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Steam Packet considers new ferry options

Certain information can't yet be made public

The Steam Packet says the process of finding the right yard to build the next Steam Packet ferry is continuing.

But chief executive Mark Woodward says it's likely to be towards the end of the year before specific information, as to where that construction might take place, can be made public.

The Ben My Chree, built in 1998 cost 24 milion pounds. Her successor is likely to cost somewhat more, so there is not only the usual public interest in a new Manx ferry but also in the cost of bringing the fleet up to date.

Under the terms of the Sea Services Agreement, the company will provide two new vessels, with the first being due to service in 2022.

It's thought the Ben My Chree would take on the backup role currently, falling to the MV Arrow.

The Mannanan fast craft is as old as the Ben.

At one time such fast craft, achieving more journeys than conventional ferries, were seen as the way forward in ferry travel. But the high cost of fueling them has caused a change in thinking, back to Ro Pax but with greater emphasis on fuel efficiancy, possibly using LPG.

That might use a combined gas turbine electric and steam system.

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