Gibdock: A Legacy of Maritime Excellence

Located at the crossroads of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Gibdock is a modern shiprepair, maintenance, and conversion yard with deep maritime roots dating back to the 18th century. Established with three Royal Navy drydocks between 1893 and 1907, it served through two World Wars and beyond under public ownership.

H.M. Dockyard Gibraltar from 1903 to the end of 1984

With a heritage which can be traced back to the 18th century, the foundations for services today were laid between 1893-1907, three Royal Navy Dockyard drydocks. Through two World Wars and up to the 1980s, facilities operated under public ownership, providing a strategic location for naval and commercial clients.

By 1983, lower demand for Royal Navy work was having consequences for several dockyards supporting the fleet. After a period as the Gibraltar Ship Repair Company, managed for the Gibraltar Government by A&P Appledore International Ltd, the yard was acquired by Kvaerner and, in 1997, by Cammell Laird.

Many of the senior managers and skilled tradespeople working at the yard today experienced these years of transition before becoming part of the core team that would establish Gibdock as the leading provider of high quality, on time shiprepair and conversion services in the region.    

Registered in 2009 after new investors were attracted to acquire the business, the formal launch of Gibdock came in 2011 when the Cammell Laird (Gibraltar) trademark was formally returned to the UK. The yard quickly consolidated its renown for excellence, building on the natural advantage of its location.

As a key local employer whose success is entwined with Gibraltar’s global reputation, Gibdock went on to grow its commercial and offshore business, attract complex dredger projects and expand its ferry and naval workload. Increasingly, projects also focused on enhancing ship sustainability.

In May 2022, Gibdock Ltd was acquired by UK-headquartered Balaena – well known as a provider of freshwater, wastewater and energy solutions. The acquisition reinforced Gibdock’s focus on sustainable growth areas, such as offshore utility platforms, while also injecting new impetus into its role as a service provider for commercial and navy customers.

In line with the yard’s historic position at the heart of Gibraltar, Balaena has renewed Gibdock’s commitments to continue nurturing the local skills-base and stepped up efforts to remain a good neighbour to the local community.

The Three Docks are:

PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES DOCK (1) also known as Prince of Wales dock 1906.

QUEEN ALEXANDRA DOCK (2) Queen Alexandra named the dock after herself when she visited in 1905 on the Royal Yacht HMY VICTORIA AND ALBERT.

KING EDWARD VII DOCK (3) named by the King in 1903. This was the first visit to Gibraltar ever by a British Sovereign and the first ship to dock was the battleship HMS KING EDWARD VII.

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