THE GERMAN shipping company FRS Group, based in the Baltic port of Flensburg, has confirmed it is bidding for the Northern Isles lifeline ferry contract.
Up until now only two of the three companies competing for the £370 million contract were publicly known, Serco NorthLink and state owned Calmac.
In parliament on Thursday, Scottish islands minister Paul Wheelhouse told Shetland MSP Tavish Scott that it was important for the third bidder to remain confidential.
Yet, on Friday a spokeswoman for FRS confirmed to Shetland News that the company was bidding for the contract. However, she declined to give any further details at this moment.
FRS Group holds a number of international ferry service including in the Straits of Gibraltar, the west coast of the USA and Canada, the Gulf of Oman and the Finnish Aland Islands.
Chairman of the council’s transport and environment committee, councillor Ryan Thomson said he was looking forward to engaging with all three bidders.
“Now we know all three bidders for our lifeline Northern Isles ferry contract I look forward to discussions with all three bidders to make sure they are aware of the requirements of the community and industry when the new contract starts later this year.”
Submission of final tenders is scheduled for March with a view to awarding the contract in July. It is expected come into place on 31 October 2019.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 350 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or by monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News