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Mustang opens new construction hall

MustangECONOMY Minister Edwina Hart opened the Construction Hall at Mustang Marine, Pembroke Dock as part of the planned expansion of the company last Monday.

Alongside the opening of the hall and unveiling of the plaque, Mustang Marine

also displayed their latest multi-purpose vessel, the SMV24 by Supacat, which is still being built and is the first of its kind. The main purpose of the vessel is to maintain wind farms at sea.

Kevin Lewis, managing director of Mustang Marine, told The Herald the early history of his company: “When I was around 15 years of age, I stood in a graving dock with my father where the last ships to be built in Pembroke Dock were. I told him that that was the business I wanted to be in.

“After being in the Royal Navy, I set up Mustang Marine in 1984 with a specific purpose of building boats, and here we are 30 years later, building boats that are big an substantial. The desire has almost been fulfilled.

“Mustang Marine has come to life over the years, and we now employ over 130 people. We have a desire to grown, though finance is tricky. We looked for partners to promote and expand, though we didn’t have to look far. The Milford Haven Port Authority joined with us and used their facilities in helping us expand.”

Mr Lewis added: “I would like to thank the team at Mustang. They are a very good and experienced team. They’ve put a lot of effort in”.

Cllr Jane Philips, mayor of Pembroke Dock, said: “I see this as job opportunities for Pembroke Dock and for the people of Pembrokeshire – this is what we need”.

All the digitaries were given a tour around the SMV24, where a Mustang Marine spokesman told the Herald: “We started it in February, but it still needs some work with the electrics, though it will be in the water between November 25 and November 28. This is the first of it’s kind and a letter of intent has been written to build another nine. The whole ship was done in house with our own local labour. We train the boys ourselves, who are all committed.”

The Herald was given an exclusive tour around the yard at Mustang Marine, where were shown all workshops and the slipway.

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Robert Humphreys, Operations Director at Mustang Marine, told The Herald: “The slipway was extended the same time as the new fabrication. This is where we are building a 36ft Thames River cruiser. The slipway is a great place to build larger vessels as it’s fully covered and directly onto the water.

“We want the opportunity to build many more vessels than we currently are. We can’t build more than what we have done so far, as they take up so much time and space – we haven’t got the room to do it.”

The slipway at Mustang Marine is part of the original dockyard, dating back to the 19th century.

Mr Humphreys continued: “Here we can turn hard metal into complex shapes and do it within strict tolerances and exact standards. You can see the complexity of it just by looking at it. It’s a highly skilled and specialised thing to do.”

Mr Humphreys showed The Herald a number of workshops at Mustang Marine including Workshop 1, where the hull and first tier of the SMV24 was built.

“It took up the entire shed,” Mr Humphreys told The Herald. “We couldn’t have built anything bigger, though having this facility will help us to build bigger things.”