The Port of Milford Haven has commissioned Next Generation Shipyards from The Netherlands to build a new 22m pilot boat to supplement its existing fleet.
This followed a rigorous international selection process.
The contract marks the first stage of a long-term, multi-million pound investment programme that aims to enhance the Port’s pilotage capability and deliver world class pilotage operations at the UK’s leading energy port.
Next Generation Shipyards (NG Shipyards) has extensive experience in building highly sophisticated pilot vessels and crew transfer vessels vessels, both from its own designs and from the designs of others. The vessel selected by the Port of Milford Haven will be designed by Camarc Design Ltd which specialises in the design of innovative, all-weather, high-speed working craft.
Safety is the Port’s highest priority. Key features of the new pilot vessel include: a double chine hull, self-righting design which comes with a proven track record of operating safely and efficiently in heavy weather conditions; and an ergonomically designed wheelhouse and crew facilities, which will provide the highest safety and operational standards in the industry.
With sustainability also high on the Port’s agenda, whilst it will have the ability to operate at speeds of more than 25 knots fully loaded, the vessel will incorporate waterjet propulsion and an IMO tier 3 rated engine and exhaust package to help reduce and control emissions.
And, as part of its decarbonisation pathway, the Port is actively exploring alternative fuel solutions which would dramatically reduce emissions in the effort to reach Net Zero well ahead of 2050.
Mike Ryan, Harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven said:
“Around twenty percent of the UK’s energy needs are handled or processed by the energy facilities within the Port of Milford Haven which means our ability to move ships in and out of the port in a safe, reliable, and timely manner, with proper regard to the environment is vital; not only to our business, but to the resilience and security of UK energy.
“This significant investment in a new pilot vessel will ensure that our highly skilled teams, who operate in some of the most challenging sea conditions anywhere in the world, can continue to deliver a safe, resilient, year-round service to our customers.”
NG Shipyards Project Manager Steven Bonder added:
“We are really proud that the contract is signed to develop and build the new pilot vessel for the Port of Milford Haven. Together with Camarc Design we are confident to build the best pilot vessel for the Port of Milford Haven. After the extensive procurement procedure we are looking forward to start the engineering and design phase and to start the build of the pilot boat next year.”
The new pilot transfer vessel is expected to be in service in 2025 and further investments in the Port’s fleet will be made over the next few years.