Ferguson ferries update

Amended timescale due to lockdown.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has updated Parliament on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on completion of the two ferries at the Ferguson shipyard.

In common with the rest of the manufacturing sector, the yard has been either closed or on restricted working for nearly six months.

As a result, delivery of the Glen Sannox ferry is now planned for April to June 2022 and the 802 ferry between December 2022 and February 2023.

The lockdown is expected to lead to costs for Ferguson of £3.3 million. As exceptional costs, these will be met by the Scottish Government as owners of the business.

The total additional estimated cost for the project remains unchanged at between £94.8 million and £98.8 million.

Other updates include:

  • a workforce liaison committee is being established to improve workforce engagement
  • the Glen Sannox, which was taken to dry dock earlier this month for remedial work, has had its incorrectly manufactured bulbous bow replaced and the starboard door is being installed. The hull’s paintwork is in better condition than expected
  • in line with government guidelines, around 50% of the workforce have now returned, with others working from home where possible

Ms Hyslop said:

“This has been a hugely challenging year for the business. In line with much economic activity across Europe the COVID-19 pandemic has essentially closed the yard for six months. Despite that interruption to business much has been achieved.

“While no work was possible at the yard during lockdown, extensive work was being done from employees’ homes - notably on the detailed design of the ferries. I would like to thank the workforce for all their continuing hard work, and efforts to get the yard back to work.

“The Turnaround Director has significantly strengthened the senior management team. I have appointed a new board to help drive the business forward. Trades Union representatives have direct access to the board, and a workers liaison committee is being set up.

“Vessel design has progressed significantly and the dry dock inspection of 801 demonstrated the hull is sound. Work to complete the ferries can now proceed at full speed. I believe we can look to the future with confidence.”


Ferguson Marine vessel programme: progress update August 2020.

The £3.3 million costs as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown comprise £1.6 million for wages and £1.7 million for facilities.

The estimated timings for delivery of the two ferries as of the Turnaround Director’s report of December 2019 was October to December 2021 for 801 and July to October 2022 for 802.

The total cost of building the ferries remains at £110.3m to £114.3m. Due to payments still being due under the original contract, the additional costs are estimated between £94.8m and £98.8 million.

There are some 350 employees at the yard including permanent, temporary and contract workers. This includes 26 apprentices. The yard also supports an estimated 350 jobs in the rest of Scotland.


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