The UK chief executive of BAE Systems has said that the firm could close one of its major Shipyards.
The move is being discussed because of the UK’s falling shipbuilding industry. BAE’s three shipyards, in Govan, Scotsoun and Portsmouth are presently building two new aircraft carriers. However, the viability of all three is all up for review with insufficient orders on the books.
The company’s UK CEO, Nigel Whitehead said:
“The issue is how to consolidate but make sure that we’ve preserved the capability to design and manufacture complex warships. We anticipate that there will be a reduction in footprint and we anticipate that part of that might actually be the cessation of manufacturing at one of the sites.”
Many shipbuilding companies in Scotland are facing problems in the present climate, though many are coping with the help of factoring.
Following a review of its business, it is highly anticipated that the BAE Portsmouth site could be at highest risk. However, both Scottish sites are also being considered seriously, particularly with both taking up sites on the River Clyde.
A significant reason for the lack of work is due to ongoing defence cuts. As a result, the firm says it is in talks about present and future works with the government.
However, the Ministry of Defence has not been drawn on the subject. It has released a statement saying that it is up to the company as to how deliver the vessels it has been contracted for.
A final decision is expected to be made at the end of the year.