By | 2019 Newsletter week 26 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries to Charter Another Visentini Ferry from Stena RoRo

Brittany Ferries is going to charter an additional ferry ahead of the 2020 season. The ship is currently sailing in the Adriatic as AF MICHELA.

There are three main reasons for the charter:

  • During winter, Brittany Ferries have to send their ferry PONT-AVEN to a yard to have one of her four engines replaced. That will take almost 3 months.
  • To cope with potential delays in the delivery of HONFLEUR, under construction in Flensburg.
  • Generate additional capacity to prepare for the impacts of Brexit, should it happen at the end of October.

The chartered ro-pax will be operated from November 2019 until November 2020. She will take over Brittany Ferries sailings from Cork to Santander.

CONNEMARA, which operates between Cork and Santander today, will be brought under the French-flag. This is six months earlier than originally planned and reinforces Brittany Ferries commitment to the employment of French seafarers, a very important issue in France.

Following her re-flagging, CONNEMARA will be free to cover scheduled dry-dock periods for other vessels over the winter and to release ETRETAT (currently operating Portsmouth to Le Havre) to cover services from the UK to Spain in April.


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Corsica Very Worried About the Strike at the Beginning of the Holiday Season

La Méridionale is on strike and unions block the port of Marseille.

The industrial action started six days ago. Two ships from La Méridionale and three ships from Corsica Linea are currently blocked.

The reason is the fact that La Méridionale has been excluded from the latest DSP, at least from three of the five ports. The main ones!

La Méridionale, traditionally a partner of Corsica Linea (and before SNCM), decided this time to tender alone for the DSP.

Because the company only owns three vessels they needed to acquire two extra ships, which didn’t go easy. A plan to charter a Stena RoRo ship couldn’t be realised. Last minute La Méridionale had to change their plans, and it was said they were going to have LIVERPOOL SEAWAYS instead.

Another ship that was going to reinforce the three-ship fleet had to be changed eventually.

Because of the different characteristics of the initially planned vessels, it was decided the candidature of La Mériodionale was not valid.

This means that in spite of their historic track record (with no industrial actions as with the defunct SNCM), La Méridionale will be excluded from all major Corsican services tenders.

The Corsican tourist industry is of course very worried, with the 1st of July around the corner.

The customer information page on the La Méridionale website explains (in French) the ‘why’ of the strike.

Ferry Shipping News translated the last paragraph:

“Today, at the dawn of a decision taken by partisan parties and stained by procedure errors, our candidature to (de)serve the Corsicans and Corsica is about to be rejected for the next 15 months.

Tomorrow, you (the customer) will no longer have a free choice.”

Aegean Seaways Introduce KAUNAS on the Cesme-Lavrio Run on 1 July

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According to the Turkish Aegean Seaways, on June 30, 2019 KAUNAS will be finally introduced on the Lavrio-Cesme run. The ship will be presented to the Greek side on 1 July, 2019 at the port of Lavrio.

The large vessel will fly a European Union flag and she has recently equipped with scrubbers in order to meet with the IMO stricter standards for 2020.

The duration of the voyage will be 7 hours and the ship will depart from Cesme at 10 pm and arrive at Lavrio at 6 o’clock the next day and vice versa.

KAUNAS was built in Western Germany in 1989. Her carrying capacity is for 1,200 passengers (250 beds) and has 800 lane meters. Her service speed is 16,5 knots

Chantier Davy Preferred Yard to Build New Canadian Ferries

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The Federal Government in Ottawa started the negotiations with the Canadian Davie shipyard. They have been chosen as the preferred builder for two ferries which will replace the ageing MADELEINE (Madeleine-Prince Edward route) and HOLIDAY ISLAND (Wood Islands-Caribou). Both vessels, respectively from 1981 and 1971, are nearing the end of their life cycle.

The Government conducted an industry analysis, which concluded that the Davie yard is the only Canadian shipyard with the capacity, experience and capability to build these ferries in the required timeframe.

A contract has not been signed, yet.

Ferry Shipping News understands that operator CTMA was not involved in the design process of the new ferries they might have to operate, according to some radio interviews. CTMA also wonders if the Davie yard is capable of building a 130m ferry.

CTMA is also still waiting for a new contract to operate the lifeline services.

Davie, the largest shipyard in Canada, is now building two LNG ferries for the Société des traversiers du Quebec. These prototypes will be the first LNG-supplied ferries ever built in North America.


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Flensburg Shipyard Awaits Finance To Finish Three Ro-Pax Ferries

Siem Industries published its annual report, which included a chapter about the shipyard in Flensburg.

Some highlights:

  • For the fiscal year 2018, Flensburger Schiffbau-GmbH & Co KG had revenues of EUR 213 million, an EBITDA of EUR -102 million, and a net loss of EUR -111 million.
  • B YEATS was delivered substantially late at the end of 2018 at a material loss caused mainly by the lack of performance by subcontractors.
  • FSG contracted for four additional vessels during 2018 including two passenger ferries and two ro-ro carriers.
  • The current backlog is approximately EUR 860 million consisting of four Ro-Pax vessels and two Ro-Ro vessels.
  • One Ro-Pax vessel (HONFLEUR) is in the advanced construction stage and should be delivered by early 2020.
  • The remaining three Ro-Pax vessels are delayed and awaiting construction finance.
  • Siem’s ownership of FSG is considered as non-core and new equity in FSG was raised in Q1 by a private placement which diluted the Company’s holding in FSG to 24%.
  • Changes in the yard’s management were implemented in early 2019.

Attica Group Is in the Process of Concluding a 5-Year Bond Loan

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According to a Euro2day article (in Greek), the Attica Group is in the process of concluding a 5-year bond loan from the domestic market within July. The goal is to raise funds from EUR 100 to 170 million. The 100 million of that loan will be used to repay existing bank loans (pp. Fortress’s loans were repaid at the end of last year) and therefore high-value pre-payments will be removed. Another EUR 25 million will be made available for investments to ship scrubbers in order to meet the new EU stricter standards. If additional funds are raised (up to EUR 45 million), they will be used for general business purposes.

Successful Fiscal Year for BC Ferries

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BC Ferries’ report of the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2019, sees the following highlights:

  • Consolidated net earnings of $52.2 million for fiscal 2019 ($59.9 million)
  • Highest vehicle traffic levels ever
  • Passenger traffic levels were the second highest in the company’s history.
  • Increase in operating because of higher bunker prices, wage rate increases and higher depreciation. As a result, total operating expenses increased $36.4 million from $784.3 million to $820.7 million.

BC Ferries invested:

  • $133.5 million in vessel upgrades and modifications
  • $49.0 million in new vessels
  • $28.2 million in information technology
  • $19.5 million in terminal building upgrades
  • $10.9 million in terminal marine structures

BC Ferries now has five vessels operating on LNG, and is looking at all possible “green” solutions. It currently has two Island Class electric battery hybrid ships under construction. When electric technology matures and electricity is available in the quantities required, BC Ferries plans to operate them as fully electric ferries.

BC Ferries also continues to focus on fare affordability.

Grimaldi Asks Italian Authorities to Stop Paying Public Subsidies to Tirrenia CIN

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Italy’s financial newspaper MF-MilanoFinanza revealed that, earlier this month, Grimaldi Group sent a petition to the local Transport Minister, the Antitrust Authority and the Court of Audit, asking for an early termination of the subsidies (EUR 72 million per year) paid to CIN Tirrenia by the Italian State.

This subsidy supports lifeline maritime transportation with Sardinia, Sicily and Tremiti Islands.

Grimaldi stated that the public subsidies should be stopped due to breach of the public contract following the case sentenced by the Italian Competition Authority for alleged abuse of dominant position in the freight business in Sardinia and the alleged deferred payments under the CIN-Tirrenia purchase agreement.

Onorato Armatori later replied that Grimaldi’s petition is based on “false information”.