The failure of Scotland’s state-owned shipyard to compete for a Scottish ferry building contract was an “international humiliation”, Scottish Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar has claimed.
It was announced last week that Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Limited had failed to make the shortlist to build two ferries serving the islands of Islay and Jura, with yards in Turkey, Romania and Poland now in contention for the contracts.
The two new boats will be the first major order by government-backed entity Caledonian Maritime Assets, which procures vessels for CalMac, since Glen Sannox and an as-yet unnamed ship, known as Hull 802, which are still under construction at the Ferguson shipyard.
Glen Sannox is currently due to be delivered in the second half of next year, more than four years late, with the two ships costing the taxpayer more than double the original contract price.
Speaking during First Minister’s Questions in Parliament, Sarwar challenged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to explain “how a Scottish yard, supporting Scottish jobs and owned by The Scottish Government failed to even make the shortlist to build Scotland’s ferries”.
The Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow was nationalised by Scottish National Party (SNP) ministers in 2019 to prevent it falling into administration again.