A CROSS Solent ferry operator has announced a new order for a £10m vessel to be built by a British yard.
Red Funnel has placed the order for a new ro-ro freight ferry with Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, the yard which built the famous liner the Mauretania inn 1938 and the aircraft carrier Ark Royal in 1955.
The yard is currently building the polar research ship Sir David Attenborough for the British Antarctic Survey and is scheduled to deliver Red Funnel’s new ferry in spring 2019.
The new 74m ship will also be able to carry up 12 passengers.
The firm says the hull shape has been designed specifically to reduce wash and the ship will have an energy efficient propulsion unit and thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce, will also make the ship very manoeuvrable.
The crossing time of 55-60 minutes will be identical to Red Funnel’s existing Raptor class ro-pax ships and she will use the same berths in Southampton and East Cowes.
Kevin George, chairman and CEO of Red Funnel, said “We are the number one operator for cross-Solent freight and this new ship will provide more early morning capacity on weekdays and more freight-only sailings between October and March each year. After a competitive tender, we are delighted to place our third new-build in succession with a UK yard. The order will help sustain marine manufacturing in the UK and will bring benefits to the economy of the North West and also to the Isle of Wight once she enters service.”
Business Secretary Rt Hon Greg Clark MP said: “This is another vote of confidence in British shipbuilding and the excellence of our marine manufacturing sector, which we want to build on as part of our Industrial Strategy. Red Funnel continues to grow with this new investment in high quality UK manufacturing. This announcement is great news for the skilled workers at Red Funnel and Cammell Laird, and the local economies of Merseyside and the Isle of Wight”.
The order for the new ship, coupled with the major refurbishment of Red Eagle and the order of Red Jet 7, amounts to an investment of over £20m in Red Funnel’s cross-Solent services since the business was acquired by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds in July 2017.
Source : DailyEcho