Tom Keighley

Member Article

A&P Group complete £55 million contract

The Tyne waved goodbye to part of Britain’s biggest ever warship this weekend, as it made its way up to Scotland.

A&P Group’s shipyard at Hebburn was the only North East yard to be involved in the building of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is being assembled in Rosyth, Scotland.

Part of the flight deck and hangar were completed five weeks ahead of schedule at A&P before the huge metal structures weighing 3000 tonnes were loaded on to barge AMT Commander, two days earlier than anticipated.

Darren Brown, A&P Tyne Project Director, said: “We completed the sections ahead of schedule and even finished the load-out in 10 days instead of 12.

“We had some challenging weather with winds gusting up to 40mph but as soon as they dropped we cracked on and everything went exceptionally well.”

Glasgow shipping firm Henry Abram & Sons Ltd took over the steel modules, marking the end of three years work, following A&P’s securing of the £55 million contract.

It has been some 30 years since the iconic aircraft carrier Ark Royal was launched on the Tyne, and some of the men who worked on this project 30 years ago have also been involved in the construction of the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Mr Brown went on to say: “When you work on something for so long you become totally immersed in it.

“We’ve lived and breathed the aircraft carrier section for three years so watching it go was a bit of a sad occasion but a very proud one too.”

He said that there was a real satisfaction in being part of one of the biggest engineering contracts ever placed in this country.

The next step for A&P is to start building part of the hull for HMS Prince of Wales on behalf of BAE Portsmouth.

Work begins in February, and then in January 2013 the yard will once again start to build exactly the same sections it has just finished, this time for HMS Prince of Wales.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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