A&P wins major MoD contract

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A&P Falmouth has been awarded a multi-million pound contract to complete the fit-out of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new fleet of four tankers.

The announcement was made this morning by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, during an official  visit to the docks.

The new Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) tankers will maintain the Royal Navy’s ability to refuel at sea and will provide fuel to warships and task groups.

The four tankers are planned to enter service from 2016 and A&P will provide through-life support to all four ships in service for a minimum of three years.

John Syvret CBE, CEO of Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services Limited, said this latest contract will underpin the growth of A&P Group over the next five years.

L-R:  Kevin Murray RFA Technical Supt, George Osborne, A&P Falmouth MD Peter Child
L-R: Kevin Murray RFA Technical Supt, George Osborne, A&P Falmouth MD Peter Child

He commented: “This contract reflects the capability and capacity of A&P Group and is recognition of the calibre of the infrastructure and work force which exists in A&P Falmouth and across the group as a whole.”

The Tide-class tankers are currently under construction in South Korea. Each of four new Tide-class tankers – RFA Tidespring, RFA Tiderace, RFA Tidesurge and RFA Tideforce – will be 201 metres long, with a beam of nearly 29 metres and displacing more than 37,000 tonnes. The first tanker, RFA Tidespring, is due to arrive in the UK in December 2015. She will be followed by her three sister ships at six-monthly intervals.

A&P Group MD, Andy Shaw, said: “The contract is significant for A&P Falmouth where the majority of the works will be undertaken utilising the company’s deep water facilities and heavy engineering infrastructure.

“The contract also provides A&P group’s port business, Falmouth Docks and Engineering Company, (the Statutory Harbour Authority), with additional business streams and enables it to progress with its ambitious growth strategy.”

As a result of this contract, A&P Group will now be maintaining 13 Royal Navy vessels from its base in Falmouth.

A&P already has a contract to support and maintain RFA ships at home and abroad until 2018. Under the Cluster Support Progamme, A&P provides maintenance support to groups of MoD vessels which include RFA Argus and the RFA Bay Class vessels Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.

Sarah Newton, the Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, added: “This announcement is excellent news for A&P and secures quality jobs in Falmouth for years to come. It speaks volumes for A&P’s skilled workforce and management who always deliver on time and to budget, and I will continue to do everything I can to continue to promote Falmouth as our fourth naval port.”