A MULTI-million pound contract for two Clyde ferries has been signed.
Gordon Ross, managing director of Western Ferries confirmed Cammell Laird will build two new vehicle and passenger ferries for the Gourock to Dunoon route.
Construction will begin shortly with both vessels due to be delivered to the Firth of Clyde in August 2013 in time for the Cowal Games Weekend in Dunoon.
The contract was formally signed at a ceremony in Birkenhead attended by Mr Ross and Cammell Laird Chief Executive John Syvret.
Mr Ross said that he was delighted to appoint Cammell Laird after it made the most commercially compelling case for the work.
“Since appointing Cammell Laird as the preferred bidder, both companies have been working closely to ensure the highest quality of the finished product,” he said. “Cammell Laird’s bid to undertake this work was immensely strong on cost, on expertise and on the quality of its facilities. With such an attractive and competitive bid and with its heritage of maritime excellence, we ultimately trusted Cammell Laird to deliver the highest quality of build, on time and to budget.
“These new ferries will be larger, faster and substantially more fuel efficient than the vessels they are replacing,” he said. “They will provide an additional capacity of up to 20 per cent to accommodate an expected increase in future demand fuelled by the local community, visitors to Dunoon and Cowal as well as those who choose to use our service in preference to the A83 Rest and Be Thankful. Moreover, this additional speed will also provide Western Ferries with the ability to increase frequencies during peak periods thereby delivering a further 50 per cent increase in capacity.”
Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret said: “Delivering the highest quality vessels to Western Ferries will send a powerful message to the maritime engineering sector that Cammell Laird is one of the best shipyards in Europe. Cammell Laird is already working on a diverse range of ship repair, conversion, refit and ship-building contracts in the commercial and military marine sectors including the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier programme. This deal will again showcase our world class workforce and facilities which includes one of the largest modular construction halls in Europe.”