Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL), Port Glasgow, Scotland is the preferred tenderer for the £97million contract to build two large dual fuel ferries for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS). The two 100-meter ferries built at Port Glasgow will be able to accommodate 127 cars or 16 HGVs or a combination of both and up to 1,000 passengers.
They will be capable of operating across a range of drafts and speeds to meet the precise requirements of the current operator, CalMac Ferries Ltd, and will be able to service a wide range of ports and routes without significant redevelopment over their expected 30 year plus lifespan. The ship will be capable of operating at speeds of up to 16.5 knots and will be fitted with three bow thrusters to provide a high level of maneuverability in adverse weather conditions.
To ensure the new vessels can operate in the demanding conditions of the west coast of Scotland, the winning design from FMEL incorporates a high level of in-built backup capability to improve reliability and ability. From an efficiency and emissions perspective, they are designed to operate on either marine diesel or LNG, where benefits will be gained by a marked reduction in CO2 and sulphur and nitreous oxides emissions.
FMEL will undertake the detailed design and construction work of new vessels, as well as their testing, equipping, launching and delivery. It is anticipated that the first vessel will enter service early in 2018, with the second following a few months later. It is likely that the first ship will initially serve on the Ardrossan to Arran route, using the new port facilities being built at Brodick. The second vessel is destined for the Uig Triangle.