HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex on May 17th officially opened a new branch office of the Douglas-headquartered ICE Marine Design Group during a visit to Split, Croatia. His Royal Highness, who was in Split to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Croatia’s NATO membership, also met with local Government officials and armed forces representatives.
ICE, Europe’s largest independent, privately owned ship design Group, has had its head office in the Isle of Man for more than 40 years. With most of its 300 employees located in Romania; the Group also has subsidiaries in Norway, Cyprus and the UK.
It provides naval architecture and marine engineering services to clients world-wide in the commercial marine, defence and offshore energy industries. ICE’s Isle of Man office mainly undertakes business development, financing, contract management and overall administration for the Group.
Commenting on the opening ceremony in Split, ICE’s Isle of Man resident Chairman, Steinar Draegebo, said: “His Royal Highness showed great interest in our ship design activities and in how we use state-of-the-art software to design complex ships. The arrangement in Split included a dinner for local dignitaries onboard the HMS Duncan, a Royal Navy destroyer visiting Split. I took great pleasure in informing His Royal Highness that ICE, at its erstwhile office in Wallsend, England, had designed parts of that class of ships as a subcontractor to BAE Systems, and that the ship had been built in a shipyard in Glasgow for which I had earlier served as Chief Executive”.
ICE’s 2019 contracts have so far been for clients in Australia, Greece, Japan, Finland, Germany and Korea, involving a range of ships including cruise vessels, gas carriers, vessels for installation of offshore wind farms and icebreaking ships. The new office in Croatia will enable the ICE Group to recruit experienced Croatian ship designers and increase its capacity to undertake upcoming work.