MV Loch Seaforth faces further delay

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There has been a further delay to the delivery of the MV LOCH SEAFORTH by the shipyard in Germany. This latest ship in the Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) fleet is now scheduled to undergo sea trials starting later this week and enter service as soon as the completion of harbour works at Stornoway make this possible.

This delay on the last update in July is due to the on-going electrical fit out and completion of the passenger spaces at the shipyard, together with testing and commissioning of the LOCH SEAFORTH’s many systems. The vessel remains on budget, with standard contractual penalties being applied to the shipyard for late delivery.

Following statutory inspections and final vessel performance trials the MV LOCH SEAFORTH will be handed over to the operator, CalMac Ferries Ltd, for familiarisation trials and training with her local crew on the route, before entering service.

The MV LOCH SEAFORTH was recently sent to Denmark for a planned modification of the propeller hubs and, since the July update, other key milestones have been met, including the installation and testing of the evacuation system and the inclining test to confirm various deadweight and stability matters, as well as significant progress with trials and testing of the main propulsion systems and other outstanding work throughout the rest of the ship.

Tom Docherty, CEO, CMAL, said: “I am disappointed that there has been a further delay to the MV LOCH SEAFORTH by the shipyard in Germany. The original plan was for sea trials to take place in the first week of September on leaving Denmark, however the earlier delays to the installation of electrical services throughout the vessel necessitated a return to Germany to complete the works.

“A team from CMAL is onsite, working closely with the shipyard to assist and ensure that the vessel is completed to a high standard, which is ultimately just as important as meeting completion deadlines.”

The service on the Stornoway to Ullapool route will be unaffected by the delay to the MV LOCH SEAFORTH, with the existing vessels available and operating to the current timetable.