Delivery of long-awaited CalMac ferry delayed by another two months

The CEO of Ferguson Marine pointed to issues with the 'first in class' dual fuel propulsion system being installed in the Glen Sannox.

Glen Sannox: Delivery of long-awaited CalMac ferry delayed by another two months, Ferguson Marine confirms Getty Images

The delivery of one of Scotland’s two long-awaited and overbudget CalMac ferries will be delayed by another two months.

The Glen Sannox is now due to be handed over to ferries agency Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) by July 31.

John Petticrew, the new CEO of the state-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow, pointed to issues with the vessel’s dual fuel propulsion system.

Petticrew was promoted to the role of interim chief executive in March following David Tydeman’s dismissal, having previously served as a non-executive director at the yard.

The MV Glen Sannox will be the first ferry in the UK to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Petticrew said the “complexity” of its installation has caused issues.

Installing the new system onto the vessel remains “particularly challenging”, the Ferguson CEO said.

He told Holyrood’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee: “An underestimation of complexity, the degree of difficulty of the installation, the lack of available expert knowledge and qualified resources in the UK in relation to marine LNG systems, has disappointingly contributed to further slippage in the progress that we have been able to make in the last few weeks and consequently our previously proposed schedule.

“Regrettably this will result in a delay in the delivery of this fully commissioned dual fuel system vessel, now targeted for the end of July 2024.

“We appreciate and fully understand that there will be disappointment in all quarters.”

Petticrew said the second vessel, the Glen Rosa, is still on track to be delivered to CMAL by September 2025.

He said Ferguson Marine was “utilising lessons learned” from issues experienced by the Glenn Sannox to ensure the second vessel was delivered on time.

It comes after the Glen Rosa was successfully launched at the shipyard last week.

Petticrew said both vessels are still estimated to cost just under £300. That’s up from the original estimate of £97m.

The Glen Sannox Caledonian Macbrayne ferry in the Ferguson Marine shipyard.Getty Images

Scottish Conservative MSP Graham Simpson said the latest delay is “yet another huge blow to Scotland’s betrayed island communities”.

“It means that – after testing – another whole summer season will have gone by without desperately needed new CalMac vessels being in operation, thanks to the SNP’s monumental incompetence,” he said.

“That’s another peak holiday season for hotels, restaurants and businesses completely at the mercy of a decrepit fleet that simply can’t be relied upon.

“Scapegoats come and go at Ferguson and CalMac, but still no SNP minister has carried the can for a national scandal entirely of their making.”

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