Belfast’s Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries has been put up for sale by owner Fred Olsen Energy according to the Belfast Telegraph and BBC News. The day-to-day running of the yard is to remain unaffected, with the sale part of a larger restructuring process at the Norwegian parent company. Harland & Wolff still boasts the largest building dock in Europe, but hasn’t built a ship since 2003 having concentrated on offshore projects and other engineering and repair contracts in recent years. The company currently has two sites on Queens Island with the 556m x 93m building dock and associated manufacturing halls, quays, and other facilities separated from the Belfast Dry Dock repair facility by the Titanic Quarter and Victoria Channel. The building dock is currently being used to assemble underwater foundations for the East Anglia ONE wind farm while Belfast Dry Dock will soon play host to STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY.
Belfast Dry Dock is still actively engaged in the ship repair business and has played host to most of the current Irish Sea fleet in recent years, as well as other vessels such as AZAMARA PURSUIT which was refurbished by MJM Marine at the adjacent Ship Repair Quay earlier in 2018. Although much smaller than the building dock, Belfast Dry Dock is still one of the largest dry docks in the UK. No price has yet been attached to the sale, but it is expected to be one of the largest corporate transactions in Northern Irish history.