Shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird has struck a deal with one of the UK’s biggest ferry operators to services its vessels at its Merseyside shipyard. Tony McDonough reports
Merseyside shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird has secured a deal to service the five-strong fleet of one of the UK’s largest ferry operators.
CalMac Ferries, which links the Inner and Outer Hebrides to the Scottish mainland, has awarded Cammell Laird a four-year contract with the option to extend it for two further one-year periods. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
It will see annual the maintenance and dry docking of five large vessels carried out at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. They are MV Clansman, MV Loch Seaforth, MV Lord of The Isles, MV Finlaggan and MV Hebrides.
All five ferries are expected to dock at Cammell Laird between October and March each year, with the first vessels arriving in early 2021. Neil Harden, commercial director at Cammell Laird, said: “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with CalMac Ferries, but this is the first time we’ve been awarded a contract of this length.
“This is particularly significant as it allows us to undertake more long term and strategic planning, which in turn will deliver greater cost efficiencies, value and vessel availability for CalMac.
“We have the optimum facilities to support CalMac’s fleet with four docks to suit the larger vessels, plus the afloat berthing facility in the wet basin is used for MCA life raft deployments and running engines under load after major overhauls.”
CalMac Ferries is the UK’s largest ferry operator, running 29 routes to more than 50 destinations across 200 miles of the Scottish West Coast. It has been drydocking its vessels at Cammell Laird since 2003.
Julie Philpott, director of asset management at CalMac Ferries, added: “The team at Cammell Laird demonstrated a strong knowledge of our vessels and scored particularly highly on the technical and quality aspects of their competitive contract tender.
“We look forward to continuing with our long-standing relationship. The longer term contract will afford us significant benefits, all of which help to maximise vessel availability and continue offering the best service for our customers.”