JIM McColl’s Ferguson Marine shipyard has declared its focus is on reaching a compromise with Caledonian Maritime Assets in their ongoing ferry order dispute after the state-backed vessel and harbour organisation reignited the row in a magazine article.

Kevin Hobbs, chief executive of Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL), gave his perspective on the delay-hit contract awarded to Ferguson to build two vessels for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service in an interview published in the magazine for Institute of Directors (IoD) members in Scotland.

Ferguson won the £97 million contract in 2015, but since then a bitter dispute has erupted over cost over-runs and delays to the vessels’ delivery dates. Ferguson claims repeated design changes requested by CMAL have led to costs spiralling, which CMAL flatly denies. And it emerged that CMAL has dismissed a compensation claim from Ferguson.

READ MORE: Ministers demand end to CMAL-McColl ferry row

The escalation of the dispute led to an intervention by the Scottish Government last week, with ministers urging Ferguson and CMAL to “engage constructively, as appropriate, to address the situation.”

In the article, Mr Hobbs says the row has been “very sad and distressing for the communities, CalMac and CMAL”.

He states: “This is a very large and prestigious order and should have helped showcase a Scottish shipyard. Sadly, it’s done anything but.”

Mr Hobbs claims CMAL has not changed the tender specification, with the article stating that a “significant change was required when Ferguson Marine’s model prototypes did not initially meet the specification requirements”.

FMEL said in response to the article said: “We are aware of the interview Mr Hobbs has provided to the Scottish IoD magazine.

“Having welcomed the Scottish Government’s encouragement for both parties to find a resolution, our focus at this time is to concentrate efforts to make that happen.”