News & Insights

Ferguson Marine launch hybrid ferry on the Clyde

11th December 2015

A cutting edge ferry, which is the third of three unique ‘hybrid’ vessels, was launched on the Clyde at Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd’s (FMEL) shipyard in Port Glasgow on 11 December 11.

The hybrid ferry, named MV CATRIONA, is one of only three sea-going passenger and vehicle roll-on, roll-off ferries in the world to incorporate a low-carbon hybrid system of traditional diesel power and electric lithium-ionbattery power. The innovative vessel was launched by Mrs. Anna Østergaard, wife of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) Chairman, Erik Østergaard. 

MV CATRIONA is nearly 150ft long, accommodating 150 passengers, 23 cars or two HGVs and is owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and will be run by the current operator of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services, CalMac Ferries Ltd.  Her sea trials are scheduled for April 2016 and she will enter service in the summer following testing and certification.

Erik Østergaard, Chairman of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd commented:

“We are very proud that the design and construction of this new class of ferry, using world class technology, was carried out in Scotland, continuing a proud tradition of shipbuilding on the Clyde.

“The launch of our three hybrid ferries - MV HALLAIG, MV LOCHINVAR and MV CATRIONA - demonstrates CMAL’s commitment to leading the way in innovative ferry design and our focus on creating new vessel technology. The technology is cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain than ever before. Their introduction to our fleet demonstrates the vast economic potential of developing green technology within the transport industry.”

 The £12.3 million vessel is a further investment by the Scottish Government in CMAL’s Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service fleet and is only the third commercial ship to be fully built and delivered on the Clyde in five years. This is the first ship built by Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL), who won the contract in September 2014.

The new ferries are designed to operate on many of the short crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides and the route for this ferry will be announced by CalMac Ferries Ltd early in 2016.

Transport and Islands Minister, Derek McKay, said:

“The official launch of the MV CATRIONA marks a further milestone in our improvements to the fleet serving the Clyde and Hebrides network.

“Delivery of this third hybrid vessel not only underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to making our ferry fleet sustainable and reliable, but it also showcases the expertise on offer at the FMEL shipyard. The technology used on the new vessel will mean it will be fuel efficient and have lower maintenance costs, whilst still ensuring a quality service for passengers.

“The Scottish Government has invested a record £1 billion in vessels, ports and ferry services since 2007. With a £97 million order made for two new vessels for the fleet – also to be built at the FMEL yard on the Clyde – there will be further good news to come for our island communities.

“I congratulate all parties involved in the project and look forward to seeing the MV CATRIONA enter full service next year.”

Liam Campbell, Managing Director, FMEL, added:

"We would like to acknowledge our appreciation to both CMAL and the Scottish Government for placing the order for the latest hybrid vessels with FMEL last September.  The build of MV CATRIONA was a welcome boost to us and, indeed, the Inverclyde Community."

Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, said:

“We look forward to welcoming this, the third vessel in this class, to our fleet and working with CMAL to get her in service as quickly as possible. The further adoption of hybrid technology reinforces CalMac's position as the UK's most innovative ferry operator.”

The first hybrid ferry, the MV HALLAIG, was launched in December 2012 services the Sconser to Raasay route. MV Lochinvar, the second hybrid ferry runs from Tarbert to Portavadie and launched in May 2013.  Their low-carbon hybrid system is leading to a reduction in fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions.  Operational experience has shown, from analysis of MV HALLAIG, that the hybrid vessels are capable of reducing fuel consumption by up to 38% compared to a conventionally powered vessel of the same size. The reduction of fuel consumption will result in a decrease in CO2 emissions in excess of 5,500 tonnes per vessel over their lifetime with a proportionally similar decrease in sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions.