Leading strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management company InfraStrata plc has acquired the historic and highly strategic Appledore Shipyard in North Devon in a £7 million deal.
The UK-based, London Stock Exchange-listed firm specialises in the development, commercialisation and operation of advanced, high-value, strategic infrastructure facilities.

The new deal follows InfraStrata’s acquisition of the famous Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast last year and reinforces the company as a major player in the UK maritime and offshore engineering industry.

“We see Appledore playing a key role in an exciting new era for UK shipyards and shipbuilding; supporting our industry and revitalising economic growth,” said InfraStrata CEO John Wood.

“Globally, there is an estimated £6bn pipeline of opportunities over the next five years, which we expect both yards to benefit from.

“In the UK there is currently insufficient shipbuilding capacity to meet demand. There are a substantial number of UK vessels that require replacement within the next 10 years, including 150 UK sovereign commissioned vessels,” he added.

While most shipyards, both domestic and international, focus on the hugely competitive mid-market sector, InfraStrata believes the most significant growth opportunities lie at either end of the spectrum.

“With two dry docks in H&W (Belfast) each at 356m and 556m in length, H&W Belfast comprises of the two largest drydocks in the UK, the second largest in Europe,” said John.

H&W (Appledore), on the other hand, with a covered drydock length of 119 metres, provides a vital asset for some of the smallest vessels. There are very few shipyards in the UK that can offer this type of undercover building dock and repair facility,

“Belfast is perfectly positioned to accommodate large-scale projects, while Appledore caters for vessels under 119 m in length. By leveraging both yards we can provide flexible capacity management and economies of scale.

“We have a flexible and adaptable workforce able to deliver a wide range of contracts across five key sectors, commercial, defence, cruise & ferry, renewables, and oil and gas.

“Our ambition is to develop a modern, high-tech, and globally competitive export business capable of bringing significant investment to the UK,” he added.

As part of its new remit, the shipyard will provide complete lifecycle management from technical services, fabrication & construction, to in-service support, repair and maintenance, and conversion all the way to decommissioning.

It will also be able to accommodate other projects like steel fabrication for industry and construction.

Jointly the InfraStrata group has the potential of employing 1,550 people – 800 at Harland and Wolff (Belfast), 350 at Harland and Wolff (Appledore), and 400 during the construction phase of the Islandmagee gas storage project.