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Ferguson Marine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd.
State owned
HeadquartersPort Glasgow, Inverclyde, Scotland
Key people
Tim Hair (turnaround director)
Alistair Mackenzie (non-executive director and chairman)
Number of employees
Over 400
ParentLithgows (1961-1970)
Scott Lithgow (1970-1977)
British Shipbuilders (1977-1989) Clyde Blowers Capital (2014-2019)
Ferguson Marine Engineering from the west, behind Newark Castle, prior to the November 2017 launch of MV Glen Sannox.
Ferguson Marine Engineering from the west, behind Newark Castle, prior to the November 2017 launch of MV Glen Sannox.

Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd. is a shipbuilding company, with a yard located in Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It is the last remaining shipbuilder on the lower Clyde, and is currently the only builder of merchant ships on the river - the company's mainstay has long been Roll-on/roll-off ferries, primarily for Caledonian MacBrayne, the largest of which will operate between Ardrossan and Isle of Arran. Ferguson's also built three of the world's first roll-on/roll-off Hybrid powered car ferries MV Catriona, MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar. As of June 2020, work is in progress on MV Glen Sannox, which is also Ferguson's largest product ever built.


The Ferguson shipyard was founded as a partnership by four Ferguson Brothers (Peter, Daniel, Louis and Robert) who left the Fleming & Ferguson shipyard in Paisley to lease the Newark yard in Port Glasgow in March 1903.[1][2] Ferguson Brothers acquired the freehold in the yard in 1907 and was incorporated as Ferguson Brothers (Port Glasgow) Ltd in 1912.[2] The company was purchased by John Slater Ltd (Amalgamated Industries) in 1918[2] but returned to control of the Ferguson family in the late 1920s. Lithgows Ltd purchased an interest in the business after Bobby Ferguson's death in 1954[1] and took control of the Company in 1961.[2] Ferguson Brothers remained a separate entity within the Scott Lithgow group from 1969 to 1977.[1]

Entrance to Ferguson Shipbuilders, with the original office building and fabrication shed built to the line of the railway branch which once served the harbour.
Entrance to Ferguson Shipbuilders, with the original office building and fabrication shed built to the line of the railway branch which once served the harbour.

The company was nationalised and subsumed into British Shipbuilders in 1977,[2] then merged with the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company to form Ferguson-Ailsa Ltd in 1980.[1]

Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd

Ferguson and Ailsa were separated in 1986 when the latter yard was sold and Ferguson was merged with Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon to form Appledore Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd.[2] By the late 1980s only the Appledore Ferguson yards were still held in state ownership.[3] Ferguson was demerged from Appledore and acquired by Greenock-based engineering firm Clark Kincaid in 1989 and started trading as Ferguson Shipbuilders.[1][2] Clark Kincaid itself was acquired by Kvaerner and became Kvaerner Kincaid in 1990,[4] and the Ferguson yard sold to Ferguson Marine plc in 1991.[2] The entire shareholding in Ferguson Marine was acquired by the Holland House Electrical Group in 1995.[5] The sign above the main gate continued the name Ferguson Shipbuilders Limited.[6]

Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd.

New office building and entrance moved near the A8 road, Glen Sannox and Hull 802 in 2017.
New office building and entrance moved near the A8 road, Glen Sannox and Hull 802 in 2017.

In August 2014, the shipyard placed the company into administration and the following month Clyde Blowers Capital, an industrial company owned by Jim McColl, purchased the yard for £600,000 and renamed it Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL).[6]

In August 2015, government-owned Caledonian Maritime Assets announced that an order for two ferries for Caledonian MacBrayne service, capable of operating on either marine diesel oil or liquefied natural gas, had been won by Fergusons.[7] Originally intended for delivery during 2018, construction difficulties (the reasons for which are in dispute) have led to a two-year delay for the first ship, Glen Sannox, which was launched in November 2017.[8][9]

FMEL was part of two consortia's bids for the programme for five type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy, worth some £1.25 billion. The consortia are those led by Babcock International and Atlas Elektronik UK.[10] After their bid was selected, a contract was formally awarded to Babcock Group on 15 November 2019, for an average production cost of £250 million per ship and an overall programme cost set to be £2 billion.[11]

On 30 October 2018, FMEL secured a contract to construct a large air cushioned barge for Mangistau ACV Solutions Ltd, part of the CMI Offshore Ltd Group, with estimated completion scheduled in 2019.[12] In December 2018 FMEL announced that two orders worth £5.4 million had been secured from Inverlussa Marine Services for fish farm support ships, to be completed in May 2019, and that three more for fishing vessels, totaling £11 million, were in the pipeline.[13] By July 2019 the ferry dispute had led to delays in closing the trawler contracts.[14]

Ferguson Marine from the east, across Coronation Park, with MV Glen Sannox still at Newark Quay, lacking progress since being launched.
Ferguson Marine from the east, across Coronation Park, with MV Glen Sannox still at Newark Quay, lacking progress since being launched.

Attempts by Clyde Blowers Capital to negotiate with the Scottish Government over the increased costs and delays to ferries failed, and on 9 August 2019 the directors of FMEL gave notice that the company would be put into administration.[9] A week later the Scottish Government announced that they would take over management of the yard to allow work to continue on current orders, and that if no private buyer could be found in four weeks, the yard would be nationalised by purchase.[15] At the start of December, after three private bids to purchase the yard were rejected as being insufficiently favourable to creditors, the government formally took ownership of the shipyard, and in the process wrote off about £50 million of previous loans.[16]

Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd.

The newly nationalised shipyard was renamed Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd. as of 2 December 2019.[16] The costs and viability of completing contracts was investigated, and Tim Hair was appointed as turnaround director. On 22 January 2020 he told a Scottish Parliament inquiry that the large ferries MV Glen Sannox and Hull 802 were "significantly less than half built", with 95% of their design still to be agreed with the client body Caledonian Maritime Assets. Additional naval architects and marine engineers had been engaged to complete this design work.[17]

In March 2020 Ferguson Marine announced that they had taken a four year lease on a large warehouse sited at Greenock waterfront, and would use it to consolidate stock and materials which had been stored in several warehouses near Glasgow Airport.[18] The large air cushioned barge for CMI Offshore Ltd (ordered from FMEL in 2018) was launched on 24 June 2020, to be taken to the Caspian Sea to be completed and outfitted for oil exploration work in that area.[19]

The company's board of directors with six non–executive members, including Alistair Mackenzie as chairman, was appointed in June 2020 by the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop.[20]

Shipyard facilities

Building Berth/Slipway 4000m2 (120m x 60m concrete reinforced building berth). 1 x 36.5 ton traveling tower crane

    • Main Fabrication shed
    • Build Bay 1-1.100m2(L55m x W20m x H9m) 2 x overhead cranes
    • Build Bay 2-2.400m2(L120m x W20m x H9m) 4 x overhead cranes
    • New build Bay 3-1.950m2(L50m x W30m x H25m) 2x 75/2x 10 ton overhead cranes

Subsea/Offshore Fabrication Shed 1225m2 (L70m X W15m X H10m)

Quayside Facilities- Berth 1 89m/ Berth 2 50m

Weekly Fabrication output 150 tonnes

Yard working area of 10.498m2

List of vessels built since 2000

Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd

Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd 2014 +

  • Caledonian Maritime Assets
    • MV Catriona (2016) (43.5 x 12.2 metres) (Diesel electric hybrid Ro-Ro Ferry)
    • MV Glen Sannox (2019) (102.4 x 17 metres) (LNG/marine diesel hybrid ROPAX Ferry)
    • Hull 802 (2019/20) (102.4 x 17 metres) (LNG/marine diesel hybrid ROPAX Ferry)
  • Mangistau ACV Solutions Ltd (part of CMI Offshore Ltd Group)
    • ACB argymak (Q1 2020) (55 x 24 metres) (Air Cushion Barge)
  • Inverlussa Marine Services
    • MV Helen Rice (2019) (21 x 8.35 metres) (Aquaculture Support Vessel)
    • MV Kallista Helen (2020) (26.5 x 12 metres) (Aquaculture Support Vessel)
  • Orkney Islands Council
    • Hull 806 (2020/21) steel will be cut in October 2019 (39.9 x 10 meters) (Hydrogen hybrid Ro-Ro ferry)


  1. ^ a b c d e Goodwin, Karin (5 March 2007). "History of a shipbuilding family". BBC News.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Middlemiss, Norman L (July 1994). British shipbuilding yards, vol 2: Clydeside (1st ed.). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Shield Publications Ltd. pp. 239–243. ISBN 1871128110.
  3. ^ Bowen, David (4 September 1994). "Britain misses the boat: After years in the doldrums, there are new opportunities for the shipbuilding industry worldwide, but the once-great yards of Britain may now be too weak to take advantage". The Independent. London.
  4. ^ "Why Scotland must redesign its vision of shipbuilding to become industry leader again". The Herald on Sunday. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Port Glasgow, Ferguson Ailsa Shipyard". Canmore. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Ferguson Shipbuilders sold to Clyde Blowers Capital". Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited- announces Scottish shipbuilder as preferred tenderer for two large ferries contract". CMAL. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  8. ^ "IN Pictures -- Launch Of Ferry Glen Sannox At Port Glasgow". Inverclyde Now. 21 November 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Clyde shipyard Ferguson set to go into administration". BBC News. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  10. ^ "How many ships are the Clyde shipyards expecting to build?". UK Defence Journal. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  11. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (15 November 2019). "UK MoD Formally Awards Type 31 Frigate Contract To Babcock". Naval News. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Ferguson Marine Engineering Secures Contract to Build Air Cushion Barge - Home - EN". Clyde Blowers Capital. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Ferguson Marine wins contract to build two new vessels". Greenock Telegraph. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Ferry dispute threatens last civilian shipyard on the Clyde". Financial Times. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Ferguson shipyard nationalised by Scottish government". BBC. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Ferguson Marine shipyard taken into public ownership". BBC News Online. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Ferries are a 'long way off completion', MSPs warned". BBC News. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Shipyard Signs Major Greenock Waterfront Warehouse Deal". Inverclyde Now. 9 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Air Cushion Barge Launch At Port Glasgow". Inverclyde Now. 24 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Board Of Directors Appointed For Ferguson Marine Yard". Inverclyde Now. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 October 2020, at 10:47
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