A SHIP repair boss said a £5million investment at Swansea’s dry docks is paying off.
Ian Lloyd-Owen said 2013 had started well for Swansea Drydocks Ltd and its 75-strong workforce.
Staff are currently giving P&O ferry Norbank a £300,000 brush-up and repair.
Director of ship repair Mr Lloyd-Owen said seven vessels have already dry-docked this year compared to nine during to 2012.
“We have got bookings right up to the middle of June,” he said. “We are on target to dock 25 ships in a year. That’s not too bad.”
Mr Lloyd-Owen said the company had seen off rivals for the P&O contract from up and down the UK’s west coast.
“The pencil has to be very sharp in your quotations,” he said.
The work on the 17,500-tonne Norbank includes hull and tank refurbishment, work on the rudder, tail shall, propeller and stabiliser, and painting the hull. The 166-metre vessel plies the Irish Sea, from Liverpool to Dublin, and is due to return to action next week.
Work is also under way to repair harbour tug Svitzer Keelby and two dredgers.
Mr Lloyd-Owen said the workforce hailed from Cardiff to Milford Haven, including several from Swansea.
They cover trades including welding, fabrication, pipe work, mechanical and electrical services, painting and other specialist work.
Mr Lloyd-Owen said only one vessel had been dismantled at the dry docks thus far, and declined to comment on that aspect of Swansea Drydocks’ commercial operations.
“That is my managing director’s area,” he said.
Swansea Drydocks gained consent to use the dry docks following a planning inquiry in November 2010.
There has been some strong opposition locally to any ship recycling proposals.
The company wants to extend the area in which they dismantle ships to include a wet berth area, and are awaiting a decision about this from environment chiefs.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said it was likely to allow the change, but is carrying out a consultation which ends on April 15.
Source: this is south wales. 3 April 2013