THE vessel at the centre of the £200m-plus Ferguson's ferry debacle has been moved to Greenock from the Port Glasgow shipyard.

MV Glen Sannox was finally on the move yesterday, almost three years after she was 'launched'.

She has been taken to the Dales Marine Yard where she will be dry-docked and her bulbous bow replaced.

It comes two-and-a-half years after the Telegraph first reported on the intention to have the front end section of the ship removed

The major remedial work is being described as a 'major step in Ferguson’s revised programme to complete the two public sector vessels'.

She is one of two dual-fuel vessels which Ferguson's won a £97m contract to build for CalMac back in 2015.

But the order ran into big trouble, triggering a bitter dispute between the yard and Caledonian Maritime Assets, the state-owned ferry firm which procured the ships.

A row over the specifications for them eventually plunged Ferguson's into a financial tailspin and administration.

The Scottish Government then nationalised the shipyard and a parliamentary inquiry is under way looking into the affair.

Glen Sannox requires a remediation package of work which also includes paint repair, removal of marine growth from the vessel hull and other work.

The repairs and rework were identified during the review of the condition of the two dual fuel vessels, conducted after the shipyard went into administration in August 2019, and are included in the programme review board report published in December 2019.

Tim Hair, turnaround director at Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd, said: “This is a key milestone in the recovery programme for the dual fuel vessels.

"Some work has been carried out on MV Glen Sannox at the shipyard, but the dry dock period is important because it will bring the vessel up to a condition that will allow us to move forward in earnest with the vessel completion plan.

“It is also another clear sign of recovery for the shipyard business and comes only weeks after the launch of a steel barge for a customer in the offshore oil and marine sector.

“Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has impacted activity at the shipyard, but our workforce has been returning to outdoor working since the end of June and we are operating effectively with social distancing controls in place.”

MV Glen Sannox is scheduled to return to Ferguson Marine yard at the end of August.