Mediterranean Sea will become sulphur emission control area

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The European Union, together with countries from around the Mediterranean Sea, have agreed to support the designation of a sulphur emissions control area (SECA) in the Mediterranean basin and as a consequence every ship transiting through the Mediterranean will only be allowed to use fuels containing low sulphur.

The agreement was reached last week in Antalya, Turkey, when the contracting parties of the UN’s Barcelona Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean held the 22nd meeting of the “Conference of the parties”: contracting parties to the convention signed a declaration endorsing a new strategy for 2022 to 2027 to achieve a healthy, clean, sustainable and climate-resilient Mediterranean Sea.

The ministerial meeting closed weeklong discussions, which in addition to the designation of an emission control area and the Medium-Term Strategy 2022-27, agreed on a total of 18 decisions.

DFDS’ newest RoPax is soon on her way to the Baltic Sea

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DFDS took delivery of AURA SEAWAYS [MarineTraffic], which was built at Guangzhou Shipyard International. With 4,500 lane meters, she will by far become the largest DFDS RoPax ferry in terms of cargo capacity.

AURA SEAWAYS fulfils the new design standards of EEDI, and the CO2 emissions per trailer are more than 20 % lower than on the vessels currently trading on the intended routes Karlshamn-Klaipeda and Kiel-Klaipeda.

DFDS Monthly volume report: UK bottlenecks easing slightly

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Freight: total volumes in November 2021 were 5.4% below 2020.

  • The decrease in total volumes compared to 2020 was due to lower volumes on most UK routes as stockbuilding ahead of Brexit boosted volumes on UK routes last year.
  • The negative impact from supply chain bottlenecks, that reduced volumes in Q3 and October, eased during November.
  • North Sea and Channel volumes were in November again above 2019.
  • The Mediterranean business unit continued to carry volumes above 2020 while Baltic Sea volumes were just below 2020 as capacity on one route was reduced from two ferries in 2020 to one ferry in November 2021.
  • Volumes for both the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea business units were above 2019.

Passenger: the total number of passengers in November 2021 was 84.0% above 2020.

  • The increase was largest between Norway and Denmark where travel restrictions to a large extent were abolished in November.
  • The number of passengers on UK routes picked up but in very small numbers due to continued travel restrictions.

Italian Railways order a hybrid train ferry with zero emission in port

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Rete Ferroviaria Italiana has decided to order a new ferry. The construction has been awarded to the Spanish shipyard Hijos de J. Barreras.

The new RFI ferry will be hybrid-powered and will have zero emission in port.

The ferry will be used to transport passengers, railway carriages and wagons, dangerous goods and rail tankers in the Strait of Messina, and railway wagons for the Sicily-Sardinia connection .

It’s the third unit of a series of sister ships previously built in Italy by Nuovi Cantieri Apuania (MESSINA, 2013, photo) and by San Giorgio del Porto and T-Mariotti (IGINIA, 2021)

LOA 150m |Gross Tonnage 2,500 | 18 knots speed

Contract price is EUR 74 million of which 9 millions is financed by the Italian EU Next Gen program.

Delivery expected in 2024.

French State decided to help Corsica to pay the fine of 86.3 million to Corsica Ferries

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At the end of September, the CDC ‘Collectivité de Corse’ has been ordered by the Council of State to pay EUR 86.3 million to Corsica Ferries, in compensation for the damage linked to the illegal subsidies of its former competitor SNCM, between 2007 and 2013.

CDC refused to pay and wanted the French State to take its responsibilities.

This now happened: the French Government decided on Friday 10 December 2021 to support the CDC with EUR 50 million.

The sum of now almost 90 million (with the interests) represents one third of the annual budget of the island.

The financial injection from the State will be given through the PTIC (‘Plan de transformation et d’investissement pour la Corse’), an investment programme of 500 million over 5 years.

It means the State doesn’t pay 50 million for the fine. It pays this amount to help Corsica to invest. If Corsica would have to pay the fine, it would have less money to invest. (…)

This system has two advantages:

  • No mention is made of the dispute with Corsica Ferries.
  • Politically the State agrees its past involvement in the case, but this ‘confession’ does not have a legal value.

(Source: FR3, in French)

Levante Ferries speeds up for the Thessaloniki-Smyrna line

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Last week, Levante Ferries’ executives travelled to Turkey to meet with executives of the UKAT as well as the Transporters and International Carriers Association and speed up the procedures for the restart of the Thessaloniki-Smyrna line that slowed down due to the pandemic.

Both sides discussed about the line, while relevant trade agreements were concluded. The new connection will start next April with the fully renovated ship SMYRNA.

However, the company plans to launch a second ship with a similar capacity in order to meet with the needs of the line. Turkish representatives estimate that the new line will attract at least 1,000 vehicles per month fro

Source: Christos Chatzaras

Discussions for possible extension of Cyprus-Greece ferry link to Israel

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According to a press release (in Greek) by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping of Cyprus, Israel is interested in a possible extension of Cyprus-Greece ferry link. Both countries shared the view that the possibility of extending the Cyprus-Greece maritime connection with Israel will:

  • facilitate the free movement of persons and will enrich the available options for transportation between the three countries, which are currently limited to air transport.
  • serve the needs of special categories of citizens who are unable to travel by air either because of medical reasons or age
  • create a new market for tourism between Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Europe
  • form an alternative way of transporting passengers by sea, which will be a more environmentally friendly option in relation to air transport.

COLOR VIKING laid up because of new corona measures

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Color Line has decided to take COLOR VIKING temporarily out of operation on the Sandefjord-Strømstad route on Monday 13 December. This is due to a significant decrease in the number of passengers after the government introduced new national corona measures and requested limited social contact.

The decision entails, in this round, notification of redundancy to just under 100 employees.