Third CMAL hybrid ferry takes to the water at Ferguson Marine

[Updated] The third diesel-electric hybrid vehicle and passenger ferry for Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited [CMAL] , Catriona, has been launched this morning, 11th December 2015, at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow.

This is the yard’s first launch since being bought out of administration in 2014 by Jim McColl and gently renamed.

The vessel is Catriona and Fergusons built her two predecessors, MV Hallaig, in service between the islands of Skye and Raasay; and MV Lochinvar, plying between Tarbert and Portavadie on Loch Fyne.

The innovative vessel was launched by Mrs. Anna Østergaard, wife of the Chair of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd [CMAL], Erik Østergaard.

MV Catriona is 43.5m long, accommodating 150 passengers, 23 cars or two HGVs and is owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited [CMAL] and will be operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd within their Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.  Sea trials are scheduled for spring 2016 and she will enter service following testing and certification.

Erik Østergaard, Chairman of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd says: ‘We are very proud that the design and construction of this new class of ferry, using world class technology, was carried out in Scotland, continuing a proud tradition of shipbuilding on the Clyde.

‘The launch of our three hybrid ferries – MV Hallaig, MV Lochinvar and MV Catriona – demonstrates CMAL’s commitment to leading the way in innovative ferry design and our focus on creating new vessel technology. The technology is cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain than ever before. Their introduction to our fleet demonstrates the vast economic potential of developing green technology within the transport industry.’

The £12.3 million vessel is a further investment by the Scottish Government in CMAL’s Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service fleet and is the third commercial ship to be fully built and delivered on the Clyde in five years. This is the first ship built by Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd [FMEL], who was awarded the contract in September 2014, following their purchase of the Ferguson Shipbuilders business.  The previous two hybrid vessels were also built in the same yard.

The new ferries are designed to operate on many of the short crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides. The route for this ferry will be announced by CalMac Ferries Ltd early in 2016.

Transport and Islands Minister, Derek McKay, says: ‘I congratulate all parties involved in the project and look forward to seeing the MV Catriona enter full service next year.’

Liam Campbell, Managing Director, FMEL, says: ‘We would like to acknowledge our appreciation to both CMAL and the Scottish Government for placing the order for the latest hybrid vessels with FMEL last September.  The build of MV Catriona was a welcome boost to us and, indeed, the Inverclyde Community.’

Caledonian MacBrayne [CalMac] Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, says: ‘We look forward to welcoming this, the third vessel in this class, to our fleet and working with CMAL to get her in service as quickly as possible. The further adoption of hybrid technology reinforces CalMac’s position as the UK’s most innovative ferry operator.’

CMAL says that the low-carbon hybrid system is leading to a reduction in fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions.  Operational experience has shown, from analysis of MV Hallaig, that the hybrid vessels are capable of reducing fuel consumption by up to 38% compared to a conventionally powered vessel of the same size. The reduction of fuel consumption will result in a decrease in CO2 emissions in excess of 5,500 tonnes per vessel over their lifetime with a proportionally similar decrease in sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions.

Key ship information as follows:

  • Length 43.5m (142ft)
  • Breadth 12.2m (40ft)
  • Deadweight 135t
  • Service speed of 9 knots
  • Passengers – 150
  • Cars – 23
  • Commercial Vehicles – two fully laden 44t HGVs, but with space for four
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Related Articles & Comments

  • I wonder if the fact that this boat is a repeat design helped the shipyard to sharpen its bid?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

    Robert Wakeham December 11, 2015 2:49 pm Reply
    • This was the Scottish Government’s immediate idea to help Ferguson’s survive after Jim McColl bought it out of administration – and probably effectively underwrote his willingness to acquire it. CMAL we then brought in to implement the agreement.
      It was good thinking because if the challenge is to get a yard building, you cannot do that faster than with a vessel whose design [already tested in practice] – exists; as does the yard’s experience in having built it twice.
      Ferguson Marine evidently delivered this vessel six months ahead of schedule, so the design work and the experience have proved their worth.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      newsroom December 11, 2015 10:31 pm Reply
      • I can’t argue with the reasoning, but it would benefit Fergusons a lot more if it were a design they had a hope of selling to anyone else; no-one is going to buy this without subsidy.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

        db December 12, 2015 2:00 am Reply
        • Fergusons have built two similar-sized vessels for Western Ferries, these are very fuel-efficient and have a significantly greater load capacity than the Calmac hybrid boats.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

          Arthur Blue December 20, 2015 5:22 pm Reply
  • Touching to see the father and son working together in the yard on the news tonight.219 jobs on the Clyde where as year ago there were 5 at Fergusons.All gone now but Sammy Barr,Sammy Gilmour Jimmy Airlie and Jimmy Reid s legacy for the worker on the Clyde lives on.
    You could do worse than log on to You tube and listen to Matt McGinns with Jimmy Reid and Airlie .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Alastair MacGregor December 11, 2015 11:33 pm Reply

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