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Turkish shipyard launches SECOND Scottish ferry on time and on budget



By Paul Drury For The Scottish Mail On Sunday

11:53 08 Jun 2024, updated 11:58 08 Jun 2024

  • Successful launch for MV Loch Indaal as Scots-built ferries still to see service eight YEARS after start of construction 

A Turkish shipyard successfully launched a SECOND Scottish ferry yesterday – on time and on budget!

The MV Loch Indaal – which will serve the island communities of Islay and Jura – broke water for the first time in the sunny Sea of Marmara, three months after the launch of sister ship the MV Isle of Islay at the Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova.

Both vessels came in on time and within their combined budget of £91 million.

By contrast, two ferries awarded to Ferguson’s Marine Yard in Port Glasgow – MV Glen Sannox and MV Glen Rosa – have yet to see service, eight years after they were begun and more than a quarter of a billion pounds over budget.

The MV Glen Sannox was launched in 2017 but delays meant its sea trials only began in February of this year.

Turkish-built MV Loch Indaal is launched into the Sea of Marmara
Construction of the MV Glen Sannox is years behind schedule

She also requires ‘endurance tests’ before entering service on the busy Arran route.

Also due to serve Arran, the MV Glen Rosa was launched in April but has still to be fitted out before it can take passengers.

Yesterday’s launch of MV Loch Indaal was the second of four ordered from the Turkish yard. 

A further £115 million contract for two more ferries of the same design as Islay and Indaal – this time for CalMac’s Skye, Harris and North Uist routes – was awarded to Cemre early last year.

Scheduled for delivery to Scotland’s west coast in February next year, Indaal will significantly boost capacity on the Islay routes, with the ability to accommodate up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles.

Cal Mac say this will increase vehicle and freight capacity by 40 per cent on the Islay routes, strengthening the overall fleet’s resilience.

Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop has presided over the ferries scandal

Representatives of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd and key project stakeholders were present yesterday to witness Elaine Anderson, wife of CMAL’s Director of Vessels, Jim Anderson, officially launch the ferry.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, said: “This is another important milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering six new major vessels into service by 2026.

‘I have no doubt the communities and businesses on Islay and Jura are looking forward to a more resilient and modern ferry service, with further vessels set to bring similar improvements to other parts of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.’

Duncan Mackison, interim Chief Executive of CalMac, said: ‘We welcome the launch of MV Loch Indaal and are looking forward to the vessel joining the CalMac fleet. 

‘Her addition will increase resilience and will also significantly increase the number of passengers and vehicles we can carry on the Islay route.

‘With six new major vessels due to join the fleet by 2026 and significant infrastructure upgrades at numerous ports and harbours underway or planned, we are confident that lifeline ferry services for Islay and across the network will continue to improve.’

The first Turkish-built vessel for Islay and Jura, MV Isle of Islay, is due to arrive in Scotland at the end of this year.

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