Ferguson Marine Engineering

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Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (Shipbuilders)
Industry Shipbuilding
Founded 1903
Headquarters Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, Scotland
Key people
Jim McColl, (Chairman)
Keith Mitchell, (Chief Executive)
Number of employees
Over 200
Parent Lithgows (1961-1970)
Scott Lithgow (1970-1977)
British Shipbuilders (1977-1989) Clyde Blowers Capital (2014-present)
Website http://www.fergusonmarine.com/

Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd is a shipyard located in Port Glasgow on the River Clyde in Scotland. It is the last remaining shipbuilder on the lower Clyde, and is currently the only builder of merchant ships on the river - the company's mainstay has long been Roll-on/roll-off ferries, primarily for Caledonian MacBrayne, the largest of which is the Oban-Castlebay ferry MV Isle of Lewis, which is also Ferguson's largest product ever built. Ferguson's also built three of the world's first roll-on/roll-off Hybrid powered Car ferries MV Catriona, MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar. Ferguson's has built over 360 ships.

On Friday, 15 August 2014, the shipyard appointed KPMG as administrators, placing the company into administration.

Wednesday 10 September 2014 saw Clyde Blowers Capital, an industrial company owned by Jim McColl, purchased the yard for £600,000.[1] Clyde Blowers Capital will invest between £8 and £60 million in the shipyard and anticipate growing the workforce by up to 400 employees.


Newark Castle to the left, adjacent to Ferguson's shipyard.

The Company was founded by the four Ferguson Brothers (Peter, Daniel, Louis and Robert) who left the Fleming & Ferguson shipyard in Paisley to lease the Newark yard in Port Glasgow in March 1903.[2] The Ferguson brothers acquired the freehold in the Newark yard in 1907. The Company was purchased by John Slater Ltd. (Amalgamated Industries) in 1918, but was returned to the control of the Ferguson family in the late 1920s. Lithgows Ltd. purchased an interest in the business in 1955 after Bobby Ferguson's death[2] and took control of the Company in 1961. The Company remained a separate entity within the Scott Lithgow group from 1969 to 1977.[2]

The Company was nationalised and subsumed into British Shipbuilders in 1977. The business was merged with the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company to form Ferguson-Ailsa Ltd. in 1980.[2] Ferguson and Ailsa were separated again in 1986 and Ferguson merged with Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon to form Appledore Ferguson. By the late 1980s the only yards still held in state ownership were the smaller Appledore and Ferguson yards.[3] Ferguson was demerged from Appledore and acquired by Greenock-based engineering firm Clark Kincaid in 1989 and started trading as Ferguson Shipbuilders.[2] Clark Kincaid itself was acquired by Kvaerner and became Kvaerner Kincaid in 1990.

Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd. was sold by Kvaerner to Ferguson Marine plc in 1991. The entire shareholding in Ferguson Marine was acquired by the Holland House Electrical Group in 1995.[4] Former owner Kvaerner Kincaid was sold to Scandiaverken in 1999 and later ceased manufacturing at its Cartsburn site in Greenock during 2000.

In September 2014, following the acquisition by Clyde Blowers Capital, the company was renamed Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd.

Yard numbers[edit]

The Company applied yard numbers which started from the end of the sequence used by Fleming & Ferguson from 1902. It then used yard numbers which started from the end of the sequence used by the Ailsa Yard from 1985.


External links[edit]