MoD places multi-million pound contracts in Birkenhead for support of Navy supply ships
The Ministry of Defence has today, June 30 2008, placed contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds with a shipyard in the north west of England for the long-term maintenance of several navy support ships.
Defence Minister Baroness Taylor today announced Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders (NSL) of Birkenhead and the A&P Group in Falmouth as contractors to maintain the flotilla of tankers, stores ships and landing ships that supply the Royal Navy at sea. The contractors will maintain ‘clusters’ of ships, providing the necessary refuelling and refit work for the flotilla of 16 RFA vessels throughout their service lives. Ships are grouped in clusters according to their duties and capabilities.
NSL is contracted for the maintenance of four clusters of ships (11 ships in total), worth over £180M over five years and, subject to key performance targets being met, the five year rolling contracts will run for up to 30 years. Over the full term the new approach is estimated to deliver more than £330m in savings to the MOD on the previous arrangements which saw individual contracts competed as and when they were required.
Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said: “These ships are crucial to the work of the Royal Navy – without them it simply could not operate. This is a significant change to the way in which they in turn are supported which will not only generate substantial savings for the public purse but will increase the ships availability and effectiveness to the fleet they serve.”
Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd (NSL) managing director John Syvret said:
“Ship repair, conversion and military refit is making a come back on the Mersey,” he said. “It is absolutely magnificent to win a contract of this magnitude, prestige and size. It is testament to the quality of craftsmanship and the huge amount of effort this shipyard, and all our staff, have put in to their work for the Royal Navy over the last few years. This is now our most successful year since launching NSL in 2001. We can look forward to the future from a position of considerable strength as we look to rename ourselves back to Cammell Laird – a move we hope will catapult us forward into the international ship repair, conversion and refit industry.”
Tony Graham, MoD Defence Equipment and Support Director of Afloat Support added: “This new strategy will see the MOD working more closely with the chosen contractors over the longer term, granting them a greater understanding of our requirements and improving the support RFA ships receive. This should also afford them the ability to forecast their work load further into the future, which is valuable added security for industry and demonstrates how we work with industry to support the Armed Forces.”
RFA Gold Rover will be the first to undergo works under the new programme, which will be carried out by Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Limited.