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CalMac confirms allocation of new Bute ferry order

Source: Caledonian MacBrayne official press release, 04 August 2005

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed that the second new vessel to serve the Wemyss Bay-Rothesay route will be a sister-ship for m.v. Bute.
The then Minister for Transport Nicol Stephen MSP confirmed on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 that he had approved tendering for the new vessel estimated to costs around GBP 9.5million following the Executive’s  2004 Spending Review.
Subject to final conclusion of the specification and terms of conditions, the contract to build the ship will be awarded to Remontowa Group at their Gdansk shipyard where m.v. Bute was launched on February 9 this year. 
CalMac Managing Director Lawrie Sinclair said: “CalMac is delighted to have this confirmation of the new build details. We are extremely satisfied with m.v. Bute and the way that project was delivered. This second new ship for the Wemyss Bay to Rothesay service will enable us to further enhance the service between the island and the mainland. It is vitally important now that all the relevant organisations come together to improve the infrastructure to enable us to operate at maximum efficiency and that means having a new linkspan in place in Rothesay as quickly as possible. Until that happens, both ships will obviously have to operate as side-loaders.”
 The ordering of this new vessel was conducted in accordance with EU public procurement procedures. CalMac’s Technical Director John Kerr said:  “Value for money, reliability and delivery were the key factors in awarding the contract to the Remontowa yard. There were 4 bids for the project in the end and the Remontowa option clearly offered the best value for the investment. The new vessel will be identical to m.v. Bute at 72 metres long and 15.3 metres breadth, with a draught of 5 metres. She will carry 60 cars and 450 passengers on CalMac’s busiest route, and will enter service in Winter 2006 replacing another of the current Streakers servicing the route. Building will start as soon as possible. The two new ships will be ideally suited to commuter traffic. The increased capacity will open up the island of Bute to many more people, and make the Central Belt more accessible to island residents.”
Mr Sinclair added: “It is important that as with the process of building m.v. Bute, everyone appreciates at the outset that there will be a fixed budget for this project and that we have to achieve best value for money, while producing the most customer-friendly ship possible. I am very much looking forward to getting the project up and running and delighted to be starting the building process up again, just as we are settling in with m.v. Bute which came into service this summer.”
Meanwhile, CalMac has also confirmed that the Company is to shortly begin the tendering process for a new ferry for the Largs to Cumbrae service. Mr Stephen confirmed funding of around GBP 5.8 million for the new vessel, which will carry 24 cars and 250 passengers, in the same funding announcement in December 2004. The new ship should enter service in Winter 2006, releasing the current vessel to improve the Oban to Lismore service.

ends
 
For further information on the contents of this News Release, please contact Hugh Dan MacLennan, Head of Communication and Customer Care, Caledonian MacBrayne.   Tel: 0776 435 4021; e-mail hugh.maclennan@calmac.co.uk.
Issued:  Thursday, August 4,  2005  : 10:30


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