Jim McColl Reveals Shipyard Ambitions

Billionaire Jim McColl has said he hopes to build ocean-going commercial ships and military vessels to rival BAE at his shipyard on the Clyde.

The entrepreneur saved Port Glasgow-based Ferguson Marine from bankruptcy last year and set out plans to expand the business.

He has now revealed that his upgrades have increased the maximum size of vessels it can build at the yard by a third to 150 metres.

Mr McColl has also looked at taking on the 1,000-metre Inchgreen dock in Greenock, one of the largest ports in Europe which has been put up for lease by owner Peel Ports.

In an interview with The Herald, Mr McColl said: "We are investing quite a bit in Ferguson to up our capacity. We are getting in the position to build four ships a year, six at a push.

"With the modifications we are making, we could make a vessel of 150 metres, even slightly bigger. That is the size of a ferry that would go from, say, Edinburgh to Zeebrugge, an ocean-going ship.''

He added: "We would be looking to expand if we could. Govan would have been a good site to look at, if the yard had been vacant.

"We have looked at Inchgreen, the dry dock. It is a fantastic, fabulous facility, one of the biggest in Europe.''

BAE recently announced that it would keep its yard at Govan, which is used for the construction of military vessels.

Mr McColl said: "The British government will want to keep buying military ships in the UK.

"With what we are doing, we could start getting in to military ships. A bit of competition would not be bad for BAE Systems.''

Recently Played Tracks

To listen live, choose your preferred location:

Go

On TV: Christmas Hits: Guess The Year

12pm - 2pm

Watch heart TV

  • Paul McCartney Wonderful Christmastime

    Now

    iTunes

  • Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?

    12:02

    iTunes

  • Wham! Last Christmas

    11:51

    iTunes

  • Chris Rea Driving Home For Christmas

    11:43

    iTunes

Heart VIP

Local

Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Shopping Our Advertisers

Find out more about some of the companies advertising on Heart Scotland- East.

Follow Heart on Twitter