Scotland-based Ferguson Marine Engineering (FMEL) has signed a deal to build two 100-meter, dual-fuel ferries for Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) in a contract worth £97 million (USD 150 million) that will boost shipbuilding on the River Clyde and secure 150 shipyard jobs.
Back in August, the government of Scotland named
the rejuvenated Scottish yard as the preferred tenderer for the contract to build the two ferries for the state-backed ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac).
FMEL Port Glasgow will design and build the new vessels, testing and equipping them for delivery in 2018. The shipyard has already delivered two hybrid ferries to CMAL and will launch a third in December.
The two CalMac Ferries vessels, able to operate using LNG or marine diesel, will carry 127 cars or 16 heavy-goods vehicles and up to 1,000 passengers. CMAL says the ferries will probably be deployed on the Ardrossan-Brodick and Uig Triangle routes.
Tom Docherty, Chief Executive, CMAL, said: “We are delighted to sign the shipbuilding contracts, securing FMEL as the contractor to build the two newest additions to our fleet. Key items of equipment will now be ordered, detailed plans will be developed for approval and it is anticipated that actual construction will start early in 2016. We hope to see the first of these vessels in operation in early 2018.”
The contract is expected to provide a boost for commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde and follows the shipyard’s delivery of the first two hybrid ferries for the CMAL fleet, with the third due to launch in December this year.
Derek Mackay Minister for Transport and Islands said: “I’m delighted this contract has been formally awarded to Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited and the shipyard can now start work on these new ferries, the largest commercial vessels to be built on the Clyde since 2001."