INTERVIEW

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Polferries and Port Of Ystad: Getting Ready for Growth

Polferries (Polska Żegluga Bałtycka) announced in June 2017 that a keel laying ceremony was held for the new ro-pax ferry. Since then it has been very quiet about the newbuilding project. Ferry Shipping News had a simultaneous interview with Piotr Redmerski (PR), CEO Polferries, and Björn Boström (BB), CEO Port of Ystad.

FERRY SHIPPING

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All Hands On Deck For HONFLEUR

As part of the process to reorganise the Flensburg-based shipyard, FSG has been in negotiations with customers and suppliers since the beginning of the year. Several measures have been implemented in order to successfully achieve this target.

The ro-pax ferry for Brittany Ferries is in the process of intensive outfitting. For optimal progress of this vessel –HONFLEUR–, it was necessary to postpone the start of the production of newbuilding no. 781, the eighth ro-ro vessel for Siem.

This has led to a partial and temporary underemployment in one part of the production. For this reason, the Company’s management and Works Council have agreed to apply to the Labour Employment Agency for short-time work in this area.

The application has already been submitted. The effects on the affected area are being kept to a minimum. The majority of the affected employees will be able to bridge this period either by reducing overtime hours previously worked or will be temporarily employed in other areas of production.

Sale And Lease Back For The First Two Ferries Ordered By Onorato Armatori At GSI In China

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According to what is reported by Moby in its last financial report, F.lli Onorato Armatori Srl, the company established in 2017 and equally shared by Achille and Alessandro Onorato (sons of Moby’s chairman Vincenzo), in 2018 signed “a sales agreement and simultaneous charter of the new vessels with a foreign financier”.

The units in question are the “new ships with delivery scheduled in 2021 and 2022” due to be built in China by GSI Shipyard. The financial counterpart is likely to be one of the following: ICBC Leasing, BoComm Leasing or China Merchants.

The order for 4 (+ 2 + 2 options) newbuildings was signed at the same time in February 2018 by Onorato Armatori and MSC Group (for Grandi Navi Veloci) and regards ro-pax ferries designed by OSK-Shiptech wih 2,500 passenger and 3,765 lane meter capacity. Also, MSC is believed to adopt the same financing scheme for the new order. (Nicola Capuzzo)

Moby Charters The Two Siem Ro-Ro’s For Eight Years

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Moby in its last financial report also revealed that both the newly built ro-ro ships ALF POLLAK and MARIA GRAZIA ONORATO (owned by Siem and chartered out to F.lli Onorato Armatori) were bareboat chartered to Moby for 8 years.

The overall financial commitment for the entire chartering period is:

EUR 45,726,000 for ALF POLLAK (15,660/d)

EUR 45,494,000 for MARIA GRAZIA ONORATO (15,580/d)

Engine Room Fire Incident Involving Brittany Ferries PONT-AVEN

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29 April 2019, an engine room fire occurred while PONT-AVEN was sailing from Plymouth to Santander.
It took place approximately 100 nautical miles south of Brest.
The well-trained crew immediately brought the fire under control.
There were no injuries as a consequence of the incident.
The ferry arrived in Brest on her own power during the afternoon, and subsequent crossings have been cancelled.

AVIC International Holdings Sells Loss-Making AVIC Weihai Shipyard To China Merchants

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China Merchants Offshore Engineering Investment has agreed:

  • to acquire the integrality of AVIC International’s equity interest in AVIC Weihai Shipyard
  • and
  • the shareholders loan to the loss-making yard, for CNY 620 million (EUR 82.7 million).

AVIC Weihai is building a series of ro-pax ferries for Stena Ro-Ro (up to 8).

Apparently, the yard can no longer get external finance, due to its losses (CNY 471 million or EUR 62 million last year).

China Merchants has several yards under its umbrella, such as Jinling Shipyard, where freight and ro-pax ferries are under construction for DFDS, Grimaldi and TT Line.

AVIC International Holdings is to leave shipbuilding entirely.

Knud E. Hansen To Design The New Finnlines Ro-Ro Ships

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Knud E. Hansen has signed a contract with Nanjing Jinling Shipyard, China, for developing the basic design of three ro-ro vessels, based on the Finnlines / Grimaldi / Knud E. Hansen design.

The vessels are based on the same hull as the Grimaldi Green 5th Generation vessels. They are sister vessels, but customized to the needs of Finnlines with regards to heavy cargo and operation in the Baltic Sea.

Some details:

  • delivery as from 2021
  • Finnish/Swedish ice class, 1A Super
  • 5,800 lane metre
  • Length over all: 238m
  • The vessels will use electricity in port, with large lithium batteries. These batteries will be recharged during navigation, through shaft generators employing a peak shaving system.
  • Air lubrication system

P&O Ferries Sues UK Government

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P&O Ferries is taking legal action against the UK government. The reason is the GBP 33 million given to competitor Eurotunnel, seen by P&O as unfair distortion of competition.

The money given to Eurotunnel was given by the Department for Transport, as compensation for the GBP 100 million contracts with Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Seaborne Freight. These contracts were to make sure that the companies would have enough ferry capacity in case of a no-deal Brexit.

(see also in our Media section)