Welcome to my private journal generally on Brunei issues. Any opinions expressed are in my personal capacity. All rights to the articles are reserved.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More OPV stories

More on Brunei's OPV. This I found from a small newspaper named North West Evening Mail published on 31st August 2007.

THREE new state-of-the-art warships belonging to the Sultan of Brunei are now awaiting a buyer in Barrow.

The price could be around £600m which is what the Sultan of Brunei’s government paid to have them built by BAE.

The vessels were built by BAE Systems at Scotstoun, Glasgow, but Brunei has since decided it does not want them.

Barrow-based James Fisher and Associated British Ports, which owns the port, have bid to look after the ships on a care and maintenance contract until a buyer is found.

Despite being brand new and raring to go, the frigate-sized offshore patrol vessels were each towed by tug to Barrow — because none of them has a crew.

Brunei claimed the ships were not fit for use, an accusation denied by BAE and the issues went to international arbitration.

BAE said that resulted in Brunei having to make the final payment for the ships.

The Shipping Times publication said: “The vessels are amongst the highest spec ships of their type, and therein lies the problem.

“The Brunei navy wanted them to be stuffed full of the latest and greatest wizardry and they got it.

“Trouble is, they don’t have the personnel to man them.

“Initially the Brunei government said the ships were not up to spec, but that was dismissed out of hand not only by their builders BAE Systems, but practically everyone who knew a thing or two about the contract.”

It is thought the ships could be a feature of the Barrow scene for at least six months.

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