Devonport Dockyard nuclear submarine dock revamp set to create jobs
Joint venture between leading construction firms Kier and BAM will rebuild 10 Dock, the first part of a £2bn overhaul of facilities at the UK’s largest dockyard.
Two of the UK’s leading construction firms have been hired to transform Devonport Dockyard into a maintenance center for new nuclear submarines and have vowed to create jobs for Plymouth people.. A joint venture between industry giants Kier and BAM will now refurbish Devonport’s 10 Dock, the first part of a £2bn overhaul of facilities at the UK’s largest dockyard.
Babcock International Group Plc, which operates the yard, appointed Kier BAM Joint Venture (KBJV) after previously announcing a series of major infrastructure projects at Devonport. During the next 10 years new facilities will be developed at the site to meet the evolving requirements of the Royal Navy.
The project includes the redevelopment of a dry dock for nuclear submarines alongside the demolition of existing buildings and construction of new ones to support the Royal Navy’s submarine maintenance programme. The scope includes all mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation technology in the new dock building, a new dividing headwall within the dock, ground anchors, and new service subways to support submarines in their dry dock positions.
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KBJV was competitively awarded the NEC4 Framework contract for the main civil engineering work on the 10 Dock Project. This framework provides flexibility to award multiple “call-off” contracts, with smaller suppliers and experts.
Kier and BAM have also committed to delivering social value by employing local people including those classified as not in employment, education or training, providing apprenticeships, investing in a locally based supply chain and partnering with schools and colleges to provide mentoring and work experience to young people. A sustainable approach to delivery will also include focus on lean design, low carbon fuels, use of low carbon concrete, logistics optimization and material reuse.
The Devonport Royal Dockyard has been supporting the Royal Navy for more than 300 years since 1691 and is the largest naval base in Western Europe. The vast site covers more than 650 acres and has 15 dry docks, four miles of waterfront, 25 tidal berths and five basins. During the past five years 10 Dock has been used to maintain landing craft and for the major overhaul of Albion Class Landing Platform Dock ship HMS Albion. It will now be transformed into a site for maintaining new submarines which are coming into service with more than 600 construction jobs being created.
Since 2020, the Ministry of Defense has awarded Babcock initial contracts worth about £140m for infrastructure design and enabling works that will support the Astute class submarine, which is replacing the Trafalgar class subs. This is the first stage in a long-term development program for Devonport that will see improvement projects spanning more than 10 years.
“These major upgrades will enable deep maintenance work packages for the latest class of nuclear-powered submarines. Dock upgrades to support the Astute program will enable optimization of submarine maintenance to be carried out at both HM Naval Base Clyde and Devonport Dockyard.
In parallel with the 10 Dock project, preparations are also underway for extensive work on the adjacent 9 Dock. This project, managed by an integrated Bechtel and Cavendish Nuclear program delivery team, will deliver maintenance, life extension and facility improvements to the dock for the nuclear missile carrying Vanguard Class submarines.
Mark Pengelly, group managing director at Kier Infrastructure, said: “We’re pleased to have been appointed by Babcock International Group to deliver the next phase of critical infrastructure works at 10 Dock, helping to ensure that the port meets the future needs of the Royal Navy. Together with our joint venture partners, we have a long-established track record of delivering projects at Devonport Royal Dockyard and across the wider South West region, including at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
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“We look forward to continuing to share our combined expertise, knowledge and resources to complete another project to the highest of standards. The project will provide a boost to the community by creating jobs across the region, investing in local businesses and supporting young people at the start of their careers.”
Richard Prime, managing director – major projects at BAM Nuttall, said: “We’re excited to have been chosen to deliver this project with our long-standing joint venture partners. We have proven that our integrated approach and combined experience allows us to deliver efficiently and predictably. This is a fantastic opportunity to provide value to the community through job creation and deliver a number of sustainable solutions which make what we deliver future-proof.”
John Oliver, strategic infrastructure director at Babcock, said: “The regeneration of maritime infrastructure at Devonport is being delivered by a specially selected and highly-experienced group of partners and we’re delighted to welcome Kier BAM to the programme. Along with our MoD customer, we have a one team ethos and are all committed to working together to develop first–class facilities that will continue to support Royal Navy operations for decades to come.”
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