Highlands & Islands

Yard building new Stornoway-Ullapool ferry 'in trouble'

MV Loch Seaforth Image copyright Handout
Image caption The fitting of electrical services to the ferry has been hit by delays

The German yard building the new ferry for Caledonian MacBrayne's Stornoway to Ullapool route is on the verge of bankruptcy, BBC Alba has learned.

Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft is nearing the completion of the £41.8m MV Loch Seaforth, which has already been delayed in coming into service.

A Norwegian company has put in an offer for the yard.

But if that falls through, there is uncertainty about the handover of the vessel.

The future of the yard and its assets could be decided by the German courts.

A team from Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, which owns ferries and port facilities in Scotland, is in Germany discussing the handover.

Caledonian MacBrayne operates the boats.

The MV Loch Seaforth had been expected to enter service in September.

However, following work to it in Denmark, the vessel was returned to the German shipyard late last month.

This was so that electrical services could be fitted to the ship.

The electrical work had earlier been hit by delays.

The ferry has capacity to take 700 passengers, 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles.

The vessel was named after the Loch Seaforth, a mail boat that sailed between Lewis and the Scottish mainland between the late 1940s and early 1970s.

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