Harland And Wolff Jobs At Risk As Cunard Chooses French Yard
More than 1,700 jobs are at risk at the Belfast birthplace of the Titanic after Cunard Line decided to build the Queen Mary II cruise liner at a French shipyard.
Cunard, a unit of Carnival Corp., signed a letter of intent to build the Queen Mary II at the Alstom subsidiary Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The super liner is expected to be launched in 2003.
The other shipyard in the running, Harland and Wolff, is a key pillar of Northern Ireland's economy, and previously warned that its 1,745 workers could lose their jobs if the yard did not land the $600 million contract. The 140-year-old shipyard, now majority-owned by Norway's Fred Olsen Energy, has just two ship orders left on its books and had pinned hopes of survival on winning the Cunard order.