FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed the public inquiry into Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow and says her Scottish Government has 'absolutely nothing' to worry about from it.

The Scottish Parliament has launched an investigation into the goings-on at the Newark shipyard before and after its financial collapse, including the calamitous £97 million CalMac ferries contract and nationalisation.

Ferguson's was formally taken into public ownership in December having gone into administration for the second time in five years.

The inquiry by the parliament's rural economy and connectivity committee will also look into the ferry procurement and construction process.

The delayed and over-budget MV Glen Sannox and the unnamed Hull 802 are now expected to cost taxpayers around £200m - double the original fixed price - and will be three and four years late respectively.

Speaking to the Tele during a visit to Greenock on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said: "I have absolutely no concern about any inquiry into what happened over Ferguson's.

"The government has already made available a large quantity of documents.

"There is absolutely nothing for us to be concerned about.

"We acted and we acted rightly and properly to save Ferguson's from closure, to protect the jobs there and also to give us the ability to complete and deliver the ferries that Ferguson's is constructing right now.

"Often when we are talking about these things, and people will have different views, it's absolutely right that there's parliamentary scrutiny, we should also consider the alternative to acting and if we hadn't acted in the way we have then Ferguson's probably wouldn't be open right now, jobs would've been lost and we wouldn't have been able to complete the ferries.

"The Scottish Government consider all of these decisions carefully but where we can we step in to save jobs and to save companies for the future."

Former yard owner Jim McColl - an industrial tycoon and government economic adviser - described the vessels as an 'albatross' around the yard's neck and blamed the contract for the collapse of the business.

The order was placed in 2015 by publicly-owned company Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), which is based in Port Glasgow town centre, and signed off by then transport minister Derek Mackay, who is now finance and economy secretary and oversaw the nationalisation of the yard.

The ministerial intervention at Ferguson's helped safeguard around 300 jobs and will see the first of the two ferries finished by the end of 2021 with the other to enter service the following year.

Despite three bids from private operators, the government's offer was preferred by administrators.

The yard has now been rebranded Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd in a nod to the original name in 1903.