Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries is a Northern
Irish heavy industrial company, specializing in shipbuilding and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The shipyard has built many ships; among the more famous are the White Star trio Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, the
Royal Navy's HMS Belfast, Royal Mail's Andes, Shaw Savill's Southern Cross and P&O's Canberra. The company's official history, "Shipbuilders to the World" was published in 1986.
As of 2011, the expanding offshore wind power industry has taken centre stage and 75% of the company's work is based on offshore renewable energy.
Harland & Wolff was formed in 1861 by Edward James Harland (1831–1895) and Hamburg-born Gustav Wilhelm Wolff (1834–1913, in the UK from age 14). In 1858 Harland, then general manager, bought the small shipyard on Queen's Island from his employer Robert Hickson.
After buying Hickson's shipyard, Harland made his assistant Wolff a partner in the company. Wolff was the nephew of Gustav Schwabe, Hamburg, who was heavily invested in the Bibby Line, and the first three ships that the newly incorporated shipyard built were for that line. Harland made a success of the business through several innovations, notably replacing the wooden upper decks with iron ones which increased the strength of the ships; and giving the hulls a flatter bottom and squarer cross section, which increased their capacity.
When Harland died in 1895, William James Pirrie became the chairman of the company until his death in 1924. Thomas Andrews also became the general manager and head of the draughting department in 1907. It was during this period that the company built the RMS Olympic and her sister-ships
RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic between 1909 and 1914, commissioning Sir William Arrol & Co. to construct a massive twin gantry and slipway structure for the project.
In 1912, the company acquired another shipyard at Govan in Glasgow, Scotland. It bought the former London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co's Middleton and Govan New shipyards in Govan and Mackie & Thomson's Govan Old yard, which had been owned by William Beardmore and Company. The three neighbouring yards were amalgamated and redeveloped to provide a total of seven building berths, a fitting-out basin and extensive workshops. Harland & Wolff specialised in building tankers and cargo ships at Govan. The nearby shipyard of A. & J. Inglis was also purchased by Harland & Wolff in 1919, along with a stake in the company's primary steel supplier, David Colville & Sons. Harland & Wolff also established shipyards at Bootle in Liverpool, North Woolwich in London and Southampton. These shipyards were all eventually closed from the early 1960s however, when the company opted to consolidate its operations in Belfast.
Faced with competitive pressures (especially as regards shipbuilding), Harland & Wolff sought to shift and broaden their portfolio, focusing less on shipbuilding and more on design and structural engineering, as well as ship repair, offshore construction projects and competing for other projects to do with metal engineering and construction. This led to Harland and Wolff constructing a series of bridges in Britain and also in the Republic of Ireland, such as the James Joyce Bridge and the restoration of Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge, building on the success of its first foray into the civil engineering sector with the construction of the Foyle Bridge in the 1980s.
Harland & Wolff's last shipbuilding project (to date) was the MV Anvil Point, one of six near identical Point class sealift ships built for use by the Ministry of Defence. The ship, built under licence from German shipbuilders Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, was launched in 2003.
In recent years the company has indeed seen its ship-related workload increase slightly. Whilst Harland & Wolff has no involvement in any shipbuilding projects for the foreseeable future, the company is increasingly involved in overhaul, re-fitting and ship repair, as well as the construction and repair of off-shore equipment such as oil platforms. On 1 February 2011 it was announced that Harland & Wolff had won the contract to refurbish the SS Nomadic, effectively rekindling its nearly 150-year association with the White Star Line. Structural steel work on the ship began on February 10, 2011 and has been completed in time for the 2012 Belfast Titanic Festival. In July 2012 Harland & Wolff will carry out the dry docking and service of the Husky Oil SeaRose FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) vessel.
Belfast's skyline is still dominated today by Harland & Wolff's famous twin Gantry cranes, Samson and Goliath, built in 1974 and 1969 respectively. There is also speculation about a resurgence in the prosperity of the shipyard thanks to the company's diversification into emerging technologies, particularly in renewable energy development, such as offshore wind turbine and tidal power construction, which may provide an opportunity to further improve the company's fortunes in the long term. For example, the United Kingdom planned to build 7,500 new offshore wind turbines between 2008 and 2020, creating great demand for heavy assembly work. Unlike land-based wind turbines, where assembly occurs on site, offshore wind turbines have part of their assembly done in a shipyard, and then construction barges transport the tower sections, rotors, and nacelles to the site for final erection and assembly. As a result of this, in late 2007, the 'Goliath' gantry crane was re-commissioned, having been moth-balled in 2003 due to the lack of heavy-lifting work at the yard.
In June 2008, assembly work at the Belfast yard was underway on 60 Vestas V90-3MW wind turbines for the Robin Rigg Wind
Farm. This was the second offshore wind farm assembled by the company for Vestas having completed the logistics for the Barrow Offshore
Wind Farm in 2006. In August 2011 Harland and Wolff completed the logistics for the Ormonde Wind Farm which consisted of 30 REpower 5MW turbines.
In March 2008, the construction of the world's first commercial tidal stream turbine, for Marine Current Turbines, was completed at the Belfast yard. The installation of the 1.2MW SeaGen Tidal System was begun in Strangford Lough in April 2008.
In July 2010, Harland & Wolff secured a contract to make a prototype tidal energy turbine for Scotrenewables Ltd. Manufacture of the SR250 device was completed in May 2011 and has been undergoing testing in Orkney since.
As of April 2012, the booming offshore wind power industry has taken centre stage. Harland & Wolff are currently working on three innovative meteorological mast foundations for the Dogger Bank and Firth of Forth offshore wind farms, as well as putting the finishing touches to two Siemens substations for the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm. Seventy-five per cent of the company's work is based on offshore renewable energy. Harland & Wolff is one of many UK and international companies profiting from the emergence of UK wind- and marine-generated electricity, which is attracting significant inward investment.
OF SHIPS BUILT
SS Venetian, completed 1860 for Bibby Line
Majestic, built 1860, used until 1950 in Chile
RMS Atlantic, built 1870, maiden voyage 8 June 1871, sank 1 April 1873
RMS Oceanic, launched on 27 August 1870, maiden voyage 2 March 1871. The White Star Line's first liner. H+W also built 88 other ships for White Star
SS Baltic, later Veendam, sank 6 February 1898
SS Adriatic, launched on 17 October 1871, maiden voyage 11 April 1872
SS Celtic, launched on 18 June 1872, maiden voyage 24 October 1872
SS Britannic, maiden voyage 25 June 1874, scrapped 1903
SS British Crown, launched 1879, maiden voyage 15 October 1879, renamed Amsterdam 1887
SS British Queen, launched 1880, maiden voyage 31 January 1881, renamed Onega 1915, sunk by torpedo 1918
SS Germanic, launched 1874, scrapped 1950
SS Coptic, launched 10 August 1881, maiden voyage 16 November 1881
SS Doric, launched 1883, 1906 renamed Asia
SS Ionic, launched 1884, scrapped 1908
SS Naronic, launched 1892, missing at sea March 1893
SS Bovic, launched 1892, scrapped 1928
SS Gaika, launched 1897, scrapped 1929
SS Majestic, launched 1889, scrapped 1914
SS Michigan, Launched April 19, 1890, Maiden Voyage on June 24, 1890; Renamed USAT Kilpatrick, Acropolis, Washington, Great Canton; Scrapped in Italy 1924.
SS Mississippi, Launched August 29, 1890, Maiden Voyage on October 28, 1890; Renamed USAT Buford; Scrapped in Japan 1929.
SS Massachusetts, Launched on December 17, 1891; Maiden Voyage on April 24, 1892; Renamed the Sheridan; Scrapped in October 1923.
SS Manitoba, Launched on January 7, 1892; Maiden Voyage on April 15, 1892; Renamed the Logan, Candler; Scrapped in 1926.
SS Mohawk, Launched in 1892; Maiden Voyage on April 1892; Renamed the Grant, Chinouk; Scrapped in 1946.
SS Mobile, Launched on January 20, 1893; Renamed the Sherman, Calawaii; Scrapped in Japan in 1933.
SS Gothic, maiden voyage 28 December 1893, scrapped 1926
SS Minnewaska, Launched in 1894, previously named Persia, later renamed USAT Thomas; Scrapped in 1929.
SS Armenian, launched 25 November 1895, sunk by torpedo 1915
SS Canada, launched on 14 May 1896, maiden voyage 1 October 1896
SS Cymric, launched 1898, sunk April 13, 1916
SS New England, launched April 7, 1898, maiden voyage June 30, 1898, renamed Romanic November 1913, scrapped 1922
RMS Oceanic, launched on 14 January 1899
SS Commonwealth, launched on 31 May 1900, maiden voyage 4 October 1900. Became Canopic (1904)
SS Minnehaha, launched on March 31, 1900; maiden voyage on July 7, 1900; torpedoed and sunk by U-Boat U 48 on September 7, 1917.
RMS Celtic, launched on 4 April 1901, maiden voyage 26 July 1901. Wrecked 10 December 1928, Roche's Point, Cobh, Ireland
RMS Walmer Castle, launched on 6 July 1901
SS Athenic, launched on 17 August 1901, maiden voyage 13 February 1902
USS Artemis, launched 15 August 1902 as Iowa, later Bohemia and Empire Bittern, sunk 1944
RMS Cedric, launched on 21 August 1902, maiden voyage 11 February 1903, scrapped 1932
WSL Corinthic launched 1902, scrapped 1932
SS Ionic, launched on 22 May 1903, scrapped in Japan, 1936
RMS Baltic, launched 21 November 1903, scrapped in Japan in 1933
RMS Kenilworth Castle, launched on 15 December 1903, completed May 1904
SS Mamari, maiden voyage 15 December 1904
RMS Aragon, launched on 23 February 1905, maiden voyage 14 July 1905
USS America, launched 20 April 1905 as SS Amerika, later USAT America and USAT Edmund B. Alexander, scrapped 1957
TSS Nieuw Amsterdam, launched September 28, 1905; Maiden Voyage April 7, 1906; Scrapped in Japan February 1932.
SS Rohilla, completed 1906; lost off Whitby 30 October 1914.
RMS Adriatic, launched on 20 September 1906, maiden voyage 8 May 1907, Scrapped in Japan 1935.
USS Republic, launched in 1907
SS Megantic, launched 1908, scrapped in Japan, 1933
SS Laurentic, launched 1908, sunk by mines January 1917
RMS Edinburgh Castle, launched on 27 January 1910, completed 28 April 1910, maiden voyage May 1910
SS Pakeha, launched on 26 May 1910, completed 20 August 1910
RMS Olympic, launched 20 October 1910, maiden voyage 14 June 1911
SS Nomadic, launched 25 April 1911, tender to RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic, under restoration 2011
SS Traffic, launched 27 April 1911, sunk 1941
RMS Titanic, Olympic class launched on 31 May 1911, maiden voyage 10 April 1912, sunk 15 April 1912 2:20 am (ship's time) 5:20 (GMT)
SS Zealandic, launched on 29 June 1911, maiden voyage 30 October 1911, sunk 1941
RMS Arlanza, launched 23 November 1911, completed September 1912
SS Ceramic, launched on 11 December 1912, completed 5 July 1913
SS Pittsburgh, launched 1913, entered service 1922, renamed Pennland, sunk 1942
SS Katoomba, launched on 10 April 1913. Later Columbia. Sold to Japanese breakers 22 August 1959
SS Alcantara, launched October 1913, sunk 29 February 1916
HMHS Britannic, improved Olympic class, launched on 26 February 1914, sunk by mine 1916
MS Akaroa, maiden voyage 1 July 1914, later Euripides, scrapped 1954
SS Justicia, launched on 9 July 1914 as SS Statendam, completed April 1917
RMT Almanzora, launched on 19 November 1914, completed September 1915
SS Belgenland, originally SS Ceric, launched January 1914, completed 1917 as Belgic IV
HMS Abercrombie, launched 15 April 1915, scrapped 1927
RMS Regina, launched 1917, entered passenger service 1919, renamed Westerland, scrapped 1947
SS Venusia, in service 1918, sister-ships; first freighters ordered from H+W by Cunard Line
SS Varentia, in service 1918
RMS Arundel Castle, launched 11 September 1919, scrapped 1959
SS Doric, launched 1922, scrapped November 1935
RMS Mooltan, launched on 15 February 1923
RMS Maloja, launched on 19 April 1923
SS Minnewaska, maiden voyage 1 September 1923
RMMV Asturias, launched on 7 July 1925, completed 21 February 1926
RMMV Carnarvon Castle, launched on 14 January 1926, maiden voyage 16 July 1926
MS Alcantara, launched 1927, scrapped 1958
SS Laurentic, launched 16 June 1927, torpedoed and sunk 3 November 1940
SS Lochness, launched 6 June 1929; in service July 1929; scrapped 1973
MV Llangibby Castle, launched 4 July 1929, maiden voyage 5 December 1929
SS Duke of Lancaster, launched 1956
MV St Christopher,launched 1981.
MV St David IV,launched 1981(renamed Stena Caledonia in 1990.)
RMS Britannic, launched 6 August 1929, scrapped 1960
RMMV Winchester Castle, launched 19 November 1929, maiden voyage 24 October 1930
MS Achimota, launched 17 December 1929, delivered 29 November 1932 as TSMV Wanganella
RMMV Warwick Castle, launched 29 April 1930, maiden voyage 30 January 1931, sunk by U-413 on 14 November 1942 under the command of Gustav Poel
RMS Georgic, launched 1931, maiden voyage June 25, 1932, scrapped 1961
MV Highland Patriot, completed 1932, war loss 1 October 1940
TS Duchess of Hamilton, completed 1932, scrapped 1974
MV Waipawa, completed October 1934
MV Wairangi, completed February 1935
MV Stirling Castle, launched 15 July 1935, maiden voyage 7 February 1936
RMMV Athlone Castle, launched 28 November 1935, maiden voyage 22 May 1936
MS Dunnottar Castle, launched 25 January 1936, maiden voyage 10 July 1936, later Victoria
RMMV Dunvegan Castle, launched 26 March 1936
MV Walmer Castle, launched 17 September 1936, completed 30 November 1936
RMMV Cape Town Castle, launched 23 September 1937, completed 31 March 1938
HMS Belfast, launched 17 March 1938, decommissioned 24 August 1963, museum ship since 31 October 1971
RMMV Durban Castle, launched on 14 June 1938
RMS Andes, launched on 7 March 1939, completed September 1939
RMMV Pretoria Castle, launched on 12 October 1939 (later HMS Pretoria Castle then RMMV Warwick Castle)
HMS Gentian, launched 6 August 1940, scrapped 1947
RFA Black Ranger, launched 22 August 1940, scrapped 1979
HMS Adamant, launched 30 November 1940, scrapped 1970
RFA Brown Ranger, launched 12 December 1940, scrapped 1975
HMS Anchusa, launched 15 January 1941, scrapped 1960
HMS Bergamot, launched 15 February 1941, scrapped 1974
MV Empire Grace, launched on 25 August 1941, completed April 1942
MV British Bombardier, built as Empire Fusilier, completed as Empire Bombardier, scrapped 1959
HMS Black Prince, (C81),later HMNZS Black Prince launched 27 August 1942, scrapped 1962 Osaka Japan
MV Athelqueen, launched 24 November 1942 as Empire Benefit, later Mariverda, scrapped 1961
HMS Boxer, launched 12 December 1942, scrapped 1958F
MV Empire Abercorn, launched on 30 December 1944
MV Durango, completed in 1944
MV Waiwera, completed in 1944
HMCS Bonaventure, launched 27 February 1945, scrapped 1971
INS Vikrant, completion & modifications only 1957-61, decommissioned 31 January 1997, now museum in Mumbai
SS Athenic, launched on 26 November 1946, maiden voyage 1 August 1947
RMS Pretoria Castle, launched on 19 August 1947 (later SS S.A. Oranje)
RMS Edinburgh Castle, launched on 16 October 1947
RMS Parthia, maiden voyage 10 April 1948. First passenger/cargo liner ordered from H+W by Cunard Line
RMS Magdalena, delivered 1949. Ran aground 25 April 1949 on maiden voyage near Rio de Janeiro and wrecked
MV Bloemfontein Castle, launched on 24 August 1949, scrapped 1989
SS Rhodesia Castle, launched on 5 April 1951, completed 6 October 1951
SS Kenya Castle, launched on 21 June 1951, later SS Amerikanis, scrapped 2001
SS Braemar Castle, launched on 5 April 1952
MV Cedric, delivered November 1952
MV Cretic, completed in 1953
SS Iberia, launched on 21 January 1954, maiden voyage 28 September 1954
SS Loch Gowan, completed in 1954
SS Southern Cross, launched on 17 August 1954, delivered 23 February 1955, scrapped 2003
Port Melbourne, completed in 1955
SS Reina Del Mar, launched on 7 June 1955, delivered April 1956, maiden voyage 3 May 1956
MV " Ulster Star", Launched 26 February 1956, Scrapped 1979
SS Loch Loyal, completed in 1957
HMS Blackpool, (F77) Whitby Class Frigate launched 14 February 1957, scrapped 1978, (Also became HMNZS Blackpool 1966-1971)
RMS Pendennis Castle, launched on 24 December 1957, maiden voyage 1 January 1959, scrapped 1980
RMMV Amazon, launched July 1959, maiden voyage January 1960
RMMV Aragon, launched on 20 October 1959, maiden voyage 29 April 1960
SS Canberra, launched on 16 March 1960, maiden voyage 6 June 1961, scrapped 1997
RMMV Arlanza, launched on 13 April 1960, maiden voyage 7 Octobe 2233 Joyce Ave
Solar Navigator - SWASSH (Small Waterplane Area Stabilized Single Hull)
test model 2012
latest Solarnavigator is designed to be capable of an autonomous
world navigation set for an attempt
2015 if all goes according to schedule.