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The world’s first sea going Roll On Roll Off vehicle and passenger diesel electric hybrid ferry began sea trials on the Clyde this week. MV Hallaig was put through her paces over a three day programme which involved setting up, testing and demonstrating the operation of the ships systems to Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), Lloyds Register and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

Tests undertaken included measured mile runs, manoeuvring, turning circles, propulsion controls and crash stops. The vessel also stopped off at the Isle of Cumbrae were it demonstrated the operation of the hydraulic ramps on the slipway at Millport.

The Hybrid concept became reality when the ship was powered by a combination of ships diesel generators and batteries. It was then taken a step further when the ship was powered and propelled by battery power only. In battery mode as well as supporting the hotel load, the battery banks provided 470kW of power to the propulsion motors.

The vessel is due to undergo further testing before final handover to CMAL.