UK: Ferguson Shipbuilders, CMAL Ink Shipbuilding Contracts for Two Hybrid Ferries

UK - Ferguson Shipbuilders, CMAL Ink Shipbuilding Contracts for Two Hybrid Ferries

Following last week’s announcement that Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow, Scotland had been named as the preferred bidder for the contract to build the world’s first two sea going Roll On Roll Off vehicle and passenger diesel electric hybrid ferries, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and the shipyard have signed the shipbuilding contracts.

Ferguson will be working alongside Glasgow based ship design specialists Seatec and electrical specialists Tec-Source to deliver the project, which will see two hybrid ferries built to accommodate 150 passengers, 23 cars or 2 HGVs, with a service speed of nine knots.

The project will provide a boost for commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde – it has been over four years since the last commercial ship was fully built and delivered. It will not only secure around 75 existing jobs in the Port Glasgow and Inverclyde area, but create around 100 more. In addition, Ferguson Shipbuilders is expected to create 20 new apprenticeships directly as a result of the contract.

Sea Going Roll On Roll Off Vehicle and Passenger Diesel Electric Hybrid Ferrie

The ferries, which will be operated by the current operator of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services, CalMac Ferries, are designed for use on many of the short crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides and will use some of the most innovative new ‘green’ technology, including battery banks supplying a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board.

The vessel will be powered by small diesel generator sets, feeding power to a 400 volt switchboard, which will supply power to electric propulsion motors that turn the propellers. In addition the battery banks will provide power to operate the vessel.

Benefits of the hybrid ferries include reduced fuel consumption and impact of CO2 emission and other pollutants, noise reduction and lower maintenance requirements. The ferries will charge overnight while they are moored on the islands they will serve and it is hoped that in the future energy from local wind, wave or solar systems will be used to charge the batteries, making the process even more environmentally friendly.

It is anticipated that the first vessel will enter service in late spring/early summer 2013, with the second following six months later. It is likely that the first ship will initially serve on the Sconser- Raasay route, subject to modifications being carried out at Sconser.

Guy Platten, Chief Executive of CMAL commented: “We are delighted to sign the shipbuilding contracts, securing Ferguson Shipyard as the contractor to build the world’s first sea going RORO passenger hybrid ferries. 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 2012. We hope to see the first of these vessels in operation in spring/summer 2013.”

Richard Deane, Managing Director of Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd added: “The signing of the shipbuilding contracts today marks a new era in our shipbuilding heritage and we look forward to progressing the project, which will see the world’s first hybrid RORO ferries sailing in Scotland.”

Source: cmassets, November 11, 2011