The procurement process to build and design two new ferries for use on the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network has been launched by Transport Minister Keith Brown.
A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for the vessels has been issued by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) on behalf of Scottish Ministers. This will allow CMAL to gauge market interest before issuing a formal Invitation To Tender.
The successful bidder will undertake detailed design and construction work of two passenger, freight and car ferries of 100 metres length overall, as well as testing, equipping, launch and delivery.
The first vessel is to be delivered by the end of 2017. The second vessel will follow some months later.
Mr Brown said:
“I am delighted to announce the procurement process to build two new ferries for the CalMac fleet is now underway.
“I have made clear my commitment to supporting ferry users around Scotland by providing safe and reliable services, and this is the latest step to ensuring we have a fleet that continues to deliver for the communities that depend on it.
“The publication of the PQQ marks the first step in the process. Once CMAL have gauged the market, they will issue a formal Invitation To Tender with a view to awarding the contract in the Spring of 2015.
“The ferries are being designed to provide a fully flexible year-round service for Arran and the Uig Triangle, subject to final review by CalMac Ferries Ltd, CMAL and Transport Scotland. The vessels they replace will be cascaded throughout the network.
“We are now focused on carrying out a competitive and detailed procurement process and look forward to adding the new vessels to the CalMac fleet.”
Tom Docherty, CMAL’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to announce two new additions to our fleet, which demonstrates CMAL’s commitment to providing lifeline ferries to communities on the Western Isles and the west coast of Scotland.
“I look forward to the start of a new project and watching the work progress.”
It’s expected that the new vessels will be fitted with twin LNG dual-fuelled engines and driving controllable pitch propellers through gearboxes.
There will be a requirement for a service speed of 16.5 knots and a carrying capacity of 1000 passengers, 127 cars or 16 heavy goods vehicles. The vessels will also be required to regularly operate at 14.5 knots.
The detailed designs, calculations and drawings of the vessels will be developed and approved in conjunction with the classification society, the UK flag state authority (where the ships will be registered) and any other relevant authorities.