Island boost

Turkish-built ferry due on time and on budget

Isle of Islay (artist’s impression) will be delivered this year

One of the ferries being built in Turkey to serve the Scottish islands will be delivered this year, possibly before the first of the pair under construction at Ferguson Marine on the Clyde.

The Turkish vessel will be launched at the Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Yalova on 16 March, two years after a four-ferry contract was awarded.

It will then undergo fit-out before arriving in Scotland in October ready for trials. It will operate on the Islay and Jura routes and will be be named MV Isle of Islay.

MV Glen Sannox, originally due in 2018, remains on course to be delivered by Ferguson Marine later this year although its completion date has continually slipped. MV Glen Rosa is not likely to be in service until the spring of next year.

The final cost of the two Ferguson ships is expected to be more than £300 million, compared with an initial contract award of £97 million.

However, the vessels being built in Turkey are on time and on budget.

Jim Anderson, the director of vessels at CMAL, said: “Work at the Cemre shipyard continues to progress well, with the project coming in on time and on budget. We look forward to witnessing the launch, which is a major milestone in the vessel’s construction.”

Isle of Islay and its sister ship, MV Loch Indaal will each have capacity for 450 passengers and either 100 cars or 14 commercial vehicles.

This will provide a combined 40% increase in vehicle and freight capacity on the Islay routes and will improve the overall resilience of the wider fleet.

Fiona Hyslop, the minister for transport, said: “People will welcome a more resilient and modern ferry service for Islay and Jura and further vessels will soon bring similar and highly anticipated improvements for Island communities across Scotland.”

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