By Democrat reporter
One of the two dual fuel ferries being built across the River Clyde in Port Glasgow has entered dry dock for remedial work.
Managers said the work on MV Glen Sannox was a “milestone” in the action plan to complete the vessels after the shipyard went into administration.
The ship will have its bulbous bow replaced, paintwork will be repaired and marine growth removed.
The ship was originally due for completion in early 2018.
MV Glen Sannox, which is capable of running on both marine diesel and liquefied natural gas, had been moored beside the Inverclyde shipyard since its slipway launch in November 2017.
The yard’s former owner, Jim McColl, who once ran a kitchen unit factory in Dumbarton, has blamed the delays and spiralling costs on repeated specification changes by government-owned CMAL, which commissioned the ship to run on CalMac’s Arran route.
CMAL has said the problems were down to mismanagement at the shipyard and a rush to begin construction before the design was ready.
The yard went into administration in August 2019 and was nationalised by the Scottish government in December.
Tim Hair, the turnaround director appointed by the government, said: “This is a key milestone in the recovery programme for the dual fuel vessels.
“Some work has been carried out on MV Glen Sannox at the shipyard, but the dry dock period is important because it will bring the vessel up to a condition that will allow us to move forward in earnest with the vessel completion plan.
“It is also another clear sign of recovery for the shipyard business and comes only weeks after the launch of a steel barge for a customer in the offshore oil and marine sector.”
Mr Hair said the Covid pandemic had affected work at the shipyard, but outdoor working had resumed at the end of June and the yard was operating effectively with social distancing in place.
MV Glen Sannox is now in the Dale Marine dry dock in Greenock, a short distance down river, and is due to return to the Ferguson yard at the end of August.
The second ferry, currently known as Hull 802, is still being constructed at the shipyard, and is earmarked for the Skye, Uist and Harris route.