Clyde Shipping

SHIPSHAPE Progress On New Ferries At Port Glasgow

Computer-generated image of how the ferries will look

CONSTRUCTION of two dual fuel ferries at Port Glasgow is approaching a project milestone as the first vessel -- currently known as Hull 801 -- nears the 75 per cent steelwork fabrication stage, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced.

The second vessel, Hull 802, is following closely behind, currently at 60 per cent steelwork fabrication.

The two hulls side by side

The 102-metre vessels will be capable of operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine gas oil (MGO), reducing emissions to help meet Scottish Government reduction targets across transport. They are being designed to provide a fully flexible, year-round service for Arran and the Skye Triangle routes.

LNG tank

Last month, the dual fuel engines that will power the vessels were delivered to Ferguson Marine Engineering’s yard where the ships are being built. The 147 cubic metre LNG tanks –- which are 20.4 metres (67 feet) long and four metres (13 feet) in diameter –- are nearing completion and are expected to be delivered in June.  

Work is also underway on the aluminium superstructure that will form the accommodation block of the ships.

Computer-generated image of how the ferries will look

The ferries will be highly manoeuvrable and will feature an innovative stern ramp which will slide transversely allowing them to operate on several routes across the service network.

Jim Anderson, director of vessels at Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), said: “It is an impressive sight to see the two vessels being built side by side and the stage of fabrication now allows us to see the vessel form taking shape on the slipway at the shipyard. The yard is now moving into the main equipment installation stage.

“The LNG fuel tanks are hugely impressive and their planned delivery reminds us of the scale of the project we are delivering. The design and build of these dual fuel vessels is a highly complex technical project, the first of its kind in Scotland –- and indeed the UK. They represent CMAL’s commitment to exploring new technologies for ferries, as well as a wider commitment to innovation in Scotland and consideration for the environmental impact of transport.”

Hull 801

Liam Campbell, managing director at Ferguson Marine Engineering, said: “We are now entering a stage of the build on the vessels that will see much of the equipment being delivered and allow us to further advance the outfitting of the vessels both on the slipway and in the module hall. These vessels, although complex, allow the yard invaluable experience in LNG vessels and, mixed with the experience we have gained in previous CMAL builds with hybrid propulsion vessels, puts us in a great position to serve the industry with state-of-the-art vessels.”

The ferries are earmarked for the Arran and Skye Triangle routes, although the final decision on routes is subject to review by CalMac Ferries Ltd, CMAL and Transport Scotland.  

The first is expected to enter service in the second half of 2018, with the second following a few months later.

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