Fabrication firm hopes all staff at Hartlepool yard will be transferred to new company in proposed sale

The Heerema yard in Hartlepool.
The Heerema yard in Hartlepool.

A fabrication firm says it hopes all 41 staff based at its Hartlepool yard will be transferred to a new employed if it is taken over.

The Heerema Fabrication Group has struggled with insufficient orders and “marginal profitability” for a while, bosses have indicated.

It has led to a strategic review which has resulted in plans to sell off the Dutch headquarters and the huge yard at Hartlepool.

A spokesman for Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) said: "In Hartlepool we employ 41 people.

"In case of selling the company we expect the buying company to take over all personnel."

A company press announcement said: “HFG has signed a letter of intent aiming to sell its activities at the yard in Zwijndrecht with the Italian engineering and construction company Rosetti Marino S.p.A.

“It is expected that the transfer of activities will not affect the workforce at the Zwijndrecht yard.

“In the coming period HFG also intends to seek a buyer for its activities at the yard in Hartlepool.

“The activities at the HFG yard in Vlissingen (The Netherlands) and Opole (Poland) will continue as they are.”

So far, there have been no indications on what it means for jobs in the town and how many people will be affected, although 60 jobs will be phased out at the Dutch head office.

Overall, the company employs 370 people.

Management have informed staff at all locations about the plans.

The statement added: “HFG is committed to support staff who are being made redundant as a result of the divestment."

Chief executive Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven said: “We will be providing every support we can offer in this very difficult period.”

Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) is planning to concentrate “a significant part of its activities” in designing and fabricating complex steel constructions for the offshore market.

The group was restructured two years ago against a background of the decreased oil price, lack of investment in the oil and gas industry and unfavourable contractual conditions in the wind energy market.

The restructuring was based on the expectation that the market would improve from 2019 onwards.

In 2016, Heerema Hartlepool, which is based in Greenland Road, announced that it was laying off 45 people.

Company officials were hoping it was a short-term cutback for a longer term gain.

Less than a year earlier, in September 2015, Heerema Fabrication Group won a contract to build the parts for an oil platform in the Culzean field in the North Sea.