Navantia signs an exclusive cooperation agreement with a British shipyard for projects in the UK
The Spanish company and Harland & Wolff, together with the English engineering BMT, will thus start working on the 3-ship FSS program.
Navantia has just signed an exclusive agreement with Belfast Harland & Wolff shipyard to jointly tender for three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (from the British Royal Navy). This agreement represents the first opportunity within the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with its parent company InfraStrata in November 2019, under which other collaboration channels are being explored in the United Kingdom, both in the military area of new constructions and in modernizations, as well as fixed and floating offshore wind.
United Kingdom and its companies are closely collaborating with Navantia, both in the military and civil areas, having participated in some of Navantia's major programs. In the wind area, Navantia has supplied 66 jackets, 11 floating units and 1 substation to the United Kingdom for 4 different wind fields in the last 4 years.
Navantia’s team and Harland & Wolff, together with the English engineering company BMT, will thus start working on the 3-ship FSS program, which, according to official sources from the British Defence Ministry, will resume in the last quarter of 2020, after being suspended last November. This team will enter the competition under the commercial name of "Team Resolute", a name with a long tradition in the United Kingdom: several ships and submarines of the Royal Navy have taken this name, which also corresponds to that of the vessel that ran aground in the Arctic ice in 1854, from which comes the wood from the oval office desk in the White House.
During this transition period, and pending the publication of the new requirements for the FSS project, “Team Resolute” will continue to work to better position itself in the reopening of the competition, where the participation of the British industry is expected to be crucial.
Abel Méndez, Director of International Defence & Security, spokesperson of Navantia commented: “It is clear that under a new management team, Harland & Wolff became a shipyard that is forward-thinking, agile and ready for new challenges. We are excited about this new collaboration and the opportunities it will bring for both partners”.
John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata, parent company of the Harland & Wolff shipyard since December 2019, has ensured after this memorandum: “We have always selected our partners carefully. In Navantia, we see a long-term partner. I am delighted to have signed this agreement with Navantia. This alliance has the potential to break the current duopoly in the United Kingdom shipbuilding industry, making naval sector competitive, turning out in a better use of taxpayer contributions, and ensuring punctual delivery of units. "
Additionally, Navantia and Harland & Wolff are exploring other opportunities beyond the naval sector and new constructions and modernizations, such as in the area of fixed and floating substructures (jackets) for offshore wind, focused on specific projects in UK waters, they will benefit from the strengths of manufacturing, assembly, lifting capacity and ample storage spaces that both companies have.
Founded in 1861, Harland & Wolff was Belfast's main industrial hub. This shipyard is known for the construction of the Titanic, having two of the largest gantry cranes in Europe, called Samson and Goliath, in addition to a dry dock which, together with the Navantia in Puerto Real, are the two largest in Europe. The shipyard, with a record of success in the maritime and energy sectors, was seriously affected by the oil crisis in the North Sea, having taken a new direction since its reorganization in 2019 that combines civil and military activity with the support and the transfer of technology from Navantia.