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Scotland's Ferguson Marine Engineering to build dual-fuel ferries

Scotland's Ferguson Marine Engineering to build dual-fuel ferries
Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL) has selected Scottish shipbuilder Ferguson Marine Engineering (FMEL) to construct two 100 m dual-fuel ro-ro ferries in a contract worth £97m.

Bound for deployment on the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS) for operator CalMac Ferries, the first ship is likely destined for the Ardrossan to Arran route, using the new port facilities under construction at Brodick, with the second vessel destined for the Uig Triangle. The vessels are slated for delivery from early 2018.

Both will be equipped with dual-fuel propulsion capable of running on conventional fuel or LNG and reaching speeds of up to 16.5 knots. Each vessel will have capacity for 127 cars, 16 HGVs, or a combination of both along with up to 1000 passengers, and will feature three bow thrusters for seakeeping in the rough weather conditions off the Scottish coast, which has claimed a number of vessels in recent months.

CMAL ceo Tom Docherty said: “This project provides a fantastic commercial opportunity for Scottish shipbuilding and we are delighted to announce FMEL as the preferred tenderer for this contract.  We have worked closely with colleagues at CalMac Ferries to ensure that the design of these ferries follows their requirements that are based on future demand both on the initially identified routes and across the network, as well as their desire for an LNG powered ferry, which helps to future proof the vessel.

“When fully operating on LNG, these ferries will greatly contribute to Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets. Subject to agreement on all final contractual elements with FMEL, we hope to be in a position to finalise the award of the contract in September.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at the official announcement at FMEL’s shipyard in Port Glasgow, said: “Today’s announcement proves that Scottish shipbuilding can succeed in a competitive market, with the FMEL team submitting the highest quality bid that offered best value for money.

“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."