A dedicated ship repair facility has opened at MMD Shipping Services Ltd, based at Portsmouth International Port, with Flathouse Quay becoming a new location for Britain’s largest independent ship repairer and marine engineering services provider, Burgess Marine
The company will utilise space at the dock when cargo ships are not using Flathouse Quay to unload fresh produce. It enables Burgess Marine to offer their services to a wider range of larger vessels, including those with deeper draughts.
The repair service was successfully trialled last week, when Burgess Marine brought Wightlink's "St Cecilia" in to dock for unscheduled repairs. The work was carried out efficiently and quickly in the new location and the ferry was back in service within 3 days.
James Brewin, the General Manager of Burgess Marine in Portsmouth (which includes the company’s 1000T shiplift in Portchester and its operations inside HMNB Portsmouth) comments: “Wightlink is one of our most important customers here locally and to be able to support them alongside in such an immediate fashion has been fantastic. Whilst this is our first use of the site we see great, great potential and plenty of local opportunity moving forward”.
The new partnership allows Burgess Marine to utilise resources not being used by MMD Ltd, making economic sense for one of the UK's leading importers of fresh fruit and vegetables. Heavy lift cranes normally used for taking containers from cargo ships will now also be used by Burgess Marine, bringing more flexibility to their business model. The company will also be able to access MMD's expertise 24 hours a day, creating a true round the clock ship repair operation.
Steve Williams, General Manager at MMD, said "This is an excellent use of an existing resource. It creates employment in Portsmouth whilst generating income for MMD, which is owned by Portsmouth City Council. We look forward to developing our relationship with Burgess Marine and wish the company every success with their venture."
Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “As the UK’s leading marine and maritime city I’m delighted to welcome Burgess Marine to their new home. Our regeneration plans for the city focus on the development of our enviable, waterfront location, and attracting the calibre of Burgess Marine is a real opportunity to develop this vision further. We’re able to demonstrate to businesses that we have the capacity and infrastructure to help them grow, in turn providing more opportunities for the local economy. Portsmouth has a lot to offer marine industries and this new agreement with Burgess Marine showcases exactly the city’s potential.”
Dave Redman, the CFO of Burgess Marine goes on to say: “the forward looking nature of Portsmouth City Council coupled with the Ports ‘can do’ attitude totally compliments the way that we work at Burgess Marine. We’re keen to keep customers onside, develop unique client facing offerings, and we look forward to working with all the vested parties well into the future”.