Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited (FMEL) on the Clyde has started construction of two new 100-metre ferries for the Clyde and Hebrides network.
The ferries, owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), are designed to carry 127 cars or 16 HGVs or a combination of both and up to 1,000 passengers. The new ferries are earmarked for the Ardrossan-Brodick and the Uig Triangle routes, although the final decision on vessel deployment rests with the ferry operator and will be informed by further analysis of demand on all major routes.
The ferries will be ‘dual-fuel’ vessels so they can operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine diesel.
The £97 million contract was signed in October 2015, securing around 150 existing jobs in the Port Glasgow and Inverclyde area.
The first ferry is expected to be delivered in May 2018, with the second vessel following a few months later.
“The Scottish Government is committed to creating the vital jobs needed to boost local economies and help stimulate growth across Scotland. This £97 million contract means FMEL can retain its 150-strong workforce, as well as take on more staff and apprentices,” the Scottish Minister for Transport and Island, Derek Mackay said.
“Hulls 801 and 802 will become the latest vessels in our fleet and strengthen our commitment to using cutting edge technology and design to create sustainable and reliable ferries and we look forward to the first of these vessels going into service in 2018. This construction project is the latest step in our ambitious fleet renewal plans to ensure our ferries continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” Erik Østergaard, Chair of CMAL added.