VT Group to supply OPVs

VT Group has been contracted to build and manage three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), including associated training and long-term maintenance support, for the Trinidad and Tobago Coastguard.

The programme, which was part of a proposal from the UK government and VT Group to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, is valued at more than £150m. Contracts were signed in Trinidad on Thursday April 5.

Design work will start immediately on the 90m long ships, which will be used for a range of Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) management, special operations and maritime law enforcement tasks. The first ship will be handed over in 2009.

The contract will sustain around 200 skilled jobs and create a further 100 new positions at VT’s Portsmouth Naval Base shipbuilding facility.

VT Chief Executive Paul Lester commented: ‘The programme will give additional long-term visibility to the order book of our shipbuilding business. We anticipate that production will start at Portsmouth in autumn 2007.’