Page 40: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 1995)
Scottish builders bounce back A recent influx of orders at both Rosyth
Royal Dockyard and Ferguson Shipbuild- ers at Port Glasgow have given renewed vigor to Scottish vessel builders. It has also countered the news that yet another Scottish builder — Jones Buckie, one of Scotland's pre- mier fishing boat builders — is in the hands of the receiver. (Although the receiver is report- edly "cautiously optimistic" about being able to sell the yard). At one time the outlook for the Rosyth Royal
Dockyard on the East Coast appeared precarious, but the activities of sister company,
Babcock Rosyth Defense Ltd. (BRDL), look set to extend the security of the 3,500 em- ployees at the yard. The 0GD&
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Circle 212 on Reader Service Card latest orders — all received from the U.K.
Ministry of Defence — comprise more than $82 million worth of major refit work.
The largest single contract is for work on
HMS Newcastle, a Type 42 destroyer, including additions and alterations to the ship's mechani- cal and weapons systems. This will be the fourth
Royal Navy Type 42 vessel to undergo substan- tial modifications at Rosyth, all completed ahead of schedule; HMS Edinburgh is approaching trials stage and HMS York has recently been delivered.
At the same time the company will be working on its first Type 22 frigate, HMS Coventry. The 12-month package, won against stiff competition at around $16 million, includes a substantial accommodation conversion, main machinery overhaul, and improvements to the sonar and communications systems.
Three smaller vessels, HMSDumbarton, HMS
Cattistock and HMS Shetland, are coming to
Rosyth for refit in a combined contract worth $25 million. This is part of an ongoing program of work on the Hunt and Sandown class minehunters and the Castle and Island class patrol vessels that is expected to continue be- yond the year 2000. The latest in the series to be rededicated is HMS Orkney, an Island class vessel which has returned to fishery patrol du- ties following a 29-week refit.
The company also has glass reinforced plastic expertise, exemplified by the recent strip down and rebuild of HMS Ledbury, a Hunt class mine countermeasures vessel. At 615 tons, the vessel is one of the largest plastic ships in the world.
Following its eight-month refit, it has rejoined its 12 sisters in what has become known as the "Tupperware Fleet." All refits to these vessels take place inside Rosyth's five-berth Synchrolift building.
BRDL's Managing DirectorDavid Batty said, "We have responded well to the value for money and efficiency demands which the Ministry of
Defence require. I am pleased that our workforce has demonstrated that it has the flexibility, skills and willingness to consistently deliver high stan- dards on some of the most demanding refit pro- grams."
Meanwhile, at Port Glasgow, Ferguson Ship- builders is maintaining the long Clydeside ship- building tradition by securing three orders total- ing $80 million. Five years ago Ferguson em- ployed 40 people. Last year it turned a signifi- cant profit on a turnover of $30 million with 320 employees, and the current order intake looks set to increase this to around 400. Chief Execu- tive Bill Scott told MR /EN that more orders were in the pipeline and, "We expect to be signing contracts within the next eight weeks."
The most recent order is for a platform supply vessel, built to a design by the Norwegian naval architectural firm of Vik & Sandvik. Placed by
Stirling Shipping, a subsidiary of Harrisons (Clyde) Limited, the contract was won for $19.5 (Continued on next page)
Maritime Reporter/Engineering News