Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has awarded the £200,000 contract to build a replacement ferry for the island of Kerrera to Malakoff Limited of Lerwick in Shetland.
The ferry, which will maintain the link between the small island of Kerrera and the mainland south of Oban at Gallanach, will be built in Lerwick and delivered to the charterer Calmac Ferries Ltd in Oban in August 2017.
The 12-metre-long vessel will be called MV Carvoria and will replace the existing ferry MV Gylen Lady. Although similar in size and design, a number of improvements have been made to ensure passenger comfort and greater cargo carrying capacity to the island.
Kevin Hobbs, Chief Executive of CMAL said: “The order for the new vessel “MV CARVORIA” comes hot on the heels of the investment in port infrastructure at Kerrera last year. The replacement of the mainland slipway at Gallanach was accompanied by a replacement slipway and new breakwater on Kerrera at a cost of nearly £2m.
“We are confident that these recent investments will give the “lifeline” island transport links a genuine boost, improving passenger experience and furthering the resilience of the service.”
Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “I was delighted to visit the residents of Kerrera last year to discuss their ferry service with them in person. This contract award is excellent news and marks another significant step forward in the process to secure the future of this important transport link.
“It’s also very pleasing to see Shetland shipyard, Malakoff Ltd, win the contract to build this new vessel, helping support the local economy of another important part of our island communities.
“The Scottish Government has financially supported the Kerrera ferry service since 2013 and also invested in significantly upgrading the berthing facilities on both sides of the crossing. This new vessel underlines our continued commitment to ensuring this important link remains resilient and reliable.
“I look forward to visiting the crossing to see the MV Carvoria in action.”
Malakoff’s presence in Shetland can be traced back to the 1870s. Today, it is a leading fabrication and engineering contractor with its roots still firmly planted in the Northern Isles. The MV Carvoria will be the second boat to be laid down in the companies’ new boatbuilding facility which was opened last month to allow Malakoff to better meet the needs of the marine industry.