For a new passenger ferry to run on the Gourock, Dunoon and Kilcreggan routes, design work has been commissioned.
BMT, a multinational design and engineering company, has been engaged by Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL) to provide consultancy services for the concept of a vessel.
Ultimately, the new ferry would replace the vessels already operated by CalMac on the routes.
The award of the contract comes after a report by MSPs on the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee strongly criticized the ferry procurement process. The MSPs discussed the consequences of CMAL ordering two ferries from the now nationalized Ferguson Shipyard on the Clyde. Over time and over budget, this work was dramatic.
The £ 155,000 contract awarded to BMT is part of Transport Scotland, CMAL, CalMac and Argyll and Bute Council’s Gourock Harbour Infrastructure & Vessels Initiative, a collaboration. This includes the redevelopment of the Gourock Ferry Terminal and construction on the Dunoon and Kilcreggan port facilities, as well as the delivery of new passenger ships.
According to a release, CMAL, the public infrastructure body which owns ports and ferries on the west coast of Scotland, and BMT will investigate and evaluate the application of energy efficiency solutions to make the new vessel design more sustainable while providing the expected levels of safety and reliability of a vital service.
Andy Crossan, CMAL’s senior technical manager and project manager, said, “BMT has a strong track record in advanced ship design, knowledge and experience, and a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by the transformation of port infrastructure. The award of this contract is an important milestone in the project for the new vessel, which represents a much-needed investment in ferry services for the local community and the entire shipping fleet.”
“BMT is committed to being at the forefront of designing vessels that have a lesser impact on the environment, and we welcome the opportunity to work with CMAL to contribute to greater sustainability through our deep understanding of advanced ferry design and operations.” said Sylvain Julien, Director at BMT.