A contract to improve defence infrastructure on the Falkland Islands has been signed.
The £19m contract to upgrade Mare Harbour was agreed between VolkerStevin, based in Preston, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
The announcement comes after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visited to the Falkland Islands in February, and forms part of his commitment of £180million investment over the next decade to modernise the military infrastructure on the Islands.
The contract is for design, construction and associated costs and will provide a facility suitable to cater for larger vessels, namely the POINT Class ships, with roll-on roll-off capability of the Falkland Islands Resupply Ship (FIRS). There are approximately 10 FIRS sailings per year which deliver military supplies including hardware, food and infrastructure, as well as a small amount of commercial freight to the Falkland Islands.
The project, which is due to be completed in September 2017, will improve military capability in the Falklands as the current harbour berth is unsuitable for the class of vessel which services the islands. The improvements will better support and facilitate secure mooring for visiting vessels. There will also be a new jetty to support small boat operations.
Today’s £19m contract to improve facilities at the berths in Mare Harbour is expected to be followed by investment to improve the power station at Mount Pleasant Camp as well as new services accommodation at the three Radar Heads. There are currently around 1,200 military and civilian personnel based in the Falklands supporting defensive air, naval and land assets, including RAF Typhoon aircraft, helicopters, Royal Navy patrol vessels and an Army infantry company.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Improving Mare Harbour is an important part of our major investment plan to modernise the Falkland Island’s infrastructure. This will boost the capability of our Armed Forces and help support greater economic opportunities for the Islanders.”