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MERSEY FIRM WINS pounds 17M BOAT ORDER; Dutch navy orders special forces craft.

Byline: TONY McDONOUGH Deputy

A LIVERPOOL specialist boat builder has won a contract worth more than pounds 17m to supply 48 vessels to the Dutch navy.

Marine Specialised Technology (MST) manufactures high-speed, rigid inflatable boats.

The firm, based in Brunswick Business Park, will supply the vessels, known as FRISC (fast raiding, interception and special forces crafts) over the next two years.

The order consists of three different types of FRISC design comprising a boarding craft, a raiding craft and a support craft.

Each craft is capable of travelling at more than 40 knots.

To help MST fulfil the contract, NatWest commercial banking in Liverpool provided the company with a pounds 2.75m funding package, which included an Enterprise Finance Guarantee loan and international trade finance.

Established in 2002, MST has developed into a major international manufacturer and supplier of rigid inflatable boats.

Sales director Phillip Hilbert said: "The contract is the result of winning an international competitive tender and involved 18 months of hard work culminating in physical testing of our products.

"The contract is great news for everyone connected with the company.

"Our approach is to provide a bespoke product which matches the specific customer's needs and we are confident this will help secure additional orders."

MST's clients include military and naval users, coastguard agencies,water police, fishery protection, fire and rescue and environment agencies.

It supplies its crafts to clients in Europe, the Middle East, Far East and Pacific.

The company has 50 employees and a turnover of more than pounds 4m- a figure its directors are confident of increasing as the new contract progresses.

Ian McGee, relationship director at NatWest, said: "MST is a great example of a business which exports a quality, niche product.

"We are very happy to support them."

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MAKING WAVES: Marine Specialised Technology directors Philip Hilbert, left and Ben Kerfoot, right, with Ian McGee from Natwest
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 26, 2011
Words:315
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