ASSOCIATED British Ports (ABP) the UK’s largest and best-connected port operator, has commissioned a new state-of-the-art pilot boat from UK family-owned company Goodchild Marine Services.

The pilot boat will help enhance port operations in Wales.

The new vessel, which represents an investment of more than £920,000 in Wales, will be part of a fleet of nine faster and more fuel-efficient pilot boats commissioned by ABP.

Together the nine pilot boats cost around £9 million and will be constructed by the Norfolk-based boat builder, Goodchild Marine Services.


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They are expected to be delivered over the course of the next five years.

Construction of the Barry pilot boat is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022 and is expected to be completed in spring 2023.

ABP has commissioned five vessels to serve its Humber ports, three for Southampton and one for South Wales.

ABP’s Wales and Short Sea Ports Regional Director, Andrew Harston said: “We are delighted to be working with Goodchild Marine again and we look forward to welcoming this modern, fuel-efficient pilot boat to our fleet.

“The vessel will not only further enhance the efficiency of our port operations in Barry, but will also serve our other ports in Wales – Cardiff, Swansea, Port Talbot and Newport, providing the highest standard of service to ABP customers.”

ABP and Goodchild Marine Services have had a long history of productive collaboration.

In July 2019, Goodchild Marine delivered its second pilot boat to ABP, the ‘Kingfisher’, which has been supporting operations at the Port of Lowestoft.

This followed the delivery of their first pilot boat for ABP, the ‘Osprey’, more than 25 years ago.

General manager at Goodchild Marine Services Limited, Stephen Pierce said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract with one of the UK’s leading port operators.

"Associated British Ports have demonstrated commitment to the quality of British manufacturing and our supply chain for their next generation of pilot vessels.”