponry and a complete accommodation refit. It will be like brand new ship when it’s finished inside and out. It’s a tremendous contract to land.”
The RFA Fort Rosalie contract follows the successful £20m refurbishment of RFA Diligence last year, a contract which paved the way for NSL to win the latest deal. NSL has seen rapid growth with its turnover rising from £9m in 2002 to £21m in 2005 to £41m in 2007.