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ANALYSISUK


The report sets out the practicalities needed to build a fully functioning industry. “It is important to spell out what could be possible... otherwise there is a danger we will not address all the challenges to make it happen,” said Corin Taylor, senior economic adviser at the IoD and author of the report. The government has also earmarked GBP42.6 billion (USD64.9 billion) for construction of High Speed 2 – a new railway linking London with the Midlands and northern England – with a further GBP7.5 billion (USD11.4 billion) allocated for rolling stock. GBP9 billion (USD13.7 billion) has been set aside to support Network Rail investments in major rail projects, including contributing to Crossrail. A further promised GBP28 billion (USD42.7 billion) has been promised towards road network improvements. Will these infrastructure initiatives be the trigger that returns the UK to sustainable economic growth? If the government delivers on its promises, it should undoubtedly create more opportunities for every aspect of the UK heavy lift and project forwarding supply chain.


Infrastructure spending


Nott at Allseas Global Logistics commented: “Should the full extent of the UK’s infrastructure spending review at GBP100 billion (USD152.5 billion) be realised for roads, schools, housing, flood defences, rail, prisons and energy, which are all needed, this could only positively affect the project forwarding industry towards large UK tenders.


“The provision and delivery of raw materials, machinery/plant and equipment and finished goods to sites all over, sourced from within the UK and abroad, should certainly stretch the current capacity with the use of existing heavy lift, heavy haulage


Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage is expecting further opportunities to arise from the London Crossrail project.


and local coaster operators, as well as project cargo specialists,” Nott added.


The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is one of the UK’s leading business associations, representing some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce. According to Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, the measures could be the first step towards meeting private sector investment requirements. “This is the kind of bold, ambitious package which businesses have wanted for years – but the time for grand announcements is over. Ministers now need to follow through urgently on their promises or they risk the private sector growing even more frustrated.” However, she feels the energy proposals are a “big step forward and should unlock


Shearwater stays positive


David Beckett, managing director of London based shipbroker Shearwater Shipping and Chartering, observed: “We have all seen the UK market experiencing a number of tough years’ trading. However, we believe that the long term looks more promising. A number of forward projects are changing from extended feed to firm business.” Shearwater Shipping is the agent for a trio of leading Dutch shipping lines. It exclusively markets the capacity of BigLift Shipping – a leading player in the heavy lift market – within the UK and Ireland. In April 2013, Shearwater Shipping was appointed the exclusive UK and Eire agent for RollDock and is responsible for brokering its fleet of specialised flo-flo and ro-ro vessels. BigLift and RollDock recently announced a joint venture company, BigRoll (HLPFI, May/June 2003, p7), which will operate two newbuild MC class wide-deck module carriers for the transportation of ultra-large and heavy modular cargoes. Shearwater also represents Spliethoff within the UK and markets its 70-strong fleet of multipurpose vessels, many of which have Ice Class classification and heavy lift capabilities.


82 July/August 2013


the private investment we need to keep the lights on and costs down.”


“The renewables strike price and capacity mechanism will enable investors to take their plans off the drawing board and on to building sites,” Hall added.


The UK is a world leader in the wind energy industry with 362 onshore and offshore wind farms in operation at the start of 2013 generating 8,445 MW of clean energy, according to the Brussels based European Wind Energy Association.


Offshore wind


Neil Golding, head of business information at the Energy Industries Council (EIC), urged the UK government to invest further in the offshore wind market. “Offshore wind is seeing a gap in vessel availability,” he highlighted. “There is not enough heavy lift capacity to undertake the work. This lack of capacity may be due to competition with the oil and gas industry.”


He added: “Come on government and back offshore wind energy,” a move that which will encourage developers and contractors to introduce vessel capacity to the market, which will lead to investment from turbine suppliers.


Norstec, the offshore renewable energy industry alliance for Europe’s northern seas, welcomed the offshore energy strike prices outlined in the UK infrastructure review, with its chairman Julian Brown stating: “This information is an important piece of


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