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Cammell Laird shipyard completes work on £28M MOD contract

posted on March 21, 2009 categories Project News

Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird has completed a massive £28m refit of naval supply ship the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Rosalie (see notes to editors).

Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret said the refit was one of the biggest the yard has undertaken in the last seven years. In total the contract employed more than 300 staff over 12 months and Mr Syvret said the yard is actively pursuing other projects of a similar size.

“This was a complex military refit which required considerable skills and expertise to deliver,” he said. “It included an upgrade of machinery, engines, operational and communications systems, weaponry and accommodation making her fit for purpose and able to operate more effectively and efficiently. On behalf of the company I would like to thank the workforce and staff for all their efforts in making the project a success.”

Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said the yard is hugely proud of the job it has done on the RFA Fort Rosalie and is determined to deliver the highest standards of ship refit and repair for the RFA and the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

“Highly skilled and specialised military ship repair, refit and conversion is now back in a very big way on the Mersey,” he said. “We look forward to seeing the Fort Rosalie again as we begin the new MOD ‘cluster’ contract, to maintain her and 10 other ships in the RFA flotilla (see notes to editors) for up to 30 years. The fundamental aim of the cluster contract is for Cammell Laird to develop an in-depth, specialist long term understanding of the RFA flotilla delivering a more comprehensive service and better value for money.”

Commanding Officer Capt Bill Tait said that Fort Rosalie came to Cammell Laird with a clear objective – to extend her life for another decade.

““The scale of this job was formidable,” he says. “The whole ship has undergone massive changes from a £5m overhaul of the accommodation to the installation of highly effective new weaponry, to improving the engines, to improving fire safety, and to installing state of the art navigation equipment. The ship is now safer, better equipped and more efficient. Significantly, the refit has increased our ability to service the fleet and the improvements mean we will have increased availability to do the tasks required from us. My ship’s company know how much work has gone into this refit in terms of time and effort from the MOD and Cammell Laird. We very much look forward to working with Cammell Laird in the months and years ahead and building our relationship with their team.”

Cammell Laird’s current workload is split around 50-50 between MOD and commercial sector work. The yard is actively seeking to grow the business in the international commercial market targeting North America, Scandinavia and the Gulf of Mexico for ship conversion, refit and repair work.