Eastern Dreams After Navy Deal – Hopes of refit leading to more Asian contracts
The launch of a prestigious multi-million pound double contract for the Bangladeshi Navy will safe guard hundreds of jobs at a South Tyneside yard for months to come.
HMS Leeds Castle arrived this week at A&P Tyne, Hebburn, where it will soon be joined by sister ship HMS Dumbarton Castle.
Borough yard bosses clinched the deal after six months of delivat negotiations. The work consolodates the yard’s other high profile contract, making parts for a massive dual aircraft carrier project for the Roayl Navy.
A deep sea tug which towed the first of the two offshore patrol ships to the Tyne, has returned to Portsmouth to collect her sister ship, which should arrive at the Hebburn Yard on Sunday. Both vessels have been laid up in Portsmouth since being retired from service in 2005.
Stewart Boak, Managing director of A&P Tyne, said the renewal contracts will secure employment for the yards 200-strong workforce, plus contractors. Both vessels were bought by the Bangladeshi Navy last month. It is hoped that the double contract will be a stepping stone for more contracts from Asia.
An advance liaison team from the Bangladesh Navy was oficially welcomed at A&P Tyne this week, where spokesmen said: “All parties involved look forward to a mutually beneficial project.
“Both vessels will remain at Hebburn for about three month, during which time they will undergo regeneration work to enable the Bangladesh Navy to sail the vessels home upon completion later this year.
With a 200-strong workforce and the largest dock on the east coast of England, A&P Tyne is ideally suited to carry out this work.”
The three-month contract will include overhauling the vessels main engines, gearboxes, shafts and motors and installing new diesel generators and deck cranes, plus upgrading crew accommodation. Both vessels will be fitted with flight decks capable of supporting Sea King helicopters.
Published: May 2010, The Shields Gazette