Newry ship fit-out specialist MJM sets sail on biggest ever job
Newry ship fit-out firm MJM has announced its biggest deal yet to refurbish a vessel for Norwegian Cruise Line.
MJM Marine, which is owned by the McConville family, said 1,400 people will carry out work on Norwegian Joy between March 11 and April 21.
Work will start in China, continue in Singapore and finish in Seattle, as the ship is due to start carrying passengers out of the West Coast after a period of being docked in China.
MJM will carry out the design, manufacture, installation and project management of the interior refit of the cruise liner.
Gary Annett, chief executive of MJM Marine, said: "Norwegian Joy is MJM Marine's largest contract to date and will involve a team of 1,400 people completing works in over 40 spaces throughout the ship.
"Planning, design and manufacturing has been under way for many months in preparation for the installation start date.
"We are exceptionally proud to be awarded this contract, which we see as a reflection of the strength of the partnership which we have built with NCL.
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"It is confirmation that MJM Marine is respected as a world leading global marine outfitter who can and will deliver on projects of this size and scale."
Mr Annett said the project would take the company "around the world in 42 days". "The design, planning, manufacturing and logistics for the project started at our headquarters in Newry," he said.
"Our team will join the ship in China and sail to Singapore where the dry dock will take place before making its way to Japan.
"Works will continue at sea as the ship makes its way to Seattle, where we will hand over the new-look vessel before our team returns to Northern Ireland.
"The global footprint on this project is unique but is an indication of the global nature of our business."
Following the refit, Norwegian Joy will embark on cruises to Alaska before repositioning to Los Angeles.
Colin Gant, Norwegian Cruise Line's vice president of vessel refurbishment, said: "Norwegian Joy will be very similar to sister ships Norwegian Bliss, which launched just last year, and Norwegian Encore, which will make her debut this November.
"It is a challenging and complex project which is large in scale and short in time, requiring meticulous planning and execution by a top tier outfitter to see it through.
"We are delighted to join forces with MJM Marine who has been a reliable partner of ours since 2015."
He said the refit would result in a ship of "new build quality".
Last year MJM carried out a major project revamping cruise ship the Azamara Pursuit at the dry dock of Harland & Wolff in Belfast, the first time a refurbishment was carried out by a refit company on its home soil.
In September last year the company reported a 20% fall in turnover to £49.5m for 2017.
But pre-tax profits were up by around 5% to £7.8m. The firm said the year's performance had shown strong growth and "firm focus on driving profitability".