The new Arran ferry, the UK’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) passenger ferry, was launched on Tuesday, November 21 on the Clyde by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The 102-metre, roll-on/roll-off vehicle passenger ferry, named MV Glen Sannox, operates on LNG and marine gas oil (MGO). LNG is significantly cleaner and will help to reduce emissions to meet ambitious Scottish Government targets.

The innovative dual fuel vessel was launched at Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited’s (FMEL) Port Glasgow shipyard and is the first of two LNG ferries being built as part of a £97 million contract on behalf of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL).

MV Glen Sannox is designed to carry 127 cars or 16 HGVs or a combination of both and up to 1,000 passengers. The vessel is due to be delivered in winter 2018/2019.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd makes a significant contribution to the Scottish industrial sector and to the Inverclyde economy.

“These state of the art ferries are more sustainable, therefore contributing to Scotland’s world-leading climate change goals. They are also capable of carrying more vehicles and benefiting the communities that rely on them.”

Kevin Hobbs, chief executive, CMAL said: “We welcome the launch of Glen Sannox, marking a major milestone in the construction of this highly innovative vessel.

“The use of LNG in maritime transport is a sign of our ongoing commitment to exploring new fuel technologies for ferries, as well as a wider commitment to innovation in Scotland and consideration for the environmental impact of transport.”

Robbie Drummond, CalMac’s Service Delivery Director added: “The launch of any vessel is an exciting time in its construction and we are pleased to see the first of the new ships being built at Port Glasgow reach this important milestone.

“As the end-customer for the MV Glen Sannox, we are looking forward to welcoming her to our fleet in due course.”

Jim McColl, chief executive, Clyde Blowers, which owns FMEL, also said: “FMEL and CMAL have worked closely together on the highly challenging engineering issues arising from the unique nature of the dual fuel ferry project.

“The experience and knowledge gained during this project will be of enormous benefit to the competitiveness of Scottish shipbuilding in the future as technology continues to develop to meet tightening clean energy legislation.”