Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) today announced plans to seek proposals for funding terms in the form of lease options from banks and other financial institutions, in order to finance the procurement of replacement shipping for the Stornoway-Ullapool ferry route.
Whilst consultation on the best value for money vessel solution is still ongoing with stakeholders and the local community, it is hoped that securing options on a financing solution during this period will allow shipbuilding contracts to be tendered quickly once a final decision has been made by Scottish Government.
Commenting on the announcement CMAL Chief Executive Guy Platten said:
“Although traditionally CMAL has funded new ships through voted loans from the Scottish Government, there are currently significant constraints on capital budgets. With the withdrawal from service of the current freight vessel MV MUIRNEAG in October 2013 and the need to secure replacement shipping on the lifeline Stornoway- Ullapool service, it is vital that we explore alternative financing solutions at this stage.
“After careful consideration, we believe that external funding options potentially provide an affordable solution and we now plan to seek formal offers from financial institutions in order to evaluate the costs.
“Once the funding terms are known, they will help inform any final decision by Scottish Government on replacement shipping for this lifeline route and in turn this could then be taken forward to tendering shipbuilding contracts”.
Notes to Editors
- CMAL own property at piers and harbours at more than 24 locations throughout Scotland and is embarking on a programme of investment and improvements which will create better facilities.
- In addition to its pier and harbour facilities, CMAL owns 31 ferries which are leased to CalMac Ferries Ltd and Cowal Ferries Ltd.
- CMAL is a publicly owned company with Scottish Ministers as the sole shareholder.
For further information contact Elise McDonald, Golley Slater, on 0141 204 7800 / 0131 272 2733 or email elise.mcdonald @golleyslater.co.uk