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Further delays to Glen Sannox possible

John Petticrew of Ferguson Marine said there will be ‘challenges’ in finishing the system on the new Cal Mac ferry Glen Sannox for 31 May.

Part of the dual-fuel system on the overdue ferry may not be ready for the planned handover date, the shipyard has indicated.

New Ferguson Marine chief executive officer John Petticrew, whose predecessor David Tydeman was sacked by the state-owned shipyard’s board last week, told MSPs there will be “challenges” in completing the liquefied natural gas  (LNG) system by 31 May.

Glen Sannox and her sister ship were designed to run on both marine gas oil and LNG, which is much greener. While LNG has previously been used in ship propulsion, the two Cal Mac ferries at Port Glasgow are the first to be built in the UK which have a dual-fuel system.

Ferguson Marine has faced difficulties in sourcing parts for the LNG system but in February Mr Tydeman told MSPs a contractor had been brought on board and the work was due to be completed by the end of March.

Glen Sannox successfully completed its first sea trials in February but these were only using marine gas oil. Mr Petticrew wrote to Holyrood’s Transport committee, providing a brief update and promising more information in early April.

He said: “As you are aware I have just taken up post this week. There undoubtedly are some challenges regarding the completion of the LNG system by 31 May.”

Last year, the then-wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray said the Government was “continuing to ensure that we have a dual-fuel approach to the vessels and that they arrive as soon as possible”.

Mr Tydeman’s contract was terminated after he indicated further delays to Glen Sannox were “likely”.  

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said on Friday: “The FMPG (Ferguson Marine Port Glasgow) board will scrutinise the handover date for Glen Sannox and the interim CEO has indicated he will provide a fuller update to parliamentary committees next month

The two ferries, which will serve routes in the west of Scotland with Cal Mac, are six years late and will cost around three times the original price of £97 million.

Photo by Robert Perry

Ships Montly - January 2024

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