Heading to Falmouth

A&P Group operates seven dry docks across three strategic locations in the UK at Falmouth, Tyne and Tees, offering an extensive portfolio of services that can accommodate all ship repair requirements, ranging from emergency dockings to 25-year special surveys. All work is carried out under rigorous compliance with an integrated safety, health, quality and environmental management system fully certified under ISO 9001, 14001 & OHSAS 18001.

Growing through expertise, market-strength and dedication to delivering complex projects A&P has become a global leader in ship repair, conversion and marine services. A&P provides robust, bespoke solutions, maintaining a collaborative, open approach creating lasting and trusted partnerships.

A&P Falmouth operates in one of the world’s largest natural deepwater harbours. The ship-repair complex consists of three large graving docks including the largest dry dock on the UK south coast at 254m by 40m and extensive berthing facilities for vessels up to 100,000 tonnes.

Offering onsite engineering, electrical, paint and fabrication workshops, it is able to provide a complete range of marine repair services to the customer. As well as extensive workshop facilities across all disciplines Falmouth offers bunkering facilities, the ability to dock without gas freeing, in-water surveys and propeller polishing as well as strong support from OEM’s and other specialist contractors based in the area.

In addition, The Port of Falmouth handles over 100,000 tonnes of product annually with over 30 firms located in the docks estate providing a full range of services including towage, ship’s agency, area port health, diving services, local surveyors and tank washing. Regarded as the gateway to Cornwall, Falmouth is used by over 20,000 cruise passengers annually.

Supporting the busy port A&P Falmouth announced the appointment of five new apprentices this year underlining the commitment to the future of the dockyard. Specialising in marine mechanical and electrical engineering the entrants will undergo significant training empowering the workforce.

HR and development manager Paul Kneebone, who started his own career with the company in 1984 as an engineering apprentice, says: “An apprenticeship brings raw potential and talent into the marine engineering industry. We are investing in the next generation so that we can continue to be at the forefront of marine engineering to support commercial and military fleets worldwide.”

Sixty per cent of current managers and supervisors at A&P Falmouth started with the company as apprentices and investment demonstrates the business is fully dedicated to building on the marine skill base that has sharpened over 150 years of ship repair at Falmouth Docks.

Operating with two core strap lines ‘Safety First’ and ‘Customer is King, Repeat Business is the key’ the attention has resulted in many long-term ship repair partnerships with companies including P&O, Grimaldi, Condor, Serco, Gulf Offshore, BAE Systems, Star Reefers and the Ministry of Defence.

In October A&P Falmouth completed the third successful project this year with the Grimaldi Group (54 in 12 years). Grande Togo left Falmouth, escorted by A&P Falmouth’s tugs St Piran and Percuil with the Grimaldi car carrier’s distinctive yellow and white paintwork gleaming as it reflected in the afternoon high tide.

In November 2013 the fast cat, Condor Vitesse arrived in Falmouth. The 86 metre high-speed ferry operates between the UK and the Channel Islands connecting with ferry services on to France. With original construction by Incat Yards of Tasmania in 1997 the vessel was in dock for 20 days whilst general maintenance and survey work was completed on time.

From local domestic and commercial to foreign military, A&P Falmouth has a client base that arrives in a variety of forms and in October 2013 received a rare visit from a state-of-the-art warship, the Soobrazitelny, the first Russian military vessel in decades to berth at Falmouth. The strategic visit enabled the fuel and stores to be replenished, and after a long time at sea, its crew enjoyed the facilities the port had to offer.

Earlier in the same month, HMS Mersey arrived for a programmed six-week refit. The ship, managed by BAE Systems and part of the Fishery Protection Squadron, the oldest unit of the Royal Navy, patrols the waters of the UK and up to 200 miles in the Atlantic ensuring fishing boats and trawlers stick to internationally agreed quotas. After 391,653 nautical miles and 50,000 hours at sea, A&P Falmouth was selected for the repair work that includes a major painting programme.

Building relationships with new contractors, A&P Falmouth completed the dry-docking and repairs on the tanker Jipro Isis. The project, which was won against competing European shipyards included hull preparation and painting, tail shaft survey, main engine overhauls and class survey items. Mr Kim Supt. Iino Maritime says: “A&P Falmouth was chosen for the docking and repairs to Jipro Isis as their pricing structure was the most competitive of the North European yards. The maintenance, painting and upgrade work was carried out in a safe and efficient manner and to a very high standard of workmanship. The vessel completed on time and on budget. The co-operation with the management and the repair-teams was excellent.’’

Following a string of successful contracts A&P Falmouth was chosen for the dry-docking and repairs to CSL Argosy, a self-discharging bulk carrier, beating other European yards on both price and turnaround time. The vessel is 244 metres long with a 32 metre beam, a suitable size for the number two dry-dock. In feed back from Beltship superintendent John Hendry says: “The work was carried out safely, efficiently and to a very high standard. I was impressed by the openness and co-operation of the yard project and management team, which resulted in a very successful and timely docking. We would have no hesitation in returning to A&P Falmouth in the future.”

Moving into 2014 with an expanded and satisfied client base the future prospects are looking very strong for the docks at Falmouth.

Ship repair and conversion
Developing workforce
Growing client base