News from our Members and Partners

10 October 2019

Cammel Laird Throws weight Behind Plans for Two £150M Disaster Relief Ships

Cammell Laird shipyard on Merseyside is supporting plans by former international development secretary Penny Mordant for the building of two £150m disaster relief ships, paid for from the foreign aid budget. 

The Daily Telegraph has reported this week that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been in talks with Ms Mordaunt over plans dubbed “Britannia 2.0” for two new ships to be deployed around the world to help with relief efforts and also promoting British business. 

Under the plans one of the new ships would be called “Britannia” and the other named the “Florence Nightingale” or “Mary Seacole”. 

The plans could align with proposals put forward by Britannia Maritime Aid (BMA) and Cammell Laird for a new £150m disaster relief ship at London International Shipping Week in September when Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani lent her support to the project. 

The registered charity wants the vessel to be built at Cammell Laird and equipped with innovative British technology. The ship would be permanently based in the Caribbean, tasked with supporting disaster relief efforts and providing specialist training.

The Telegraph disclosed that Mr Johnson held talks with Ms Mordaunt in August about her plans and is due to receive a written submission later this month. 

Ms Mordaunt has worked with consultants, the Navy, charities and merchant shipping to develop the concept of “Britannia 2.0”. The first ship would cost around £150million, with the second slightly less.

Tony Graham, Cammell Laird Chief Operating Officer, said the BMA ship design is a variant of Cammell Laird’s Ro-Pax platform, developed in conjunction with ship designers Leadship and first unveiled at the Nor Shipping trade fair in Oslo this summer.

Rather than being a one-off specialised vessel with limited applications, the first-of-its-kind disaster relief and training ship will have strong, versatile commercial Ro-Pax capability.

Mr Graham said:

“Cammell Laird is proud to be supporting Britannia Maritime Aid in developing a design and build offer for a UK Aid and Training Ship. It is very encouraging that Boris Johnson and Penny Mordant are examining a similar concept and are considering building two disaster relief ships. We very much hope this can align with BMA and Cammell Laird’s plans. Our commercial design ensures great value for money and protects the vessel’s resale value as a cutting-edge Ro-Pax. We have also managed to incorporate and consider advanced technology concepts such as autonomous vehicles to maximise its operational capability and its future relevance.”

Cammell Laird staged the Royal naming ceremony last month for the RRS Sir David Attenborough, Britain's new £200m polar research ship and one of the largest commercial shipbuilding contracts in the UK for 30 years. The ceremony was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sir David Attenborough.


About Cammell Laird:

Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British industry with roots tracing back to the early 19th Century. The business is located on the River Mersey, in the Liverpool City Region, on the West Coast of England. It is in the centre of a marine cluster, with direct access to many support services. It has a 120 acre site with four dry docks, a non-tidal wet basin, large modular construction hall and extensive covered workshops. Cammell Laird specialises in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and heavy fabrication and engineering. It deals with a wide variety of projects ranging from specialist offshore conversions and fabrication, commercial ship-repair through to the refit and upgrade of highly complex naval auxiliaries. It has also recently re-entered the ship-building market. The business is further active in the energy sector. It has become a hub of the off shore wind industry and it is offering its facilities and highly trained workforce of engineers for work in the civil nuclear sector and the off shore oil and gas sector. w:

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