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Inquiry to be held into new CalMac ferries after collapse of Ferguson Marine shipyard

© Chris Austin / DC ThomsonMV Glen Sannox
MV Glen Sannox

An inquiry is to be held into the construction and procurement of new ferries following the collapse of the Ferguson Marine shipyard.

MSPs on Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee are hoping to establish what lessons can be learned after the yard was formally taken into public ownership by the Scottish Government earlier this month.

It was put into administration in August after repeated delays and rising costs for an order of two ferries under a £97 million fixed-price contract.

On Wednesday, it was revealed the cost of completing the two delayed CalMac ferries has more than doubled.

As part of its inquiry, the committee will consider the updated costs and timetable for the completion of the two new ferries; the Government’s decision to nationalise the yard and the potential implications for future procurement of maritime vessels, and the ongoing development of the Scottish Government’s Ferries Plan and Vessel Replacement Programme.

Scottish Tory MSP Edward Mountain, the committee’s convener, said lessons must be learned.

He said: “Repeated delays to the planned schedule for delivery by Ferguson Marine of the two new hybrid ferries have been further complicated by the company’s entry into administration and the Scottish Government’s subsequent decision to assume public ownership of the Inverclyde shipyard.

“These developments clearly have important implications, not only for the completion of the two vessels but also for future plans for the replacement and refurbishment of vessels to meet the ongoing needs of the Clyde and Hebrides ferries network more generally.

“The committee wants to find out not only what has gone wrong and how things will be put right but how these problems can be avoided in the future.

“We need to make sure that the relevant lessons from this saga are learned for the procurement and construction of new ferries in future.”