Macduff Shipyards Ltd. has received a contract worth more than £3.3 million pounds from Scottish Sea Farms for the design and build of four 19.8-meter 150T steel salmon feed barges and two 15m landing craft general purpose fish farm vessels.
The barges and vessels have been designed by the yard in cooperation with Macduff Ship Design and will have a capacity of 150T each, to be fitted with Orbit GMT feeding systems, and powered by John Deere engines. The purpose-designed barges will replace the vessels in current use and will be tailored to better suit the Scottish Sea Farms working operations, the designer/builder said.
Scottish Sea Farms continues to expand its operations and Jim Gallagher, Managing Director, commented, “This latest contract is part of our £13 million planned investment program for new site activity and we are looking to spend as much of this money with Scottish firms as we can. Two of these vessels are destined for our new sites in Orkney and Kishorn, where we are creating at least ten new jobs and fresh opportunities for trainees and apprenticeships. The others are upgrades for our existing sites and mainland operations. The new sites are required to help us meet the growing demand from our domestic clients and will develop over time to create export values of approximately £10 million per site.”
Managing Director of Macduff Shipyards Ltd, John Watt, said, “The contract will be completed in the Macduff and Buckie yards and this type of project allows us to plan for the future. The yard has just taken on 10 new apprentices this year and increased the workforce to cover the additional work. Also it is good news for subcontractors who work at the yard and the local economy, it’s good to be competitive and keep this type of work in Scotland.
“Macduff Shipyards Ltd. has worked on refurbishing barges and vessels for Scottish Sea Farms for many years but this is the first time that new barges have been built at the yard. The experience we have gained refitting existing barges has been invaluable in designing the new barge. Two barges are due to be delivered by the end of 2014 with a further two barges and the two vessels next year.”
“Currently the yard is completing the Benarkle for local skipper Mark Addison and partners and has started construction of a 15m scalloper for Kallin Shellfish, along with the contract from Scottish Sea Farms this will keep the order book full for the next 12 months.”
Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said, “I very much welcome this contract between one of Scotland’s most renowned ship-building companies and one of our premier salmon producers. This deal will undoubtedly bring economic benefits to the local communities in Macduff and Buckie as well as helping to strengthen the future of Scottish Sea Farms, one of the many success stories within our food and drink industry. It is great to see the demand for Scottish salmon creating jobs and contributing to economic growth, something the Scottish Government is keen to foster.”