Recent updates from Ferguson Marine indicate significant progress in the construction of the MV Glen Sannox and MV Glen Rosa ferries, with critical milestones such as successful sea trials and the launch of Glen Rosa now completed.

These developments come as a positive turn in a project long troubled by delays and cost overruns, offering renewed hope for the delivery of the vessels.

My aim here is to provide an update, accompanied by drone footage, of the work on the ships. Here are the key points about the progress of the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa ferries as detailed a the letter from John Petticrew, Interim CEO of Ferguson Marine:

Glen Sannox

  • Completion of Key Milestones: The ferry has recently undergone dry docking and hull inspection by the MCA, additional builder sea trials, and other significant scheduled events, all of which have been completed successfully.
  • Cost Forecast: The projected cost to deliver Glen Sannox remains within the previously reported range of £145.5 million to £149.1 million. The costs for the warranty period are not included in these figures.
  • Challenges with LNG System: The installation and commissioning of the LNG (liquefied natural gas) system has been particularly challenging, contributing to a delay. There has been an underestimation of the complexity involved and a lack of available expert knowledge and qualified resources in the UK for marine LNG systems.
  • Revised Delivery Schedule: Due to the above challenges, the delivery of Glen Sannox is now delayed, with the handover to CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited) rescheduled for 31st July 2024.
  • Focused Completion Plan: Ferguson Marine has identified four critical elements for the completion of the vessel, with deadlines set from the start of May 2024 to the end of July 2024, including the final sign-off by MCA and Lloyds.

Glen Rosa

  • Successful Launch: Glen Rosa was successfully launched on the revised schedule on 9th April 2024. The vessel was heavier than expected at launch, which reflects improvements in the approach to the contract.
  • Cost Control: The forecast cost to complete Glen Rosa is capped at a maximum of £150 million, and the management remains confident that this budget will be adhered to.
  • Scheduled Delivery: Lessons learned from the Glen Sannox project are being utilized to maintain the schedule for Glen Rosa, with a delivery date still targeted for September 2025.

In general both projects are now progressing well with a clear focus and within updated schedules.

There is recognition of the disappointment caused by delays, particularly in the community of Arran. Additionally, Ferguson Marine has invited stakeholders to visit the yard to see the progress firsthand.

What does the future hold?

Despite the protracted delays and mounting costs that have overshadowed the construction of the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa, recent updates from Ferguson Marine signal a tentative yet tangible shift towards recovery and resolution. The successful completion of several critical milestones, including stringent inspections and the launch of Glen Rosa, indicate a newfound rigour in management under the stewardship of interim CEO John Petticrew.

The renewed focus on transparency and structured timelines could potentially restore stakeholder trust, which is crucial for the project’s long-term success and for securing continued governmental support.

Why is this being published in the UK Defence Journal?

Some might be asking, why is a defence news website updating readers about ferries? The UK Defence Journal is committed to providing comprehensive coverage of naval shipbuilding and the broader maritime defence industry. This includes a dedicated focus on civilian shipbuilding activities, a sector that significantly influences and supports the naval defence landscape. The integration of civilian shipbuilding coverage reflects our understanding of the sector’s strategic importance, where advancements and capacities within civilian yards often directly contribute to the capabilities and flexibility of naval defence projects.

Port Glasgow shipyard looking for more Type 26 Frigate work

Furthermore, the health of these shipyards is of national strategic interest, underpinning the UK’s ability to sustain a dual-capable maritime industry that serves both commercial and defence purposes.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Busta (@guest_816794)
20 days ago

Well on here if it isn’t the ferries it’s updates on BAe’s latest deal. Not much else.

AndrewZ (@guest_816860)
19 days ago

To be sung by the SNP to the tune of a well-known song…

Ah would spend 500 million
And ah would spend 500 more
Tae build a boat that doesna go
And has fake windaes just fae show

[chorus and response]
Blame the English, Blame the English,
Blame the English, Blame the English,
Blame the English, for everything we’ve done
(That’ll work!)

[repeat until electoral oblivion]

stirling (@guest_816960)
19 days ago
Reply to  AndrewZ

The ships do go and the windows weren’t installed as per standard practice until after the launch, can you show evidence of anyone blaming the English…don’t let facts get in the way of your Scotland’s s Bad narrative

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_816869)
19 days ago

There will be future ferry work and it’s better they are built in the U.K. than abroad. The main hope being orders keep coming for the navy ships for Clyde, rosyth and barrow.
Civilian yards help feed into those.

Expat (@guest_817052)
19 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Civilain yards help feed….. didn’t Ferguson sub contract the pressure vessels for these ferries to the Chinese?

John (@guest_817248)
18 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Are there any fabricators in the UK to make these at a competitive price , I don’t believe either that the steel required for these can be produced in the UK . Hence the reasons to go to China , the same as everybody else does .

Expat (@guest_817262)
18 days ago
Reply to  John

Competitive price? They halled them all the way back from China and in the process one was damaged required and rework. And given the cost of these ferries price really doesn’t appear to have been a concern. If you flipped the argument and said T26 sub blocks built at Ferguson where instead built in say Poland there would be toys out the pram. And given Fergusons track record it would be quite justifiable for them not to get that work but BAe and the UK government didn’t do that they threw Ferguson a life line and invested in them by… Read more »

John (@guest_817270)
18 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I answered your Question about competitive price , you don’t seem to grasp that , do you know anywhere else who could build and deliver the tanks other than China . Also they would have been ordered in 2015 at contract award stage as long lead items so would have no impact on today’s financial shambles . As for naval sub contract work the fabricators at FMEL are more than capable of doing this work , it’s not rocket science , don’t kid yourself that naval ship hulls are specialist work , it’s the same basic fabrication / welding skills… Read more »

Expat (@guest_817277)
18 days ago
Reply to  John

Your also missing the point UK government invested in UK yards to get capability Scottish government made no such attempts and offloaded work to China. I’m a manufacturing engineer so fully understand the differences in fabrication of different classes of products. The absolute bottom line is if there was the will to do so those components could have been nade in the UK. We have companies who are lloyds registered, can weld Chrome Moly, Stainless and even titanium vessels. They regularly deliver this capability to the oil and gas industry both here and around the world.

John (@guest_817284)
18 days ago
Reply to  Expat

So you’re a smart engineer like myself that’s good. You should note that the LNG tank award to China was way before the government bailed out FMEL, so why did no UK company bid for the work ? More than likely they would have to source the materials from China as well , but would still not be capable of beating their price or delivery . So why no UK winners then ?? Maybe they are not interested or it’s not profitable work .