Orkney Islands Council awards Cammell Laird £2.7m ferry conversion project
Orkney Islands Council has awarded resurgent Birkenhead shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird a £2.7m contract to update and lengthen the MV Hoy Head car ferry.
The contract is the latest in the ferry market for Cammell Laird and comes just a month after the yard was awarded a multi million pound deal to build two new vehicle and passenger vessels for Scottish based ferry operator Western Ferries.
The work on the MV Hoy Head will increase the car capacity on the vessel from 14 to 24 cars or for up to three 16.5 metre HGVs and seven cars. This will mean the vessel will have the highest load capacity in the Orkney Ferries fleet which is good news for Orkney islands of Hoy and Flotta, the communities served by the Hoy Head.
The £2.7m project is being funded through the Council’s capital programme. As well as increasing capacity, the project will upgrade the propulsion and control systems and improve the manoeuvrability and carbon footprint of the vessel. Although the scope for improvement is limited, the opportunity is also being taken to update the passenger accommodation.
Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, James Stockan, said: “It has been a long term aspiration of the Council to meet the increasing demands of the South Isles ferry service, by alleviating congestion and providing increased opportunity to travel at the most convenient times.
“I believe that the lengthening of the vessel will provide stimulus to the local economy and prove to be of social and economic benefit to residents and visitors to the South Isles. This is excellent news for the South Isles and will provide an excellent improvement to the service ahead of a longer term solution being developed as the new Council continues to plan for its wider ferry replacement strategy.”
Cammell Laird Managing Director Linton Roberts said: “We are delighted to be awarded this contract which again demonstrates our strength in the ferry repair, conversion and build market. We are ideally placed to win more work in this sector given our expertise, track record and ability to deliver on time and to cost effective budgets. This contract further continues our long association of providing vital support to island communities around the UK. We are looking forward to working with Orkney Islands Council to deliver this vital project to their community.”
It is expected that the boat will be out of service from late October for approximately four months.