Glasgow-based Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd. shipyard and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. (CMAL) signed a shipbuilding contract for two 100m, dual-fuel ferries worth £97 million on 16th October.
Back in August, the Scottish government named Ferguson Marine as the preferred bidder for the contract to build the two ferries for the state-backed ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne. Ferguson Marine Engineering, saved by billionaire businessman Jim McColl in September 2014, will undertake the detailed design and construction work of the new vessels on the Clyde as well as their testing, equipping, launching and delivery.
The first ferry is expected to enter service in early 2018, with the second vessel following a few months later. To be constructed from 2016, the ships are designed to carry 127 cars or 16 HGVs or a combination of both and up to 1,000 passengers. The ships will be capable of operating across a range of draughts and speeds to meet the requirements of CalMac to service a wide range of ports and routes.
The new ferries are earmarked for the Ardrossan-Brodick and the Uig Triangle routes, although the final decision on vessel deployment rests with CalMac.