Further delay and up to £24m in 'understated' costs to late CalMac ferries

Hull 802, recently named the Glen Rosa, was originally due to be finished in 2018 - but now won't be ready until May 2025.

Delayed CalMac ferries pushed back another year over ‘understated costs’ STV News

The second of two massively-delayed CalMac ferries will not be completed until May 2025 while the boss of the troubled shipyard apologised for further “significantly understated” costs.

The completion of both new ferries could now cost a further £24.1m.

Hull 802, recently named the Glen Rosa, was originally due to be finished in 2018 but was delayed until the end of 2024.

But on Friday, chief executive David Tydeman said the ferry would now not be complete until May 31, 2025 – and could be delayed even further if there are issues with the trials of the other ship – the Glen Sannox.

Glen Sannox, due to be the new Arran ferry, is still on course to be finished by March 2024 but if sea trials “prove difficult”, Mr Tydeman said, it could be even longer before both vessels enter service.

Since Mr Tydeham took over Ferguson Marine he has “regrettably” reported cost and delay issues to the Scottish Government’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee every three months.

In his quarterly update on Friday, he said the total estimatec cost for the Glen Sannox was £130m, plus a cotingency costs of up to £12.1m.

The total cost of Glen Rosa was £110m plus a contigency of up to £18.5m.

It means an increase of £24.1m on top of estimates offered in June.

With £83.25mspent on the ferries and £45m loaned to the company prior to nationalisation by the Scottish Government, the latest increase means the ships will cost more than £360 million.

“I regret to advise that the financials I set out in my June 2023 letter to you did not include £10m of work in progress in May and June 2023 with our operations and technical teams (with key contractors for Glen Sannox, negotiating new prices and costs to complete design and work-scope increases) that the finance team had not been able to capture in reports to me,” Mr Tydeham said.

“As a result, I significantly understated the total forecast cost to complete Glen Sannox for which I apologise.”

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Graham Simpson said the update from Mr Tydeman is “simply disgraceful”.

“The SNP’s shambolic handling of building these two new lifeline ferries means taxpayers’ money is continuing to be wasted on an astonishing scale,” he said.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said the latest update was “obviously disappointing”.

“The Scottish Government’s priorities have always been and remain the completion of the two ferries, securing a future for the yard and its workforce and supporting our island communities that rely on this type of vessel on a daily basis,” they said.

“Ferguson Marine has been asked to do everything possible to minimise costs and ensure these ferries are able to enter service as soon as possible.”

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