Deal between administrators and Scottish Government at shipyard


Officials write off £50m in Government loans to secure shipyard's future

A Scottish shipyard that entered administration in August has been taken into public ownership to save it from collapse.

Ferguson Marine has continued to be run by administrators Deloitte and funded by Hollyrood who have agreed to write off £50m in loans to the firm. From now on the Port Glasgow yard will be known as Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd and will recruit more workers to join the workforce of 300 to complete current contracts.

The reason for the collapse of the yard’s fortunes was due to a falling out with their client Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited who commissioned them to construct two ferries for £97m. Unfortunately the costs ran over the fixed price contract and the two came to loggerheads.

According to the BBC, Jim McColl, the industrialist who bankrolled the yard when it went bust in 2014, said that there were multiple changes made by the client for the “innovative design features required for hybrid-powered ships, running on diesel and on liquefied natural gas.”

Caledonian Maritime Assets buys and leases CalMac ships on behalf of the Scottish Government to connect the mainland with the various islands in the Hebrides and elsewhere.

Scottish Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: "We have been working for over two years to find a resolution to the difficulties at Ferguson Marine and our priorities remain the completion of the two CalMac ferries, protecting jobs, and securing a future for the yard. In the absence of a workable commercial solution the administrators have concluded that public ownership is in the best interests of the creditors.

"Now that this has been confirmed, I am determined that we continue to work closely with everyone at the yard to progress work on the vessels and achieve the best possible outcome for the yard and its employees. Recruiting more staff to Ferguson Marine is a significant step forward in making this happen.

"Establishing a revised timetable for the completion of the two ferries also remains one of the main tasks for the management at the yard and I will give an update on the schedule and cost for delivery of the two ferries as soon as possible."

Ian Carrotte of ICSM credit said: “So some good news for a change from a major administration of a large slice of one of Britain’s core industrial sectors - although millions of tax payers’ money have been lost. Together with British Steel that was recently salvaged from administration it means more jobs and the local economies are kept intact.”

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