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November 2, 2008

Fincantieri teams with U.K. yard for MARS shot

Fincantieri has formed an alliance with the U.K.'s Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd (NSL).

Fincantieri is hoping to win a tender to build six fleet replenishment tankers for the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) program known as the MARS (Military Afloat Reach Sustainability) project. When built these vessels will join the existing RFA fleet.

The MARS project is an International competition being managed under European Union guidelines and Fincantieri was recently short-listed along with Hyundai (Republic of Korea); Navantia (Spain) and the U.K.'s BAE Systems with BMT DSL and DSME (Republic of Korea).

Alberto Maestrini Executive Senior Vice President of Fincantieri Naval vessel business unit said the alliance with "is part of a larger strategy of collaboration with NSL and if successful with the MARS tender, the companies will pursue other business opportunities in the naval auxiliary, naval export and offshore markets. The alliance provides Fincantieri with a strong professional ally strategically based in the U.K".

Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd (NSL) is based in the famous Cammell Laird Shipyard in Birkenhead where a number of historic Royal Navy' ships were once built. Today NSL is a prime contractor to the RFA.

NSL Managing Director John Syvret said "I am delighted to have the opportunity to reinforce Fincantieri's MARS bid with expertise from a British shipyard that has a proud history of delivering some of the Royal Navy's finest vessels. I genuinely believe the alliance can provide an innovative European solution for MOD and ensure a significant amount of work would be undertaken in the U.K., important in a time of economic downturn."

Mr. Syvret concluded "the alliance will massively strengthen NSL's business, expanding its services to both the public and private sectors".

NSL was founded in 2001 and employs over 1,000 people directly and indirectly from its Birkenhead base on the River Mersey. Originally established as a ship repairer the company over the years has expanded its marine services business and today is recognized as one of Europe's leading ship repair, conversion and military refit specialists. In June 2008 the company was awarded its biggest contract when UK MOD awarded it a UKP 180 million contract to maintain 11 of its 16 RFA vessels


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