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E-Bulletin September 2022

Northern Lighthouse Board – New service craft

The Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), the General Lighthouse Authority for Scotland and the Isle of Man announced on 12 December  the Award of a £51.8 million contract to Spanish shipyard Astilleros Gondán S.A, for the build of an advanced hybrid-powered ship to support its vital safety service to mariners.

The tender includes a commitment to place over £2 million of contracts with UK suppliers with a requirement for any contract over £25k to be advertised in the UK. As part of the deal Gondán will also create a special fully funded internship programme for up to 15 UK-based students who will benefit from a range of placements at the yard during the vessel’s construction.

Mike Bullock, NLB’s Chief Executive said: ‘This is a really exciting time for us, and we are delighted we can now take forward our ambitious plans for the build of a hybrid powered aid to navigation tender to replace NLV Pole Star, which after 23 years of service is rapidly approaching the end of her economic life. The new vessel, which will take the name Pole Star, will be a step change from what has gone before using new technology to minimise the impact on the environment and will bring additional capability to help deal with the effects of Climate Change.  This will ensure that we can continue to protect mariners and our precious marine environment in Scottish and Manx waters into the 2050s.’

NLB operates two ships NLV Pharos and NLV Pole Star. The ships carry out buoy work, deliver stores and supplies to lighthouses and inspect aids to navigation  on oil and gas rigs in the Scottish sector.

The vessel will enter service in June 2025 and will meet the ambitious environmental targets set out in the UK Government Clean Maritime Plan, whilst future proofing NLB’s ability to deliver its vital safety services over the next 25 years.

Rapporteur: Paul Ridgway