$1.7M contract helps keep Harwood Marine afloat

HARWOOD Marine has signed a $1.7 million tender to build two shuttle barge vessels for the island nation of Nauru.

Nauru government officials, including Transport Minister Valdon Dowiyogo, recently visited the Clarence Valley to sign off on the tender.

Harwood Marine is still in the process of repairing its slipway after it derailed last October. The company however has moved to diversify production, allowing it to take on the Nauru project.

Managing director Ross Roberts said it has been a long process to getting a tender signed but the company is excited it has gone through.

"We've been nibbling away for years to do these things," Mr Roberts said.

"Eventually the Nauru government kept coming back to us and we kept sending in a number of options. They eventually came back to us and said the designs were what they were looking for and so we put the application in for tender in and were successful.

"It's a fantastic thing for Harwood."

The tender comes just months after the company's output was halted by the derailing of an integral slipway but Mr Roberts said he has been impressed with the workforce's ability to diversify and take on different jobs to ensure the company remains afloat while repairs continue.

"We've had to turn our hand from slipway work to construction," Mr Roberts said.

"We've been out chasing work and have been quite successful which is extremely pleasing.

"It's a unique situation in Harwood where you need a skilled workforce and they need the work. We get a lot of support from the young people we employ.

"Not everyone can build a boat, it takes a lot of skill."



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