The UK government has released an update to its 2017 National Shipbuilding strategy, expanding its scope in the commercial shipping sector.

Among the headlines of the new strategy, the UK government set out a 30-year pipeline for shipbuilding, covering a range of naval vessels and commercial vessels. Planned projects include passenger and cargo vessels for the Isles of Scilly, a series of multi-function vessels for the Department for Transport, research vessels for various agencies and vessels for the Scottish and Welsh governments and Northern Ireland Executive.

Addressing the need for access to finance in shipbuilding, the government said that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will develop a detailed model for a Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme, offering guarantees up to 80% of the purchase price of UK-built vessels. The scheme is slated to launch in May 2022.

To support decarbonisation of the shipping industry, £206m will be put forward to establish a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions with a remit to commercialise carbon-cutting technologies.

To tie together these various initiatives, the government has established a National Shipbuilding Office to provide oversight for government activity across shipbuilding.

CEO of the UK’s Society of Maritime Industries (SMI), Tom Chant, said: “This much anticipated release firmly supports the development of the UK’s shipbuilding enterprise. Our members have consistently told us industry requires confidence. With confidence businesses can invest for the long term, ramping up productivity and apprenticeship programmes.
“The Government’s firm commitment to a 30-year shipbuilding pipeline shows it is listening and we further welcome the increased emphasis on the social value of shipbuilding. This is a huge step forward which, consistently applied, will help to prevent UK shipbuilding opportunities go abroad.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime News