BAE Systems Unveils Clyde Shipyard Proposals
Options are either two yards or one in Glasgow...
As Shipping Times predicted in its editorial some weeks back, it looks as though BAE SYSTEMS is gunning for the option to build a new 'frigate factory' on the Clyde, effectively merging its two current operations at Govan and Scotstoun into one enlarged site. Although today the defence giant unveiled two proposals, one to retain both Govan and Scotstoun with upgraded facilities, it seems pretty certain that their preferred option is the retention and expansion of Scotstoun only.
BAE Systems owns Scotstoun, but it only leases Govan from Clydeport, owned by Peel Ports. This lease is to run out in 2019.
Under the proposals the first option at a Scotstoun only site, would mean, as we suggested, the construction of a new large building hall, and BAE revealed this today, saying it would be a 330 metre dock hall as well as new steelwork preparation and fabrication plants, a new paint cell, offices, welfare facilities and a new quay that would enable blocks to be transported by sea.
The other option involves both Govan and Scotstoun, with Govan getting upgraded earlier than Scotstoun.
There is work at the Govan yard for some years, and it has been mooted that the first new orders for the Clyde would be done by Govan whilst Scotstoun was upgraded and enlarged. Insiders and other reporters have said that BAE Systems isn't shy of which option it prefers, and it does look as though the public is being prepared to accept BAE leaving Govan eventually and building a world class and more competitive shipyard at Scotstoun.
Whatever the outcome, the Clyde will get a boost as each of the proposals involves significant investment in the future and shows BAE Systems' commitment to the Clyde as its shipbuilding division is stronger than ever.
Charlie Blakemore, Business and Transformation Director at BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships, said: "Our vision is to create 21st century complex warship capability that will deliver value for money for our customers and attract and retain the very best talent, helping to secure the long-term future of this highly skilled industry in the UK.
“The proposed facilities are a key part of this and will offer significant benefits including modern, safer working environments, increased efficiency and competitiveness, generating a step change in capability. We are working with local authorities and the Ministry of Defence to progress the investment proposals and are committed to building a future legacy for our business that we will all be proud of."
A decision is expected later this year after reviews of both proposals have been conducted and, it is probably fair to say, until after the Scottish Independence referendum.
Public consultation events will take place on the following dates:
Tuesday 11 February 2014, 13:00-19:30
GTG Training and Conference Centre, 1330 South Street, Glasgow G14 0BJ
Thursday 13 February 2014, 13:00-19:30
The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Road, Glasgow, G52 3UU