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

By Annette Parker


Bibby WaveMaster 1 was launched today, at the shipbuilder’s yard in Romania. This marks a significant step forward in the delivery of the purpose-built Service Operations Vessel, which will support offshore farm wind construction and operations and maintenance work.  The vessel will be delivered to Bibby in mid August 2017.

Bibby Marine Services Ltd, part of the Bibby Line Group’s portfolio of companies, commissioned the vessel from Damen Group in January 2016.  The first steel was cut in February 2016 and the launch comes just less than one year from the keel laying which took place at the end of March 2016.

Stephen Blaikie, Chief Executive of Bibby Marine Services explains: “This is an important key milestone in the 18 month construction programme. We have worked closely with potential clients and with the shipbuilder to ensure that the vessel meets the needs of its users. Fuel efficiency and clever personnel and logistics workflows are specifically designed to help drive efficiencies and reduce costs.”

The next step is the completion of the internal fit-out. The Comfort Class 2 standard accommodation comprises 60 ensuite berths capable of accommodating up to 90 persons on board; all are equipped with TV ,Wi-Fi, and are complemented by comprehensive leisure facilities and office facilities.   The vessel hull has been designed to ensure exceptional seakeeping abilities and reduce the risk of motion sickness. The Bibby Marine Services crew will be joining the vessel and will participate in the upcoming sea trials.

Innovative design lies at the heart of the development – by providing a six stop elevator with access to the height adjustable W2W gangway there is a 100% step-less approach to the wind turbine, meaning that technicians can directly access the gangway from the warehouse areas. A helideck, daughter craft and CTV landings (with refuelling) complement the vessel’s versatility so that is suited to meet the needs of many sectors with the capability of accommodating up to 90 persons on board.

Peter Robert, Director Business Development & Market Intelligence at Damen says: “I am honestly convinced that Damen has designed and built the best vessel for the tasks envisaged. The combination of Damen and Bibby brings together a significant amount of knowledge, which has resulted in some impressive innovation.

Taking into account the trend for wind farms to go farther from the shore in more challenging seas, the customised design provides fast, safe and comfortable access to turbines, and at a lower cost, including in worst case scenario, severe Central North Sea conditions. This results in a vessel capable of providing turbine access up to 3.1 metre Hs. Bibby WaveMaster 1 is able to remain at sea for periods of up to one month at a time.”


Fiona Duckers, Bibby Marine Services Limited
+ 44 (0) 7810 803 415



By Annette Parker


Merseyside engineering company Cammell Laird’s campaign to position itself as a world leading nuclear industry hub has taken a significant step forward with the announcement of a new partnership with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).

The partnership was announced at a meeting of the Nuclear Industry Association New Build Group held at Cammell Laird to an audience of over 100 senior executives from the nuclear industry.

Cammell Laird energy division managing director Jonathan Brown said the new partnership will see the opening of a Nuclear AMRC facility within Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead site.

“We are hugely excited to announce this new venture with the Nuclear AMRC which will also see Cammell Laird become a Tier One member of the Nuclear AMRC,” he said. “The development centre will thrust Cammell Laird forward as the leading UK industrial manufacturer developing expertise in off-site module build in partnership with a High Value Manufacturing Catapult.  We are looking to 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. Working with the Nuclear AMRC we will invest in our facilities and our skilled workforce and supply chain to meet the demands of modular new build. Looking forward, we will also target the export market through a strategy built on working with partners and countries around the world, focused on the exploitation of the benefits of modular construction.”

Andrew Storer, managing director of the Nuclear AMRC, said: “We are delighted to welcome Cammell Laird to the Nuclear AMRC network. Our new facility in Birkenhead will focus on developing modular manufacturing methods for new reactors of all sizes, drawing on Cammell Laird’s expertise in modular shipbuilding and a host of innovative technologies to significantly reduce costs and lead times for nuclear new build. It also gives us a base in the North West, the core region for the UK’s nuclear industry, allowing us to work more closely with the regional supply chain and the development sites in Cumbria and North Wales.

“The Nuclear AMRC is dedicated to helping UK manufacturers win work in the nuclear sector, and expanding our research capabilities to tackle the challenges of advanced modular build will deliver real benefits to the UK supply chain. We look forward to working with Cammell Laird and other module manufacturers to develop new technical capabilities and help them compete globally on cost, quality and delivery.”

Mr Brown said working with the Nuclear AMRC will strengthen Cammell Laird’s unique and highly competitive package of engineering services.

“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: call: 44 151 649 6600 visit:

For further details on the Nuclear AMRC, contact Tim Chapman, communications manager:, tel: 44 7872 419671 visit:

The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre works with companies along the supply chain to improve manufacturing capabilities and performance for civil nuclear and other innovative industries. It is part of the UK government-backed High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and managed by the University of Sheffield.

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

LJMU Chemical Supply Chain Forum – 29 March 2017

Date    Wednesday 29th March 2017
Venue James Parsons Lower Lecture Theatre, LJMU Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (map and directions below)
12:15 – 12:30 Arrival & Registrations
12:30 – 13:15 Lunch & Networking
13:15 – 15:30 Presentations and Q&A followed by refreshments

You are invited to attend an event created for businesses operating within the chemical supply chain throughout the Northern region; an event where your attendance can actually influence the future of your supply chain as well as positively impact on the future of your business.

The LJMU Chemical Supply Chain Forum has been formed in association with C₃ to create a collaboration of academia and commercial organisations that want to contribute to the development of solutions facing the industry today. How will “smart contracts” and the “internet of things” impact our daily business or come to our aid in terms of quality control and liability relating to goods in transit or reducing carbon emissions?

Individual companies within the supply chain may not have the resource or critical mass to successfully resolve the issues themselves, so this forum aims to provide the interactive arena it needs for these companies to collaboratively take action and shape the future of the industry. Significant and influential industry leaders will be present and involved in the Q&A section of the event, allowing delegates to interact directly and network following the formal proceedings.

Who Should Attend?

Companies that would most benefit and be key to the discussions include manufacturers, importers, exporters, logistics service providers and others closely associated in their supply chain.

Keynote Speakers
Our speakers will inform and discuss distinct topical issues and innovative solutions including; Degree Apprenticeships, Sensor Technology in the supply chain and reducing your Carbon Footprint – how optimisation with freight can improve the environment. Encompassing the whole event will be the subject of collaboration – what stops people collaborating? How can collaborating lead businesses to a greater good?

Please click here to go to the Eventbrite site where full registration details can be found.

Alternatively, contact Sarah Ogilvie on or call 0151 231 2167.

Deadline for registrations is Friday 24 March.

By Annette Parker


Birkenhead shipyard and engineering company Cammell Laird says it plans to unleash an ‘aggressive exports drive’ in 2017 after one of its busiest years for commercial marine work, which saw it land the biggest shipbuilding project in the UK for a generation.

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret said the winning of the £150million contract to build the Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel (see background)  for the UK Government ‘threw open’ a new global market to build a range of high value polar vessels from research to cruise ships.

“Winning the Sir David has thrust the Cammell Laird brand back to where it belongs in the global super league of shipbuilding,” he said. “We won it against fierce international competition and it sends a massive message to industry about the world class skills, facilities and workforce we have here. The complex nature of the build and the polar specifications required means very few shipyards now have our experience. We fully intend to market this polar capability hard in 2017 together with our wider expertise in the ship building, conversion and repair markets. Cammell Laird is fully behind the UK Government’s desire to see British shipbuilding aggressively pursue the exports market and promote Britain as an easy place to do business post Brexit. Cammell Laird is perfectly placed to become a giant engine creating wealth and skilled jobs across academic abilities for our community and the UK economy. Moreover, the recommendations made by Sir John Parker in his National Shipbuilding Strategy are very astute and stand to create more opportunity for shipyards like Cammell Laird to win work particularly in the naval new build sector, where again we have considerable experience with the recent aircraft carrier programme. Success within our maritime division will in turn enable us to diversify further into multi-billion pound energy markets like nuclear, oil and gas and renewables.”

Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said the total number of drydockings and repairs in 2016 was more than 150 while workforce numbers peaked at 1050 in full time and contractor positions while apprentice numbers had grown by 21 to 79.  In terms of other new build work he said the Birkenhead based yard had sent the Strangford Lough ferry ‘Strangford II’ for commissioning and sea trials before being delivered to her owners the Northern Ireland Executive at the beginning of October.

Mr Roberts said the range of the ships and breadth of work undertaken reinforced the capabilities within the company. He said Cammell Laird has undertaken repair and routine drydockings for a number of RoRo and RoPax customers including P&O Ferries, Stena Line, Seatruck Ferries, Irish Ferries, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and Caledonian McBrayne. Ships worked on include: Clipper Ranger, Ben-My-Chree, Clansman, Finlaggen, Isle of Arran, Isle of Lewis, Loch Portain,  Lochinvar, Lord of the Isles, Isle of Inishmore, Jonathan Swift, Manannan, Norbank, Norbay,  European Endeavour,  Stena Performer, Seatruck Progress and Seatruck Pace.

Mr Roberts said the Caledonian MacBrayne’s flagship, the 2014-built ‘Loch Seaforth’, travelled from Ullapool for an 11 day dry dock in October, followed by the ‘Lord of the Isles’ and ‘Hebridean Isles’ in November. The ‘Isle of Mull’ is scheduled for the end of November. A variety of other types of vessels have also been accommodated. The Afon Dyfrdwy Airbus wing carrier was in drydock in July, and the Amazone paid a visit for hopper door repairs in the same month. Meanwhile The ‘Galileo G’ Expedition Superyacht was an exotic visitor in May.

Mr Roberts said Cammell Laird had seen a quieter year in RFA work ahead of an expected upturn in 2017. Cammell Laird has a through-life support cluster contract to maintain nine of the 13 ships in the RFA flotilla. However,  the yard did undertake a dry docking and maintenance period for the RFA Fort Rosalie between October and November.

Elsewhere Cammell Laird repaired Mersey Ferries’ Royal Iris following a grounding at the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal, and fellow Mersey Ferries Royal Daffodil and the dazzle-painted Snowdrop were also drydocked during the year. Meanwhile, bunker tanker Mersey Spirit, hopper barge HAM 602, jack-up Irish Sea Pioneer and tug Switzer Asgarth all visited the shipyard during 2016. The historic steam tugs Daniel Adamson and Kerne departed the shipyard in the middle of the year, both centenarians having completed comprehensive rebuilds. A new visitor to Birkenhead in November was the container vessel Rachel Borchard, docking for repairs.

Mr Roberts said work outside standard drydockings and repairs included a contract for the manufacture and installation of 400t of steelwork to be fitted on board the A2SEA Sea Installer for its upcoming deployment works on the Burbo 2 wind farm extension.

“The contract represented a significant win for the company,” he said. “The project has seen the manufacture of three main structures, two of which support 12 giant wind turbine blades with the remaining structure supporting four turbine towers. A range of deck fittings have also been manufactured to enable four nacelle hubs to be transported and installed offshore. The structures were delivered in 71 days, and were fitted in a 30 day installation period, showcasing our ability to react to challenges with short lead times. It is important to emphasize our multiple manufacturing locations, which position us ideally to continue to serve the offshore wind and renewables sector.”

Cammell Laird background

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 is in the centre of a marine cluster, with direct access to many support services. 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 specialises in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and heavy fabrication and engineering. It deals with a wide variety of projects ranging from specialist offshore conversions and fabrication, commercial ship-repair through to the refit and upgrade of highly complex naval auxiliaries. It has also recently re-entered the ship-building market.

The business is further active in the energy sector. It has become a hub of the off shore wind industry and it is offering its facilities and highly trained workforce of engineers for work in the civil nuclear sector and the off shore oil and gas sector.



At £200 million the programme 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.

Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the RRS Sir David Attenborough will transform the UK’s polar research capability. 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. The Polar Explorer Programme, being developed by STEM Learning Ltd, will provide a package of online resources such as videos and images for teachers at low attaining primary and secondary schools. The suite of resources will help increase engagement, achievement and literacy in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects amongst students. The material will also be available for the public.

The educational support will be available for teachers from March 2017 at 100 schools, and will be gradually rolled out to a further 400 schools by January 2019, running over the next four years

By Annette Parker


Liverpool City Region’s leading engineering skills college has celebrated the official launch of its new brand with a surge in new business.

The Engineering College in Birkenhead opened its doors at a special launch event after also undergoing a £500,000 refurbishment alongside its rebrand. The Engineering College CEO Terry Weston announced to guests that the college was experiencing a sharp rise in new client wins, including its latest deal with a metal recycling firm employing more than 4000 people.

Mr Weston told the audience that the new brand is proving effective at changing attitudes towards the college which had previously been seen as maritime only focused.

“We’re delighted to report 18 new clients have been attracted to the college since we had a soft launch of our new brand in the Autumn,” he said. “We now work with more than 90 clients, ranging from large private businesses to SMEs, and train more than 330 apprentices.

“This demonstrates the wide range of engineering companies we can work with and courses we offer. No other college on Merseyside can match the standard of our engineering facilities or range of engineering courses.  We are actively looking to further expand into wider areas of engineering maintenance including: lift engineering, recycling and composites.”

Mr Weston added: “The college has been very successful but our profile needs to be higher and we want to be better understood by the marketplace. That was the purpose of our rebranding exercise.
“And it appears to be working. More and more companies are recognising that our offer is much broader than the maritime industry. We can train apprentices and staff across sectors including construction, nuclear, petrochemical, renewables, oil and gas and the NHS. Our expertise is deep and wide ranging.”

Labour MP and Liverpool Region Metro-Mayor candidate Steve Rotheram was guest speaker at the event. He emphasised the importance of engineering skills training to the region. “It was a great pleasure to be invited to the Engineering College to address guests about apprenticeships. I am a former apprentice myself, so know the value of investing in quality training,” he said.

“I outlined my vision for our area and explained what the skills agenda will look like if I am elected as Metro Mayor on May 4. I also announced my intentions to roll out ‘gold standard’ and degree level apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region so we can help lift the aspirations of all our young people.

“My approach as Metro Mayor will be to develop our own industrial and economic strategies that will help create the high value, high skill, high wage apprenticeship and employment opportunities we desperately need to stimulate growth.”

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.

Mr Weston said a key strength of the Engineering College is that it can also offer pre-trained ‘work ready’ apprentices for employers. He said: “We can save employers time and money by having a constant supply of apprenticeship applicants who have already undertaken our rigorous pre-apprenticeship programme.”

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


On 1 January 2017 the leading maritime charity, Seafarers UK, celebrated the start of its Centenary Year.

To help mark this anniversary, and a few weeks ahead of the first meeting 100 years ago in 1917 to discuss the formation of the charity (previously known as King George’s Fund for Sailors), Seafarers UK is holding a special Centenary Celebration Dinner in Liverpool on 23 February at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

The evening, sponsored by Peel Ports Group and Propeller Club Liverpool, will involve a drinks reception, a three-course dinner, music by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, speeches and a special auction. Former Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Lord Prescott is the after-dinner speaker.

For more details about booking to attend the Seafarers UK Centenary Dinner at Merseyside Maritime Museum, please visit or send an email to

All proceeds from the evening will go towards the new care and accommodation wing being built at Mariners’ Park in Wallasey for older and retired seafarers – a Seafarers UK Centenary project.

By Corinne Mcginty


A national conference, organised by the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI), will take place on 26-27 April 2017 and will look at the maritime world today and the partnership of the UK maritime industries with the Royal Navy in support for the UK maritime enterprise through shipbuilding, repair, training, equipment procurement and the supply chain.

Speakers from the highest echelons of the industry and the Royal Navy will promote debate on these topics and discuss the critical issues. The two day event will be held at the world renowned Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

The themes to be discussed and debated are: The Maritime World Today, Supporting the UK Maritime Enterprise and RN Shipbuilding, Repair, Support and Supply Chain.

The full speaker programme and a booking form can be found here.

By Mersey Maritime

Polaris wins four new UK and overseas maritime deals

Merseyside PR firm Polaris Media has secured four new deals in the maritime sector.
The wins include Polaris’ first maritime clients on the East Coast and South Coast, Hull winch manufacturer Romica and Kent ship engine starter maker Kineteco. Both manufacturers have signed for UK and overseas awareness raising campaigns.
  Read more

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