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In 2011 it was announced that a new generation vessel would enter service in late 2012 / early 2013 on the Sconser (Isle of Skye) - Raasay service due to growing vehicle demands and to replace the aging LOCH STRIVEN. This, another similar but larger 'Loch Class' style vessel, would be powered by a hybrid combination of batteries and a small diesel engine - a world first for a sea going RO-RO vessel. Built at Fergusons on the Clyde, following more than 20m of Scottish government investment, she and a twin sister (destined for service on Loch Fyne) would be much greener and efficient to operate than any previous company vessels.
 

Early and Later 3D renders of HALLIAG
 


HALLAIG's Launch from Fergusons Slipway

On the 17th of December 2012 CMAL's newest vessel entered the Clyde at 1400 for the first time after launching from Fergusons shipyard to a piped rendition of 'Over The Sea to Skye'. Blessed by Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon (and a bottle of Talisker) she holds two quite significant 'firsts'. She is the first complete vessel to be launched on the once prosperous river Clyde for almost 5 years. She also holds the claim to fame in being the worlds first diesel electric hybrid RO-RO vessel - something which in the future is likely to become the norm with environmental awareness prominent in new build contracts.

The Ferguson Group worked with Glasgow-based ship design specialists Seatec and electrical specialists Tec-Source to deliver the ferries. The project is being supported by a Scottish government loan and additional funding of 450,000 from the European Regional Development Fund. HALLAIG and her sister will be owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL) and operated by CalMac Ferries as is the arrangement with all of the current fleet.
 
Whilst she was being built, and indeed being fitting out, her crew underwent extensive training on the vessels radically new hybrid equipment. This complex array of batteries coupled to sea water cooled Volvo engines will render her quieter, more efficient and better passage for passengers and crew than her predecessor. It is anticipated that she will achieve a minimum 20% power from batteries (meaning a 20% reduction in fuel than a diesel mechanical propulsion system) as Paul Camilli a crew member notes in his blog; "Using 'cutting edge' technology developed from recent leaps in lithium ion battery construction the HALLAIG will combine a conventional diesel electric drive with a high powered 700Kwh LiFePo4 battery bank that can be charged overnight from a shore connection." Paul has a brilliant breakdown of how she is to operate on his site, there are also full details on the advanced system including drawings and diagrams are available from CMAL in a pdf.

At lower speeds and light loaded conditions; greater fuel savings can be achieved resulting in a greater reduction of CO2 emissions. On days with reduced numbers of crossings it will be possible to operate on batteries only for some crossings. In port the vessel is capable of operating on batteries only with zero emissions. The Lithium Ion battery string on board HALLAIG has a total weight about the same as 4 to 5 cars.

Charging HALLIAG for 10 -13 hours overnight from a renewable source will result in an advantage of cheaper tariff as there are currently no plans to charge during the operation day. An automatic plug in system is under investigation and may be implemented at a later date.

After fitting out and trials in April / May 2013 she will enter service on the Rassay crossing in after a delivery voyage and handing over ceremony in May 2013.

Update: October 2013
HALLAIG arrived under her builders Fergusons ownership and house flag at Rassay on the 13th of October to a gathering of locals and her predecessor LOCH STRIVEN still holding the station.

More on her arrival here (Paul Camilli, Word Press Blog)

SoC LINKS
Sconser - Raasay
LOCHINVAR

EXTERNAL LINKS
CMAL Hybrid Vessels Propulsion Systems. (3.99mb PDF File)
Paul Camilli, Raasay Crew Member Blog.


HALLAIG on Fergusons slip prior to launch


At fitting out quay straight after launch


LOCH STRIVEN and HALLAIG together


HALLAIG on delivery at Raasay's new pier 13/10/13


Page Last Updated: 12/11/13

Text thanks to Ships of CalMac
    Video: Paul Camilli
    Pictures: 3D Renders - CMAL, On Slipway - Andrew Hickford SoC, Fitting Out Quay - John Openshaw, Loch Striven and Hallaig - George Rankine, At New Pier - Paul Camilli


All material on this site Ships of CalMac 2001 - 2013, unless otherwise stated.
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