Two more offshore windfarm vessels to be built at Paull

Interior of the Alicat Workboat

DUNSTONS the ship repairers have received an order for two more offshore windfarm boats to be built at the former Hepworths shipyard in Paull.

This means that five of the new state-of-the-art aluminum workboats will now be built at Paull. The 20 metre long vessels will be used to ferry technicians out to the wind farms in the North Sea.

Each vessel comes in the form of a kit and will be constructed under licence from Alicat Workboats and upon completion will be capable of carrying 12 technicians and reaching speeds of 30 knots.

The order has come from the Rix Shipping Group who, along with Dunstons, have set up distinct trading arms in order to fully take advantage of the opportunities presented by the renewables industry.

Hull company Dunston (Ship Repairs) has established Dunston (Ship Builders) after receiving a £5.1m order for three workboats from Hull company Rix Shipping.

The aluminium boats, which will be built under licence from Great Yarmouth-based Alicat Workboats – a subsidiary of the Gardline Group – will be used to service wind turbines in the North Sea as part of the UK’s drive to create energy from renewable sources.

The move marks a return to shipbuilding for the Dunston group, which can trace its history in the industry back to 1858. The company ceased building vessels in 1994 to concentrate on ship repairs at its base on William Wright Dock.

Richard Bourne, joint owner and managing director of Dunston Ship Repairs, said he was very proud to be spearheading a revival of shipbuilding on the Humber after years of absence.

He said that the order could well be the “start of things to come” as the renewables industry creates demand for a range of different vessels of both modern and traditional design.

“I’m extremely excited to be bringing the name of Dunston Ship Builders back to its rightful position on the Humber,” said Bourne.

“Establishing the new company will secure jobs in the region and as the offshore wind farms are developed will generate a lot of investment and create employment.”

Dunston Ship Builders will lease the J.R. Rix & Sons-owned Hepworths yard in Paull, East Yorkshire to build the vessels.

James Doyle, director at Rix Shipping, said when complete the boats would be used to transport technicians and equipment to offshore wind farms to service and maintain the turbines.

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