Swansea Drydocks Limited (SDL) has recently welcomed its first vessel in more than three months following an extensive refurbishment.
The 4,933 deadweight tonne (dwt) cargo vessel MV “Arklow Raider” was the first vessel to utilise the upgraded facilities operated by SDL at its base located in Associated British Ports’ (ABP) port of Swansea.
The refurbishment involved a major investment in essential infrastructure which included a caisson, lock gates, impounding pumps, electrical systems, and engineering workshops.
The port of Swansea has a long history of ship repair that dates back to the early 20th century.
SDL has signed a long-term lease with ABP and will be utilising the port’s geographical position to dry dock vessels of up to 35,000 dwt that primarily operate in Northern European waters.
This long-term commitment by SDL will continue the legacy of ship repair at the port of Swansea while providing a boost to the local economy in terms of skilled employment and increased demand for specialist materials and services.
The dry docks will also have a positive effect on local trade as vessels drydocking at Swansea will be able to offer shippers, and receivers of cargo increased freight opportunities for importing and exporting goods via South Wales.
Callum Couper, port manager, ABP South Wales, said: “Swansea has a long history in ship repair and inspection and it is excellent to see this investment made by Swansea Drydocks Limited.
“It will ensure the Port can continue to provide these essential services to ship owners and operators well into the future.”
Drydocks are important to the shipping industry as they are docks that can be drained of water to provide access to the hull of a vessel.
Swansea Drydocks offers a complete lifecycle service that includes surveys, ongoing maintenance, repairs, and the recycling of end of life vessels.
The port of Swansea handles around 800,000 tonnes of cargo every year which includes fertiliser, coal, wood pulp, sand, gravel, scrap metal and project cargo.
The port primarily serves the local economy of South West Wales and is supported by quick links to the M4 motorway and direct connection to the National Grid.
ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84,000 jobs with a current investment programme that promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion to the economy every year.
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