Glasgow & West Scotland

New £12m CalMac hybrid ferry launched at Ferguson yard

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Media captionThe ferry will be operated by CalMac

A new £12.3m diesel-electric hybrid ferry has been launched at the Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow.

The roll-on roll-off vehicle and passenger vessel is the third of its type to be built for CalMac and will be part of its Clyde and Hebrides fleet.

The hybrid ferry, named "Catriona", was launched on Friday morning by Transport Minister Derek Mackay.

It was very briefly delayed when the ferry needed some gentle persuasion on the slipway.

After the launch bottle smashed, onlookers had a few nervous moments to wait as workers helped the vessel on its way.

The ship is almost 150ft long and can take up to 150 passengers, 23 cars or two HGVs.

It will use a low-carbon hybrid system that combines traditional diesel power with electric battery power and will lead to a reduction in fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

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Media captionTime lapse footage showing the construction of Catriona, the first ship built by newly formed Ferguson Marine Engineering

The vessel's sea trials are scheduled for April 2016 and it will enter service in the summer following testing and certification.

This is the first ship of its type to be built by the recently-formed Ferguson Marine, which won the contract in September 2014 shortly after the shipyard was rescued from closure.

Clyde Blowers Capital - owned by Scots billionaire Jim McColl - bought the yard after it went into administration.

The yard had previously built two other hybrid ferries - the MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar - for CalMac.

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