BAE Systems has appointed three construction companies to upgrade its Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in preparation to build a replacement for the Royal Navy's Vanguard class Trident submarines.
Costain, Morgan Sindall, and Shepherd Construction have each been awarded 'framework contracts', under which they will compete with each other to design and build individual projects which make up the overall £300 million programme to rebuild the shipyard.
The eight year programme will include a mixture of new build projects and refurbishment of existing facilities in the most significant redevelopment of the Barrow site since the 1980s, when the vast Devonshire Dock Hall was built to allow construction of Vanguard class submarines.
In March 2014 Phillip Hammond, then Secretary of State for Defence, announced a major redevelopment programme for the BAE Systems site in Barrow to allow construction of 'Successor' class Trident submarines which the government intends will replace the current Vanguard class boats. The new submarines will be the largest ever operated by the Royal Navy, requiring construction of new facilities at Barrow to build them.
The £300 million shipyard construction programme will be funded by the Ministry of Defence as part of the overall Trident replacement programme. 32 separate projects are scheduled to take place at Barrow over the next eight years as part of the building programme, including five major construction projects.
The first major project to go to tender under the framework arrangements will be for the design and construction of the Central Yard Complex – one of two new facilities to be built to allow major submarine equipment modules to be integrated into sections of pressure hull. The complex will be two-thirds the size of the existing Devonshire Dock Hall, covering an area of 15,300 square metres and with a height of 45 metres. A planning application for the complex has recently been submitted and construction work is scheduled to start in September 2015.
Planning permission has already been granted for a £30 million logistics facility which will provide 28,000 square metres of off-site storage space for submarine parts. Building work will begin in January and the facility is scheduled to be completed by April 2016.
The Devonshire Dock Hall, which is already the second-largest indoor shipbuilding facility in Europe, will be extended to accommodate manufacturing and installation works. The concept design stage for the extension project has been completed and building work is scheduled to start in early 2016.
It is expected that approximately 850 contractors will be employed on the programme when it reaches its peak.