Record contract for boat builder

emma louise

APPLECROSS based firm Northwind Engineering has begun work on its largest contract to date, to build a new state-of-the-art landing craft worth £700,000.
Not only is the landing craft – for Scottish Sea Farms – the engineering firm’s biggest project in terms of value, it’s also its biggest in terms of physical size too, measuring 17.5m long and 7.25m wide.
Equipped with an Amco Veba crane with a 30-tonne/metre lift, and offering an overall deck load of 35 tonnes, it will be powered by two Doosan engines whose advanced technologies offer maximum fuel efficiency with minimum emissions.
The project is the latest in a long line of contracts from Scottish Sea Farms that have helped Northwind Engineering grow from a one-man company to a 10-strong team and support four apprentice engineers from the local community.
Company founder Ewen Gillies said: ‘We have been working with Scottish Sea Farms almost as long as we have been in business, progressing from carrying out feed barge modifications, re-fitting boats and converting feed barges to the design, build and manufacture of all-new boats such as this latest landing craft.
‘It’s been a fantastic show of support in our engineering skills and one that has enabled us to make major improvements such as the addition of a custom built indoor workshop, where we can stay on-programme whatever the weather, and a new boat hoist, slipway and trailer.’
The contract award comes on the back of news that Scottish Sea Farms spent in excess of £100m – 85 per cent of total supplier spend – procuring goods and services from 709 local businesses in 2017, many of them small to medium sized enterprises like Northwind Engineering.
This record spend is up £13.9m on 2016 and is driven by a long-standing company policy to ‘buy Scottish’ wherever possible.
Jim Gallagher, managing director of Scottish Sea Farms, said: ‘The communities in which we farm are integral to our success, from their natural resources to their local workforces and businesses.
‘It seems only fitting therefore that these same communities should derive maximum value in return; something we are proud to have grown again in 2017 – and will strive to continue growing in 2018 and beyond.’
The new landing craft is due for delivery in August 2018 and is destined for Scottish Sea Farms’ salmon farm at Loch Nevis.
Picture: Northwind\’s Emma Louise, also built for Scottish Sea Farms


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