Work Begins On New Hybrid Ferries

A return to civilian shipbuilding on the Clyde

The first steel for CalMac’s new hybrid ferries has been cut at the Ferguson shipyard on the Clyde, heralding a welcome return to civilian shipbuilding on the river.

The two 900-tonne vessels will be the world’s first sea-going roll-on roll-off diesel-electric hybrid ferries.They are being built to operate on short routes, with one already allocated to the crossing from Sconser on Skye to Raasay, and the  first one is expected to enter service in 2013.

ThA conventional ferry of a similar designe ferriers will have a capacity of 150 passengers and 23 cars.  The battery banks will; be capable of supplying a minimum of 20% of the energy used to operate the vessels. On-board deiesel generators wil keep the batteries topped up, and when berthed at night the ferries will be plugged into shore power, eliminating the need to run the generators at night. There are future plans to integrate local renewable electricity  generation to make the vessels even greener.     

CMAL chief executive Guy Platten said: “The cutting of the first steel marks an exciting new stage of the project, as the build begins on the world’s first sea-going ro-ro passenger hybrid ferries. “The project demonstrates CMAL’s commitment to leading the way in innovative ferry design and we look forward to seeing the project reach fruition when the first of the vessels goes into service in early 2013.”

Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “The detailed design and the construction of the world’s first battery-operated sea-going vehicle ferry, both being carried out by local companies, highlights Glasgow and the Clyde as a major player in a modern world. “It is absolutely fantastic that a new generation of ship-building is starting on the Clyde, a river which has a rich and proud ship-building history.”



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