Gael Force buys yard to build steel barges
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