FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched the UK’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) passenger ferry Glen Sannox at Ferguson Marine’s shipyard in Port Glasgow today (21 November).
The vessel is the first of two 102-metre dual fuel ferries being built for Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). It will be operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd, is designed to carry 127 cars and up to 1,000 passengers. It is earmarked for the Ardrossan to Arran route and will be delivered in winter 2018/2019. The second ferry is earmarked for the Skye Triangle route (Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig).
The First Minister said: “Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd makes a significant contribution to the Scottish industrial sector and to the Inverclyde economy. These state-of-the-art ferries are more sustainable, therefore contributing to Scotland’s world-leading climate change goals. They are also capable of carrying more vehicles and benefiting the communities that rely on them.
Jim McColl, chief executive, Clyde Blowers, which owns Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL), said: “The successful launch of the MV Glen Sannox marks an important milestone in Ferguson Marine’s journey to becoming a world-class shipyard. As this is the first ferry in the UK capable of being run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine gas oil, not only has this been an extremely exciting and ambitious project for both FMEL and CMAL, but it has been an extremely complex one as well.
“FMEL and CMAL have worked closely together on the highly-challenging engineering issues arising from the unique nature of the dual fuel ferry project. The experience and knowledge gained during this project will be of enormous benefit to the competitiveness of Scottish shipbuilding in the future as technology continues to develop to meet tightening clean energy legislation.”
Kevin Hobbs, chief executive, CMAL said: “We welcome the launch of Glen Sannox, marking a major milestone in the construction of this highly innovative vessel. The use of LNG in maritime transport is a sign of our ongoing commitment to exploring new fuel technologies for ferries, as well as a wider commitment to innovation in Scotland and consideration for the environmental impact of transport.”
Robbie Drummond, CalMac’s Service Delivery Director said: “The launch of any vessel is an exciting time in its construction and we are pleased to see the first of the new ships being built at Port Glasgow reach this important milestone. As the end-customer for the MV Glen Sannox, we are looking forward to welcoming her to our fleet in due course.”