FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has launched a new eco-friendly ferry at the Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow.
The Glen Sannox, built for Caledonian MacBrayne’s Arran service, slipped into the Clyde this afternoon in front of large crowds at the Inverclyde yard.
The hi-tech vessel is the first ferry in the UK to use liquefied natural gas and marine gas as fuel.
Great afternoon at the launch of MV Glen Sannox. We look forward to welcoming her to our fleet in due course. pic.twitter.com/TCpGQrXzAe
— CalMac Ferries (@CalMacFerries) November 21, 2017
A CalMac spokesperson said: “The launch of any vessel is an exciting time in its construction and we are pleased to see the first of the new ships being built at Port Glasgow reach this important milestone.
“As the end-customer for the MV Glen Sannox we are looking forward to welcoming her to our fleet.”
Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a really significant day and a really special occasion. Ship launches are always really emotional occasions but to have the return of commercial shipbuilding here on the Clyde at Ferguson’s is extra special.”
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) November 21, 2017
The Glen Sannox and her future sister ship are part of a £97m contract with the yard.
She’s due to enter service on the Ardrossan – Brodick crossing next year, and the second vessel will head to the Uig – Tarbert – Lochmaddy ‘triangle’ route upon completion.
At Ferguson's for the launch of the Glen Sannox – real excitement and very proud that commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde alive and well! pic.twitter.com/BNJdUCfijO
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) November 21, 2017
The name Glen Sannox was chosen by public ballot and will be familiar with many who have taken trips ‘Doon the Watter’ over the years.
A 1925-built paddle steamer bore the name, and it was also given to the first purpose-built car ferry to serve the Isle of Arran.
The 1957-built ship served on the Clyde and beyond under the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and later CalMac for over 30 years before being sold for service in the Red Sea.