Letter: Shipyard hopes

Those alleging that independence will herald the end of Scottish shipbuilding (your report, 9 June) should look to two independent countries, Norway and Finland, with larger shipbuilding industries than Scotland's.

Once the Ministry of Defence's aircraft carriers are built there will be no more naval orders for 50 years and the two Scottish yards building them will probably be joining Brown, Denny, Scott and Stephen in the Clyde shipyard graveyard.

Hundreds of vessels operate in the North Sea oilfields but not one has been built in Scotland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Recently billions of pounds have been spent on oil-related vessels: Havyard Letrik, Norway, has built the most advanced dive support vessel in the world; Maersk has placed an order worth $2 billion with South Korea for three drillships; SBM Offshore has given an order for a dive support vessel to Keppel Singapore, which has already completed 13 vessels for Keppel, and Fugro Survey Ltd recently had a ship launched in Germany.

Perhaps most ominous for Scottish shipbuilding is that the first wind turbine installation vessel has been built in a German shipyard. Since North Sea oil started flowing not one drop has been transported by a Scottish-owned tanker.

However, small non-seafaring countries such as Luxembourg have tankers traversing the oceans with cargoes of North Sea oil from Sullom Voe and other terminals.

The truth is that not one Scottish shipyard has the capability to build a cruise liner and even our fishing boats are mostly built overseas.

Donald J MacLeod

Woodcroft Avenue

Bridge of Don, Aberdeen