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Friday, 9 February, 2001, 21:13 GMT
Govan yard launches new ship
A new vessel has been launched at Govan shipyard for the first time since it was saved from closure last year.
The 12,000-tonne Wave Ruler oil tanker will eventually go into service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary next year.
Its launch marks the turnaround in fortunes for the Glasgow yard - which was put up for sale by former owners Kvaerner two years ago.
BAE Systems, the firm which took over at the Glasgow site, switched construction of the Wave Ruler from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria to the Clyde to keep the yard afloat.
In October, the yard won an order to build two Ministry of Defence vessels worth £150m.
Jamie Webster, GMB convener at the yard who has fought tirelessly to secure a future for the workforce, brought his daughter and two grandchildren along to savour the occasion.
He said: "I've been in shipbuilding 35 years and that's the most enjoyable launch I've ever been at, principally because we fought so hard to reach that.
Simon Kirby, BAE managing director, said: "This is an exciting day for everyone at the yard, for our customers, and for the Govan community.
Mr Kirby said plans were in place to ensure the long-term survival of the yard but some short-term problems still needed to be overcome.
"We've got long-term investment plans that we're very optimistic about and very positive about," he said.
"But we do have a short-term workload issue that we are working very hard to fill."