john tracey specialist welding sails forward with fastrig fabrication

Smart Green Shipping’s (SGS) ‘FastRig’ project, supported by Scottish Enterprise, industry partners and private investors, is now nearing completion of the initial stages of the scope, with the finished fabrication of a 20metre high ‘FastRig’. The 3-year test and demonstration project will see the fabricated structure installed at Hunterston on the Clyde in early 2024. Our very own specialist welding team, John Tracey Specialist Welding team have supported SGS with this innovative project, fuelled by a desire to demonstrate that a vessel powered by renewable energy can lead to a revival of civil shipbuilding on the Clyde, create new green jobs, export opportunities, and contribute to Scotland’s NetZero commitments

Here our very own Jack Kelly, one of our experienced, specialist welders, reflects on his time on the project.

I was very excited to hear that we were working on this project – it represented both a specialist and different type of scope, one which looks to the future, challenging the status quo. Whilst lots of the work we do is using specialist metals, from aluminium and Inconel to tungsten and titanium, it’s a little bit different to work on an aluminium structure of this size and complexity. Indeed, achieving penetration on 30mm plate butt welds with the rate the aluminium absorbed the heat was a challenge but even more satisfying when achieved! The project also offered room for development, with me and the team identifying several efficiencies in the production method, many of which are now going to be incorporated into the design for the next Smart Green Shipping Fastrig. Having the opportunity to contribute in this way, and work in collaborative partnership with Smart Green Shipping was a really positive experience – and one of my career highlights to date.


I started in welding as an apprentice, and truth be told I was instantly hooked, with my favourite aspect of the job seeing large projects coming together from components. You can imagine my delight on this project – with the team fabricating each component part, before assembly and weld. Seeing the job come together, piece by piece, starting from individual components was therefore really satisfying.


This scope also shines a light on the future possibilities within welding and the wider industry.  There are great opportunities for new jobs, new careers, driven by the development and improvement of current technologies. If you are thinking of getting involved in welding, or this industry – don’t even pause! Be open to training, listen and take that step – because the work you are doing, like the Fastrig project, will change the future.