Ferry boss: Operators can be ‘nervous’ about ordering vessels from Ferguson

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A WEST of Scotland-based ferry boss has warned business operators will now be “nervous” of ordering new vessels from the Ferguson shipyard on the Clyde, amid the continued fallout from a contract to construct two dual-fuel boats to function on the west coast.

A report by MSPs into the procurement and supply of the 2 vessels for the CalMac community slammed the method as a “catastrophic failure” earlier this month. Caledonian Maritime Belongings Restricted (CMAL) awarded Ferguson, then owned by Jim McColl’s Clyde Blowers Capital, the £97 million contract to construct the ferries in 2015. However the course of was blighted by delays, spiralling prices and a breakdown in relations between CMAL, which owns the ferries run by CalMac, and shipyard bosses.

The vessels have nonetheless to be accomplished and are anticipated to price at the very least double the unique contract worth, with Ferguson having been nationalised final yr after falling into administration.

McColl had acquired the Ferguson yard after it beforehand went into administration in 2014.

Gordon Ross, managing director of Dunoon-based Western Ferries (Clyde), stated his agency has efficiently procured 4 linkspans and two of its 4 vessels from Ferguson.

He stated: “Whereas Ferguson have been engaged on the brand new boats for CMAL, we had a linkspan delivered on finances and on time.

“When the contracts [for the Cal-Mac ferries] have been awarded to Fergusons, it was a fantastic alternative for the brand new firm to spring ahead for the long run.

“However for a Holyrood report to make use of the phrase catastrophic is itself catastrophic. If you’re a business shipbuilder, a part of the contract of labor course of is technical potential and observe report.

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“There may be diligence work achieved in the case of putting orders. My concern is that the price overruns and delays could create an actual nervousness for business operators to put orders with Fergusons.”

Of their 129-page report, MSPs known as for a “root and department overhaul” of the ferry procurement course of, declaring that established procedures are “not match for function”.

Mr Ross added: “It’s only a actual disgrace that the general challenge has ended up being known as catastrophic by a Holyrood committee.”

Western Ferries runs a automobile and passenger service connecting Gourock and Dunoon.

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