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Rederi Ab Eckerö, based in the Åland Islands province of Finland, is a company with a diverse portfolio: two ferry lines, a cruise line, a roro cargo tonnage provider and even a bus company. Ferry Shipping News’, Finland-based freelance correspondent, Kalle Id, had a question and answer session with Björn Blomqvist, the managing director Rederi Ab Eckerö, in the cargo offices of the company’s Finland-Estonia subsidiary Eckerö Line in Helsinki last week.
According to local media (Giornale di Sicilia) the UK-based investment fund Taconic Capital will make an offer to buy Liberty Lines, the ferry company owned by the Morace family and still under the administration of an external commissioner following the court case renamed “Mare monstrum” which happened in 2017.
The company founded in 1993 by Vittorio Morace operates short sea links from Sicily to the Aeolian islands, to the Egadi islands and Pelagie islands, has a fleet of 32 hydrofoils and also controls a shipyard building hi-speed crafts in Trapani.
Also, the other big player active on the ferry routes in Sicily, the Messina-based Caronte&Tourist, recently welcomed as a new minority shareholder (with a 30% stake) the investment fund Basalt Infrastructure Partners.
Förde Reederei Seetouristik will introduce a faster and higher capacity vessel to the Melilla – Motril route.
The ro-pax ferry GOLDEN BRIDGE will start operations on the line next May.
This former Japanese ferry can make the Melilla – Motril crossing in 5 hours, meaning a reduction by 2 hours on the current crossing time.
She has a capacity for 1,500 pax and 500 cars.
Until last year this ferry was used between Korea and China, until she was acquired by A-Ship Management.
She is currently being refurbished in Perama.
Incat 041 JAUME III is set to be refitted in the port of Genoa, by San Giorgio del Porto Shipyard.
The yard is part of Genova Industrie Navali group, in which Fincantieri is expected to take a minority stake in the near future.
Ettore Morace, managing director of Balearia, confirmed to Ferry Shipping News that, “the JAUME III is to undergo significant works in the engine room. The vessel will be completely repowered, and the four main Ruston engines will be replaced by MTU.”
Price tag: €8 million.
Two years ago, Balearia also repowered JAUME II, to improve its energy efficiency, reliability and service as part of the company’s fleet modernization process
The news reported last week in this newsletter has been officially confirmed by the Milan-based company controlled by Vincenzo Onorato and sons.
“Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione S.p.A., fully owned by Moby S.p.A., sold the vessel HARTMUT PUSCHMANN to a foreign purchaser, in compliance with the provisions of the Indenture and of the Intercreditor Agreement. The Net Available Cash (approx. €12.9m) from such disposal is applied to the extent to make capital expenditures, or invest in, or commit to invest in Additional Assets within 365 days from the receipt of such Net Available Cash” a statement reports.
As for the second deal closed, Moby also communicated that “Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione S.p.A. sold a minor vessel AURELIA to an Italian purchaser. In relation to the Net Available Cash (approx €6m) from the sale of the Aurelia Vessel, the same provisions as above are applied”. The ferry AURELIA was purchased by MSC’s Italy-based holding company Marinvest.
Grimaldi’s CRUISE ROMA lengthening project was successfully completed in the port of Palermo by Fincantieri.
Some pictures posted by the Naples-based group shows the 2007-built vessel in dry dock with her new final layout following the stretching works through which the hull had been extended by 29m.
The new ship section included 600 additional freight lane meters, together with 80 sleeping accommodations in new passenger cabins and two new public spaces.
“Zero emission in port” is now written on both the sides of the ferry. She has been fitted with a scrubber system, as well as a system to power the ship during the turnaround time in ports based on mega-lithium batteries.
BC Ferries will be building up to five new ferries to replace four existing vessels and
invites customers and communities to join conversations about the new vessels and to provide input
that will help shape their future onboard experience.
The new ships are being specified to deliver enhanced environmental sustainability and offer flexibility to meet
changing travel demands into the future.
BC Ferries expects the new ferries to enter service in the mid2020s.
The HUFTARØY and SAMNØY, built by Tersan Shipyards in Turkey on behalf of Norwegian operator Torghatten Nord, are the first two ferries delivered by Redwise, burning LNG only.
Being able to provide two full LNG trained and certified crews at the same time, with proven experience on LNG fueled and double ended ferries, was the main decision driver.
Both Redwise crews had undergone extensive training at EU institutes for the previous LNG fueled delivery voyages. With the regulations and standards for low flashpoint fuels developing and being implemented further, it was decided to run an additional dedicated course at the STC training center in Rotterdam for basic and advanced training. This was necessary to comply with current Dutch and Norwegian legislation, partially doubling up previous training.
With vessels departing shortly after each other and with limited LNG only bunker capacity, Redwise entered into a frame agreement with REPSOL for these simultaneous voyages. REPSOL proved itself as extremely helpful and flexible setting up bunker facilities in both Cartagena and El Ferrol, on very short notices with the vessels bunkering LNG back-to-back.
The two voyages went smoothly, with the vessels averaging 16 knots following on each other’s heels. The delivery voyages were done in the best possible circumstances due to a large high-pressure system nestling above Europe.
UK shipbuilder Wight Shipyard Co has completed its third and largest vessel for MBNA Thames Clippers, the first Hunt Class Mk3. The 38m VENUS CLIPPEr has been built to a ten-month build schedule and is reflective of the increased business the yard has previously predicted in the fast ferry sector.
MBNA Thames Clippers had some very particular requirements for its latest newbuild.
Importantly, the new Clipper had to be able to transport of passengers between numerous floating piers at a speed not less than 25 knots at full load draft. The vessel’s catamaran hullform uses twin symmetric hulls and has been designed by Australia’s One2three Naval Architects. Its hull structure is designed for frequent and repeated berthing at London’s floating piers with particular attention paid to potential contact with obstructions in the water and harsh weather conditions.
VENUS CLIPPER is classed by Class Lloyds Register / DNVGL and obtains the notation DNVGL +1A1 HSLC Passenger R4 HSC (A) EO meeting the delegated survey requirements for capacity and seating for a minimum of 220 passengers, with space for two wheelchairs.
UK: The Brittannia Dock will become CLdN’s UK hub, in order to create further options from/to London (Purfleet) & Killingholme.
Non-UK: Albert II Dock becomes the main hub in Zeebrugge for CLdN’s non-UK related services, allowing efficient through shipments and attractive leadtimes between Santander, Göteborg, Esbjerg, Hirtshals & Dublin.
In the run up to Brexit, the port of Zeebrugge has presented 2 tools to allow a fluent flow of cargo to and from the UK, despite extra customs administrations which will be implemented after the Brexit deadline.
The development of the RX/SeaPort data sharing platform is an initiative of the Zeebrugge port authority and APZI, the Association of Port of Zeebrugge interests. It is a platform which offers a digital connection between all links in the logistical chain.
“RX/SeaPort guarantees a chainwide solution for cargo shipped from and to the UK quickly and efficiently. Ferry and shortsea traffic will experience new customs regulations after Brexit. If these are handled digitally and efficiently, we will avoid problems.” Joachim Coens, CEO Port of Zeebrugge
RX/SeaPort has launched a wizard, focussing on the impact of Brexit on the logistical process, namely the transportation of goods to (Export) and from (Import) the UK through a Belgian port. Each phase of the import and export flow is illustrated: booking & pre-announcement, customs declaration, guidelines and procedures for departure and arrival at the terminal.
IKEA Transport & Logistics Services, CMA CGM, the GoodShipping Program and the Port of Rotterdam have announced they will cooperate in a first of its kind partnership to test and scale the use of sustainable marine bio-fuel oil.
The test will commence with a landmark bunkering of the marine bio-fuel oil on a CMA CGM container vessel on 19 March, representing a major step towards the decarbonisation of ocean freight.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Vlaardingen and highways authority Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), are creating five new buffer parking sites.
Trucks will be able to wait here temporarily if their customs documents have not been properly prepared for maritime crossings to the United Kingdom (UK), in the event of the country leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019.
Finnlines’ Annual Report 2018 published
Finnlines has published its Annual Report for 2018. (see Ferry Shipping News 10 for comments)
Finnlines has also published its Financial Statements 2018 and Financial review Q4 2018 on 28 February 2019, which are available on the Company website as well.
Brittany Ferries carried 2.6 million passengers on all routes last year, an increase of 1.4%.
It made a profit of €8 million on a total turnover of €442m.
The encouraging results come despite the pound being worth around 15% less than it was two years ago. That has proved challenging for a company whose income is generated in pounds sterling, with a cost-base in euros.
Further challenges have come from on-going Brexit uncertainty and the effect this is having on summer 2019 bookings.
Brittany Ferries’ success is largely built on British customers. In total, 85% of passengers come from the UK.
It has therefore used its 2018 results to reinforce an important message to French government: take urgent steps to ensure British holiday makers and freight move freely. The regions of north west France depend upon Brittany Ferries as a significant wealth generator.
2018 was a challenging year operationally but one in which significant progress was made in the strategic development of the Group.
Schedule disruptions due to technical issues on ULUSSES and the late delivery of the W.B. YEATS lower the profit performance in 2018.
- -1.5% Revenue €330.2m (€335.1m)
- -15.6% EBITDA €68.4m (€81.0m)
Wasaline increased its operational volume and improved the result for 2018 by 17,4%.
- +1.3% Turnover €19,6 million
- +17.4% Result €2,0 million
Wasaline increased its market shares on the passenger traffic market between Finland and Sweden 2018, with a new record year again since the traffic start 2013.
- + 6.2% passengers
- +6.3% cars
- +2.2% freight
Multiple energy saving projects continued during 2018 with investments in frequency converters and different automation systems. Preparations for a battery driven system back up for the auxiliary engines are ongoing and will be finished in 2019
Thanks to these actions, the electricity consumption onboard decreased by 40% and the fuel consumption by 4,5%. The average fuel tonnage price increased by 22% during 2018 but for Wasaline the total fuel expenses increased only by 12,9%.
The ice season 2018 was the most widespread since the start of the traffic in 2013 and the entire Bothnian Bay was covered with ice until March, however, the traffic ran smoothly without any disturbances.
During year 2018, Wasaline ordered a new ferry.
Ferry Services To Start Between Turkey’s Izmir And Greece’s Athens This Summer
Ferry services between the Çeşme district of western Turkey’s Izmir province and Greece’s coastal town of Lavrion near Athens will commence as of 2 June, connecting the Turkish and Greek mainlands for the first time, officials from the company that will arrange the services said.
The article doesn’t give the company’s or the ship’s name
SPIRIT OF VANCOUVER ISLAND owned by BC Ferries, has been converted at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard SA. On 27 February 2019, the ferry departed from the yard following the completion of a mid-life upgrade.
A maritime consortium, including ABS and Sandia National Laboratories, recently proved the viability of a hydrogen fuel cell ferry designed for operations in the environmentally sensitive San Francisco Bay area.
- Thanks to the introduction of its new ro-ro vessel LAURELINE, CLdN is now able to take the next step in the development of the Spanish corridor and increase the number of sailings between the ports of Zeebrugge and Santander from two to three departures per week as from Sunday 17 March 2019.
- CLdN will offer symmetrical sailings from both Santander and Zeebrugge on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, operated by modern ro-ro vessels which can accommodate a wide variety of cargo.
- Deltamarin has signed a contract with Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) for the design of the car passenger ferry for Kvarken Link AB.
- Deltamarin’s commission covers basic and detail design services for all hull and machinery areas. The value of the contract with RMC is about €4m.
- Although PCTC’s are not part of our ferry business, it is interesting to see that UECC decided to invest in new generation pure car and truck carriers with Battery Hybrid LNG Solution. UECC has signed a contract to construct two new generation PCTC with China Ship Builidng Trading Co., Ltd and Jiangnan Shipyard Group Co. Ltd. The newbuilding contract also has options for two additional vessels, and the first vessel is planned for delivery in 2021.
Ferries On Rio De La Plata
Last week I was with a media friend in Buenos Aires, which was of course an opportunity to test the ferry service to Uruguay. With the much-appreciated help of Direct Ferries we booked a one-day ticket to Colonia.
Before, I hadn’t realised the size of the operations. Seeing the sheer size of the terminal and the number of ferries changed my mind.
Also, something which surprised me was the immigration procedures. After all, in the European Union we are so spoiled with easy border access.
We sailed on SILVIA ANA L, the Spanish, 1996-built monohull fast ferry which had a part of her life on the Color Line route between Hirtshals and Kristiansand.