Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited (FMEL) as the preferred tenderer for the contract to build two ferries for the Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd’s (CMAL) fleet. The new ferries will be ‘dual-fuel’ vessels so they can operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine diesel.
Once finalised, the new £97m (USD 149m) contract will create new jobs at the shipyard and secure employment for the existing workforce of around 150 people, providing a boost for shipbuilding on the Clyde and the local economy.
“This is an excellent result for Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited and I am delighted to name them as preferred tenderer for the contract to build two new ferries, the largest commercial vessels to be built on the Clyde since 2001″, Ms Sturgeon said. “This contract will see the 150-strong workforce retained and more staff taken on at the shipyard, underlining our commitment to creating the vital jobs needed to boost local economies and help stimulate growth across Scotland.”
Transport Minister Derek Mackay added: “The vessels themselves will be ‘dual-fuel ferries’, allowing them to use cleaner fuel and future-proofing them for the advent of tighter regulations around sulphur emissions. This announcement will strengthen our ferry fleet, ensuring they will be able to benefit the communities that need them for decades to come.”
From an efficiency and emissions perspective they are designed to operate on either marine diesel or LNG, where benefit will be gained by a marked reduction in CO2 and sulphur and nitreous oxides emissions. LNG has been adopted by ferry operators in Northern Europe in response to tighter emissions regulations.
Finalising the award of the contract is expected later in September. We have undertaken a complex process of technical evaluation to ensure the new vessels will meet CalMac Ferries Ltd’s rigorous requirements on capacity, speed, draft and dual fuel capabilities, including the ability to operate to a wide number of harbours and routes over their lifetime. We are confident that the specification from FMEL can deliver on all of these conditions.
CMAL, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, intends to award the contract to FMEL following a rigorous procurement process. CMAL will confirm the contract award in due course, subject to agreement on final terms and conditions.
FMEL will undertake the detailed design and construction work of new vessels, as well as their testing, equipping, launching and delivery.
The first ferry is expected to be delivered in early 2018, with the second vessel following a few months later. The ships are designed to carry 127 cars or 16 HGV’s or a combination of and up to 1000 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 current operator, CalMac Ferries Ltd, and will be informed by further analysis of demand on all major routes. The vessels they replace will be cascaded throughout the network, with no further details available at this time.
(Source: Government of Scotland)