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Work boom hopes in new Swans deal.

Byline: Ian Mcneal

Shipbuilder Swan Hunter could create hundreds of jobs on Teesside under plans for a ship breaking centre and a new shipbuilding deal.

The Newcastle-based firm has clinched a deal with Dutch company NV Ecodock to set up a pounds 10m British warship decommissioning facility on the Tyne.

Swan Hunter owner Jaap Kroese said the deal could see dismantling work also carried out on Teesside.

The news comes as Swan Hunter bids for work with Swiss company Allseas to work on a pipe laying vessel.

Mr Kroese said if its bid was successful the deal would create 250 jobs at Swan's mothballed Port Clarence yard on Teesside.

Today's shipbreaking deal will employ at least 240 workers at Swan Hunter's yard in Wallsend and could eventually employ 720 people.

The investment will provide a welcome boost to the shipbuilder as it work to fill a gap in its order book before starting work on the pounds 3bn Royal Navy aircraft carrier project in 2008.

The facility will be operated by NV Ecodock and the North East Marine Offshore Cluster (NEMOC), an alliance of 12 North-east companies, in which Swan Hunter plays a leading role.

Mr Kroese said "Initially we will start at Swan's but of course Ecodock is looking for a bigger yard, a specialist yard, maybe on Teesside."

"Ecodock have looked at several sites in Teesside and are very interested in locations such as Haverton Hill."

* To read an archive of stories on the Battle for Ships campaign log on to www.icteesside.co.uk/battleforships
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Business Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 23, 2005
Words:258
Previous Article:Mixed outlook for jobs on Tees.
Next Article:pounds 300m Teesport project backed.


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