TRANSPORT Scotland has announced the shortlist of bidders for the Northern Isles Ferry Services contract.
Six companies will compete to carry out the services from 2012-2018 after the current contract ends in July next year.
Minister for Housing and Transport Keith Brown said: “We are working to deliver the best possible ferry services for communities in the Northern Isles and are on target to renew this contract next year.
“I’m delighted we’ve reached another milestone in delivering a new contract which will continue to support the lifeline ferry services to the Northern Isles, meeting the needs of the Orkney and Shetland communities.
“A community consultation was carried out in the early stages of the process which has helped us to ensure the successful bidder will deliver what the users of the Northern Isles ferry services want and need out of their service.”
Following the publication of a Contract Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, six operators applied to participate in the tender process and each demonstrated their suitability to carry out the service.
Final bids will be submitted early in 2012.
* Pentland Ferries Ltd
* Sea-Cargo A/S
* NorthLink Ferries Ltd
* P&O Ferries Holdings Ltd
* Serco Limited
* Shetland Line (1984) Ltd