The historic shipyard has been acquired for £6M and is set to see its workforce expand by several hundred under its new ownership
London-listed energy infrastructure project company InfraStata has signed heads of terms to acquire the principal assets of Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Limited and Harland and Wolff Group Plc, comprising a multipurpose fabrication facility, quaysides and docking facilities in the port of Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a total of £6M.
All 79 staff currently employed by Harland and Wolff will be retained, and Infrastrata’s board of directors plans to increase the shipyard’s workforce by several hundred over the next five years.
Following the acquisition, Infrastrata will bring inhouse a large part of the fabrication requirements for a proposed floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) project and the company’s salt cavern-based Islandmagee Gas Storage Project.
Infrastrata chief executive officer John Wood said “Harland and Wolff is a landmark asset and its reputation as one of the finest multi-purpose fabrication facilities in Europe is testament to its highly skilled team in Belfast."
Harland and Wolff employees have been carrying out a nine-week occupation, with the backing of unions GMB and Unite, at the yard after it entered administration in August.
GMB senior organiser Denise Walker said “This news proves they were absolutely correct in their assertions that this was a yard with a future.
“Their campaign has ensured that Harland and Wolff will not only continue but will be in a position to expand and fulfil its potential as a lynchpin of Northern Ireland’s economy,” she added.
Founded in 1861, Harland and Wolff was historically a major employer in Belfast and its twin cranes Samson and Goliath are a landmark of the city’s skyline. It built Titanic and its sister ships Olympic and Britannic, among many other vessels, but in more recent years has focused on the offshore renewable energy sector.