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  • Writer's pictureCat Allinson

From Penzance To Zanzibar, the story so far

British shipbuilding industry is growing, and Penzance Dry Dock is able to help meet the rising demand and supply the maritime industry with high-quality vessels.

We have a wealth of experience in ship repair and building that has been passed down through generations. When we took over Penzance Dry Dock in 2021, our goal was to create a shipbuilding hub in West Cornwall, which would create more jobs, and rejuvenate the industry in the area.

Our first step was to build strong shipbuilding partners who could support our goals. We partnered with the some of best companies in the industry to complement our skills. These include Macduff Ship Design Ltd., Tor Group International, Kort Propulsion Co Ltd, and Wills Ridley Ltd.

Being situated in one of the biggest fishing areas in the UK means Penzance Dry Dock has become a hub for fishing fleets and can support the full life cycle from vessel design and build, to repair and maintenance to end of life support. We can build, repair, refit, and convert everything from Fishing Boats to Passenger Ferries to Superyachts up to 75 meters.

Penzance Dry Dock is located at the UK's South-Western tip, making it easily accessible from the English Channel and the Atlantic and perfectly positioned for British export contracts. On realising this, we were introduced to Department for International Trade (DIT), which helps businesses export and grow into global markets.

Presenting online seminar

DIT invited Penzance Dry Dock to present our shipbuilding strategy at the Tanzania UK Business Forum. The event was held on the 16th of November 2021 at the JNICC Dar es salaam. The conference focus was B2B Agritech And Blue Economy And Mining & Infrastructure.

It was a high-level event and included remarks by the British High Commissioner David Concar and a talk with Hon. Kassim M. Majaliwa (MP), Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The Blue Economy forum is a government department in Tanzania and Zanzibar whose responsibility is to enhance sustainability and decarbonization in the Marine Sector.

Off to Zanzibar

Following the presentation, Penzance Dry Dock was one of three companies chosen to be part of a trade envoy in a UK trade mission to Zanzibar.

During the week, Jamie met with the government officials and the head of Blue Economy. As part of the Trade Mission, they had a tour of the current operations. They discussed the similarities and differences between the Zanzibar waters and Newlyn and what infrastructure they would need to achieve their vision of developing a sustainable deepwater fishing industry.

Jamie then finished the trip with a presentation on our vessels and how they could help Zanzibar capture the opportunity.

Proposed vessels

Following the recent trip to Zanzibar, there is a deep understanding of the aspirations for a new fishing fleet to capture the rich deepwater opportunities. These Vessels need to be fit for purpose, durable, versatile, and economically viable.

Penzance Dry Dock has been working in close consultation with the UK Department of International Trade and its shipbuilding partners to create a high-quality concept ship that meets Blue Economies' vision for a more sustainable and profitable future.

Our multi-purpose fishing vessels are built with quality materials and constructed in an industry-proven manner that ensures a longer lifespan. The hulls are carefully designed with more hydrodynamic considerations, increasing the Vessel's efficiency. The vessels include a low-emission propulsion system.

The vessels are operationally adaptable with a long line and crabbing capabilities, allowing for sustainable fishing. They will allow the end-user to capture the deep-sea fishing market opportunities and create a new sustainable industry.

Bristol sustainability and decarbonization seminar

We were invited to the sustainability and decarbonization seminar in Bristol.

The Theme of the Ministers' Visit to the UK was to procure equipment for the Blue Economy in their areas of responsibility to enhance sustainability and decarbonization in the Marine Sector. Specifically, this will be through harvesting of Seaweed, growing Crustaceans, and Tuna Fishing.

Jamie presented our shipbuilding strategy part two, which included more information on the vessels and how we can support them in building the infrastructure and training the personnel.

Trip to Cornwall

We knew the best way for them to make plans, would be to see our facilities and give them a tour of one of the UK's busiest fishing harbours and markets.

We were joined by:

Capt. Hamad Bakar Hamad, Director of Blue Economy, and Coordination

Dr. Salum Soud Hemed, Director Fisheries and Aquaculture

Dr. Amir Haidar Mshenga, Executive Director of Zanzibar Corporation

Abbie Smith – Newlyn Harbour Commission

Laurence Hartwell – Fishing and Education Consultant Derek Thomas – Local MP Colin Pipper - Department of International Trade

The visitors were blown away by the operations and impressed with the scale of the industry.

Going forward

Penzance Dry Dock will be working on signing a memorandum of understanding with the Blue Economy, this is the first step to starting this mass shipbuilding project, which will see a shipbuilding hub develop right here in the heart of Penwith. This will establish Penzance Dry Dock as an industry leader in its field. As the project moves forward, we will be supporting the building and development of the vital infrastructure required to support a deep-sea fishing fleet and help the country develop their fishing industry. This will see Blue Economy and Zanzibar realise their full potential.


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