Scottish Transport minister Keith Brown announced the start of the procurement process to provide two new 100m car ferries for CalMac’s Hebridean and Clyde services. The first, due for completion in 2017, will take over the routes from Uig, Skye to Lochmaddy, North Uist, and Tarbert, Harris, maintained by the 2001-built Hebrides, and the other is to serve Arran from 2018, where the Ardrossan-Brodick route is in the hands of Caledonian Isles.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has started a process on behalf of Scottish Ministers to gauge market interest before issuing shipyards with a formal invitation to tender for a contract to be awarded in spring 2015. The new vessels will be fitted with twin LNG dual-fuelled engines driving controllable pitch propellers through gearboxes, with a requirement for a service speed of 16.5 knots and a carrying capacity of 1,000 passengers, 127 cars or 16 heavy goods vehicles. The ferries are being designed to provide a fully flexible year-round service for Arran and the Uig Triangle.

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