The Nordic Sea can currently be seen in Stromness conducting pier and crew familiarisation while awaiting some minor works.
The vessel was bought with Orkney Islands Council paying out €364,811.00 (approx. £318,028) and the Scottish Government adding in the more substantial funding of £750,000.00.
According to a Freedom of Information Request by The Orkney News it is not known what additional costs have been accrued since the purchase of the vessel before she can be made fit for use in Orkney.
” We await the invoices from the MCA and the shipyard for work required to meet regulatory standards”FOI
OIC Minutes 3rd March 2020 record no.16. Urgent Item, MV Golden Mariana – Replacement:
On the motion of Councillor J Harvey Johnston, seconded by Councillor James W Stockan, the Council resolved that the public be excluded from the meeting for this item on the grounds that it involved the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 6 and 8 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 as amended.
After consideration of a report by the Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure, copies of which had been distributed, and after hearing a report from the Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transportation, the Council:
16.1. That, on 26 November 2019, the Policy and Resources Committee recommended that, as an exception to process, in order to ensure the reliability of the ferry service between Westray and Papa Westray, purchase of a second-hand passenger vessel for the Papa Westray route be added to the capital programme for financial year 2019 to 2020 onwards, at an estimated capital cost of £1,535,000.
The Council resolved:
16.2. That, in order to ensure the reliability of the ferry service between Westray and Papa Westray, the Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure should proceed with the purchase of the Nordic Sea.
The Nordic Sea was bought over a year ago as a replacement for The Golden Mariana to serve the Westray – Papa Westray route. The latest information is that it will be used for that service:
“once the minor works to crane and disabled access are complete and the crews are familiarised”FOI
That route was advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland Site on 26th of March 2021: Unfolding Story: The Nordic Sea
Reporter: Fiona Grahame