CMAL has awarded a contract to construct a new terminal building at Tarbert (Harris, Scotland)

By | 2022 Newsletter week 14 | No Comments

The new building will be the final stage in the multi-million-pound upgrade project at Tarbert Ferry Terminal, which recently saw the completion of the new pier and increased marshalling area.

Work to build the new terminal building will begin in spring 2022 and is anticipated to take a year to complete. The new pier is already in use by CalMac, and the upgraded marshalling area has increased vehicle capacity.

CMAL is delivering significant vessel and harbour investment, backed by a £580 million commitment from the Scottish Government for an initial five-year period from 2021 to 2026.  Plans will deliver 21 new vessels for the fleet and multi-million-pound upgrade of harbour infrastructure over the next 10 years.  More information is online at

CMAL is selecting a new name for UTNE

By | 2021 Newsletter week 47 | No Comments

UTNE has joined the CMAL fleet. A competition has been opened to find a name.

The names in the shortlist are all associated with Mull, the island that the vessel will primarily serve.

  • LOCH FRISA – The largest loch on the Isle of Mull, located four miles south of Tobermory.
  • GLEN FORSA – A beautiful open glen in the heart of Mull, with the peak of Beinn Talaidh at its head.
  • TOROSAY – Torosay Castle was built in 1858 by architect David Bryce, and it sits on the northwest side of Mull’s Duart Bay.

CMAL & Strathclyde University Secure £30k Grant for Clean Maritime Fuel Project

By | 2021 Newsletter week 41 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and the University of Strathclyde have secured a £30,000 grant to fund a six-month research project to explore the technical, operational and commercial viability of using zero-carbon fuels to power ferries.

The project, called Lifecycle Energy Solutions for Clean Scotland/UK Maritime Economy, is a feasibility study that will explore the most effective solutions that will drive down carbon emissions from the maritime sector.

CMAL’s team of ship designers, naval architects and marine engineers will work alongside marine academics and researchers at the University of Strathclyde to conduct a life cycle assessment on the viability of using ammonia, hydrogen, and main grid electricity for ferries.  The team will design robust business scenarios based on 23 ferries on 27 routes on the west coast of Scotland, including highly reliable predictions of the costs and benefits of the proposed alternative fuel sources and a comparison to the use of diesel.

CMAL Acquires Secondhand Tonnage

By | 2021 Newsletter week 40 | No Comments

A deal to purchase a ferry for deployment on the Clyde and Hebrides network has been agreed, bringing additional resilience to the fleet, says a release from Transport Scotland.

Norled’s UTNE has been earmarked for the Oban-Craignure route, and communities in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.

UTNE was designed by LMG Marin (LMG 40-DE type) and delivered in 2015.

Four Shipyards Invited to Tender for New Islay Vessels

By | 2021 Newsletter week 37 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has invited four shipyards to bid for the contract to build two new ferries for Islay:

  • Damen, Romania
  • Remontowa Shipbuilding
  • Sefine Denizcilik Tersanecilik Turizm
  • Cemre Marin Endustri

The contract will be awarded no later than the end of March 2022.

The new vessels will have greater vehicle capacity than the current vessels on the route (FINNLAGAN and ISLE OF MULL), and will have significantly lower energy requirement. They will be designed with a clear focus on freight, including the capability to operate a possible overnight freight service.

CMAL Appoints Design Consultant for Small Vessel Replacement Programme

By | 2021 Newsletter week 34 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited has appointed German ferry design consultancy Navalue to lead the concept design of its Small Vessel Replacement Programme.

Navalue will provide consultancy services for the concept design stage of the programme, which will see several small vehicle and passenger vessels replaced on the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services network.

CMAL and Navalue will investigate and evaluate the feasibility of designing low emission ferries to be in line with the Scottish Government climate change commitments.

CMAL Awards a Contract for the Concept Design of an Emissions-Free Ferry.

By | 2021 Newsletter week 23 | No Comments
  • Scottish-led HySeas III project aims to build Europe’s first ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
  • The contract has been awarded to Aqualisbraemar LOC Group by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), one of the partners in the EU-funded HySeas III programme.
  • The plan is to demonstrate that hydrogen fuel cells can be successfully integrated with a marine hybrid electric drive system, along with the hydrogen storage and bunkering arrangements.
  • Fuel cells of this type are currently used in road transport and can be found in hundreds of hydrogen-fuelled buses across Europe.
  • The HySeas III project will develop, construct, test and validate data in a full-sized drive train, the group of components that make up a motor vehicle, on land.
  • If successful, it will pave the way for the first seagoing vessel that uses this fuel technology.

Contract Awarded For New Gourock Ferry Concept Design

By | 2021 Newsletter week 2 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has awarded a contract to international design and engineering firm BMT to provide consultancy services for the concept design of a new passenger ferry for the Gourock, Dunoon and Kilcreggan routes.

The new ferry will be designed to replace the vessels currently operated on the routes by CalMac.

The £155,000 contract is part of the Gourock Harbour Infrastructure & Vessels Project, which is a partnership between Transport Scotland, CMAL, CalMac and Argyll and Bute Council.  The project covers the redevelopment of Gourock Ferry Terminal and works to the harbour infrastructures at Dunoon and Kilcreggan, as well as the delivery of new passenger-only vessels.

When complete, it will provide a modern, reliable and resilient lifeline passenger ferry service between the terminals at Gourock, Dunoon and Kilcreggan.

With a strong focus on reducing the environmental footprint, BMT and CMAL will investigate and evaluate the application of energy efficiency solutions to make the new vessel design more sustainable while still offering the high level of safety and reliability expected from a lifeline ferry service.

CMAL Publishes Ambitious Three-Year Corporate Plan

By | 2020 Newsletter week 15 | No Comments

CMAL has published an updated three-year corporate plan.

The plan highlights the key projects CMAL intends to undertake and outlines aspirations during the next decade to address the lack of investment in ferries and harbour infrastructure since the turn of the century.  Major investment is needed to ensure lifeline services match expectations.

Funding is a key component of the delivery of the many projects outlined in the three-year plan, and in future years.  CMAL will work closely with its sponsoring body, Transport Scotland, and Scottish Ministers to secure the necessary funding.  CMAL receives its capital funding from the Scottish Government in the form of voted loans for vessels and grant-in-aid for port infrastructure.

Of particular interest is the three-year plan for the fleet, on page 26 of the three-year corporate plan.

  • GLEN SANNOX and hull 802
  • New Islay ferry
  • New ferries for Gourock – Dunoon
  • New loch-class vessels (4 minimum)
  • Hydrogen ferry Hyseas III

CMAL Has Purchased LOCH SEAFORTH After Completing A Deal With Lloyds Banking Group

By | 2019 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

Flensburg-built LOCH SEAFORTH, which operates the route between Ullapool and Stornoway, was financed by Lloyds Banking Group and has been leased to CMAL for the past five years through an operational lease agreement.

“Purchasing the Loch Seaforth outright will also bring considerable financial benefits by delivering savings to the public purse over the longer term when compared with a more expensive leasing arrangement,” said Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse.

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 governed by EU procurement rules, Lloyds Banking Group was appointed to provide the operating lease.