Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Iconic Shipyard Welcomes Royalty to Mark Anniversary

160 Years of Building for Britain
Shipping News Feature

UK – UK – Harland & Wolff, the iconic shipyard with an extraordinarily lengthy maritime and offshore engineering pedigree, welcomed The Prince of Wales on May 18 to mark its 160th anniversary by unveiling a celebratory plaque to commemorate the momentous milestone.

Arriving at Harland & Wolff (Belfast), His Royal Highness toured the yard, met with workers and signed the company Visitors’ Book. During this ceremony, The Prince was then presented with a framed photo of his late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, on a visit to the shipyard in 1977 along with an original copy of the ‘H&W News’ which featured The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit. Addressing staff, the Prince commented:

“I’m so pleased to hear that there is all sorts of potential new activity here and new fabrication opportunities, that could be really encouraging, and I hope you could encourage a lot more of the young to become apprentices and understand the importance of manufacturing, and to also understand how this country has led the way in so many of these areas.

“We owe all of you an enormous debt of gratitude for your skills and ingenuity, which are so remarkable. Well done all of you and thank you for all the hard work you put in.”

Founded on April 11 1861 by Sir Edward James Harland and Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, Harland & Wolff’s heritage includes work on some of the most iconic ships, including the famous RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic, right through to the SS Canberra for P&O and the Myrina tanker, the first supertanker built in the UK. John Wood, Group CEO commented:

“It has been a pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness onto site to commemorate our 160th anniversary. As one of the most iconic names in shipbuilding, this visit marks an incredible moment in our history. We have a great past, and now we’re proud to be building a great future. Through our newly launched apprenticeship scheme, we will continue to pass on those skills and traditions and in doing so, put British shipbuilding back on the map. This is no mean feat but as one team, we will return Harland & Wolff to its former glory.”

Harland & Wolff is a multisite fabrication company owned since 2019 by InfraStrata plc and operating in the maritime and offshore industry. 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 significant demand is anticipated

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, oil and gas and defence sectors.

In addition to Harland & Wolff, it 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.