Harland & Wolff has dismissed “misleading and inaccurate” suggestions that it could close after a newspaper report stated the government was about to block a financial support package to keep the Belfast firm afloat.

The GMB Union has responded to reports about the potential closure of Harland and Wolff. Matt Roberts, GMB National Officer, stated:

“GMB members are concerned at reports regarding Harland & Wolff. The employer says their application for a UKEF Export Development Guarantee has not been rejected and the process is ongoing.

Instead of inter-departmental warfare in the Tory government spilling out and scaring workers, we need unequivocal joined-up support for our shipbuilding industry. All the promise of UK workshare on the FSS order must be maintained in full and ideally increased.

We will not stand by and accept any move to send further work out of the UK on this order.”

In a statement to “reassure shareholders”, H&W said talks continued “at pace” on the export development guarantee with all relevant government departments and financial institutions.

“Management remain comfortable with progress on what is a complex and large transaction for all parties involved,” it said, adding that it would update the market “in the next few weeks”.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Nick Paton
Nick Paton (@guest_822651)
1 month ago

Good Evening,

Could anybody clarify what’s going on?

Is this another shambles caused by Government disinterest or incompetency?

Nick

dwightstrut
dwightstrut (@guest_822655)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

In short: “No.”

The issue is HM Treasury’s lawyers questioning whether the loan is compliant with competition law. My understanding is that H&W is proposing to build and operate a ferry for the Scilly Isles and the existing operator has raised objections to this loan on the grounds it represents an unfair subsidy.

Expat
Expat (@guest_822663)
1 month ago
Reply to  dwightstrut

H&W would like a cheap government loan but it could get the funds from the private sector but rates would be higher.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822755)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

I thought it was asking for government to guarantor a private loan to keep the rates lower. Unless it defaults, the Treasury pays out nothing. I find the idea that H&W will close down if it doesn’t get a cheaper rate bizarre. To be eligible for the guarantee, H&W would have to currently export 20% of its turnover, which I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, or be able to show that it would be able to significantly develop exports from the UK within 4 years. My guess is that’s where the problem lies. I believe the money has nothing to do… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Andrew
Andrew (@guest_823003)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Presently with the Searose being their major project and around 50% of this years turnover, they are way abiove 10% exports

Jon
Jon (@guest_823323)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

You’d have thought refits counted for exports. Seems odd then, that the Treasury are kicking up a fuss.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Expat
Expat (@guest_822661)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

Politics. GMB are calling out the Tories but the read my post below the CEO is saying it business as usual.

andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822735)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

it’s not a party political issue the Blair government gave nothing to H&W. the nation has failed to support a British industry that used to dominate the whole world the closing of the Palliion yard in Sunderland was the final nail in England’s shipbuilding coffin coffin. there exists the option to reopen that yard. the skills still remain in the potential future workforce the coved shed was once the world’s biggest coved assembly hall and could still accommodate the building of two Together. there needs to be a clear plan for the industry in the UK the national shipbuilding plan… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_822885)
1 month ago

I mean it the GMB playing politics, we have an election so they need to make as much noise as possibl. Yes, historically we’ve had issues with Government, Unions and Business management that has destroyed this sector.

andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822747)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

it’s not a party political subject government redd and blue failed the industry from the 1970′ onwards

andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822713)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

it’s the culmination of bad ownership this lack of competition abilities and a yard riddled by sectarian bigotry and lack of support from Westminster who, instead chose to pour millions into the Clyde instead.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822866)
1 month ago

It’s an application for an export guarantee that has been rumoured up to the hilt. What the heck has that got to do with sectarian anything? H&W has a high-risk, high-gain strategy of bullish expansion. Some don’t like that, but it is what it is. I applaud the effort and hope it will succeed.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_822718)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

Wrong H&W employ over 1000 at the moment! Getting good at the political rants now aren’t you.

Jim
Jim (@guest_822764)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

Not in Belfast they don’t (which was what I was talking about). They claim to have about 1000 employees across 6 separate sites in the UK.

I very much hope I’m wrong and I would love to see H&W reborn and building large RFA vessels in Belfast.

I very much thought this was going to be the case until recently.

Now I’m highly sceptical, just like liberty and British steel as well as Ferguson and basically every apparent industrial rescue we have seen under the Tories and SNP.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_822774)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

14dec23 500 or so in Belfast and expecting 1200 jobs plus more in the supply chain for the FSS contract.
H&W ownsite & Belfast telegraph sources.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822864)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

If you want them to succeed, stop dissing them without any proof. It’s fine to say you are sceptical, but calling them a scam company is plain defamatory.

Expat
Expat (@guest_822886)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, they have 1000 employee’s thats a sizeable company. CL have 650 full time employees.

In my job I’ve had a few interactions with H&W and its not a sham company, they’re building a very professional operation.

Politically not everything Labour or Tories do is bad, just most of it. 😀 But I think shipbuilding has been something thats improving, a rare positive tbh.

andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822744)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

if you look at lists of ships built in Belfast you’ll see that most were definitely NOT barges. including that barge titan mark 1c⚓😀

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_822812)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

Nick, my understnading is that this is a new company. Exactly the type of thing that the Government should be encouraging. It’s plans are ambitious and therefore not without risk. The Government has decided to back the company for a variety of reasons and I wish them all the best – it will be good for the country. Personally I would say that it is not a shambles, there is much interest and no incompetancy. If there is a technical issue that cannot be resolved by ministers then it will be resolved by parliament in due course.

OldSchool
OldSchool (@guest_822820)
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Paton

Which is exactly what they did in Australia’.

What ships are you talking about here?

Expat
Expat (@guest_822656)
1 month ago
Last edited 1 month ago by Expat
Expat
Expat (@guest_822658)
1 month ago

This was on linkedin from the CEO “Our Methil yard announced last week it’s clear plan to build two floating dry docks at our biggest facility in the UK, the project known as project Euston has been worked on for several months so we are in a strong position when the bid pack is released. Harland and Wolff with 51% of the marine fabrication capacity in the UK are the only yard that will have that surplus capacity between its Methil and Arnish yards at that time to build this project with T26, T32 and FSS keeping all other yards… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822811)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Seems to be pretty clear, some trash journalism and an overly worries Union…maybe a bit more comms needed…or it could actually be HW management wanted the Union to stir the pot a bit….and get some clearer departmental direction….I thought the comment “ in six weeks time things may change again with a new Government and different ministers”…that sort of indicates relationships were not as good as HW wanted…still purdah has no kicked in so nothing will happen until after the election anyway. I though it was also interesting that HW are clearly planning to be using the steelwork capacity in… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_822888)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Its worth following them on Linkedin, get so good info. It sounds like H&W can get the loan but if the government backs them its cheaper, hence the comment about getting a lower rate. I’m not sure what will change on the loan post government change. If the loan goes against WTO rules then countries can put tarifs on other products completely unrelated to ship building. So its a very risky for any government as it could hit another sectors of the economy. Boeing WTO dispute was a good example. Extract below. EU countermeasures in the Boeing case affected 130… Read more »

andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822712)
1 month ago

the U.K CAN NOT AND MUST NOT LOSE HARLAND WOLFE. pallion at Sunderland should get reopened and given the same amount of support that the Clyde had

Last edited 1 month ago by [email protected]
andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822746)
1 month ago

type 32? not a chance this side of 2040

David
David (@guest_822894)
1 month ago

We can’t afford to lose any shipyards now, if they need support to build our warships they should get the help that’s needed within reason