Gordon Ross, Managing Director of Western Ferries, today (MAY 2) announced that Western Ferries have appointed resurgent Merseyside shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird as its preferred bidder in a multi million pound contract to build two new vessels for the Gourock to Dunoon route.
Mr Ross said it is hoped that construction will begin in June this year with both vessels due to be delivered during the Summer, 2013. The new vessels represent the next stage in Western Ferries’ overall strategic plan to significantly improve its existing ferry service between Dunoon and Gourock which links the West Coast of Scotland to the Central Belt. The new vessels therefore represent a significant investment for Western Ferries, its employees, our customers and the local community. The new vessels will provide improved passenger accommodation and facilities for customers. They will be faster and larger than the vessels they are replacing, capacity will increase by 20% to facilitate the expected growth in carryings in the future. They will also be substantially more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient than the existing vessels therefore helping to reduce the Company’s emissions and exposure to rising fuel costs. Minimising fuel costs will also benefit our customers in the longer term as it helps to reduce inflationary pressures on future fare increases.
Commenting on this announcement, Gordon Ross said:
“Western Ferries is delighted to appoint Cammell Laird as the preferred bidder to build two new ferries for its Gourock to Dunoon service. Not only was Cammell Laird’s bid the most commercially competitive, it also provided for the earliest delivery of the vessels which was a crucial factor for the Company and the local community. Despite strong international interest, Western Ferries is also very pleased that these new vessels, along with the new vessels introduced in 2001 and 2003, will be fully built in the UK.”
Linton Roberts, Managing Director of Cammell Laird said:
“Cammell Laird is extremely pleased to be appointed as preferred bidder for this project and looks forward to working with the Western Ferries team over the coming months to deliver these very important new vessels.”
The vessels will be given yard hull numbers 1387 and 1388, indicating the strong tradition of shipbuilding at Cammell Laird to which they will be a worthy addition.
John Syvret CBE, Chief Executive Officer of Cammell Laird said:
“This project is a welcome addition to the already diverse range of offshore, commercial and military projects underway within the yard, and will compliment the successful module construction work we have been undertaking in support of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.”
The awarding of this project demonstrates Cammell Laird’s commitment to the continued growth of the business in all markets.
Notes to editors:
Information on Western Ferries:
· It has operated a successful unsubsidised ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon for the past 39 years.
· Became the sole vehicle service provider on the Dunoon route in 2011.
· Provides almost 32,000 sailings per year, on a route basis more than any other ferry company in Scotland.
· In 2011, it carried over 1.3m passengers and over 0.6m cars.
· A significant employer in Dunoon, the Company has over 55 Cowal employees.
· Recently completed a £4m investment in terminal improvements.
Information on Cammell Laird:
· Operates a 130 acre marine facility at Birkenhead on the River Mersey which includes significant ship-building, ship-repair, heavy fabrication and engineering facilities.
· Directly employs over 750 people at Birkenhead, and a similar number of subcontractors from the local supply chain.
· Has over 80 trade apprentices in training.