Feed barge deal

Mon, 13 April 2015

Gael Force Group of Scotland, UK says it will create 20 new commercial marine jobs thanks to a multi-million pound order for new feed barges from the Scottish Salmon Company.

Gael Force will build an initial three feed barges for SSC’s operations in the Outer Hebrides in a deal worth just under £2.5 million. The contract could double in size, as a further three, 200-tonne barges will be built subject to future expansion plans by SSC. Coming on top of Gael Force’s existing and expected workload, it will see the company’s workforce increase to 200, the highest ever level.

The first phase of the SSC deal will see Gael Force deliver and install the SeaMate 200T barges by August. If approved, the second phase will be completed in early 2016.

Various production and design posts have already been filled, but Gael Force continues to search for welders, fabricators, pipefitters and concrete operatives across its bases at Inverness and Forres.

Stewart Graham, Gael Force Group Managing Director, said: “These are among the highest specification 200-tonne feed barges we have built, which demonstrates the level of investment and commitment The Scottish Salmon Company is making to the long-term future of Scottish aquaculture.”

“It is a huge vote of confidence in the industry and in our workforce. Coming on top of our existing workload, which includes significant orders for other aquaculture companies, we are now operating at full capacity and we have to increase staff numbers and extend work patterns to deal with the demand.”

“Our reputation as an employer, and the recent downturn in the oil industry, makes me confident that we will recruit new staff very quickly.”

Mr Graham said aquaculture is a key industry for Scotland and some of the country’s most remote communities: “We have seen the growth of Scottish aquaculture over 30 years, delivering valuable and high quality jobs across the rural areas of the Highlands and Islands which has been transformative for these areas.”

“High quality Scottish farmed salmon is now a critical part of Scotland’s world renowned food and drink sector and, with smart and coherent government policy, has a long term future of growth to look forward to. This will make a hugely positive economic impact by way of jobs, both directly employed in the extensive supply chain and, critically, to our country’s balance of trade.”

“No other industry in our recent past, other than the oil industry, has delivered so positively for the Highlands and Island of Scotland.”

The contract is also a major milestone for the Scottish Salmon Company which operates from about 60 locations and employs more than 480 people.

Source: Jake Frith



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