Liquefied natural gas (LNG) for vessels 801 and 802: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. What actions are the Scottish Government taking to support CalMac in obtaining secure and affordable supplies of imported LNG in preparation for Hulls 801 and 802 coming into service?

2. Please confirm which countries the Scottish Government have identified as key exporters of LNG to Scotland for Hulls 801 and 802?


As you will be aware the new vessels (MV Glen Sannox and Hull 802) currently under construction at Fergusons are dual fuel, delivering greener, quieter, reliable vessels on Scotland's ferry network. While Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a fossil fuel, and therefore not a long-term alternative to MGO (Marine Gas Oil) for ferries, it is a proven technology offering around 20% less carbon emissions than MGO. LNG provides an opportunity for emission reductions from new major vessels in the medium term – given the absence of other commercially available options at present. LNG has significant local air quality benefits with the addition of shore-power connections also providing for overnight powering of vessels, with significant local noise and air quality improvements for residents and crew.

CalMac is currently undertaking a procurement exercise with support from Scottish Government to obtain supplies of LNG. The LNG CalMac plan to use will be supplied from the Isle of Grain in Kent.

The Isle of Grain LNG terminal is known as a “peak shaving facility,” which means that it imports, stores, and blends a considerable amount of LNG from various sources worldwide. The facility also has the capability to load road-trailers with LNG for supply to domestic and industrial consumers throughout the UK.

When noting the amount stored at the Isle of Grain, the demand of CalMac is a small part of the LNG supply in the UK. It would not be cost effective for CalMac to import the small volumes of LNG required. As such, CalMac will rely on the much larger bulk volumes shipped into the Isle of Grain.

In addition the LNG Infrastructure, including appropriate bunkering (storage) facilities and supply connections, is being developed as part of port expansion and improvements works on routes where vessels MV 801/802 are expected to be deployed. As with fuel types and technologies for all types of transport we will continue to work with operators and wider partners to review and consider the most appropriate and sustainable combinations as our vessel and port projects progress.

We continue to work with the yard to do everything we can to ensure that the vessels enter service as quickly as possible, to deliver the service improvements upon which our island communities depend.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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