Harland and Wolff Wins First Post-Bankruptcy Contract

The Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast (file image)

Published Dec 6, 2019 7:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

The midstream natural gas company InfraStrata announced Friday that its newly-acquired shipbuilder, the storied Belfast yard of Harland & Wolff, has won its first contract under new ownership. 

The deal is modest - a pair of drydockings in December and January - but it marks the start of a turnaround for Harland and Wolff, which InfraStrata purchased out of bankruptcy administration earlier this year. That $4.3 million agreement saved the jobs of about 80 remaining Harland and Wolff employees, and InfraStrata says that it will hire in several hundred more workers over the next five years to support its projects. 

The facility's purchase provides Infrastrata with the UK's largest drydock, a fabrication facility and a quay in Belfast for work supporting the company's own projects. InfraStrata has plans for several large-scale natural gas developments, including the Islandmagee gas storage project in Northern Ireland and a proposed FSRU project off Barrow-in-Furness, England. 

The announcement of the new contracts follows one day after Infrastrata closed on the acquisition. 

"The fact that the completion of the acquisition of the assets of Harland and Wolff was immediately followed by a revenue generating contract validates this acquisition. This is the beginning of a transformational shift in the Company's position to being revenue generative and ultimately cash-positive in the future," said John Wood, InfraStrata's interim chairman and CEO. 

Last month, InfraStrata also announced a cooperative agreement with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, which could lead to joint work on marine and infrastructure contracts. 

"Harland and Wolff is part of the fabric of the city of Belfast and we are delighted that it has been saved by InfraStrata," said Michael Jennings, a partner at BDO NI, the bankruptcy administrator for Harland and Wolff. "Having worked closely with the unions and staff, we know that the dedication and determination of both to see Harland and Wolff continue for generations to come is extraordinary."