Manitou Group Signs Partnership Contract with Neoline for a Sail-Powered Roro Ship Project

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This partnership involves the transport of all aerial work platforms and telehandlers manufactured by Manitou Group in France via a primarily wind-powered roro ship heading for the North American market.

According to the development plan of Neoline’s pilot line, construction of the first ship, which will be 136m and have a sail surface of 4,200m², will begin in the coming months.

It will be commissioned on a new transatlantic route between St-Nazaire, Baltimore, Halifax, and St-Pierre & Miquelon. A second ship with equivalent specifications will follow as soon as possible to achieve a rate of departure of every two weeks.

Hellenic Med Ferries’ AZORES EXPRESS To Be Activated for the Hellenic Coastal Shipping

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Hellenic Med Ferries submitted an application to the Greek Ministry of Shipping for the annual introduction of its ferry AZORES EXPRESS, to the Agios Konstantinos (Volos) – Sporades islands line.

After a long repair period in Perama, the veteran will eventually have her chance to prove her value in the Greek waters.

A positive answer to that application means that the line will be upgraded by a vessel that will offer a larger capacity as well as much better service.

Creation of a Special Purpose Company for the Renewal of the Hellenic Coastal fleet

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A comprehensive financing plan for ferry companies, with the aim of renewing the Greek ferry fleet, by the end of 2030: that is the aim of a study commissioned by the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, and awarded to PwC.

The creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle company (SPV), with the participation of the public sector (Hellenic Development Bank, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping) is the solution put forward. It will facilitate the renewal of the 115 coastal ferries as well as the 124 smaller ships and landing ferries.

Furthermore, the study proposes the SPV Company to act as an investment platform.

The renewal of the Hellenic Coastal Shipping fleet is of great importance, not only for national reasons, but also due to the development of the idea of the “green” shipping, which creates new challenges for ferry companies and call them to invest soon in newbuildings.

It is noted that 40% of the Hellenic Coastal fleet, by the end of the decade, will be over 40 years old while none of the existing ferries will meet the requirements for reduced CO2 emissions set by the European Commission.


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Government Outlines New Plans for Freeports to Turbo-Charge Post-Brexit Trade

Before the end of the year the UK will start taking bids from sea, air and rail ports in England to become Freeports by the end of 2021.

Freeports will benefit from:

  • a streamlined planning processes to aid brownfield redevelopment
  • a package of tax reliefs to help drive jobs, growth and innovation
  • simplified customs procedures and duty suspensions on goods

RoRo Operators and Dockers Fighting in Italy about Cargo Handling

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Tension and troubles are arising in several Italian ports as some roro operators are not respecting a law just approved by the Italian Parliament. This law says that lashing and unlashing of cargo onboard the ship can be done by crewmembers only where skilled dockers are not available in port. To be fully effective this new regulation needs final guidelines, still to be adapted by the local Transport ministry.

Dockers cite a need to improve safety and highlight that lashing is dockwork, and abuses must be sanctioned.

Grandi Navi Veloci, Grimaldi Lines and Caronte & Tourist are some of the ro-pax companies active in Italy pushing towards the possibility to make ro-ro self-handling on board their ships.

Italian shipowners’ associations Confitarma and Assarmatori anticipated their will to contest the coming into force of the law either in Italy or in Europe if necessary.


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Ambitious American Plan for a Large Shipbuilding Centre in Greece

The USA are considering the creation of a large shipbuilding centre in Greece, expressing serious interest in the Scaramanga Shipyards, the largest shipyard of the country. The ambitious plan was examined in Washington, by ONEX CEO Mr. Panos Xenokostas and the Managing Director of the American International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Mr. Adam Boiler, just a few days before the official tender for the Scaramanga Shipyards.

The American proposal is expected to be finalized by the end of October and will be funded by both DFC and ONEX. The proposal provides the formation of a shipbuilding centre that will consist of three large Greek Shipyards (Neorion, Elefsina, Skaramagkas), which will be involved in armament programs, the maintenance of the Sixth Fleet’s vessels as well as the provision of maintenance services on large merchant ships, including LNG carriers.

At the same time the American side expressed an intense interest on the supply of four new frigates to the Hellenic Navy, with Lockheed Martin offering co-production for the three of them.


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The construction of two new larger Stena Line E-Flexer ferries has begun in Weihai, China. The vessels were ordered in 2018 and the delivery is expected in 2022. Stena Line has also confirmed the third E-Flexer vessel destined for the Irish Sea, STENA EMBLA, is expected to be delivered on time and will start operating on the Belfast-Liverpool route in January 2021.

The two larger E-Flexer vessels for Stena Line will be 240 meters long with a load capacity of 3,600 length meters, compared to the first three which are 214 meters long and have a load capacity of 3,100 length meters. In total, the larger vessels also get 50% more cabins and beds, 30% increased passenger capacity and an additional 15% cargo capacity.

NMT Shipping has chartered STENA FORETELLER (from Stena RoRo) for its Europe – West-Africa service.

STENA NORDICA will return to the Gdynia – Karlskrona route at the end of October.

She will replace STENA BALTICA (former COTENTIN) which will probably be returned to owner Somanor / Brittany Ferries.

CoTuNav charters a second roro vessel: SPIRIT OF MONTOIR (ex FRIJSENBORG) will join LEEVSTEN (ship particulars) on the route between Radès, Marseille and Genoa.

The contract with Smyril for Godby’s roro MISTRAL has been extended and is now valid until March 2021.

Godby Shipping’s MIDAS is running the Wagenborg roro service between Riga and Oxelösund, which started on 6 July,

Godby announced that MIDAS will be used in Accordia Shipping liner service between ports in the USA and the Caribbean, from November 2020 until December 2021. If that means the end of the Wagenborg service is not clear yet.

OFW Ships (Ocean Fresh Water) is about to be declared bankrupt.

The concept was to transform train ferry ODEEP ONE (ex names: MUKRAN, PETERSBURG) into a water-making vessel. Seawater was pumped at a great depth, desalinated and bottled on board.

On October 12, Cees Kloppenburg photographed PRIDE OF CANTERBURY leaving Rotterdam after a visit to Damen Ship Repair.