Harland & Wolff today welcomed Anas Sarwar MSP, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party to its Methil site, as the company positions itself at the heart of Scottish and UK efforts to decarbonise and boost energy security.

Representatives from the company shared Harland & Wolff’s ambitious plans for the company’s Methil site, discussed future opportunities and how governments can help overcome barriers.

As part of his visit, Mr Sarwar was given a tour of the site and observed ongoing work. Harland & Wolff recently announced completion of the first barge built at Methil since 1856, for the recycling and waste management company, Cory, who will operate them on the River Thames. Cory is one of the largest commercial operators on the Thames, and its use of the river to transport waste removes around 100,000 truck journeys from London’s roads each year.

The current projects underway at Harland & Wolff, such as the recently launched green tug boats and partnership to develop batteries for the marine sector, are bringing innovative green technologies to UK shipbuilding and engineering, which can support the UK’s ambitions to become a clean energy superpower.

Harland & Wolff’s UK facilities are uniquely positioned to support UK offshore wind developments, following the company’s investment in new technology and the building of skills for expanding industries. Methil is developing its position as a key player in the fabrication of structures for the offshore energy and renewable industry.

Harland & Wolff’s five-sector strategy, which positions the business to serve commercial, cruise and ferry, defence, energy and renewables markets and investment in state-of-the-art technology will secure sustained economic growth through skilled jobs and productivity growth. The spread of the company’s sites means future contracts will spread prosperity and economic growth around Scotland and the UK.

The company briefed Mr Sarwar on the need to enforce local content requirements, which would see offshore energy developers being required to use Scottish and UK supply chains to deliver their projects. The UK Government is currently consulting on how to boost domestic supply chains through reforms to the Contracts for Difference scheme.

Mr Sarwar met some of Harland & Wolff’s rapidly expanding workforce, which currently stands at 925 employees. He was also introduced to apprentices and was able to see first-hand, how Harland & Wolff is creating secure and high-quality opportunities for young people and breaking down barriers to opportunity.

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, said: “We are focused on jumpstarting the energy revolution that will deliver clean energy by 2030, supporting 50,000 high-skilled, clean energy jobs.

It was a great pleasure to visit Harland & Wolff’s Methil site today and meet the apprentices who will be building the maritime technology of the future. Labour recognises the role Scotland’s shipyards and supply chain companies play in strengthening our UK economy and supporting Scottish jobs. Labour in government will boost Scotland’s proud history of shipbuilding by directing UK investment to UK industry.”

John Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Harland & Wolff said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the chance to welcome Anas Sarwar to Harland & Wolff Methil today and to introduce him to some of the talented apprentices who will be crucial to building Scotland’s industrial and clean energy future.

We believe we can play an important role in helping the country to decarbonise and ensure energy security. We are poised to support governments in unlocking the opportunities available through co-investment in green infrastructure and driving renewed local manufacturing.”