Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £450,000 for the Hybrid Ferries Project from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The funding, which was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil on 20 December will be used to develop the world’s first two sea going Roll On Roll Off vehicle and passenger diesel electric hybrid ferries, which will accommodate 150 passengers, 23 cars or 2 HGVs, with a service speed of nine knots.
The ferries, which will be built by Ferguson Shipyard, Port Glasgow and operated by the current operator of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services, CalMac Ferries, are designed for use on many of the short crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides and will use some of the most innovative new ‘green’ technology, including battery banks supplying a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board.
The vessel will be powered by small diesel generator sets, feeding power to a 400 volt switchboard, which will supply power to electric propulsion motors that turn the propellers. In addition, the battery banks will provide power to operate the vessel.
Benefits of the hybrid ferries include reduced fuel consumption and impact of CO2 emissions and other pollutants, noise reduction and lower maintenance requirements. The ferries will charge overnight while they are moored on the islands they will serve and it is hoped that in the future energy from local wind, wave or solar systems will be used to charge the batteries, making the process even more environmentally friendly.
It is anticipated that the first vessel will enter service in late spring/early summer 2013, with the second following six months later. It is likely that the first ship will initially serve on the Sconser- Raasay route, subject to modifications being carried out at Sconser.
Guy Platten, Chief Executive of CMAL commented: “We are delighted to have received support from the European Regional Development Fund for the Hybrid Ferries Project, which will see Scotland leading the way in innovative ferry design.
“I look forward to the start of construction in early 2012 and seeing the first of these vessels in operation in spring/summer 2013.”
Notes to Editors
1. 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.
2. In addition to its pier and harbour facilities, CMAL owns 30 ferries, which are leased to CalMac Ferries Ltd for use on ferry services on the Clyde and Hebrides.
3. CMAL is a publicly owned company with Scottish Ministers as the sole shareholder.
4. For more information about CMAL visit: www.cmassets.co.uk
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