A NEW buyer has been found for one of the most unusual vessels ever built at Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow, which is still at the yard more than four years after it was launched.
The steel hoverbarge Siberia first entered the Clyde in January 2008 and underwent trials at Holy Loch but the original deal for its sale fell through and the craft has spent most of the past four years on the Ferguson’s slipway. Now though it is back in the water, alongside at the yard which at last requires the slipway for two ferries it is building.
Alongside at Ferguson's.
A US-based purchaser has been found for the hoverbarge which was among the assets of UK-based Hovertrans Ltd which went into administration when Russian oil company Rosneft, for which the barge was designed, terminated its contract.
Matt Cluer, insolvency administrator at Wilson Field added: “Our job was to identify suitable companies to buy the barge and instruct the agents to sell the vessel. It was an extremely niche market but working within the shipping industry has been a new area for us to explore.
“We worked very closely with [legal firm] hlw Keeble Hawson on this project and liaised with agents on the marketing and selling of the barge. We are delighted that, as a result of this deal the, Siberia has a new future.”
Neil Kelly, associate at hlw Keeble Hawson, said: “This was probably one of the most unusual cases we’ve worked on. It’s not every day that we’re involved in seeking a buyer for a bespoke hoverbarge designed to transport sections of an oil rig in sub-zero temperatures. It’s a specialist market but the combination of expertise and tenacity from all involved resulted in a positive outcome in the end.”
On the Ferguson's slipway last year. Photo by Tam Nugent
Potential purchasers included companies working in the oil industry, Chinese, Norwegian and Dutch manufacturing companies and African traders. It is anticipated the new owner, Katmandu Incorporated, will use the barge for a project outside the UK mainland or rent it out to interested parties. When it will eventually leave the Clyde has not been confirmed.
Images of launch, January 2008 on Clydesights Blog