The MV LOCHINVAR, the second hybrid ferry commissioned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), was officially handed over to CalMac Ferries Ltd on 6 May 2014 and is now undergoing familiarisation trials before entering service on the route between Tarbert and Portavadie.

The MV LOCHINVAR is a passenger vehicle roll-on, roll-off ferry, which uses a low-emission hybrid diesel electric system, incorporating lithium ion battery power.  The ferry was built by Ferguson’s Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow.

Tom Docherty, CMAL’s Chief Executive, commented: “Following her launch last year, the build of the MV LOCHINVAR is now complete and we are delighted to deliver the ferry to her operators, CalMac Ferries Ltd, for familiarisation trials. We are proud of the Hybrid Ferry Project and to have made a significant contribution to developing green technology within the transport industry.”

CMAL started the Hybrid Ferry Project following a Scottish Government investment worth over £20 million to build the world-first hybrid ferries.  The first hybrid ferry, MV HALLAIG, entered service in November 2013 and is designed to realise a fuel saving of over 20% and a similar reduction in CO2 and other emissions compared to a conventional ferry of similar size.  MV HALLAIG operates 100% on batteries alone on quieter days.

Local communities and people visiting Tarbert and Portavadie will benefit from the green technology and quieter operation of the new hybrid ferry.  The MV LOCHINVAR is capable of accommodating 150 passengers and 23 cars or 2 HGVs, with a service speed of nine knots.


For further media information, please contact Susan Ferrier, Golley Slater:

t: 0131 220 8785
m: 0787 558 1955
Notes to editors

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 her 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 operator of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services, CalMac Ferries Ltd, 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 (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:

Categories: Press
Tags: Lochinvar, MV Lochinvar