Cammell Laird Holdings, which has been a strong shipbuilding and repair success story for several years, announced that it was to build two cruise ships, breathing further life into the struggling U.K. shipbuilding industry. Cammell Laird, however, said the contract with Luxus (UK) Ltd. for two 28,000-ton ships was conditional on the go-ahead from the UK government and Shipbuilding Intervention Funding, as well as ship mortgage finance
guarantees to Luxus's bankers.
The deal could be worth a reported $497.9 million, with the work expected to be shared between Merseyside in the northwest, Teeside and Tyneside in the northeast and Gosport on the south coast.
Cammell Laird lost out last month on orders for six army roll-on roll-off transport ships. But things have started to look up for shipyards across Britain, with the government showing a determination to sustain what is left of the industry.
Although four of the RoRo transport ships will be built by the Flensberger yard in Germany, the remaining two will be built at Belfast's Harland & Wolff yard, owned by Norway's Fred Olsen Energy.
However, at the same time as announcing the RoRo orders
, Britain's defense secretary Geoff Hoon also threw a 300 million-pound lifeline to two of Britain's oldest shipyards in England and Scotland. Hoon placed orders for four amphibious landing ships
, to be split between the Dutch-owned Swan Hunter yard in northeast England, and the Govan yards in Glasgow.