Gael Force buys yard to build steel barges

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

GAEL Force Group has ac­quired a 75 per cent stake in a Fort William boat builder, a move which could see the in­tro­duc­tion of steel feed barge build­ing on the west coast.

Gael Force said the de­vel­op­ment was an op­por­tu­nity for Scot­tish salmon farm­ers to ben­e­fit from a com­pet­i­tive home-built sub­sti­tute to im­ported steel feed barges.

The com­pany, a ma­jor aqua­cul­ture sup­plier which em­ploys more than 200 peo­ple, al­ready builds con­crete barges at its In­ver­ness fa­cil­ity, but many steel barges are cur­rently man­u­fac­tured out­side the UK in East­ern Europe.

Gael Force group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ste­wart Gra­ham said: ‘We are de­lighted to wel­come Cor­pach Boat­build­ing Com­pany as part of an ex­pand­ing Gael Force Group.

‘Through­out our dis­cus­sions it was clear we share the same mo­ti­va­tion for close cus­tomer col­lab­o­ra­tion, with an aim to de­liv- er out­stand­ing qual­ity in prod­uct and ser­vice.

‘We look for­ward to work­ing with our col­leagues at Cor­pach to grow the ex­ist­ing busi­ness as a first-class boat builder and achieve our long term ob­jec­tive of of­fer­ing an in­no­va­tive Scot­tish built sub­sti­tute to im­ported steel barges.

‘Ad­di­tion­ally, we see this de­vel­op­ment as strate­gi­cally crit­i­cal to Scot­land’s boat build­ing and ser­vic­ing ca­pa­bil­ity and also for Lochaber’s ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment plans too.’

Cor­pach Boat­build­ing Com­pany is ex­pe­ri­enced in the con­struc­tion of steel craft and has pro­vided ser­vices for fish farms since 1992.

Cor­pach’s marine de­vel­op­ment man­ager, Don­ald Hind, said: ‘This is an ex­cit­ing mile­stone for our busi­ness, and one which prom­ises to give rise to new op­por­tu­ni­ties for both Cor­pach and Gael Force.

‘We are hugely ex­cited by the prod­uct and work­force de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties this deal presents and look for­ward to strength­en­ing the re­la­tion­ship we have al­ready es­tab­lished.

‘We are very con­fi­dent that by shar­ing our skills, ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence we can grow our busi­ness and work­force, which will, in turn, de­liver value to the mar­kets we serve in sup­port of our loyal cus­tomers.’

Above: Cor­pach Boat­build­ing Com­pany, , si­t­u­ated at the en­trance to the Cale­do­nian Canal

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