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VT to build patrol boats for Trinidad and Tobago

VT Group said on Tuesday it had won a £150m ($296.1m) contract to build and maintain three offshore patrol boats for the Trinidad and Tobago government. The firm said the first of the 90m long vessels would be handed over to the Trinidad and Tobago Coastguard in 2009 under a deal which includes associated training and long-term maintenance support. VT said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange that the deal was part of a proposal from the government of the United Kingdom and VT Group to the government of Trinidad and Tobago and that contracts were signed in Trinidad on April 5. Trinidad and Tobago plans to use the ships to manage its Economic Exclusion Zone, special operations and maritime law enforcement tasks, VT said. The contract will create 100 new jobs at VT's Portsmouth Naval Base shipbuilding facility and sustain about 200 more, the company said. Design work will start immediately and chief executive Paul Lester said he expected production to start at Portsmouth in the autumn.

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