A&P Group, a UK commercial ship conversion and repair company now headquartered in Cardiff, moves into 2010 with a strong order book for projects ranging from defence to sustainable energy.
A&P was taken over last July by the Cardiff-based Bailey Group, headed by property developer and entrepreneur Paul Bailey. He previously held a 50 per cent stake in A&P, which has moved to new corporate offices at Cardiff Gate.
The shipping group, with UK sites at Tyne, Tees and Falmouth, has scored major successes this year, including a $88.3m Ministry of Defence contract and the refit and conversion of a medical ship – the largest single project of its kind in Royal Fleet Auxiliary history.
Group chairman, Paul Bailey, said “The MoD contract for the Tyne is extremely important in helping us to maintain our very strong presence in shipbuilding, repairs and refits. It will help secure 210 jobs and further enhances our reputation as one of the leading ship repairers in Europe.
“The strength of our business lies in developing expertise in a number of areas, enabling us to compete on the world stage. We aim to modernise and so secure the future, while ensuring that important, long-standing UK customers – such as the MoD – continue to get a very high standard of service.”
Bailey said the group’s ability to work with owners and managers to find cost savings, coupled with the Euro/pound exchange rate, had ensured the group remained one of the most competitive in Europe.
Half of the group’s 2010 shipping budget turnover is already committed, with MoD work, through life support contracts for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, regeneration of two minehunters for the Lithuanian navy, maintenance of P&O ferries and Grimaldi car carriers. Other contract opportunities for warships are being actively pursued.
Under the MoD contract, sections of two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are being built on Tyneside over the next five years. The sections will weigh a total of about 4,000 tonnes, the equivalent of more than 420 double-decker buses.
The QE class carriers will be the largest warships ever built for the UK at 65,000 tonnes full displacement – more than three times the size of current Invincible Class aircraft carriers.
A&P has completed a $59.4m refit of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus at Falmouth, where 2010 marks the company’s 150th year as a port and dock. Argus is a medical ship that treats injured troops anywhere in the world and can take up to 100 casualties at a time.
The group is branching into “green” projects at Tyneside. Utilising an existing dry dock and two slipways it aims to strip – or reclaim – ships which at present are sent to dockyards in India. A licence has been granted for the project and A&P will seek a joint venture partner with specialist experience. The business could also handle dismantling of any large marine structures, such as oil rigs.
It also has planning consent for an 80 metres high wind turbine which will provide power for the dockyard, saving an estimated $160,540 a year. Surplus electricity will feed into the national grid. Construction is planned for 2010.