Mersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseysideMersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseyside

By Mersey Maritime


Volumes of cargo being handled by ports across the world is growing faster than expected, the World Trade Organisation reports.

The WTO has revised its growth forecasts upwards for merchandise trade volume in 2017 to 3.6%, up from its previous estimate of 2.4%.

This is good news for the Port of Liverpool, operated by Peel Ports, which earlier this year opened its £400m Liverpool2 deep water port terminal – capable of handling 95% of the world’s biggest cargo vessels.

Peel is aiming to “revolutionise” the UK logistics market which is currently geared towards the delivery of cargo to the Southern English ports, despite many of the goods being destined for the northern half of the UK.

The WTO figure back up a report in early September from the Shanghai International which reported that container throughput at the world’s major ports in the second quarter of this year were up by 7.2% against the same period in 2016.

WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said the rise was “welcome news” but added that the increase in protectionist rhetoric from world leaders such as US President Donald Trump was a concern.

“Though difficult to quantify, these risks are very real,” said Mr Azevedo.

In September, Peel Ports announced Dutch shipping company WEC Lines is to launch a new cargo services connecting the Port of Liverpool with Huelva and Vigo in Spain, Leixoes in Portugal and Dublin.

The service began at the end of September with weekly 300TEU vessels, but this is expected to grow significantly once trade develops.

In 2016, WEC Lines began weekly calls at the Port of Liverpool connecting with Lisbon, Setubal, Leixoes and Sines, with other links to Ireland, Scotland, Morocco, Spain and the Canary Islands.


Tony McDonough
Consultant at YBNews
Mobile: 07931 964948
Twitter: tonymc39

By Mersey Maritime


IT and cyber security specialist Freedom ICT has completed a £75,000 project for a major not-for-profit organisation in Merseyside.

Wirral-based Freedom ICT, a member of Mersey Maritime, was tasked with moving the whole of the organisation’s data and services from an outdated system to one that was scalable and offered high availability across multiple sites.

Freedom’s experts successfully delivered the project housing the organisation’s new system on the AIMES Grid co-location data centre.

It means its data is now always available to staff and meets the strict security standards set out under the General Data Protection Regulation, due to come into force in May 2018.

It has been a positive last 12 months for Freedom which has won new contracts with companies such as The Russell Taylor Group, Recruit Right, Avon Buses and fellow Wirral business Typhoo Tea.

Director Dave Shaw, said: “The feedback we have been getting thus far from our client base has been fantastic. They don’t need to call numerous suppliers when additional services, support or advice is required. We do it all.”


Tony McDonough
Consultant at YBNews
Mobile: 07931 964948
Twitter: tonymc39

By Annette Parker


Cammell Laird shipyard has thrown its weight behind the unveiling on 6 September 2017 of a new National Shipbuilding Strategy by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

Commenting Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said:

“Today’s announcement is the most significant change to the UK military shipbuilding industry in decades. This is bold and ambitious and will provide the industry with a unique opportunity to pursue export opportunities and create a cost effective and self generating highly skilled industrial base. In adopting the shrewd recommendations of the Sir John Parker report the Government’s new National Shipbuilding Strategy will revitalise the sector making the procurement process more competitive and stream lined leading to significant efficiencies and economies of scale to the benefit of the UK taxpayer.

“Having an internationally competitive industrial base will create jobs and wealth for multiple communities around the country. Growing the UK navy, and working in partnership with our large blue chip technology industries can result in Britain once again being a proud and world leading shipbuilding nation. Here on Merseyside Cammell Laird will be looking to continue its proud tradition of naval shipbuilding, deploying the innovation and cost benefits from our commercial work to support the Ministry of Defence. We believe we are well placed to play a leading role in building the first batch of Type 31 frigates for our Navy. Moreover, due to our 130 acre site, infrastructure, workforce and management teams, we have the ambition determination and capacity to deliver the export version our international allies.”


By Annette Parker

Merseyside’s Engineering College bolsters technical training team with specialist welding tutor



Merseyside’s Engineering College is expanding its team of technical tutors after appointing a highly experienced welding specialist.

Brian Bowers takes up the role of Welding, Fabrication and Pipefitting Tutor and will be responsible for training new apprentices.

Mr Bowers started his career in Birkenhead serving his apprenticeship at Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd between 1983 and 1987, working on submarines and surface warships as a welder. He has since worked with other major UK industry brands including BAE Systems and Airbus-UK based at Broughton.

“It’s terrific to be back on Merseyside working at the Engineering College,” said Mr Bowers. “Having started my career around the corner at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in the 1980s I feel I have come full circle. My apprenticeship was a great time in my life and the heritage of shipbuilding and industry in this area is second to none. I have a keen desire to pass on the knowledge I have gained my 30 plus years in industry and teach a new generation of engineers what it takes to be successful and help the industry thrive. This is a really exciting time to join the Engineering College with its ambitious expansion plans and I am greatly looking forward to joining the team.”

The news comes as the Birkenhead College continues its recruitment drive in a bid to source two more training officers, adding to its team of 38 staff. It is witnessing strong growth with apprentice numbers recently rising to 330. These are drawn from around 90 clients ranging from large private businesses to SMEs operating across multiple sectors including construction, nuclear, petrochemical, renewables, oil and gas, the NHS and maritime.

Mr Bowers, who is also a member of the Army Reserves, formerly the Territorial Army, has served with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers since 1986. He holds the rank of Staff Sergeant (Artificer Vehicles) and works as a Metalsmith and Vehicle Mechanic. Mr Bowers said the Army Reserve has provided the opportunity to work in various locations around the world, with the regular army, and mechanics and engineers from other nations.

“My experience in the Army Reserve has given me multiple skills that have complimented my civilian work. The army has taught me people management skills, discipline, and leadership, and provided me with the camaraderie that is so important in the work place. I aim to use this knowledge to the benefit of Engineering College. I have decades of experience mentoring and coaching young soldiers just starting out in their military careers and I believe I can do the same for the young apprentices forging their path into industry.”

Engineering College’s CEO Terry Weston said: “It is crucial for the development and ongoing success of the Engineering College to take on the very best new staff to give our apprentices the level of training and guidance required to make it in industry. Brian brings with him a wealth of experience both through his time at some of the UK’s most respected engineering businesses and his long service in the Army Reserves. His practical knowledge of route to success as well as the pitfalls engineers come across will guide this new generation. We welcome Brian and look forward to the positive impact he will have on the college.”

For more information on apprenticeship courses contact the college on 0151 666 1028 or visit the website

First founded in 1998, today The Engineering College has a turnover of £1.7million and 38 staff. It has grown apprentice numbers to 330, drawn from 90 clients ranging from large private businesses including, Balfour Beatty and Clarke Energy to SMEs including Sovex and Laker Vent. The £500,000 refurbishment of its 6500m2 facilities in Birkenhead was part-funded through Liverpool City Region’s Growth Deal. Apprentices and other learners are benefitting from additional classroom space and new high-tech engineering equipment to train with including a virtual welding simulator. The launch event was also an opportunity for The Engineering College and its staff to promote its strong role connecting industry and education, as well as discussing the new Apprenticeship Levy. To mark National Apprenticeship Week the launch also ‘showcased’ a number of the college’s ‘star apprentices’ , from first year apprentices through to HNC level students following Higher Apprenticeships.



By Annette Parker

‘Block 10’ stern section of RRS Sir David Attenborough on the move to Cammell Laird



A major feat of engineering takes place this week as the “stern section” of the new polar research ship for Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, is transported by barge from Hebburn-based shipyard A&P Tyne (Newcastle), part of A&P Group, to the Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead.

The new ship is a major UK Government investment in frontier science. Commissioned by NERC, and built by the world famous marine engineering company Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd. The vessel is a Rolls-Royce design, and will be operated by British Antarctic Survey when the ship enters service in 2019.

The transportation of the 899 tonne steel block (known as Block 10) – which is the equivalent weight of 71 London double decker buses, and more than 23 meters long and 24 meters wide – is a major engineering challenge and a significant milestone in the build.

It further capitalises on the broad commercial skills and infrastructure on the east and west coast of the UK and marks another significant milestone in the Cammell Laird construction programme.

This ‘load-out’ operation is the outcome of a collaboration between Cammell Laird and A&P Group and a clear demonstration of the benefits that a flexible and co-ordinated effort brings to the construction of the RRS Sir David Attenborough and to the UK ship-building industry.

John Syvret CBE who is the CEO of both Cammell Laird and A&P Group said: “The construction of the blocks by the A&P Group, as a contractor to Cammell Laird, is a tremendous showcase for British shipbuilding and engineering.  Whilst both organisations are fierce competitors who very much ‘compete where they must’, they also on an arm’s length commercial basis ‘cooperate where they can’.

“The RRS Sir David Attenborough ship build contract facilitates this cooperation where positive commercial benefits have been achieved.  This is a business model that proved to be very successful in the building of Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, where both organisations undertook the construction of circa 20,000 tonnes of large sections of flight deck modules for the two ships, and can be deployed and utilised on other contracts in the future.  This is precisely the kind of collaboration that can help rebuild the commercial shipbuilding industry and provide thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

“What we are doing in fact is providing proof of concept, of the strategy outlined in Sir John Parker’s National Shipbuilding Strategy report commissioned by UK Government. By investing in UK shipyards, and encouraging shipyards to work together, the UK can dramatically ramp up the number of ships it builds, converts and repairs, for the commercial and naval sectors at home and abroad. The impact on job and wealth creation would, in turn, be massive and investment could be ploughed into young people, skills, facilities and communities.

“The RRS Sir David Attenborough when built will be one of the most advanced ships of its type in the world.  Cammell Laird beat off international competition from around the world to win the contract, proving the calibre of its workforce and facilities. We urge ship owners and management companies around the UK and the world to visit and see first-hand the quality of this vessel, and what the UK marine engineering industry can build for them.”

Mr Syvret has also paid tribute to the workforce building the RRS Sir David Attenborough.  He said: “We know there is huge passion in the entire Cammell Laird workforce, as well as in our supply chain and at A&P for this project.  The project is progressing well and we would also like to thank the British Antarctic Survey and the Natural Environmental Research Council for their support. We very much look forward to an unforgettable slipway launch in 2018.”

David McGinley, group managing director of A&P Group, which fabricated block 10 said: “This project is the very epitome of how the UK’s ship building industry can work together to not only deliver the best in class engineering and fabrication but to hone and nurture the very best talent and skills too.

“As one of the country’s leading fabrication businesses we’ve been actively involved in many major projects for the commercial marine, defence, oil and gas, subsea and offshore wind sectors and it’s a privilege and honour to add such a high profile and important research ship to the list. This project is also testament that ship building continues to flourish on the Tyne.”

Block 10 will be loaded onto a barge using self-propelled modular trailers.  It is a complex operation involving hydraulic ballast pumps to keep the barge level while the heavy load moves onto it from the slipway.  ALE is responsible for loading the stern section onto a barge.

John Davis, Senior Sales Manager for ALE said: “ALE are extremely proud to be involved in such a landmark project. By providing the complex engineering, heavy transportation and barge services to move a piece of this sheer scale and size, showcases our full-service heavylifting capabilities.”

Departure time depends on tides and weather conditions but is expected to take place on Monday 21 August 2017. ALE will secure the block by specially-designed sea-fastenings during its transit to Cammell Laird which may take up to five days. The barge is likely to travel south through the English Channel.

On arrival at the Birkenhead yard, ALE will perform the ‘load-in’ process using the same SPMT configuration. Once securely ashore work will begin on joining Block 10 to its neighbouring blocks under construction in Cammell Laird’s construction hall.

British Antarctic Survey’s Director of Operations, Tim Stockings said: “We’re really excited at seeing our new ship RRS Sir David Attenborough taking shape.  The ship represents an important partnership with UK industry to deliver world leading science for the UK and beyond.  The load out is another incredible milestone in this amazing project.  We cannot wait to take delivery of this fantastic ship.”


By Annette Parker

Birkenhead’s Engineering College retains ‘good’ OFSTED status


Birkenhead’s Engineering College has retained its impressive ‘Grade 2’ OFSTED status making it one of the best performing technical training providers in the region.

Three years on since the previous OFSTED report in 2014, the college underwent a two-day inspection by Government officials between June 14 and 15.

Engineering College chief executive Terry Weston said the report is now live following its most rigorous inspection to date across all areas. The assessment considered progression and achievements of students, quality of teaching, learning and assessments, safeguarding and promotion of equality and diversity.

The college was praised in particular for ‘good progress’ in maintaining high achievement rates with more than three quarters of apprentices completing their programme within the planned timescale – significantly higher than national rates for similar providers.

It received further positive feedback for a recent rebrand and ‘celebration’ of diversity and equality with a higher proportion of applicants from under-represented groups, such as females, now applying to the college.

Inspectors reported that teachers use a ‘range of effective assessment strategies’ in lessons to ensure apprentices make the right progress. English and maths skills are being integrated to a ‘good standard’ which is valued by employers. Meanwhile, teachers challenge apprentices ‘very affectively’ to develop higher-level skills that will make them more employable in the engineering industry.

“This has been one of the most challenging OFSTED inspections that the college has ever experienced since I have been here,” said Mr Weston. “They do however present an opportunity for our team to showcase what we do, how we do it and hear genuine feedback on our areas for improvement. At the Engineering College, we are always striving to reach higher standards and to lead the charge in the delivery of technical apprenticeships across industry. In this respect, we embrace the challenge brought by these sort of inspections and audits which can be a hugely positive experience for the team.

“Retaining the Grade 2 status brings pride and purpose to the entire operation. We can move forward with confidence about what we do well with a firm strategy on areas to improve. Our students and clients can also have confidence that we will ensure their needs are met and will remain diligent in our efforts to unearth and nurture high-quality engineers for the future. Importantly, we will continue to develop and invest in our staff who are the bedrock of this organisation, while supporting a broader national agenda for skilled engineers to address the skills gap recognised in industry.”

The Birkenhead college now employs 38 staff and is witnessing strong growth with apprentice numbers recently rising to 330. These are drawn from around 90 clients ranging from large private businesses to SMEs operating across multiple sectors including construction, nuclear, petrochemical, renewables, oil and gas, the NHS and maritime.

Mr Weston the report highlighted six of the seven areas identified in the previous inspection as ‘reasons why the college was not yet outstanding’ had been rectified.

“We will continue to strive towards achieving an ‘Outstanding’ grade,” he said. “Since our last inspection we have focused efforts on the promotion of equality and diversity within the college, and to a wider engineering industry.

“More than one third of our students are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have developed the skills and knowledge for a long-term career in engineering. The report indicates that we have strengthened our work in diversity considerably by implementing a learner council, run by students. This tackles some of the biggest topics for the UK at present, including British citizenship. It was also recorded that apprentices take part in various charitable activities enthusiastically to support those in the community who are less fortunate.

“While the senior management and training staff at the college are greatly passionate about training engineers for the future, we are also equally determined to develop key personal qualities in our young recruits. We are looking to develop and instil qualities of compassion, diligence, responsibility and accountability. This is central to our ethos.”

For the full inspection report, please visit

For more information on apprenticeship courses contact the college on 0151 666 1028 or visit the website



First founded in 1998, today The Engineering College has a turnover of £1.7million and 38 staff. It has grown apprentice numbers to 330, drawn from 90 clients ranging from large private businesses including, Balfour Beatty and Clarke Energy to SMEs including Sovex and Laker Vent. The £500,000 refurbishment of its 6500m2 facilities in Birkenhead was part-funded through Liverpool City Region’s Growth Deal. Apprentices and other learners are benefitting from additional classroom space and new high-tech engineering equipment to train with including a virtual welding simulator. The launch event was also an opportunity for The Engineering College and its staff to promote its strong role connecting industry and education, as well as discussing the new Apprenticeship Levy. To mark National Apprenticeship Week the launch also ‘showcased’ a number of the college’s ‘star apprentices’ , from first year apprentices through to HNC level students following Higher Apprenticeships.



By Annette Parker

Wren Industrial & Marine Fabrications bought by engineering entrepreneur

Well-known Merseyside maritime company Wren Industrial & Marine Fabrications, has been bought by Merseyside entrepreneur and former member of the Armed Forces Jonathan Willoughby.

Bootle-based Wren Industrial has been run for 27 years by husband and wife team David and Helen Wren. It specialises in manufacturing doors, windows and hatches for ships and boats as well as welding and fabrication services primarily in the maritime sector. Wren’s clients include the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and ferry operators Stena and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Wren’s doors can be found on the Royal Yacht Britannia while its engineering services have been deployed making canisters for Richard Branson’s hot air balloon and helping build clock towers on the Emmerdale TV set.  On Merseyside Wren’s prime clients include Lloyd & Jones industrial supplies and Kirby pump maker Selwood.

Mr Willoughby, aged 46, who also runs welding and fabrication company Yorkwall Engineering in Ellesmere Port, said with David and Helen looking to step down the time was right to buy Wren Industrial and take it to the next level, aiming to double its £1million turnover in the next 12 months.

“Wren has a really strong reputation in the maritime industry, particularly on Merseyside, for the quality of its work and its dedication to customer service,” he said. “My aim is to now build on that bedrock and grow Wren’s client base and brand nationally and internationally. Key to that growth drive will be clearly explaining to the marketplace what Wren can do. Yes we specialise in making water-tight and fire-rated doors, windows and hatches for ships but we are so much more than that.  We have the expertise to undertake virtually any welding and fabrication job on any type of vessel. Wren literally receives hundreds of orders a year for welding and fabrication works but we need to raise awareness of our expertise and capability to the wider UK maritime industry. We want to showcase our track record to more shipyards, ship management companies, shipping agents and insurance companies.”

Mr Willoughby said a big area for future growth for is ‘engineering solutions’.

“A key strength of Wren Industrial is its ability to find solutions to a wide range of welding and fabrication challenges,” he said. “That problem solving approach is hugely valued by our customers, so much so that virtually all our current business is repeat work, such is the degree of trust Wren has built with its customers. But to grow the company we have to communicate the quality of our work and facilities to a bigger audience. We have a very knowledgeable workforce of around 20 engineers who are Wren’s best selling point and springboard for growth. In addition, we have a 6000 sq ft workshop with a wide range of plant equipment enabling us to work with a variety of materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminium and plastics.”

Mr Willoughby, who has 25 years experience in the oil and gas sector, said the purchase of Wren Industrial is part of a wider growth strategy which will see him buy more complementary engineering companies, eventually merging all into one new brand name.

“My existing company Yorkwall specialises in fabrication services for the petrochemical sector, buying Wren Engineering diversifies our operations into maritime which helps protect and grow our group operations,” he said. “This is a really exciting time for our team and we see the group on an upward trajectory with considerable potential for sustainable growth. We are planning more acquisitions over the next 12 months.”

For further details on Wren Industrial’s services contact Jonathan Willoughby or the sales team Tel:  0151 207 0023 visit:



By Annette Parker

Liverpool Seafarers Centre helps Stranded Mersey sailors return home

A group of nine international sailors who were left stranded on the Mersey for almost three weeks have now returned home safely following vital support from a new seafarers hub in Eastham.

The Panama registered cargo vessel Seccadi was detained by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency due to conditions on board.

It was given a layby berth at Manisty, Ellesmere Port, while crew remained locked in dispute with the vessel’s owner Voda Shipping of Turkey over pay and conditions. It is now understood that all crew have been repatriated at the owners expense.

The Hub, located at the Queen Elizabeth Second Dock in Eastham, run by Liverpool Seafarers Centre, initially made contact with the sailors after being alerted by International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Inspector Tommy Molloy at the NW Port Welfare Committee about problems onboard the Seccadi. The Hub later notified HMRC’s Immigration Department at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

LSC chief executive John Wilson said this crucially enabled the seafarers to secure a ‘Notice of Leave’ pass allowing shore time under controlled conditions to find a resolution. The charity arranged for the seafarers to be picked up from the ship and driven to its new £40,000 facility on the Wirral, allowing respite from the situation.

The case however continues after ITF lodged protests with the Turkish owners of the 1,596 gross tonnage ship Seccadi and the Panama ship registry over the conditions he discovered onboard the vessel.

Mr Wilson said it is the first time the new Wirral hub, which was launched just months ago in April, had been mobilised for sailor respite care. He said the charity operates a frontline service to provide practical and emotional support for seafarers, the often-invisible workforce that brings 95pc of all our trade to the UK.

“The seafarers have been repatriated at the owner’s expense, avoiding deportation which was fast becoming a reality,” he said. “They were berthed on the Mersey for just short of three weeks, where LSC visited them frequently and gave them the opportunity for a run ashore as required. Our new hub in Eastham provided a safe place where they could take stock of the situation on land,” he said. “The crew were multinational from places including Turkey, India and Azerbaijan and were able to take advantage of the free WIFI. This enables them to contact family, friends and loved ones back home for the first time in weeks and update them on their situation.

“This is exactly the kind of support that the Hub un Eastham was set up to provide. We worked fast in conjunction with HMRC and got them a week’s pass. This allowed them to come ashore and take respite in a private and safe place just miles away from their vessel. We will continue to work closely with the crew members as an intermediary to help resolve their specific situation and ensure they receive all the necessary guidance and advice involving multi-disciplinary agencies across the UK.”

Mr Wilson said the Guild of Benevolence has also made generous financial contribution to support the crew. They will continue to make use of the hub which works in partnership with its headquarters at Colonsay House in Crosby to provide support to the 50,000 seafarers who pass through Merseyside’s ports each year.

“LSC was set up in 1856 and its mission remains the same today to offer a life-line to seafarers around the world. The purpose of the new hub is to provide welfare support to those seafarers berthed on the Manchester Ship Canal side of the Mersey. The hub provides quicker access, solving the problem of the long trip from Eastham to Seaforth, the location of our other Waterloo base.

“As well as offering practical and emotional support we have a lounge, internet and gaming facilities and transport. We strongly believe in promoting the spiritual, moral and physical welfare of both serving and retired seafarers, as well as their families.”

For further information contact John Wilson Tel: 0300 800 8085 visit Email:




The Centre first opened its doors in 1856 and the aims of the Centre today remain very much true to its origins. Situated in the heart of Liverpool docklands, Liverpool Seafarers Centre extends the hand of friendship to thousands of seafarers every year.

It offers welfare services, advice, practical help, care and friendship, communication, transport, recreation, and when necessary, financial aid.

The Centre is inter-denominational combining the Apostleship of the Sea (Liverpool) and the Mersey Mission to Seafarers. At the centre, or aboard ship, Ship Welfare Visitors with support from our Honorary Chaplains, together with our active team of Volunteers are always ready to provide advice and assistance – irrespective of a person’s beliefs or nationality.




By Annette Parker

James Troop celebrates 150th anniversary with rapid sales surge


Illustrious Liverpool diesel-engine sales and maintenance specialists James Troop & Co is celebrating its landmark 150th anniversary with a surge in new business and export sales.

The family-run company based in Runcorn is one of Liverpool’s longest-standing maritime and industrial businesses. It is reporting a 27pc sales hike on last year’s figures between January to June.

Growth has steadily been recorded across the board with a notable increase in servicing work, spare parts sales and a massive surge in engine sales. The landmark sesquicentennial celebration further coincides with four new staff appointments combined with more than £200,000 of investment in infrastructure and technology.

James Troop & Co operates on all aspects of diesel engines and generators from new engines sales, spare parts supply, component overhauls (including testing) and a 24/7 after sales service support across the world and the UK

Company chairman Bob Troop said growth has been driven by specialist projects in the USA, expansion within the UK windfarm sector and new contracts with major shipping management companies.

Mr Troop, who is the great, great grandson of founder James Troop, said: “It is an incredibly special moment for us to celebrate our 150th year of trading,” he said. “Together we are part of a legacy which has been passed down through generations and forms part of Liverpool’s illustrious maritime heritage. The firm has adapted and evolved since its early days in Coburg Dock and has always adopted a progressive outlook in a bid to thrive in an ever-changing commercial landscape. We selected the Liverpool Yacht Club, within Coburg Dock, to celebrate the landmark occasion with our friends, family, clients and contacts as this was where our story began. It is the perfect setting not only to honour our rich company heritage but also to look outwards to the Mersey and beyond to the bright future of the firm.”

Mr Troop handed over the role of managing director in October 2016 following 14 years in the position and 54 years working in-house. While he remains active in day to day management as chairman he recently appointed new joint managing directors Derek Bate and Robert Pollock, who have amassed more than 60 years at the firm

“We have witnessed rapid expansion in the first half of 2017 largely driven by a spike in engine sales,” said Mr Bate, MD Financial. “This has been underpinned by strong performances in our servicing and spare parts divisions. This year we have delivered servicing work across the globe in locations including Greece, Holland, South Africa, Bahrain, Poland and Gibraltar. The windfarm sector has also proved a key sector for expansion. We have completed large volumes of repair and servicing contracts on work boats and supply vessels for windfarm transfer companies operating off coastlines across the UK from Barrow, Grimsby and Hull to Liverpool, Holyhead and London. In addition, two new exclusive supply contracts within the ship management sector have boosted sales of our Japanese engine Spare Parts with a positive knock-on effect to the servicing division.”

The company initially traded as ship repairers for many years, with workshops in Liverpool, Birkenhead and Garston. It worked for most major shipping companies – extensively for the MoD on aircraft carriers and many other types of ship, including nuclear submarines built at Cammell Laird shipyard.

In the fifties, the company began diversification into medium and high-speed diesel engine markets through franchises with firms including Rolls-Royce, Ruston, Paxman, Dorman & Perkins. These have since been joined by Volvo Penta, Deutz, MAN, MTU & Cummins, and one of the largest Japanese engine builders, Daihatsu Diesel Mfg.

“While we are extremely proud of our heritage we are also passionate about future innovation,” said Mr Pollock, MD Operations. “Being well established and on a sound financial footing we are perfectly placed to look ahead of the curve. We work on many specialist projects to raise industry standards. One recent American contract involved introducing Tier 4 engine equipment into specialist drilling rig to meet new emissions criteria.

“In terms of industry development our sector is set to be transformed by the arrival of hybrid systems which are already superseding diesel engines used on land. This pattern will follow on the sea, in line with IMO regulations, leading to a seismic shift towards new technology. We are currently working with the world’s leading engine manufacturers to create hybrid systems for the future. This is the cusp of another exciting chapter within the James Troop & Co story. Our mission is to continue to do what has been done so well through the generations before us and remain at the vanguard of our industry.”

The company’s history has been supported through staff with formidable records of continuous service and dedication at James Troop include parts team leader Carl Kenwright serving 27 years, John Troop sales manager serving 25 years senior engineering technician Dave Squires with 22 years, technical manager Alan Railton with 16 years, and within the customer support dept. Frank Jameson who has served 32 years.

For further information on James Troop’s new engines, or parts and servicing contact any member of the sales team Tel: 01928 566170 Email: visit:



Family-run James Troop & Co Ltd is one of the most established companies in the UK maritime and industrial industry. The company was founded by James Troop in Liverpool’s Dock Estate in 1867. The Company were ship repairers for many years, with workshops in Liverpool, Birkenhead and Garston, working for most major shipping companies and worked extensively for the MoD on Aircraft Carriers and many other types of ship, including Nuclear Submarines built at Cammell Laird Shipyard.

In the 1950s, the Company began diversification into medium and high-speed diesel engine markets, initially through franchises with such engine makes as Rolls-Royce, Ruston, Paxman, Dorman & Perkins and these have since been joined by Volvo Penta, Deutz, MAN, MTU & Cummins, and one of the largest Japanese engine builders, Daihatsu Diesel MFG. Today the firm is run by James Troop’s great great grandson Bob Troop and specializes in engine and generator supply, parts and service to the maritime and industrial markets. It is one of the major distributors of Volvo Penta products in the UK. The company moved to new premises on the Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn in 2004. The site has fully-equipped workshop facilities to carry out all aspects of engine and component overhauls and enables them to offer customers a 24/7 after sales service.


Image shows James Troop & Co Ltd chairman Bob Troop.



By Annette Parker


Merseyside engineering company Cammell Laird announced today (27 June 2017) it is ramping up its activity in the nuclear sector after being awarded around £200,000 in Government funding to develop the concept of building off-site modules for Nuclear New Build projects.

Cammell Laird energy division managing director Jonathan Brown said the funding from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would be used run a series of events examining how best to build and test large modules at ‘off-site’ locations before transporting them to nuclear sites for installation. Mr Brown said there are many advantages to building off-site including cost savings, more efficient build and schedule times as well as not having to recruit a large temporary workforce to build on-site. The project is being led by Cammell Laird supported by industry heavyweights including the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), Arup, Fraser Nash and Laing O’Rourke.

“We are absolutely delighted to win this funding for our Fit for Modules project,” he said. “It allows Cammell Laird to apply its maritime experience in the nuclear industry, building on our extensive track record of building large modules of up to 5000 tonnes for the aircraft carrier programme and the Sir David Attenborough polar ship. Our aim is to bring together key industry players, including end users and supply chain companies, to brainstorm the challenges and propose solutions. We plan to publish a final report with our findings in April next year detailing areas for improvement known as ‘interventions’. The report will then be considered by Government which will run further programmes to implement the agreed interventions.”

Mr Brown said working out the best way to build a supply chain would be a prime objective of the Fit for Modules project.

“From Cammell Laird’s viewpoint it is essential we develop a robust reliable supply chain to support the construction of modules,” he said. “That is precisely what we have developed for our maritime operations and what we want to replicate for nuclear new build. And we know that organisations like Nuclear AMRC can really help develop the small and medium business supply chain bringing companies up to speed with what is required and expected in a highly regulated industry.”

Mr Brown said finding significant cost efficiencies is fundamental to the project’s success.

“The nuclear new build programme estimates a potential spend up to £100billion over 30 years,” he said. “It is therefore imperative that as an industry we make the programme work from a cost and schedule perspective, stripping out waste and any unnecessary expense. Building modules off-site is one way to make the new build process much more efficient, cost effective and less risky for our investors.”

Mr Brown said there are massive incentives for the UK to become the world’s leading experts in off-site modular construction.

“By bringing industry together like this through Fit for Modules we can lay the foundation blocks for the UK to develop a complete industry specialising in off-site modular build,” he said. “If we can make a success of building modules for the domestic nuclear sector we can spin that expertise out to exports markets as the UK looks to ramp up exports post-Brexit. Moreover, we can also extend that expertise to other sectors like utilities, rail and major infrastructure projects like airport expansion, which all require large modular build.”

News that Cammell Laird has secured a new batch of funding comes after it recently announced a major new partnership with Nuclear AMRC, part of the Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult network. The partnership will see the opening of a new facility on July 4 within Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead site focused on off-site module build researching a wide range of areas supporting the assembly, commissioning and transportation of modules of up to 5000 tonnes, where Cammell Laird benefits from its coastal location.

Mr Brown said: “Cammell Laird offers reliable, cost effective and flexible solutions to multi billion pound industries crying out for experienced support,” he said. “Cammell Laird has shown, in the maritime industry, it can be that anchor of system engineering, managing quality and providing schedule certainty. It takes responsibility for complex build projects such as the £150m Sir David Attenborough polar ship delivering the engineering, manufacture, skills development and quality records. We already have strong links with universities and colleges on Merseyside, but through working with the Nuclear AMRC we can further develop our modular expertise. We can draw on Nuclear AMRC’s formidable nuclear and wider academic expertise through its links with the University of Sheffield and the University of Manchester to make Cammell Laird’s offering even more compelling.”

For further details contact: mailto: / call: 44 151 649 6600 / visit:

Image shows: Cammell Laird energy division managing director Jonathan Brown




Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British industry with roots tracing back to the early 19th Century. The business is located on the River Mersey, in the Liverpool City Region, on the West Coast of England. It has a 120 acre site with four dry docks, a non-tidal wet basin, large modular construction hall and extensive covered workshops.


Cammell Laird has been increasing its involvement in the UK’s nuclear sector for several years. In 2010 it agreed to work with Nuvia towards manufacture of modules for decommissioning and for new build, and in 2011 the companies were joined by Ansaldo Nucleare of Italy, which is experienced in AP1000 work.

Meanwhile in 2014 John Eldridge, one of the most experienced figures in the UK nuclear industry, joined Cammell Laird from Sellafield Ltd nuclear plant in West Cumbria to help grow its operations. He has a track record of more than 40 years working on the design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear facilities.

Cammell Laird has also invested more than £1.5m in renovating one of the large workshops near its famous construction hall. The refurbishment has seen six cranes overhauled and a new roof, floor, electrics and lighting installed. It provides a world-class facility to test and assemble modules and rigs for our nuclear clients.

In 2016 Jonathan Brown joined Cammell Laird to lead its energy division from Rolls Royce where he led its nuclear new build and projects group. Mr Brown has previously worked for BNFL, Serco and AWE.



By Annette Parker

Cammell Laird reaches nine-month milestone on RRS Sir David Attenborough build

Cammell Laird shipyard has today (30 May 2017) announced at the Nor Shipping Trade Fair in Oslo that it has reached the nine-month milestone in its project to build the UK’s new polar research ship the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The Merseyside-based engineering services giant beat off competition from around the world to be appointed to build the £150 million vessel. The ship, which is the biggest commercial shipbuilding project in Britain for 30 years, has been commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and it will be operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), transforming the UK’s polar research capability.

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said since August 2016 1,800 tonnes of steel, out of a total of 5,200 tonnes, had been fabricated to make the hull of the ship, which carries the Cammell Laird hull number 1,390 and is due to enter service in 2019.

“The project has generated real momentum and we are pleased to be on time,” he said. “The first really significant moment of the build came in October when Sir David Attenborough visited the yard for the official keel laying ceremony. This was the biggest set piece event at Cammell Laird for decades and that is when it really started to sink in for the company just what a historic ship the Sir David Attenborough will be. It will join the pantheon of great Cammell Laird ships.

“The keel laying and all the media coverage galvanised people and there is considerable pride in the workforce that we are building this ship, which will be a showcase for what Merseyside and British industry is capable of. We want the Sir David to be known around the world as the finest, most advanced polar research ship ever built.”

Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said important landmarks in the build so far include the testing and fitting of two Rolls-Royce drive propulsion motors weighing 115 tonnes, with a combined cost of £5million. The motors were transported by road from Rolls-Royce’s plant in Bilbao, Spain, to Birkenhead, a journey which took nine days as the load could only travel at night.

Meanwhile, the ship’s stern thrusters have also been trialled and fitted to the ship. The two 1,576kw rated thrusters were made by North East manufacturer Tees White Gill. They weigh 15 tonnes each and stand three metres high.

“The next phases of the build will focus on the power of the ship, with four seven metre long electrical propulsion switchboards installed, together with four two metre long frequency converters,” said Mr Roberts. “We will then look at the moon pool structure, one of the most complex and innovative aspects of the ship’s design. It is from here that important science will be undertaken, including the launching of the remotely operated sub-sea vehicle Boaty McBoatface.”

Cammell Laird project director John Drummond said the team is planning to install the nine and six cylinder Rolls-Royce engines in the ship shortly. These high-powered engines will help drive the ship’s specially designed hull through one metre thick ice at a speed of three knots. It also has the capacity to run at 11 knots with almost no underwater noise radiated from the vessel. The combination of silent running and ice breaking capacity is one aspect which makes the vessel so technically advanced.

In total, 220 engineers and 20 apprentices are presently working on ship including platers, welders and mechanical and pipe fitters. Cammell Laird has also been able to deploy its two new 15 tonne and 50 tonne cranes for steel production in its construction hall, which is one of the biggest and best equipped in Europe.

John Syvret said: “This project is putting Cammell Laird and British shipbuilding and engineering back in the super league of global shipping where we belong. It sends a very powerful message to the global maritime industry about the skills and facilities we have. Cammell Laird is determined to pursue an aggressive exports campaign. We want to use this high profile project to catapult us into the marketplace following the recently announced shipbuilding strategy.”




The RSS Sir David Attenborough will be 128 metres (410 ft) long, with a beam of 24 metres (79 ft). Her draught will be 7 metres (23 ft). Her cruising speed will be 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) with a range of 19,000 nautical miles (35,000 km; 22,000 mi) at that speed. She will be capable of carrying a helicopter and will have a capacity for approximately 900 cubic metres (32,000 cu ft) of cargo. The ship will have the capacity to break through ice one metre (3 ft 3 in) thick at a speed of 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph). Accommodation will be provided for 30 crew and 60 research staff.

When the ship sets sail in 2019, the RRS Sir David Attenborough will provide a research base to help scientists tackle some of the most important issues facing humanity, including climate change, future sea level rise and the impact of environmental change on marine life.

With state-of-the-art facilities on board, the new ship will enable more ambitious expeditions and deploy advanced marine robotics to explore inaccessible areas.

At £200million this is the biggest Government investment in Antarctic and Arctic science infrastructure since the 1980s and will enable the UK research community to conduct world-leading polar research for the next 25 years. The funding will also cover the development of projects to support the ship’s work, including construction of a new wharf at the largest British Antarctic facility, Rothera Research Station.


By Annette Parker

Warrant Group presents blueprint for global supply chain data standards at the United Nations

Warrant Group was among a delegation invited to the United Nations in Geneva to present a blueprint for globally accepted international standards for a logistics data pipeline carrier.

David Roff, IT Director, was joined by representatives from HM Revenue & Customs to highlight the findings of CORE – a project demonstrating how an electronic data pipeline conforming to a series of standards would help remove risk in international supply chains and create a ‘green lane’ for cross border trade.

The blueprint is known as the Logistics Data Pipeline Carrier and includes standardised data formats, terms and definitions as well as data collection waypoints.

Central to the research has been Warrant Group’s technology platform, the Ingot Portal which provides end-to-end visibility from purchase order placement through to distribution centre arrival irrespective of shipment volume. It means that clients know that shipments match order books, removing risk and helping them create competitive edge.

David Roff explained: “Working collaboratively, we have created the outline for a multimodal Transport and Logistics Data Pipeline – a set of guidelines and principles with standardised terms and definitions that can be adopted throughout the world.

“It demonstrates how international trade and government agencies could benefit from visibility, certainty and predictability by all countries conforming to a series of standards rather than working independently.

“We presented our draft outline to delegates at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and received an excellent response with plans to formally create an international standard in the next six months.

“By capturing the right data, at the right time, from the right source can help businesses save money, react faster to market conditions and give them the confidence to deliver innovation and quality.”

Warrant Group is also supporting the International Port Community Systems Association (IPSCA) and its Track and Trace Initiative calling on ports to play a greater role in sharing good quality data to provide accurate Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) of vessels calling to their ports.


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Cammell Laird reaches nine-month milestone on RRS Sir David Attenborough build
Warrant Group presents blueprint for global supply chain data standards at the United Nations