Second vessel to continue to support apprenticeships and 100s jobs
The first of two cutting edge ‘hybrid’ ferries, and the first of its kind in the world, was launched on the Clyde today by Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
The £20 million Scottish Government investment taken forward by CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd) is helping to secure and create around 175 jobs and 20 apprenticeships in the local community and support the growth of the local economy.
Ms Sturgeon was joined at the launch by one of Ferguson’s apprentice shipbuilders who helped deliver ‘HALLAIG’ at their Port Glasgow yard, Jill Hughes.
Speaking from the yard following the successful launch, Ms Sturgeon said:
“Today is a great day for Clyde shipbuilding, and a great day for Scotland. It has been over five years since the last commercial ship was fully built and delivered on the Clyde, and the launch today of the first of two new cutting edge vessels symbolises everything that the Scottish Government is striving to achieve.
“Our £20 million investment has provided the support needed to produce here on the banks of the Clyde, the world’s first seagoing passenger and vehicle roll-on roll-off ferries to use a low-carbon hybrid system of diesel electric and battery power. It is a true testament to the excellence that Clydeside engineering is famous for across the globe, and underlines our ambition to see our shipbuilding industry, and the local community and its economy reinvigorated through investment in jobs.
“The construction of HALLAIG, which will be serving communities on Skye and Raasay next summer, has not only provided a boost for commercial shipbuilding along the Clyde, but has secured 75 jobs for the local community, and helped created around 100 more.
“As Ferguson move to complete her sister ship next year, the investment will also be providing 20 apprentice shipbuilders with the vital first hand experience needed to take their careers forward, experience which will only serve Scotland’s shipbuilding industry well for the future.
“Now HALLAIG is ‘doon the watter’, we should celebrate the jobs this investment is bringing, and that Scotland’s world renowned engineering skills will not only continue as a direct result of the contract, but flourish through a new generation of skilled shipbuilders.“
Grenville Johnston, Chairman of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd commented
“Since our creation following the split of ferry operations with asset ownership in 2006 we have been able to focus on new vessel technology. Today marks an historic day for CMAL and the launch of the HALLAIG clearly demonstrates our commitment to leading the way in innovative ferry design. We are very proud that the design and construction of this new class of ferry, using word class technology, was carried out in Scotland, continuing a proud tradition of ship building on the Clyde.
“The two new ferries will come into operation in 2013 and their technology will be 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.”
Richard Deane, Managing Director, Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd added:
“This is a fantastic day and it is great to be back building ships on the Clyde. We would like to say a big thank you to the Scottish Government for providing the funding and also to Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. for awarding such a prestigious contract to Ferguson Shipbuilders Limited. Employment has more than doubled at the yard and we have started to train apprentices again”.