Cammell Laird shipyard announces new-build ferry contract
Cammell Laird shipyard has secured a multi-million pound new-build ferry contract with the Northern Ireland Executive.
The Birkenhead marine and specialist engineering company was awarded the multi million project by the Department for Regional Development after an open procurement exercise which attracted interest from shipyards across Europe.
It will see the firm constructing a new car and passenger ferry to replace the existing MV Strangford operating between Strangford and Portaferry in County Down, Northern Ireland. The new ferry is due to be delivered by August 2016.
Mr Rob McBurney, Commercial Director of Cammell Laird, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded the contract for the construction of the new Strangford Ferry. The company has a long tradition of ship building and we look forward to working with the Department over the coming years.”
The new ferry will have capacity for 28 cars and 260 passengers and will share the ferry operation on a rotational basis with the MV Portaferry II. This will provide improved capacity and remove the need for a 7.5 tonne weight restriction that is in place when the MV Strangford is in service.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said: “The new ferry will replace the existing MV Strangford with a new modern ferry that has been designed specifically for this service. The new ferry will be built over the next 18 months and, when it comes into operation, will provide a more reliable and efficient ferry service.
“The Department for Regional Development currently operates a vehicle ferry service in Strangford Lough between Strangford and Portaferry with two vehicle ferries and a back-up passenger ferry. The new ferry will replace the existing MV Strangford which is over 40 years old and is approaching the end of its economically operational life.”
The Department has engaged with a range of stakeholders, including the public, the Committee for Regional Development and local councils during the development of the ferry proposals. A representative of the Department confirmed that the project team will continue to keep stakeholders informed during the construction of the new ferry.
The Minister added that good progress was also being made on the tender process for a new ferry for Rathlin. Tender documents have been issued to a shortlist of ship builders and they hope to award the contract in April.
PICTURED: Northern Ireland Executive Transport Minister Danny Kennedy, left, with Cammell Laird Director Rob McBurney
About Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British industry.
The business is located on the River Mersey, in the Liverpool City Region, on the West Coast of England. It is in the centre of a marine cluster, with direct access to many support services. It has a 120 acre site with four dry docks, a large modular construction hall and extensive covered workshops.
Cammell Laird specialises in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and heavy fabrication and engineering. It deals with a wide variety of projects ranging from specialist offshore conversions and fabrication, commercial ship-repair through to the refit and upgrade of highly complex naval auxiliaries. It has also recently re-entered the ship-building market.
The business is further active in the energy sector. It has become a hub of the offshore wind industry and it is offering its facilities and highly trained workforce of engineers for work in the civil nuclear sector and the off shore oil and gas sector.