Ferries Scotland: Second ferry being built in Turkey to serve Scottish islands to be launched next month

The ferries being built in Turkey are ‘progressing well’, compared to the two larger vessels – the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa

The launch date of the second ferry to serve the islands being built in Turkey has been announced, marking an “important milestone” in the Scottish Government’s plan to launch six vessels by 2026.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) said the MV Loch Indaal, which will serve Islay and Jura, will launch on June 8. The announcement comes after the MV Isle of Islay launched in Turkish waters in March, with the vessel expected to enter service in November.

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The Isle of Islay and Loch Indaal are two of four ferries being built at the Cemre yard in Turkey, with the others said to be “progressing well and according to schedule”, CMAL told MSPs in March.

The progress stands in sharp contrast to the two larger ferries – the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa – being built at the state-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow, which are six years late and several times over-budget.

Jim Anderson, director of vessels at CMAL, said: “With the launch of Isle of Islay in March, and Glen Rosa in April, Loch Indaal will be the third vessel to launch within three months. Work is progressing well at Cemre, and we are on schedule and on budget with all four vessels, which will be welcome news for islanders.”

On June 8, the Loch Indaal will enter the water at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyyard in Yalova. Work will then continue on the vessel slipway and it is expected to arrive in Scotland in February.

An official naming ceremony is scheduled for the middle of next year. The ferry will have a capacity of 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles.

Transport secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I’m delighted that the launch of the MV Loch Indaal has been confirmed for early June. This is another important milestone in the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering six new major vessels into service by 2026.

“I have no doubt the communities and businesses on Islay and Jura are looking forward to a more resilient and modern ferry service, with further vessels set to bring similar improvements to other parts of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.”

Works such as underwater hull coatings, pipework installation and electrical works will be carried out on MV Loch Indaal ahead of next month’s launch. After being shipped from Turkey, the ferry will undergo crew familiarisation and local operational trials before it enters service.

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Ferguson Marine had announced last month the completion of the long-delayed Glen Sannox had been delayed again to the end of July. The update from interim chief executive John Petticrew had come just weeks after he admitted within days of being appointed: “There undoubtedly are some challenges regarding the completion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) system by May 31.”

He told MSPs in a letter that work meant handover of the ferry for Arran “was now targeted for the end of July”.

Ferguson Marine sacked its chief executive David Tydeman in March, citing “concerns regarding his performance” in making the decision.

Former CalMac chief executive Robbie Drummond also had his contract terminated. The Scotsman previously reported Mr Drummond was believed to have been ousted to improve the west coast operator’s chances of being awarded a new contract by the Scottish Government.



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