Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eastern Promise for Shipyard Saves Jobs; Carrier Deal Saves Jobs at A&P Tyne

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eastern Promise for Shipyard Saves Jobs; Carrier Deal Saves Jobs at A&P Tyne

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Davies

HUNDREDS of jobs have been safeguarded at a Tyneside shipyard looking to make a name for itself in Asia.

A&P Tyne beat off fierce competition to seal a "prestigious contract" to refit two Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Bangladeshi Navy.

While the firm is keeping quiet about the value of the contract, said to be a multi-million pound deal, bosses were last night hoping they had taken the first step towards future lucrative contracts.

The work will secure jobs at the Hebburn-based yard for A&P employees and local sub-contractors for another three months.

The ships, fitted with flight decks capable of supporting Sea King helicopters, have been laid up in Portsmouth Naval Base since their retirement from service in 2005. They will be towed up to Tyneside next month to undergo the massive overhaul.

Stewart Boak, managing director of A&P Tyne, said he hopes the new contract will establish other deals within Bangladesh in the future.

He said: "It's a reasonable contract for us and it's set to last about three month. It will keep a reasonable per cent of work over that time. The hardest thing is winning the contract and we've done that. It's always a possibility that if we perform well we may have the chance to win other contracts.

"We had been chasing the deal for a long time and it's good that it's come to us. We should see two ships come to us by the end of May."

The A&P Group has been negotiating to clinch the regeneration contract for the former Royal Navy vessels, the ex-HMS Dumbarton Castle and Leeds Castle, for the past six months.

Mr Boak and colleague John Paine, A&P group technical programme manager, flew to Bangladesh to tie the deal at the Naval headquarters in Dhaka.

He said it was great to be bringing such a vital order back to Tyneside. …

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