Ferguson Marine failed to understand what the ferry contracts actually required

Ferguson Marine failed to understand what the ferry contracts actually required
The Ferguson Marine yard

THERE have been many statements made about Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), by Jim McColl, the senior management at Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) and others which I believe to be false.

I am disappointed to see these one-sided, highly ill-informed and misplaced statements fuelled by Davie shipyard ("Shipyard takeover the act of a ‘banana republic’" and "Our yard wasn’t nationalised and we went on to become a success", The Herald, September 2).

READ MORE: Ferry firm boss denies blame for Clyde yard fiasco 

We reject the assertion we requested multiple design changes. Design changes are part of the ship-building process and our contracts, which are internationally recognised industry contracts, have an agreed change order process.

FMEL failed to understand what the contracts required and considered it acceptable to demand payments for its design errors and subsequent re-design and re-work.

CMAL cannot make extra payments unless claims are properly justified. FMEL’s claim, which was submitted in December 2018, was rejected on robust legal advice from leading maritime lawyers and a senior QC. Notably, that claim has not been progressed in any forum since.

There seems to be a misunderstanding that CMAL lacks shipbuilding experience. Our director of vessels is a chartered engineer, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and Fellow of The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and has spent more than 35 years in the maritime industry; working in senior roles for shipbuilders, ship owners and design consultants. Our senior technical manager and project director has more than 40 years’ experience in the shipbuilding, marine and subsea industries. Both individuals spent many years working in senior roles at the shipyard in Port Glasgow before joining CMAL. I also have more than 32 years’ experience in shipping, not to mention the wider vessels team. We know shipbuilding and our experience outstrips that of the previous senior management team at FMEL.

Our priority is the delivery of our two vessels. We are supportive of the shipyard workforce and believe a new ownership structure and senior management team will see the completion of the vessels that are desperately needed for island communities.

Kevin Hobbs, chief executive, CMAL, Port Glasgow.

YOUR article regarding the possible nationalisation of the Ferguson yard threw up some interesting points. I have often wondered how many and how major were the changes made to the ferries as nei-ther Ferguson, CMAL nor the SNP has ever divulged those details, leaving the Scottish public with no figures to base their thoughts on the matter. The triumvirate had obviously done no homework on this type of build, as otherwise they would have been aware of the difficulties of the Davie's yard in Que-bec difficulties. Would we not be better to hire a member of that shipbuilder to either manage or ad-vise Ferguson and also the SNP to supply the financial backing that Davie had itself?

George Dale, Beith.

Latest Property News