Covid outbreak will not impact operations at shipyard

Under construction, MV Glen Sannox pictured last month at the Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow.

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An outbreak of Covid-19 will not affect progress at the Ferguson Marine shipyard at Port Glasgow, where the new Arran ferry the MV Glen Sannox is being built, the company has said.

The assurance comes after 45 employees, a mixture of office and yard-based staff, were sent home. A total of 18 were found to have contracted the virus, while 27 are self-isolating, having been in close contact with those with positive results.

Despite the absenteeism over the past two weeks, the nationalised shipyard is reported to be continuing to operate normally across all areas with no closures in any particular area of operations.

A spokeswoman at Ferguson Marine said: ‘In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in employees testing positive for Covid, reflecting the picture across Scotland. We have robust Covid measures in place for many months to protect our employees, subcontractors and the local community. These protocols were developed in collaboration with trade unions and are being following stringently. Currently, we don’t anticipate any impact on operations.’

The Ferguson Marine shipyard is currently building the MV Glen Sannox, which following years of delay is due to commence on the Ardrossan to Brodick route when it comes in to service in September 2022, and her sister ship still known as hull 802.

In a report issued last month by turnaround director Tim Hair, it was reported that the lockdown for Covid disruption will cost Ferguson Marine approximately £4.3m. This is made up of £2.3m of payroll cost for direct labour who were unable to work during periods of lockdown, plus £2m of facility cost and overheads.