New Irish Wind Farm Vessel Takes to the Seas

Arklow Marine Services (24th January, 2012) officially launched its first vessel designed and built specifically for servicing offshore wind farms in the U.K. The new 20 metre aluminium catamaran cost £1.7m and created 10 new jobs during the build and fit out. The development of the innovative vessel was part-financed by Enterprise Ireland’s R&D Fund. A second vessel is currently under construction at the yard and is due for delivery in July 2012, again for the export market.

Arklow Marine Services is a fifth-generation family business established in Arklow in 1864 and today is the directorship of Naval Architect Mr. Billy Tyrrell and Marine Engineer Mr. John Tyrrell. The company’s core business is the design and construction of aluminium and steel boats such as passenger ferries, trawlers and bespoke designs such as amphibious vehicles.

Arklow Marine Services embarked on the innovative design when it secured a contract with UK-based Gardline Shipping. The need for new generation vessels for off-shore wind farms arose from the awarding of nine off-shore wind farm sites in UK coastal waters in January 2010. The United Kingdom is set to invest over £160bn, over the next thirty years in developing their offshore wind energy resources. Industry sources estimate that up to €30bn of investment in Irish offshore wind farms is also possible. Following today’s launch, Arklow Marine Services are ideally positioned to capitalise on this rapidly developing market.

Launching the vessel, Billy Tyrrell said: “Today’s launch is an important milestone for our company. This innovative vessel is a superior product which required the development of new shipbuilding processes in our company. Building this vessel has taken our business to a new level. Launching the vessel enhances our reputation as a design-led manufacturer of quality vessels and positions us to win valuable business both at home and the U.K. and mainland Europe. This could not have been delivered without the welcome support of Enterprise Ireland”.

To fulfil the contract, Arklow Marine Services had to develop new building methods and processes for the construction of the vessel. Enterprise Ireland provided part-finance towards the development costs of the innovative design.

Congratulating the company, Tom Kelly, Head of Cleantech with Enterprise Ireland said “Innovation is essential to the international competitiveness of Irish firms. This new line by Arklow Marine Services allows them to target a sophisticated and growing industry. It will enable them to target export markets and create valuable employment at home in Wicklow. Enterprise Ireland was delighted to help finance this new venture”.

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