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.


By | 2019 newsletter week 19 | No Comments

Ferguson’s Bosses Welcome an Investigation into The Future of Shipyard – And Insist That Business Is Booming

Ferguson’s bosses have welcomed an investigation into a delayed £97m ferry contract and the future of yard – and insist that business is booming.

Company chief executive Gerry Marshall has broken his silence after a senior Scottish Government minister confirmed a further setback in the delivery of the two new CalMac vessels which are under construction at the Newark site.

GLEN SANNOX is now 14 months late. Hull 802 is around 20 months behind schedule.

Ferguson’s and CMAL are in dispute over the extent of changes made to the design of the ships.

Calmac Ferry Contract Woes: ‘Getting Rid Of These Vessels Would Be A Godsend’

By | 2019 Newsletter week 18 | No Comments

Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) last month launched legal action against Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) in a row over a £97 million contract to build two new dual-fuel ferries for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service.
Both ships look set to be months behind schedule.

Central to the dispute is the cost of building the two new ferries.
FMEL claims that the operator has demanded hundreds of design changes.
CMAL insists the work is covered by the original contract.

CMAL To Purchase Three Shetland/Orkney Ferries

By | 2018 Newsletter Week 18 | No Comments

A deal has been agreed for the three passenger ferries serving the Northern Isles to be purchased outright by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) with loan funding from the Scottish Government.

The HAMNAVOE, HROSSEY and HJALTLAND, which have previously been leased from Royal Bank of Scotland, will be taken into CMAL ownership.

Serco NorthLink Ferries will continue to operate the services until 31st October 2019 under the extended contract.

Photo: Northlink Ferries

Hydrogen And Wind Power, A Solution For The Scottish Ferries?

By | 2018 Newsletter week 08 | No Comments

Hydrogen manufactured by community-owned wind turbines has been proposed for Scotland’s west coast ferries. The Scottish government has awarded funding for a feasibility study.
The project’s partners include CMAL.
Partners are Ferguson Marine shipyard, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Point and Sandwick Trust, operators of the community-owned Beinn Ghrideag Wind Farm on the Isle of Lewis. The latter is leading the project.

Opening of the newly upgraded Brodick Ferry Terminal postponed

By | 2017 Newsletter week 47 | No Comments

An official opening ceremony was due to take place on Monday November 27. The new Brodick terminal on the Isle of Arran was expected to be operational and open to the public. However, the new passenger access system has not yet received its final certification, because of a defect relating to the automated door closure on the passenger access system.
The extensive redevelopment project at Brodick Ferry Terminal represents a major investment of around GBP 30 million, led by CMAL.

Photo © Mike Louagie

CMAL sees a growth in ferry demand

By | 2017 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has published the annual report for the year ending on 31 March 2017. CMAL owns the ferries, ports, and infrastructure necessary for vital ferry services serving the West Coast of Scotland and the Clyde Estuary, and is fully owned by the Scottish Government.
In his foreword, Chairman Erik Østergaard sums up the following highlights

  •  £29 million was spent in the construction of new vessels, including the completion of CATRIONA
  • £97 million was spent for the building of two new LNG ferries.
  • There is special project to explore the potential for a hydrogen-fuelled ferry.
  •  As the harbour authority for 26 locations across the west coast of Scotland, CMAL invested £24 million in planned upgrade works at selected harbours, including the flagship project at Brodick Ferry Terminal.
  • In 2016/17, CMAL generated revenue of £35,913,000, compared to £33,549,000 in 2015/16. The increase is mainly due to increased harbour dues and revenue grants.
  •  Pre-tax profits increased from £813,000 to £5,524,000 with increased harbour dues and revenue grants as noted, along with a decrease in administration costs.
  • A tax charge in 2016/17 against a significant tax credit in 2015/16 has resulted in post-tax profit of £3,063,000 compared to £7,869,000 in 2015/16.
  • Demand for ferry services continues to grow, driven in part by the road equivalent tariff (RET), as well as the growing popularity of Scotland’s islands as visitor destinations.
  • A new 90m ro-pax ferry will be ordered in late 2018, for delivery in 2021.

Photo © Mike Louagie