Harland & Wolff, the iconic multisite fabrication company with over 160 years of maritime and offshore engineering pedigree has delivered the first of 23 Cory barges from its Belfast shipyard. This is the first vessel built at the yard to be launched from the iconic shipyard in 20 years, since MV Anvil Point was launched in 2003.

The barge was launched from Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard and taken by sea to Cory’s lighterage site on the banks of the River Thames. It will join Cory’s existing fleet of tugs and barges, and will be used to transport recyclable and non-recyclable waste. Cory is the largest commercial operator on the Thames, and its use of the river to transport waste removes around 100,000 truck journeys from London’s roads each year.

Cory placed an initial order of 12 barges with Harland & Wolff on 1st June 2022 worth £8.5 million. Later Cory extended the contract by a further 11 barges, taking the contract total to £18.1 million. The barges will play a vital role in Cory’s growth plans. The company reached financial close on its Riverside 2 Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at the end of 2022, which will divert c. 650,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill. A bolstered fleet of tugs and barges will be essential to deliver the feedstock for the new facility.

Fran Comerford-Cole, Director of Logistics at Cory, said:

“We are at an exciting period of growth, as construction of our new facility is now underway. As well as investing in developing this vital piece of UK infrastructure, we want to ensure that our supply chain supports UK industries such as shipbuilding so Harland & Wolff was a natural partner for us. We are delighted to have received this first barge, which will be deployed into our fleet on the Thames in the coming weeks.”

Fabrication works on the Cory Barges contract has allowed Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard to demonstrate its world class shipbuilding skills, recommission its vast fabrication hall and begin to pass these skills and methods on to the next generation of shipyard workers ahead of its ramp up following the award of the manufacture subcontract for the three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) Warship programme.

John Wood, CEO of Harland & Wolff commented following the delivery:

“It’s great to see the first vessel built in the yard since we acquired the yard in December 2019 completed and delivered. This is the first of 23 barges to be successfully delivered and we look forward to continuing to work with Cory across both Belfast and Methil. This contract is enabling us to build up the necessary workforce and skills we will require when we start to deliver on the FSS contract, with high quality local employment and apprenticeships.”

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry through five markets: commercial, cruise and ferry, defence, energy and renewables and six services: technical services, fabrication and construction, decommissioning, repair and maintenance, in-service support and conversion.

Its Belfast yard is one of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities, with deep water access, two of Europe’s largest drydocks, ample quayside and vast fabrication halls. As a result of the acquisition of Harland & Wolff (Appledore) in August 2020, the company has been able to capitalise on opportunities at both ends of the ship-repair and shipbuilding markets where there will be significant demand.

In February 2021, the company acquired the assets of two Scottish-based yards along the east and west coasts. Now known as Harland & Wolff (Methil) and Harland & Wolff (Arnish), these facilities will focus on fabrication work within the renewable, energy and defence sectors.

Harland & Wolff is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harland & Wolff Group Holdings plc (previously known as InfraStrata plc), a London Stock Exchange-listed firm. In addition, it also owns the Islandmagee gas storage project, which is expected to provide 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage capacity and to benefit the Northern Irish economy as a whole when completed.

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