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

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.


By Annette Parker


Marlan Maritime Technologies has announced the launch of its IRIS ONEbox, a cost-effective turnkey solution that allows ports of all levels to access the right tools for enhancing safety, security and risk mitigation capabilities.

At a cost of £30,000, port and harbour authorities are now able to implement a reliable, easy to use, feature-rich, low maintenance turnkey VTMS (Vessel Traffic Monitoring System) solution. The system is installed by Marlan’s experienced team and includes a radar, camera, AIS, VTMS software, professional charts and an operator workstation.

Marlan managing director Alex Sinclair said: “We’ve been selling similar systems to this for a long-time and realised that a significant amount of cost is attributable to the semi-bespoke nature of VTMS projects. Through market research and ongoing discussions with our customers, we have identified a gap in the market for a feature rich, cost effective turnkey VTMS solution that gives peace of mind to small and medium sized ports and harbours, hence our IRIS ONEbox solution,” He added: “We’ve worked with many ports and harbours in the UK and with this launch look forward to making our products accessible to those who previously thought that VTMS was too expensive.”

IRIS ONEbox is based on Marlan’s successful IRIS Traffic Manager VTS system, which is installed in ports, harbours and maritime surveillance applications both within the UK and internationally.

By Annette Parker


Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird has announced it will be honouring its illustrious naval and military heritage next month as headline sponsor of the UK’s Armed Forces Day (AFD).

The AFD celebrations will take place in Liverpool on 24 June with more than 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands taking part in a parade followed by a full programme of events near the city’s iconic waterfront.

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret, CBE, said: “Cammell Laird is immensely proud to be the principal sponsor of National Armed Forces Day this year on Merseyside, where we have been based for nearly 200 years.

“The armed forces is part of our heritage and we are proud to support all armed services and the lionhearted men and women both past and present who have dedicated and continue to dedicate themselves to keeping our nation safe, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cammell Laird has built some of the Navy’s finest ships which have served our country and Navy well in peacetime and in conflict. We continue to build on our remarkable history and are proud to be supporting the build of Astute Class Submarine on behalf of BAE Systems. We have also manufactured a substantial part of Her Majesty’s QEC Class Aircraft Carriers on behalf of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, and today we support on a global basis the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) with its flotilla of vessels which sustain our Naval Defence around the world.

“Cammell Laird has been at the heart of the Merseyside community for over a century, its skills, knowledge and passion have been handed down through generations from parents to sons and daughters. We know the importance of providing the best of quality to the servicemen and women who depend on the assets we manufacture and support. Our commitment to the Royal Navy and Armed Forces remains total, and I am certain our great city and the people of Merseyside will attend in their thousands and make National Armed Forces day a very memorable occasion.”

During the First and Second World Wars Cammell Laird played a key role in defending Britain. In the Second World War Cammell Laird’s largest ever workforce of 12,000 men and women built 106 naval vessels averaging one ship every 21 days, this despite being a major target of Nazi bombers. As the Battle of the Atlantic raged, it further completed repairs on 2,000 merchant vessels and 120 warships.

Just before the outbreak of war Cammell Laird launched the Ark Royal, the first naval vessel designed and built as an aircraft carrier. She famously played a leading role together with fellow Cammell Laird vessel the HMS Prince of Wales in sinking the Bismarck in the North Atlantic in May 1941 before she was later torpedoed by a U-Boat in November 1941 near Gibraltar. The Prince of Wales, meanwhile, took the Prime Minister Winston Churchill to Newfoundland to meet President Roosevelt to discuss the Atlantic Charter.

Post-war Cammell Laird has continued to build and repair warships and submarines, notably the Polaris submarines where it built the HMS Conqueror, HMS Renown and HMS Revenge the first of which was deployed during the Falklands War.


Liverpool was named the official host of national Armed Forces Day by the Ministry of Defence in July 2016 following a bidding process. It is being organised by Liverpool City Council, Culture Liverpool.

Armed Forces Day will take place at the same time as the Mersey River Festival, and although both events will remain distinct, links will be made between the two so they complement each other. Many of Saturday’s activities will remain for Sunday 25 June.

The full programme will be announced in June.

Image shows John Syvret CBE, CEO of Cammell Laird.


By Annette Parker


Merseyside refrigeration and air-conditioning specialist Flynn Refrigeration is expanding into South East Asia after signing a new trade deal with Chinese marine services company Fair Sky (China) Co Ltd.

The Birkenhead-based firm has more than 30 years’ experience in the supply, installation, maintenance and conversion of refrigeration and air conditioning systems and parts. A thriving export operation means overseas orders now account for almost two-thirds of the business’ total sales.

Shanghai-based Fair Sky is a professional marine company specialising in the design, supply, installation and commissioning of air-conditioning, heating and ventilation systems. It will now have access to Flynn Refrigeration’s complete product range, and act as a representative in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The official partnership agreement provides Flynn Refrigeration with a strong opportunity to win new business across Asia. The two companies already have a solid relationship, as Flynn Refrigeration has been supplying Fair Sky for the past two years.

Managing director Alex Flynn said the new agreement takes that partnership forward, providing a solid footing for further expansion into the Asian marketplace.

“The signing of this latest deal with Fair Sky signals our intention to expand Flynn Refrigeration’s overseas presence by building a global network of partners who share our desire to provide the highest standard of products and services. They’ll act as a service provider for our spare parts, sales, installation, servicing and maintenance offer, providing customers with a highly skilled and accessible point of contact within the region.

“We already have an established base of customers in China and have been successfully supplying Fair Sky for the last two years. However, having a partner on the ground will strengthen our position, allowing us to build on relationships with existing customers and open doors to new opportunities.”

Flynn Refrigeration’s international network includes representatives in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco and Nigeria. Last September, the firm signed a new deal with Maltese marine services firm Motherwell Bridge Industries Ltd, opening up opportunities across the southern Mediterranean and North Africa region.

Mr Flynn added: “This year in particular we’re putting a major emphasis on finding representatives across the world that can represent Flynn Refrigeration, especially in territories we’d define as harder to reach, such as Asia. This approach ensures there’s no language barrier and our partners are perfectly positioned to keep us informed of the latest market trends.”

Picture shows Flynn Refrigeration managing director Alex Flynn.

By Annette Parker


Liverpool City Region’s leading engineering skills college has launched Merseyside’s first specialist industrial welding centre approved by global organisation The Welding Institute (TWI).

Birkenhead’s Engineering College, which recently unveiled a £500,000 refurbishment and rebrand, opens the doors of its new welding centre this week, after a special joint industry seminar held with TWI.

Engineering College CEO Terry Weston said the centre will enable new apprentices and professional welders to secure ‘in demand’ industrial welding qualifications authorised by the TWI, greatly improving employment opportunities.

It will be the first TWI approved industrial welding qualification to be offered on Merseyside meaning students will no longer have to travel to Manchester and further afield in search of training.

“We have always offered welding courses,” said Mr Weston. “However, due to a systematic change in the way apprenticeships are structured, now largely being created and informed by industry rather than standards agencies, we have witnessed a shift in demand towards industrial welding qualifications. The commercial welding courses have also become more rigorous with more challenging end assessments, placing greater demand on training facilities. The college has been working with TWI for some time in a bid to develop facilities which would meet the institute’s high approval rating. In line with a series of other positive developments at the college in recent months we are proud to officially open our new TWI approved welding centre for learners across the region.

Mr Weston said the welding centre will have its own separate closed-off space within the college’s large 6,500m2 training base.

“We will offer a range of courses from introductions to welding to more advanced certifications and codings,” he said. “While this offering is likely to attract many new recruits into the welding trade, it is also aimed at experienced welders who may want to boost their existing qualifications. For instance, many welders will have City & Guilds accreditations but now require industrial standards to open up greater employment prospects. Furthermore, the global reputation of the TWI accreditation is a draw for international firms and overseas engineers looking for universally recognised approvals.”

The Engineering College works with more than 90 clients, ranging from large private businesses to SMEs, and currently has around 330 apprentices in training. It delivers courses within 11 key sectors including construction, nuclear, petrochemical, renewables, maritime, oil and gas and the NHS.

Mr Weston said a new partnership with an Ellesmere Port based welding company has further boosted facilities, with specialist welding kit transferred to the Monks Ferry site.

“We have partnered with the Ellesmere Port firm to bring in six welding sets to carry out non-destructive testing,” he said. “This arrangement works extremely well as we have plenty of space to store the kit and create training bays enabling the firm to make full use of its equipment for its own training purposes. In turn college students benefit from using the equipment as well as tapping into the firm’s first-hand industry knowledge, expertise and advice.

“We are very keen to extend this collaborative model and openly welcome other firms who may have ideas to work together for mutual benefit. We are passionate about integrating our training with local industry across the Liverpool City Region and pooling resources to stimulate increased learning opportunities and business growth.”

Employers and learners wanting further details on the Engineering College should contact: Tel: 0151 666 1028, web:

By Annette Parker


One of the UK’s fastest growing safety training companies has broken ground on a major project to refurbish its newly purchased 20,000 sq ft headquarters at Glasgow Airport.

Stream Marine Training (SMT), was founded in 2014 by Martin White at smaller premises at Glasgow Airport. SMT specialises in providing fire-fighting, sea survival, rescue craft and health & safety courses to the maritime, oil & gas, renewables and construction sectors. In just two years SMT has grown turnover rapidly to circa £2million with 22 full-time staff and 15 consultants. Clients include Disney Cruises, Caledonian MacBrayne and P & O Ferries.

Mr White said SMT will expand its range of courses from the state of the art new building Stream House which is due to open in the spring will increase SMT’s space at Glasgow Airport tenfold. The new headquarters will work in tandem with SMT’s survival craft training centre at James Watt Dock on the Clyde Estuary.  Mr White said he expected full time staff numbers to rise to 30 as a result of the expansion within 12 months.

“We are investing to meet the demand for training here in Scotland with so many seafarers being based around the Central Belt,” he said. “But also to meet demand from across the UK and overseas. That is why Glasgow Airport is such a good location for us, it is easy to get to for UK and international clients and there is plenty of accommodation on the airport campus. As a result we are building a global client base. At present, we run around 30 accredited courses and work with more than 100 clients issuing around 700 certificates a month. The new HQ will grow that as we launch new courses which will include a helicopter underwater escape training pool and the first LNG training facility in the world for on-land and at sea safety training. It is a very exciting time for SMT and we are looking to work with more shipping companies, cruise line operators, maritime engineering firms and shipyards. In addition, we can work with companies in the highways, rail and construction sectors. There is massive scope for growth.”

Mr White said he sees particular scope for growth for its enclosed, dangerous space and working at height courses with rescue, which are now the only courses of their kind in Scotland recognised by the Merchant Navy Training Board.

“Our approach is to be flexible to the needs of industry,” he said. “We can undertake bespoke training here, training in the evenings or over weekends and we can train on vessels or assets anywhere in the world. We understand our industry and know many people may struggle with written English or if a person feels nervous or stressed in a physical training environment we will provide one-to-one care to ensure they are successful. Innovation in training is at the heart of Stream Marine Training and everything we do.”

Mr White said SMT has recently started a new study with Glasgow University to improve course content.

“Safety is such a massive area which we are still learning about,” he said. “As a result we’ve started a new research project with Glasgow University examining issues such as mental health at sea which is a big issue for seafarers. Plus the study will look at how accidents are caused through lack of knowledge so we can identify holes in existing training programmes.”

Mr White said SMT has further plans to expand to Merseyside and is actively pursuing new business in Singapore, the Far East, the United States, Europe and the Isle of Man.

SMT’s courses meet the requirements of training approval bodies such as Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Merchant Navy Training Board.

For more details contact Stream Marine Training Tel: +44 (0) 141 212 8777 or visit:



By Annette Parker


A new portfolio of STCW (Standards on Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) and bespoke training courses has been launched by Liverpool John Moores University’s (LJMU) Maritime Centre.

The portfolio is part of LJMU’s expanded professional training delivered through the Maritime Knowledge Hub, which is operated in partnership with Mersey Maritime, the representative body for the maritime sector in the North West of England.

It covers a variety of courses for all ranks and departments of commercial ships, super yachts and workboats utilising the Centre’s existing and new bridge, engine and communication simulators.

LJMU is one of only six UK universities with a dedicated maritime focus and offers one of the most advanced Maritime Bridge and Engine Simulator training facilities in Europe. Its new training simulator facility was opened by UK Shipping Minister John Hayes in October 2016.

The facility now consists of eight bridge simulators and one engine room simulator. In addition, there is a desktop simulator suite consisting of 10 ships’ bridges, a separate GMDSS simulator suite and an ECDIS simulator suite.

Abdul Khalique, Head of the Maritime Centre, said: “LJMU’s investment in simulation technology has created a world-class platform for maritime education, knowledge transfer and industry engagement, and supports regional strategic initiatives around the Port of Liverpool expansion and the Atlantic Gateway developments. We see further expansion opportunities for training in the offshore wind, oil and gas, and nuclear sectors.”

To continue with its training portfolio expansion, the university will be announcing collaboration agreements with a number of well-known national training providers to offer bespoke training for senior officers in Merchant Navy. Courses such as Ballast Water Management, Engine and Bridge Resource Management and other bespoke courses are likely to be included in the portfolio.

Course details are at



By Annette Parker


The Seafarers Centre in Crosby, Liverpool, has recently received a £3,000 donation from Essar at Stanlow. The refinery recently achieved a record breaking safety target of three million hours without a Recordable Injury; a first in the site’s 60 year history.

Essar’s Let’s Give programme, which links safety milestones and charitable giving, recognised this significant achievement by donating to three charities: STEPS, Archers Brook SEMH Residential School Charitable Trust, and The Liverpool Seafarers Centre.

The Seafarers Centre was nominated by Mark Thompson, Marine Manager at Essar. Mark said: “I have worked at sea for most of my career, and now alongside those who do. I have seen the benefit of the Seafarers centres all over the world, and the great service that is offered to those who visit. Many of the seafarers from our cargo deliveries at Stanlow and Tranmere use the services of the centre in Liverpool, and it is fantastic to be able to provide some financial support to keep the service going.”

John Wilson is the Chief Executive at the Liverpool Seafarers Centre. He explains: “We extend the hand of friendship to thousands of seafarers every year. We are a charity operating a frontline service to provide practical and emotional support for seafarers, the often invisible workforce on whom we all depend to ship 95% of UK trade.

“We are delighted to receive such a generous donation from Essar. The money will go towards a new hub that we are opening in April, at Eastham. The funds received will be used to buy a pool table, furnishings, computer and Wi-Fi.”

About Essar Oil UK

Essar Oil (UK) Limited is a subsidiary of Essar Energy Limited, which owns and operates the Stanlow Refinery located on the south side of the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool. Stanlow produces 16% of UK road transport fuels, including 3 billion litres of petrol and 4.4 billion litres of diesel, as well as 2 billion litres of jet fuel per year.

Media contact:

Ian Cotton, Head of Communications, on 0151 350 4583 or 07805 854169


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