Titanic shipyard rescued from bankruptcy

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 01 2019 06:12 PM

Gantry cranes are seen in the shipyard of Harland & Wolff Shipbuilders in Belfast, Northern Ireland, September 6, 2019. John Sibley, Reuters/File

LONDON - Iconic Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff, which built the Titanic, has been rescued from bankruptcy by InfraStrata, the British energy infrastructure company announced Tuesday.

The giant of Northern Ireland's industrial past has been purchased for £6.0 million or $7.4 million from administrators BDO, InfraStrata said in a statement.

This shipyard's main assets "comprise a multi-purpose fabrication facility, quaysides and docking facilities in the port of Belfast, ideally suited for the energy infrastructure industry," the statement said.

As well as building the doomed Titanic, which sank in 1912, Harland and Wolff built its two sister ships Olympic and Britannic, and also supplied almost 150 warships during World War II.

It has since moved away from shipbuilding and was until recently working mostly on wind energy and marine engineering projects.

Harland and Wolff, whose history dates back to 1861, sank into administration in August after its Norwegian parent, Dolphin Drilling, filed for bankruptcy having failed to find a buyer.

Harland and Wolff, whose huge yellow cranes have towered over the Belfast skyline for decades, employed more than 30,000 people in the early 20th century but had only 130 staff prior to its collapse.

"The 79 employees who did not opt for voluntary redundancy earlier in the year will be retained immediately following completion of the acquisition," InfraStrata said.

"The InfraStrata board plans to significantly increase the size of the workforce by several hundred over the next five years as it progresses the development of its infrastructure projects."