Harland and Wolff set to welcome large vessel as it builds on success since 2019 takeover

Harland & Wolff (Belfast) is set to welcome its biggest vessel in the shipyard’s recent history as it builds on success since its takeover in 2019.

he business, which has just provided its first major in-service support to Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady cruise vessel, avoiding dry docking and the need to take the vessel out of service, will welcome Dorset Spirit, a crude oil tanker.

The ship is due to arrive at the dock for repair works and measures over 279 metres in length, making it the first time since the acquisition of the assets by parent company InfraStrata plc in 2019, that a vessel of this size will enter the building dock.

Dorset Spirit will sail from Canada for the work.

The contract will help the company bolster its global profile as a large vessel-ready facility, said shipyard chief, John Wood.

And it follows on from H&W’s current job, which is a renovation of the P&O Azura, the largest cruise vessel to have entered the Belfast yard.

Meanwhile, Harland and Wolff’s recently acquired Appledore site in Devon awaits the arrival of MT Entsha, an offshore supply ship due to arrive next month.

John Wood, group CEO of Harland and Wolff, said: “It is fantastic to see multiple contracts being awarded to Harland & Wolff across Belfast and Appledore. These range from minor ‘bread & butter’ type of works to major contracts that have the capacity to grow even more in value over time. We are now being recognised as a shipyard business that is professional, cost effective and customer attentive. This recognition is clearly demonstrated by a series of new client wins and repeat business from our existing clients. Looking ahead, I believe that we have laid the firm foundations for rapid growth and the build-up of a contractual pipeline for 2022 and beyond.”

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Just last month, Harland and Wolff announced that a former naval chief has joined the board of its parent company, InfraStrata plc.

Sir Jonathon Band previously held the title of First Sea Lord & Chief of Naval Staff at the Royal Navy.

Harland & Wolff exists today as a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry through five sectors: commercial, cruise and ferry, defence, oil & gas and renewables, and six services: technical services, fabrication and construction, decommissioning, repair and maintenance, in-service support and conversion.

The Belfast yard is one of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities with deep-water access, two of Europe’s largest dry docks and ample quayside and vast fabrication halls.

After the acquisition of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) in August last year, the company has focused on opportunities in both ship repair and shipbuilding.

Harland & Wolff also owns the Islandmagee gas storage project which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity when completed.

In springtime this year, it also announced a major new contract to supply foundations for wind farms.

The contract was awarded by Saipem Limited for the fabrication and load-out of eight wind turbine generator (WTG) jacket foundations.

The foundations will service the EDF Renewables and ESB Neart na Gaoithe pffshore wind farm in the outer Firth of Forth in Scotland.

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