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The new Arran ferry, the MV Glen Sannox, was moved earlier this week to dry dock in Greenock to undergo a planned schedule of remedial work including the replacement of the bulbous bow which has plagued the project from the start.
The Glen Sannox is the first of two dual-fuel vessels being built at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow and the dry dock period is a major step in Ferguson’s revised programme to complete the two public sector vessels, since it was taken into public ownership by the Scottish Government.
The vessel requires a remediation package of work to be carried out at Dales Marine Services dry dock , at a cost of £400,000, including replacement of the bulbous bow, paint repair, removal of marine growth from the vessel hull, and other work.
The repairs and rework were identified during the review of the condition of the two dual-fuel vessels, conducted after the shipyard went into administration in August 2019, and are included in the programme review board report published in December 2019.
That document, which is now in the public domain, gave a timetable of works which would have seen the MV Glen Sannox finished and delivered to CMAL by the end of 2020. However, the pandemic has obviously now set that date into 2022 but no revised date has been set.
The vessel is more than three years late and the cost of the original contract for the two ferries has risen to from£98m to around £230m.
A CMAL spokeswoman said: ‘The shipyard is reviewing what impact the coronavirus lockdown will have had and any updates will be published in due course.’
Tim Hair, turnaround director at Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd, said: ‘This is a key milestone in the recovery programme for the dual-fuel vessels. Some work has been carried out on MV Glen Sannox at the shipyard, but the dry dock period is important because it will bring the vessel up to a condition that will allow us to move forward in earnest with the vessel completion plan.
‘It is also another clear sign of recovery for the shipyard business and comes only weeks after the launch of a steel barge for a customer in the offshore oil and marine sector.
‘Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has impacted activity at the shipyard, but our workforce has been returning to outdoor working since the end of June and we are operating effectively with social distancing controls in place.’
MV Glen Sannox is scheduled to return to the Ferguson shipyard at the end of August.