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  • Writer's pictureMark Watson-Mitchell

Harland & Wolff Group – judicial review goes in favour on Islandmagee Gas Storage Project, up 25%

Harland & Wolff Group – judicial review goes in favour of the group on its Islandmagee Gas Storage Project, continuing news sees the shares up 25%

It appears that Harland & Wolff Group (LON:HARL), the UK-quoted company focused on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management it is winning through with its Islandmagee Gas Storage Project.

The company has been notified that the judgement in the judicial review of the Project has been made in favour of the company.

The Management will now assess this judgement in detail and consider the appropriate next steps factoring in the findings of the judgement and the interests of Harland & Wolff's stakeholders.

The Islandmagee gas storage project is expected to provide 25% of the UK's natural gas storage capacity and to benefit the Northern Irish economy as a whole when completed.

So, this positive result is just at an early stage in the group’s important storage development.

Now getting into the ferry business

In something of a surprise announcement yesterday morning the group declared an interest in a project to build and operate a daily ferry service to the Isle of Scilly from Penzance.

The £31m capitalised company is a multisite fabrication company, operating in the maritime and offshore industry through five markets: commercial, cruise and ferry, defence, energy and renewables and six services: technical services, fabrication and construction, decommissioning, repair and maintenance, in-service support and conversion.

The group is best known for its Belfast yard and for its drydocks, its massive quayside and fabrication halls.

So, the beginning of a consultation process to consider the proposed ferry service is certainly an unexpected move by the group.

The remoteness of the Isles of Scilly and the reliance that the islanders place on these proposed ferries as essential transport links on a day-to-day basis make it imperative that these ferries are technically suitable for the route and ensure seamless operation through the harsher winter months.

The company's proposal seeks to provide these services in the most cost-effective manner, not only to the islanders but also to the summer tourist trade which will provide substantial economic benefit to the islands.

CEO John Wood state that:

"We have a large number of colleagues in Appledore and across the group who are vastly experienced in the build and operation of passenger vessels.

In my view, it is clear that, given the current cost of capital, access to and acceptance of levelling up funding will provide a very cost-competitive model to operate either alongside the incumbents or on a stand-alone basis.

This is a fantastic opportunity and we believe competition on this route is the right thing to ensure value for money for the residents and tourists of the islands."

Recently Cenkos Securities, the group’s brokers, has maintained its Buy rating on the shares, being impressed by the credibility provided by recent major contract wins, and the progress that management is making towards building a diversified business serving multiple end markets.

Today the group’s shares have responded well to the recent news putting on a clear 25% to trade at around 18.50p.


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