The UK’s first passenger ferry powered by liquefied natural gas has been launched in Scotland as part of a drive to cut emissions.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the 102-metre MV Glen Sannox in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, on Tuesday.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is significantly cleaner than other fuels and will help work towards reduced emissions targets set by the Scottish Government.
Ms Sturgeon said: “These state-of-the-art ferries are more sustainable, therefore contributing to Scotland’s world-leading climate change goals.
“They are also capable of carrying more vehicles and benefiting the communities that rely on them.”
The vessel is the first of two LNG ferries being built as part of a £97 million Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) contract.
Glen Sannox is designed to carry 1,000 passengers as well as 127 cars or 16 HGVs, or a combination of both.
The ferry, which also uses marine gas oil, has been earmarked for the Ardrossan to Brodick route and is due to begin operating in winter 2018/2019.
Kevin Hobbs, CMAL chief executive, said: “We welcome the launch of Glen Sannox, marking a major milestone in the construction of this highly innovative vessel.
“The use of LNG in maritime transport is a sign of our ongoing commitment to exploring new fuel technologies for ferries, as well as a wider commitment to innovation in Scotland and consideration for the environmental impact of transport.”
The second LNG vessel, which has yet to be named, is currently under construction and has been earmarked to serve Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig.
The Scottish Government is expected to publish its third Climate Change Plan in the start of 2018 as part of efforts to cut emissions by 66% by 2032.