A cutting edge ferry, which is the second of two unique ‘hybrid’ vessels, was launched on the Clyde today at Ferguson's shipyard in Port Glasgow.  The ferries are being built following a Scottish Government investment worth over £20 million, which has continued the proud heritage and tradition of shipbuilding on the Clyde.

The hybrid ferry, named MV LOCHINVAR, is one of only two passenger and vehicle roll-on, roll-off ferries in the world to incorporate a low-carbon hybrid system of diesel electric and lithium ion battery power. The innovative vessel was launched by Mrs. Patricia Platten, wife of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) CEO, Guy Platten.

Grenville Johnston, Chairman of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd commented:
“The launch of both MV HALLAIG and MV LOCHINVAR demonstrate CMAL’s commitment to leading the way in innovative ferry design and our focus on creating new vessel technology. These ferries will come into operation in 2013 and their technology will be cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain than ever before. Their introduction to our fleet demonstrates the vast economic potential of developing green technology within the transport industry.

“We are very proud that the design and construction of this new class of ferry, using world class technology, was carried out in Scotland, continuing a proud tradition of shipbuilding on the Clyde.”

The sea going roll-on, roll-off vehicle and passenger diesel electric hybrid ferry is nearly 150ft long and will accommodate 150 passengers, 23 cars or two HGVs. It is expected to come into service on the Tarbert to Portavadie route towards the end 2013, following fitting out, testing and certification.

Transport Minister, Keith Brown said:
“With its sister ship MV HALLAIG launched and due to come into service later this summer, I’m delighted MV LOCHINVAR is fast approaching the start of its own working life.

“The value of having these cutting edge vessels - the first of their kind anywhere in the world - built here in Scotland cannot be underestimated, not just because it keeps the rich shipbuilding heritage of the Clyde alive and well, but the investment supports local jobs and apprenticeships in the local community. Everything the Scottish Government does is geared towards invigorating our economy, and the building of these ships at Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd neatly encapsulates that ambition.

“I’m delighted that MV LOCHINVAR has successfully followed in her sister’s wake ‘doon the watter’ and look forward to seeing her take her place among the fleet when she comes into service on Loch Fyne later this year.”

Richard Deane, Managing Director, Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd, added:
"We would like to acknowledge our appreciation to both CMAL and the Scottish Government for placing the orders for the Hybrid Vessels with Fergusons.  The build of MV LOCHINVAR and sister vessel, MV HALLAIG, was a welcome boost to us and, indeed, the Inverclyde Community."

Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, said:
“We are delighted to see the second hybrid ship nearing completion and are looking forward to her entering service later this year.  It’s hard to believe it is little more than five months since her sister ship, the MV HALLAIG, was launched from the same yard and we will continue to work closely with CMAL to ensure the ship is ready to enter service as quickly as possible.”

He added: “It is always pleasing to see new ships join the CalMac fleet and we are grateful to the Scottish Government for providing the funding to make this possible. We are also eagerly waiting for construction to start on the new Stornoway-Ullapool ship which is due to enter service during 2014."

The first hybrid ferry, the MV HALLAIG, was launched in December 2012 and is nearing completion at Ferguson Shipbuilders.  She will enter service this summer on the Sconser to Raasay route.

CMAL ran a naming competition for the new ferry and the results were announced on 4th April 2013. The names of all ships in the hybrid fleet will follow the MV HALLAIG and be named after Scottish literature.  Hundreds of people voted for the name and Lochinvar received over 55 per cent of the votes cast, with the name reflecting the poem by Sir Walter Scott, written in 1808.

ENDS

For further information please call Golly Slater:
Christina Kelly on 0787 558 1955 or 0141 548 8222
Alix Laidlaw on 0797 577 6044 or 0131 220 8787

Notes to Editors

  1. 1. Key ship information as follows:
       - Length 43.5m (142ft)
       - Breadth 12.2m (40ft)
       - Deadweight 135t
       - Service speed of 9 knots
       - Passengers - 150
       - Cars - 23
       - Commercial Vehicles - two fully laden 44t HGVs, but with space for four
  2.  The MV LOCHINVAR and its sister ship, MV HALLAIG are the world’s first seagoing passenger and vehicle roll-on roll-off ferries to incorporate a low-carbon hybrid system of diesel electric and lithium ion battery power. The technology is cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain than ever before. 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.
  3. In addition, the ferries, which will be 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.
  4. 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. It is anticipated future energy from local wind, wave or solar systems will be used to charge the batteries, reducing further the carbon footprint.
  5. Ferguson’s is working alongside Glasgow-based ship design specialists Seatec and electrical specialists Tec-Source to deliver the project.
  6. CMAL's Hybrid Ferry Project was awarded a grant of £450,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in December 2011.
  7. CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd) owns the ferries, ports and harbours and infrastructure necessary for vital ferry services serving the west coast of Scotland and the Clyde Estuary. CMAL are wholly owned by Scottish Ministers. Scottish Government is providing CMAL with a loan of £20m for the procurement of these vessels.

For more information about CMAL visit: www.cmassets.co.uk