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Appledore Shipyard re-activated under new owners

Yokel

LE
Why should successive governments use taxes raised from successful, profitable industries to support failing, unprofitable ones?

In the not too distant past, Appledore was busy building ferries and things like bulk carriers and chemical tankers for the international commercial market. What changed, and why should Government not support them like they so with loans for exporters?

In order to retain key defence capability within the UK and not rely on foreign yards.

Some may not consider this important, but I do. There is also economic evidence that a lot of the money spent in subsidising UK industries actually gets back into the UK economy as taxes.

In both marine and aerospace, commercial and military industrial capabilities are closely tied. I wonder if the Government will remember this in the spending review?
 
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In the not too distant past, Appledore was busy building ferries and things like bulk carriers and chemical tankers for the international commercial market. What changed, and why should Givernment not support them like they so with loans for exporters?
UK Export Finance provides loan guarantees to businesses with a viable export. To qualify, the business has to qualify for the loan commercially; credit rating, turnover etc etc. The government just stands in stead as the guarantor. It does, on rare occasions, lend to the client side so that they can make the purchase; this has very stringent qualification criteria.

The finance is only available to businesses that have a viable export that needs funding. Viable basically means an order in place. You apply earlier, but the funds are not released until the order is made. It’s funding working capital to complete the order, not business development capital to secure the order. There is no reason the a viable British shipbuilder couldn’t avail itself of the UKEF.

I guess the problem for Appledore was that it didn’t have a viable order book because it couldn’t compete on price, quality or time with the big mass producing yards as it lacked economy of scale. No amount of government (or private) funding could solve that issue. Nor would it be right to use taxpayers money to try; all that does is subsidise the product.

There’s a wealth of research and knowledge out there explaining how subsidising uncompetitive industries pushes up costs elsewhere in the economy. And plenty that shows that the cost of saving the jobs always massively outweighs the costs of retrenchment.
 

Yokel

LE
UK Export Finance provides loan guarantees to businesses with a viable export. To qualify, the business has to qualify for the loan commercially; credit rating, turnover etc etc. The government just stands in stead as the guarantor. It does, on rare occasions, lend to the client side so that they can make the purchase; this has very stringent qualification criteria.

The finance is only available to businesses that have a viable export that needs funding. Viable basically means an order in place. You apply earlier, but the funds are not released until the order is made. It’s funding working capital to complete the order, not business development capital to secure the order. There is no reason the a viable British shipbuilder couldn’t avail itself of the UKEF.

I guess the problem for Appledore was that it didn’t have a viable order book because it couldn’t compete on price, quality or time with the big mass producing yards as it lacked economy of scale. No amount of government (or private) funding could solve that issue. Nor would it be right to use taxpayers money to try; all that does is subsidise the product.

There’s a wealth of research and knowledge out there explaining how subsidising uncompetitive industries pushes up costs elsewhere in the economy. And plenty that shows that the cost of saving the jobs always massively outweighs the costs of retrenchment.

I think that Appledore did once have a viable order but the Government refused to give them a loan due to EU rules. I believe something similar happen to the Fergusson yard on the Clyde.

On the other thread discussing it has been said East European yards have got the market for small (under 10 000 tonne) commercial vessels. However, they all get Government subsidies.
 
I admire your optimism but Appledore is unsuited to constructing complex warships. Offshore Patrol Vessels and hydrographic survey ships are what they can do.

They cannot build large vessels such as those needed for the new RFA Stores Ships, but the new owner also owns the Harland and Wolff yard in Belfast, so maybe....

As recently as the nineties Appledore was busy building commercial vessels, cargo ships, chemical tankers and so on. As a local to the area I would dearly love to see that again.
Last ship was completed in H&W in 2003
 
I think that Appledore did once have a viable order but the Government refused to give them a loan due to EU rules. I believe something similar happen to the Fergusson yard on the Clyde.

On the other thread discussing it has been said East European yards have got the market for small (under 10 000 tonne) commercial vessels. However, they all get Government subsidies.

No. They don't. Pretty sure that EU rules apply to Eastern European EU states. That's not to say that some Government owned yards (Navantia I'm looking at you) don't get away with accounting policies that wouldn't stand shareholder scrutiny (allegedly), but direct subsidy, no.

The 800lb gorilla on Appledores block is those nice folk from Damen, who prosper through a ruthlessly efficient business model.
 
I think that Appledore did once have a viable order but the Government refused to give them a loan due to EU rules. I believe something similar happen to the Fergusson yard on the Clyde.

On the other thread discussing it has been said East European yards have got the market for small (under 10 000 tonne) commercial vessels. However, they all get Government subsidies.
If they get government subsidies they they aren’t viable businesses. Those subsidies are generated from taxing other businesses; money is being taken from the economically profitable to support the loss making. There’s a lot of research out there showing how subsidising loss making businesses destroys value.

Loan guarantees are different. They simply provide working capital. But the business has to qualify commercially.
 
I was expecting some spiv operation by Babcock to sell the site to 'developers' to build marina and 'luxury, executive and penthouse apartments. Windfall profit to Babcock and big bonus to directors???
 

Yokel

LE
Today I bought a copy of the North Devon Gazette. On page 11 I found a full page advert by Harland and Wolff, advertising an 'Appledore Shipyard Careers Open Day' on 10 and 11 September - next Thursday and Friday.

The local news did says jobs would be created 'within weeks'.

Appledore.jpg


Is the picture an indication of likely roles?
 
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Today I bought a copy of the North Devon Gazette. On page 11 I found a full page advert by Harland and Wolff, advertising an 'Appledore Shipyard Careers Open Day' on 10 and 11 September - next Thursday and Friday.

The local news did says jobs would be created 'with weeks'.

View attachment 502161

Is the picture an indication of likely roles?

Yes but only one is needed. Competition will be fierce.

Screenshot_20200905-192054_Free Adblocker Browser.jpg
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer

Yokel

LE
Yes but only one is needed. Competition will be fierce.

View attachment 502163

I was very tempted to give you a funny. However in later pages of the same paper there was a long article about the Appledore yard and the future. There is talk of over three hundred jobs within the next eighteen months, and 'up to a thousand' in the long term.

The head honcho of the new owner says they intend to use the Appledore yard for smaller vessels, and that the Belfast and Appledore yards will be able to work together on larger vessels.

I will give the article a proper read in the morning.
 

wildbill99

Swinger
Commercial design from Boeing, something of an experiment, only had her for 4 yrs I think.
I've commented on this before on another thread. She was purchased with a view to being the lead for a class of 12 for OPV, fisheries protection, etc. roles in the North Sea. However her OPEVAL did not go well! One of the biggest problems was that the hydrofoil control system designed for USN operations off the U.S. northwest coast (and later the Caribbean) could not cope with North Sea sea states. Probably the worst characteristic was a tendency whilst 'flying' on her foils at 40 knots to 'crash' and bury her bow into the face of an oncoming wave, decelerating pretty much instantly to around 0 knots. This understandably made her somewhat unpopular with the crew.
She was commissioned in 1980 and (IIRC) the OPEVAL was in 1981. Wikipedia says the RN also evaluated her for mine laying and mine sweeping, also unsuccessfully, before listing her for disposal in Dec 1982, but that was after my time of involvement.
 
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RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
Thread drift....
A hydrofoil was tried out on the River mersey as a replacement for the conventional ferries. It also didn't like rough weather (the Mersey can get pretty choppy) and wasn't big enough to take holiday crowds. IIRC it was moved on after about 6 months.
 
Commercial design from Boeing, something of an experiment, only had her for 4 yrs I think.
For others - like myself - whose radar was unaware of this vessel . . .

1599385198293.png


1599385276064.png


1599385383203.png


1599385428251.png


I can only presume that Boeing must have paid for a bloody good "lunch", the day that the MoD signed the contract to purchase that !! :( .
 
Why should successive governments use taxes raised from successful, profitable industries to support failing, unprofitable ones?

If for no other reason than to keep large numbers of people off the dole.

Once a capacity is lost, it is unlikely to be re-gained.
 

Yokel

LE
For others - like myself - whose radar was unaware of this vessel . . .

View attachment 502401

View attachment 502404

View attachment 502407

View attachment 502408

I can only presume that Boeing must have paid for a bloody good "lunch", the day that the MoD signed the contract to purchase that !! :( .

On the other hand, many valuable lessons have been learnt and technologies developed from experimental systems, and people testing basic assumptions.

If for no other reason than to keep large numbers of people off the dole.

Once a capacity is lost, it is unlikely to be re-gained.

With the need to rise to the challenge from China, BREXIT, the aftermath of COVID-19, and the very real need to rebalance the economy, I wonder if there will be a move away from short term monetarism?
 
If for no other reason than to keep large numbers of people off the dole.

Once a capacity is lost, it is unlikely to be re-gained.
There was some significant research done around the protection of jobs in the USA in the 70s. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it went along the following lines. It cost something like four times the unemployment benefits to keep a man in non-productive work. That extra money has to found from tax, which required productive industry to generate an additional 300% of the benefit in revenue to fund the benefit. So, in fact it cost the productive economy something like ten times the unemployment benefit to keep the man in idle work.

Invested in the productive economy, that money would be likely to generate more money. Even if it only produced a 2:1 ROI, it means that the US economy to forego over twenty times the cost of the benefit. Clearly the numbers will be different, but taxing profitable businesses to support unprofitable ones in lunacy.
 

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