A&P yard boss confident of fresh contracts

Busy times ... the A&P yard at Hebburn.
Busy times ... the A&P yard at Hebburn.

BOSSES at a South Tyneside shipyard remain “confident” of securing new orders.

Although the workload at A&P Tyne, Hebburn, is starting to reduce after a busy two months, management say they are chasing new contracts all of the time.

The yard employs 450 people and is chasing work to keep it busy through this year and next.

Stewart Boak, managing director of A&P Tyne, said: “At present, we still have more than 300 people employed in the business, along with a further 150 or so working for our sub-contractors.

“There are four fabrication contracts under way, all of which have been secured in the new oil and gas markets, which we have been targeting as an area of the business that we need to grow.”

While the yard’s order book is low, the Highland Champion, a vessel operated by Gulf Offshore of Aberdeen, is due to arrive on April 19, for a two-week overhaul.

Mr Boak added: “We are busy with tendering for many new and exciting projects for the remainder of this year and into 2013.

“We are confident we shall be able to turn these inquiries into orders in the near future. We recognise these are difficult times, but we remain committed to driving the business forward and complementing our ship repair and conversion business with new opportunities in oil and gas, wind, wave, tidal and nuclear energy markets.

“All these areas, along with the building of Centre Block 03 on the second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, due to start in 2013, should put A&P in a strong position for the future.”

About 100 redundancies were triggered at the yard late last year, after BAE Systems took back part of the aircraft carrier contract.

But the facility has built up its order book and workforce since the start of the year.

Twitter: @TerryKelly16