InfraStrata's Spanish deal 'could see shipbuilding return to Belfast'

Harland & Wolff, which in September was rescued from administration, could be back building ships again following an accord between its new owners InfraStrata and Spanish firm Navantia
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BELFAST shipyard could be building ships again after it emerged that its new owner has entered into an agreement with a Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company to work together "on a multitude of infrastructure and marine projects".

London-based energy company InfraStrata, who in late September paid £6 million to save the stricken Harland & Wolff from potential closure after it slumped into administration, confirmed it has signed a heads of agreement with Navantia.

It says it is the first step towards a partnership under which "both companies will work together on a multitude of infrastructure and marine projects to take then to commercial fruition".

Subject to completion of the acquisition of the assets of Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries by InfraStrata, the memorandum envisages utilising these assets for the purposes of providing a range of services to Navantia, the company said.

These services will include supporting Navalia in its proposed tender for contracts to provide three new fleet solid support ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the UK.

Also, both parties will co-operate closely on other opportunities in the offshore wind renewables sector and other projects, according to InfraStrata.

Its chief executive John Wood said: "The combination of Navantia's footprint in these sectors and Harland & Wolff's fabrication and other support capabilities offers the ideal commercial environment to bring large and challenging projects to successful fruition.

"Navantia is world renowned for its ship-building capabilities and offshore infrastructure expertise and experience, and therefore has access to significant commercial opportunities in these sectors.”

Navantia - whose history dates back more than three centuries to 1717 - is among a number of companies tendering for a £1.5 billion fleet contract with the UK defence ministry.

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