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.
Once finalised, the new £97m 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.
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 new ferries will be ‘dual-fuel’ vessels so they can operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine diesel. LNG is significantly cleaner and 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.
Ms Sturgeon said:
“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.
“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.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting ferry users around Scotland by providing safe and reliable services, and this is the latest step to ensuring we have a fleet that continues to deliver for the communities that depend on it.”