The ferries are now three years overdue, less than half built and are predicted to cost £110 million more than originally estimated. Hair says that the ships are “significantly less than half built” and that 95% of the ships design has not been agreed with CMAL more than four years after the ships were ordered. He said that more naval architects and engineers have been taken on to deal with this. The shipyards executive said that the planning process for changes to the design under the yards prior to nationalisation was “either absent or badly flawed”:
The number of £110m [the extra money needed to finish the project] has been arrived at from a very detailed examination of the two vessels and an understanding of the work that needs to be done in order to bring them up to a viable standard.It is a very significant number but it is a number that has been based on as rigorous an assessment as we’ve been able to carry out. It’s one where I am confident we can deliver the two vessels for that amount.
Committee member and Tory MSP Peter Chapman said people would find the situation “absolutely incredible”.
How the heck do you get to £110m, which is more than what the original cost was to start from scratch with a pile of steel and nothing?
In a letter to Lockhart, convenor the Scottish Government’s Net Zero committee, Ferguson Marine’s turnaround director says that in the week before Christmas 2021, engineers unwound coils that had been installed in late 2018/early 2019 and found some of them were too short to reach the necessary equipment. After three weeks of investigation, Ferguson engineers believe that at least 400 cables will need to be addressed, with the worst case requiring 939 cables to be replaced. The faulty cables were installed by a sub-contractor before the shipyard went into administration – none of the cables were installed after the Scottish Government took control of the yard. Most or all the vables will need to be cut out and the process started again. Hair says it is not currently possible to determine the impact on schedule and cost of the problem. Hair:
I regret to advise you that a problem has recently emerged with the build of 801 which I thought I should immediately bring to your attention. Commissioning and further cable installation cannot take place until the legacy cables are corrected, delaying the overall project to deliver 801. There will inevitably be knock-on effects that will delay the schedule for 802. At present it is not possible to determine the impact on schedule and cost.
An extra £4.3m in costs have been added to the cost of the MV Glen Sannox and it sister ship. The Port Glasgow shipyard had to suspend working for four months during the first lockdown and was closed for another four weeks earlier this year. The shutdowns cost £3.3m and £1m respectively.
Tunaround director, Tim Hair, says the Covid shutdowns were being treated as “exceptional costs”, but the previously-announced remedial work, costing £110m-£114m, remained within budget. Hair said that 80% of design work was now signed-off by regulators and that the latest delivery schedule of April to June 2022 for Glen Sannox, and December 2022 to February 2023 for the second ship, was still achievable. Hair says the yard should be able to take on new work from next spring.
To date, 191 applications have been received for skilled workers, with 40 so far identified as having the relevant skills.
The ferry returns to the water after dry dock works are completed. 42 tonnes of mussels were removed from the hull, its bulbous bow replaced, paint repaired, and external welding completed. Hair:
Following a period of uncertainty due to COVID-19, it has been really gratifying to see our team return to outdoor working on MV Glen Sannox. We’ve made some solid strides forward over the last few weeks on MV Glen Sannox and have slightly extended the dry dock period to take advantage of the stability of the vessel whilst stationed there to carry out some additional tasks. Now that the ferry has been brought up to its current condition and has returned to our shipyard, the next steps will include work on the superstructure, electrical work and the installation of approximately 16km of pipework.