Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has revealed it paid £36 million to buy the MV Loch Seaforth.
The vessel was purchased in October this year through a commercial agreement with Lloyds Banking Group.
MV Loch Seaforth, which operates the route between Ullapool and Stornoway, was financed by Lloyds Banking Group. When plans for a replacement vessel were approved by the Scottish Government in 2011, CMAL sought proposals for funding in the form of lease options from banks and other financial institutions to finance procurement of the vessel. Following a tender process, Lloyds Banking Group was appointed to provide the operating lease. It had been leased to CMAL for the past five years.
Kevin Hobbs, chief executive at CMAL, said:
“The original operating lease agreement was for an eight-year period. However, we were keen to secure the vessel as a permanent part our fleet to safeguard ferry services for the Western Isles. In the longer-term, purchasing the vessel is more cost effective than continuing a lease arrangement.”
At 116 metres, MV Loch Seaforth is the largest ferry in CMAL’s fleet. It was built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft MBH and Co KG in Germany in 2014 and entered service in 2015. It can carry up to 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles (or a combination of both) and 700 passengers.