Ferguson Marine Removes Another Top Manager as "Ferry Fiasco" Nears End

Glen Sannox
Glen Sannox, 2023 (file image courtesy Ferguson Marine)

Published Jun 26, 2024 8:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

A longtime member of the team behind the Glen Sannox ferry project has been removed from his post at state-owned shipbuilder Ferguson Marine over a "breakdown in trust," according to the Scottish government. The sacking comes just weeks ahead of a regularly-scheduled progress report on Scotland's most notorious newbuild program, known to local tabloids as the "Ferry Fiasco" for its nine-year saga of design flaws, change orders, rework requirements and delays. 

The Glen Sannox's program director, Andy Crossan, is an employee of the state ferry agency CMAL, Ferguson's primary customer. He has been involved in the controversial project since he was hired by CMAL in 2015. In the project's early days, Crossan had a contentious relationship with Ferguson's former owners, according to the BBC. Ferguson was nationalized in 2019, and both firms are now state-owned enterprises. 

In early 2022, Ferguson's then-CEO David Tydeman asked Crossan - who remained an employee at CMAL - to join the senior leadership team at Ferguson, as part of an effort to mend fences with CMAL. That double-appointment is now over, Ferguson Marine told the BBC. 

"We can confirm the secondment arrangement with CMAL has ended and the secondee is no longer supporting the vessels programme," the yard said in a brief statement. 

Crossan still retains his post as senior technical manager and projects director at CMAL. 

It is the second time in three months that Ferguson has removed a senior manager. Former CEO Tydeman - the turnaround specialist who put the project on track to completion, and who brought Crossan into the fold - was sacked by Ferguson's board in March, just after an announcement of another delay in the project, which is already six years overdue.

The ferry is supposed to deliver at last by July 31, but the BBC reports that further delays are now expected. The vessel's LNG fuel systems are reportedly the source of the final technical hurdles remaining before its completion. 

Ferguson Marine faces an uncertain future after the delivery of the Glen Sannox and her sister ship Glen Rosa. It does not have any other newbuilds in its orderbook, though it does have a subcontract to build hull modules for a Royal Navy frigate project.