A&P Group boosts workforce as it sails into 2011 on the crest of a wave

Wednesday 26th January 2011

A&P Group has tripled its workforce in the North East as it celebrates a record breaking start to the New Year.

A&P Group’s Hebburn yard – which is currently working on two major MoD orders, including sections for the new Aircraft Carriers – has won a string of new contracts, giving it the best start to the year in living memory.

It’s growing success has meant A&P Tyne’s permanent staff has grown from 210 to 242, including 18 apprentices, and an extra 390 agency and sub-contracted jobs have been created to handle the level of work currently underway at the yard.

The work includes:

  • Building and assembling a subsea arch for an oil field off Scotland
  • The refit of the 9,640 tonne deepwater pipelay vessel Deep Constructor
  • The refit of P&O ferry the Pride of York
  • The refit of multi-role vessel Wellservicer, from the same fleet of vessels as Deep Constructor

A&P Tyne Managing Director, Stewart Boak, said: “It has proved to be an amazing, record-breaking start to 2011. It’s the best we’ve ever had and great news, not just for the yard but for the region as a whole.

“The Aircraft Carrier build and the refit of the Royal Navy training ship HMS Bristol are progressing well and we’re working on an important contract to build two subsea structures for an African offshore oil field.

“The Deep Constructor is now in dry dock for a major overhaul and we have secured a number of new orders which is welcome work for us and for our sub-contractors.”

To handle the flow of orders coming into the yard, A&P Tyne has created an extra 390 jobs for blue collar workers and sub-contracted labour.

Mr Boak added: “The work secured and being undertaken at Hebburn has resulted in the number of people working in the yard increasing from 242 to 632.

“This number will only increase in the coming weeks as work gets underway on the new projects.”

In addition to it’s core shipping market, A&P Group has targeted new business sectors for growth and the oil and gas sector has brought early success, with an important order to build two complex subsea structures for the USAN oilfield, run by supermajor Total, off the coast of Nigeria.

The arches are buoyant support structures, tethered to the seabed, that support the pipelines from their way up from the oil wellheads to the floating production and storage vessels above.

That order is due for completion in March and the company has won a further order to build and assemble a midwater arch, this time for a North Sea oil field in the Outer Moray Firth, in partnership with Tyneside-based oil and gas services company Wellstream and Lancashire-based company SLP Precast.

The complex steel structure is being designed by SLP Precast for Wellstream and A&P will build and assemble the complete arch structure, including the buoyancy units, and mount them in the frame which supports the pipelines.

A&P Group has leading-edge fabrications facilities and can turn out more than 10,000 tonnes of steel a year for marine and civil structures.

Mr Boak added: “A lot of effort has gone into developing new relationships and talking to potential customers and we are starting to see the results, securing jobs, growing and diversifying the business.

“We have had fantastic feedback from some new clients who have told us that they were impressed by the company, the facilities and the workforce and they appreciate the focus on safety, delivery and quality.

“It is certainly an exciting time and we are looking forward to continued growth throughout the year.”

A&P Group Media Relations

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