Ferguson to Build CalMac Eco Ferries

Scotland’s Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the GBP 97 million (USD 149.3m) contract to build two ferries for the Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd’s fleet, the country’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed.

Once finalised, the new contract for the largest vessels to be built at the shipyard since 2001 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.

Caledonian Maritime, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, intends to award the contract to Ferguson Marine following a procurement process. The ferry operator will confirm the contract award in due course, subject to agreement on final terms and conditions. Ferguson Marine will undertake the detailed design and construction work of new vessels, as well as their testing, equipping, launching and delivery.

The new ferries will be ‘dual-fuel’ vessels so they can operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine diesel. LNG has been adopted by ferry operators in Northern Europe in response to tighter emissions regulations. 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 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 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.

”Subject to agreement on all points, we hope to be in a position to finalise the award of the contract later in September,” Erik Østergaard, Chair of Caledonian Maritime Assets, said.

”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 Ferguson can deliver on all of these conditions. We have worked with the team at Ferguson’s on the build of previous vessels for our fleet and most recently on our three smaller hybrid ferries and we look forward to continuing this successful relationship.”