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By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

The SOS-Signals Sent by Brittany Ferries Reached Paris

EUR 15 million

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced on Tuesday 15 September the decision to help the French ferry companies by reimbursing all payroll taxes.

From a budget of EUR 30 million, hard-hit Brittany Ferries will get 15 million.

EUR 85 million

The same day, Presidents of the Bretagne (Brittany) and Normandy regions, Loïg Chesnais-Girard and Hervé Morin, promised another EUR 85 million.

The regions are involved in Brittany Ferries, as co-owners of the vessels.

Brittany Ferries Chairman Jean-Marc Roué thanked the two regional presidents, saying that, “they seem to be the only ones who understand the importance of the cross-Channel ferry traffic. They have been the only ones to effectively help the French seafarer and the few companies that still hire them.”

Source: Twitter messages from abovementioned politicians and Mr Roué.

Finland Lifts Travel Restrictions

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

Last week Finland has announced the lifting of travel restrictions for a number of countries, including Sweden and Germany. The restrictions are based on a new limit of 25 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. Before it was 8.

These first changes to travel restrictions will take effect on September 19.

Ferry companies, unions and other stakeholders welcome the decision but demand predictability in government decisions and communications.

Fjord Line is Preparing for Long-Time Effects of Corona

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

“We are now preparing for the fact that it may take a long time before we return to normal operations,” says Rickard Ternblom, CEO of Fjord Line.

The effect of the measures that were taken before the summer with cash support, refinancing, internal restructuring and equity, is estimated at NOK 700 million in positive cash flow for 2020, and secures operations throughout this year. The company believes it shows that owners, banks, lenders and other suppliers and partners have great faith in the business model and the long-term goals.

Even with the authorities’ extended redundancy rules, compensation scheme and loan guarantee scheme, we will not escape the fact that employees will be affected. Up to 200 people will be laid off. Cost reductions are the only thing that helps when revenues fall as dramatically as what we have experienced in recent months, says Ternblom.

Deal Done: MSC Is Now 49% Shareholder of Ignazio Messina & Co.

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

MSC has finally taken a 49% stake in the Ignazio Messina & C. shipping group.

An official statement from Banca Carige and the NPL management company Amco informed that Gianluigi Aponte’s Italian holding company Marinvest and Messina Group have formally signed all the requested conditions which makes MSC the new owner of four ships and of a minority stake in the Genoa-based con-ro operator.

Aponte will invest €25m both for a 49% stake in the Ignazio Messina & C. group and for a 52% stake in a new vehicle firm called RoRo Italia, controlling four of Messina’s eight modern con-ro ships: JOLLY DIAMANTE, JOLLY PERLA, JOLLY TITANIO and JOLLY COBALTO.

Messina had a financial exposure of over €500m –mainly with Banca Carige– related to fleet renovation plan completed in the last few years, with 8 new con-ro ships built in South Korea.

Large part of these non-performing loans (€324m) was offloaded to Amco while the remaining part went to the new vehicle RoRo Italia.

The Messina family will also put €5m on the table to re-launch the business which will benefit from several operative synergies between the Italian and the Swiss firms.

The agreement also obtained all the relevant approvals.

New cooperation between DFDS and Smyril Line

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

From now on, Smyril Line’s roro AKRANES will arrive every Sunday in Vlaardingen, coming from Norway. DFDS will handle the discharging and loading of trailers, containers and machinery. Then the ship will sail back to Stavanger, Trondheim, Rørvik and Hitra.

To support the DFDS network, the departure from Vlaardingen to Felixstowe will be delayed with one hour to offer customers a connection from Norway to the UK.

P&O Ferrymasters Introduce ‘Track And Trace’ System for Containers in Europe

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

P&O FERRYMASTERS is launching an advanced track and trace service for its container customers, making it the first major logistics business in Europe to introduce the technology.

The service will allow customers to receive real-time updates on the precise location of their goods as they are transported by rail, road and sea.  This innovation improves efficiency, reduces costs and increases the speed of information exchange. (see video below)

POVL ANKER in Dock for a One-Month Extensive Renovation

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

POVL ANKER is in dock at Ørskov Shipyard in Frederikshavn from 14 September to 20 October.

The planned refurbishment of POVL ANKER was postponed twice because of COVID-19. The risk that the route to Ystad would be closed by the authorities meant that POVL ANKER had to be kept ready for deployment, in case the island of Bornholm was suddenly completely dependent on the Rønne-Køge route.

Work includes a major energy renovation, A/C, oil treatment plant, lighting, gensets, engines and steam boilers. The ferry will also be repainted as when it was delivered in 1978.

Fincantieri and JSW Steel Join Forces To Build a New Shipyard in Piombino

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

(geen foto beschikbaar)

Earlier this week, JSW Steel presented a new investment plan for the steel plant based in the port of Piombino, where a new shipyard is also expected to be realized.

Fincantieri and JSW signed an agreement aimed at exploring the possibility to create a shipbuilding site for new ferries, offshore units and other maritime installations.

It’s unclear at the moment if and how this new shipyard would be related with the newly built Piombino Industrie Marittime which is indirectly participated by Fincantiei through San Giorgio del Porto.

The investment fund Creon Capital has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with JSW Steel Italy Piombino, Piombino Logistics and GSI Lucchini Spa, aiming for the development of a sustainable energy industry in Italy. Together with local partners, the fund proposed to start working on an investment plan that should upscale the Tuscan region of Piombino into a cluster for hydrogen, renewable energy, LNG, and logistics.

FERRY PORTS

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

Port of Calais No Longer Wants to Pay

The port of Calais CEO Jean-Marc Puissesseau says he no longer wants to pay the cost of checking lorries bound for the U.K. for migrants.

This costs the French Channel port EUR 8 million a year.

In a letter to the French prime minister he asked the government to review the Le Touquet agreements (*), and “send the bill to the UK, which is now out of the EU.”

(*) Juxtaposed controls, a reciprocal arrangement between Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom whereby border controls take place before boarding the ferry, rather than after disembarkation.

IN THE MEDIA

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

Public Service Contract for Corsica: What’s Up?

In January 2020, Corsica Linea and La Méridionale submitted a joint application for the public service contract for the links with Corsica. (Ferry Shipping News)

This new contract should start on 1 January 2021 (until end of 2027), but so far, no decision has been taken.

Two ongoing investigations are disrupting the decision schedule:

  1. Investigating the creation of a SEMOP (a company owned 50.1% by Corsican authorities and 49.9% by private operators). French Competition Authority is investigating its impact on competition and will deliver its advice to the Government in October.
  2. Investigation launched by the European Commission on 28 February 2020, about the allocation to Corsica Linea of rotations between Marseille and Bastia, Ajaccio and L’Ile-Rousse as part of the ongoing contract. European Commission must deliver its conclusions by the end of 2020.

Viking Line’s CEO: “All Ships Are for Sale if the Price is Right”

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

The pandemic-related financial problems of shipping companies may lead to the sale of ferries and the permanent deterioration of Finland’s maritime connections.

Viking Line’s CEO Jan Hanses talks about overcapacity in the Baltic and Viking Line’s attempt to sell ferries (with interest from the Med).

Government communications receive harsh criticism from Tallink’s CEO Margus Schults. “The messy communication about the restrictions has been going on the whole summer. People do not dare to travel, even if it would be allowed and safe.”

SHORT NEWS

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

BLUE STAR CHIOS Sent to Lesbos to Host Asylum Seekers

September 10, 2020. Blue Star Ferries BLUE STAR CHIOS arrived in the port of Sigri (Lesbos) in order to host 1,000 asylum seekers after the destruction of the Moria facility.

The ship was about to stop service and undergo scheduled repairs. However, the sad incident at Lesbos sends her there to work as a hotel ship following a temporary plan of the Hellenic government. More asylum seekers will also be hosted by the Hellenic Navy ships for a while.

DFDS: Agreement Keeps Oslo Ferry Moving

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

The Metal Maritime union and DFDS have agreed on a negotiated solution for most employees on the two Oslo ferries. The agreement ensures that the ferries can continue to operate on this route, in spite of the Norwegian quarantine rules causing a decrease in passenger numbers. Regretfully, 26 servers will be redundant.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

By | 2020 Newsletter week 38 | No Comments

Sunday 13 September. The meeting was the first between the two since STENA ESTRID left the shipyard in Weihai, China, last November. She is currently operating on the Belfast-Cairnryan route and STENA EDDA on the Belfast-Liverpool route.

In the beginning of 2021 their sister STENA EMBLA will join on the Liverpool route.