Alex Neil today confirmed Clyde-based Ferguson Shipbuilders as the preferred bidder to build a world’s first in environmentally friendly ferries - in a deal worth over £20 million
The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure & Capital Investment also said that as a result of the contract award, jobs would be secured and many more created providing economic stability and more opportunity for the local economy to grow.
Mr Neil said:
“I’m delighted to announce Ferguson Shipbuilders as the preferred bidder to build the world’s first of its kind in hybrid ferries in a contract worth more than £20 million. The deal will not only secure around 75 existing jobs in the Port Glasgow and Inverclyde area, but create around 100 more. In addition, we expect Ferguson Shipbuilders to create around 20 new apprenticeships directly as a result of this contract.
“This award is a perfect illustration of how we are making good on our commitment to create the vital jobs needed to boost local economies and crucially, to help stimulate growth across Scotland.
“The two new ferries will come into operation in 2013 and are the world’s first seagoing passenger and vehicle roll-on roll-off ferries to incorporate a low-carbon hybrid system of diesel electric and battery power. The technology will be cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain than ever before. It will help Scotland to meet our ambitious climate change targets, and demonstrates the vast economic potential of developing green technology and moving to a low carbon economy.
“This project will provide a boost for commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde – it has been over four years since the last commercial ship was fully built and delivered. Today we should celebrate that Scotland’s world renowned engineering skills will not only continue as a direct result of the new jobs the contract will create, but flourish when a new generation of skilled shipbuilders soon begin their apprenticeships.“
Guy Platten, CEO of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) – who developed the detailed specification of the new ferry said: “This project provides a fantastic commercial opportunity for Scottish shipbuilding and we are delighted to announce Ferguson as the preferred bidder for the contract to build the world's first sea-going Roll on –Roll off vehicle and passenger hybrid ferry.
“CMAL is committed to leading the way in innovative ferry design and building for the future and we hope to see the first of these vessels in operation in Spring / Summer 2013.”
Richard Deane, Managing Director of Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd added:
“The Clyde has a proud shipbuilding heritage and it is wonderful to be part of such a ground breaking project, which will see the world’s first hybrid ferries sailing in Scotland
“The project will have a major impact on the local economy, including the creation of a number of new jobs throughout the course of the build and we look forward to signing the contracts and starting work in due course.”
It is intended to award the contract subject to a mandatory standstill period.