Four ferries being built in Turkey and set for the Scottish west coast remain on course to be finished on time, ferry owner CMAL said.

The vessels are also due to be completed on budget. 

It comes as two of the ferries reached key milestones on Wednesday - the keel-laying for the second of two Islay ferries and the steel-cutting of one of the vessels set for the Little Minch. 

The newly-named MV Loch Indaal, the sister ship of MV Isle of Islay, will both serve Islay and Jura. 

All of the ships are expected to be delivered to Scotland by 2025, with one of the Islay route ships expected to be done next year.

CMAL confirmed that the delivery of MV Isle of Islay is expected in October 2024, with MV Loch Indaal due by February 2025.

Jim Anderson, director of vessels at CMAL, said: “Work at Cemre shipyard is progressing well, with the ferries being constructed on time and on budget.

"These key milestones fill us with confidence that we will see all four vessels out on the network by the end of 2025.

“Keel laying for MV Loch Indaal is a significant milestone in the ship’s life with the first of the many units which will be fabricated and erected during the construction of the vessel.

"Simultaneously, the steel cutting for the first of the Little Minch vessels marking another milestone with the start of the construction of the vessel.

“The new ferries have been designed with carbon reduction in mind and are expected to deliver significant reductions in emissions.”

The vessels serving the Little Minch routes will have a capacity for up to 450 passengers and 100 cars or 14 commercial vehicles.

READ MORE: 'Almighty mess': Call for new island ferry as users advised to go on 100 mile detour

CMAL owns 12 major vessels of which six are due to be replaced by the four ferries being built in Turkey. 

Two- Glen Sannox and another currently known as Hull 802 -  are still being built by Ferguson Marine despite continuous delays and soaring costs. 

The Scottish Government admitted recently that it would continue funding Hull 802. 

Minister for Transport Kevin Stewart welcomed the milestones which move Scotland closer to "welcome additional capacity, reliability and resilience for our island communities".

“We have committed to adding six new major vessels to the fleet by 2026, and I want to continue to see good progress on bringing them into service," he said.

“The Scottish Government shares the desires of island communities for sustainable and effective ferry services and look forward to continuing our constructive engagement with them on future services and vessel replacements.”