Date lodged: 26 April 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has asked Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) to assess the usefulness of using the MV (a) Hjaltland and (b) Hrossey on routes other than those to Shetland, should their reported lack of capacity to meet demand on the Shetland lifeline routes force their replacement.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 10 May 2018
The purchase of the 3 Ropax vessels (MV Hamnavoe, MV Hjaltland and the MV Hrossey) from the Royal Bank of Scotland by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) secured the vessels for the Northern Isles ferry service contract. With the proposed reduction in fares to the Northern Isles it is anticipated that the volume of traffic will increase. On 25 April 2018 we published the NIFS study which considered the potential demand response and capacity issues and we will be considering further, in consultation with stakeholders.
We will keep vessel requirements under review, taking account of further consultations with stakeholders on demand and capacity.
Work on the Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan 2017 (VRDP) is underway which includes consideration of the addition of the Northern Isles Ferry services. The VRDP 2017 Plan will be produced during 2018.