Preston-based VolkerStevin has just been awarded a £19 million contract to upgrade the defence infrastructure at Mare Harbour in the Falkland Islands. The private military contractor will be providing engineering and construction services as a part of the design-and-build deal with the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
The contract caters for design, construction and other costs associated with the project. It will offer a roll-on and roll-off facility to accommodate larger vessels coming to the harbour. Mare Harbour sees approximately ten sailings annually, which comprise military vessels bringing infrastructure, food and hardware. A few commercial freight vessels also drop anchor at the harbour.
The upgrade of Mare Harbour is set to finish by September 2017. Once the upgrade is completed, larger vessels will be able to dock at the harbour. Future projects for the military installation in the Falkland Islands include a power station at Mount Pleasant Camp and new services accommodation at the three Radar Heads.
The Falklands currently houses 1,200 civilian and military personnel to support the UK’s land, naval and air assets. Over the next decade, the UK Government will be spending £180 million to improve and upgrade military infrastructure on the Islands. This will open up several avenues for a private military contractor.
VolkerStevin Managing Director Rob Coupe said that the company had worked previously for the DIO, and was currently involved in a project at Portsmouth that was similar to the one in the Falklands. Coupe added that VolkerStevin was pleased to be part of this investment, which looks to modernise UK military infrastructure in the Falkland Islands.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stated that the Mare Harbour upgrade was a crucial part of the UK Government’s investment plan to modernise infrastructure in the Falkland Islands. He anticipated that this would help improve the capabilities of the armed forces stationed there and also open up economic opportunities for the local community.