New £12m hybrid ferry handed to CalMac by Ferguson yard
A new £12.3m diesel-electric hybrid ferry has been delivered to CalMac for use on its Clyde and Hebridean routes.
The roll-on roll-off vehicle, named "Catriona", was built at the Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow.
The vessel is almost 150ft long and can take up to 150 passengers, 23 cars or two HGVs. It was launched last year and had been undergoing sea trials.
The ferry uses a low-carbon hybrid system that combines traditional diesel power with electric battery power.
This was the first ship of its type to be built by Ferguson Marine, which won the contract in September 2014 shortly after the shipyard was rescued from closure.
Prior to administration, the yard had built two other hybrid ferries - the MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar - for CalMac.
Liam Campbell, managing director at Ferguson Marine, said the vessel had been delivered six weeks ahead of schedule.
"We started this project in September 2014 and at that time, we had around 70 people in a yard that needed some major refurbishment.
"Now, our state-of-the-art facility is almost complete and we have over 300 valued employees including 35 apprentices.
"To deliver our first vessel ahead of schedule puts us firmly on the shipbuilding map and confirms to the industry that we are indeed a shipyard that delivers on our promise."
The Catriona will be operated by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), the firm which owns the CalMac brand as well as all its vessels and harbours and ports.
CMAL director of vessels, Jim Anderson, said: "We are very pleased with the quality of Catriona and that Ferguson Marine delivered the vessel early.
"What a fantastic result for a yard that was closed two years ago.
"We are building another two vessels here in Fergusons and we already see the productivity and efficiency gains the new shipbuilding techniques and facility is providing."