DFDS : “five battery-powered cross-Channel ferries towards 2030”

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This and other interesting items can be read in the DFDS Annual Report 2021.

Some interesting elements:

Newbuilding plans (p29)

There are currently no plans to build new ferries, apart from a green ferry new building scheduled for 2025. The next major fleet investment program is expected to be renewal of the five short-sea Channel ferries for completion towards 2030. These ferries are expected to be battery powered due to the short crossing time of the Dover Strait.

Remark: under ‘investments’ (p24), DKK 2.3bn investments are expected in 2022:

One combined freight and passenger ferry new building and exercise of a purchase option to buy one freight ferry: DKK 800m.

About Irish Ferries on Calais-Dover (p32)

The excess capacity created by the entry of an additional operator is therefore likely to impact both freight and passenger pricing negatively in 2022. The likely passenger ticket price decreases will to some extent be mitigated by additional revenue from duty-free sales. Moreover, the new entrant will decrease the energy efficiency of the Dover Strait transport corridor.

Baltic Sea region (p32)

Freight volumes have grown in recent years which has led to capacity increases on routes operated by both direct and indirect competitors. The bridge between Germany and Denmark is expected to be completed within the next ten years and this has also prompted some operators to adjust their route networks. Freight ferry capacity in the region is therefore expected to continue to grow faster than demand in 2022.

Truck driver shortage

The truck driver shortages experienced in 2021 are likely to persist in the coming years. This is expected to support continued growth in the demand for unaccompanied ferry services that DFDS primarily provides in the North Sea and Mediterranean business units.

Roro vessel market

There was high demand for roro’s offered for chartering in the market and fixtures were made for longer periods at strong rates. Despite a market orderbook for newbuildings above both 2019 and 2020 (2019: 50k LM, 2020: 25k LM, 2021: 43k LM) and limited scrapping, all new buildings were absorbed in the market and several large operators added extra charter capacity to their networks.

The orderbook for 2022 and 2023 is around 70k LM, although Covid-19 related delays are expected to move delivery of several ferries into 2024. Smaller/older vessels are currently sold to secondary markets, rather than scrapped, and thus removed from the European market as well.

Ropax vessels

There was high demand for combined ferries with an overweight of freight capacity, to the extent that no vessels were available for chartering during most of 2021.

Charter rates for this ferry type thus increased during 2021.

Conversely, the demand for passenger-focused ferries was low and several vessels were idle during the year.

The orderbook for combined ferries is around 105k LM stretching to 2025 as few vessels were delivered in recent years (2019: 11k LM, 2020: 11k LM, 2021: 17k LM).

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Finnlines: revenues increased and result improved in 2021

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  • +20% Revenue EUR 579.9 (484.0) million
  • Shipping and Sea Transport Services generated revenue amounting to EUR 555.3 (461.8) million, of which passenger related revenue was EUR 47.8 (39.0) million
  • The revenue of Port Operations was EUR 47.0 (42.8) million. Cargo volumes are clearly above the 2020 level, and the number of passengers also increased compared to 2020
  • Revenue of Port Operations also increased due to the growth of cargo
  • +14% EBITDA EUR 160.3 (140.8) million
  • Result EUR 74.7 (69.7)

Rederiaktiebolaget Eckerö has chosen to write down the value of BIRKA STOCKHOLM

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Rederiaktiebolaget Eckerö presented its financial statements, where it emerged that the company had chosen to write down the value of the cruise vessel that was a victim of the pandemic. The ship is now in Landskrona, awaiting a new future.

  • 4 million passengers traveled with the Eckerö Group’s vessels (1.5 million)
  • +27% freight units 165,567 (130,537)
  • Turnover EUR 122.9 million (EUR 119.8 million)
  • Operating profit EUR -5.4 million (EUR -23.4 million), adjusted for writing down cruise vessel BIRKA STOCKHOLM in 2021
  • Operating profit EUR -38.1 million (EUR -29.9 million), including writing down BIRKA STOCKHOLM
  • Profit for the period EUR -30.6 million (EUR -33.8 million)

Liberty Lines to be awarded the high-speed maritime transport services in the Strait of Messina

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The Trapani-based ferry company Liberty Lines, controlled by the Morace family, is the only player which submitted an offer for the tender launched by Invitalia, on behalf of the Italian transport ministry. It was aimed at finding an operator for the regular high-speed ferry link between the ports of Reggio Calabria (Italy mainland) and Messina (Sicily region).

Public subsidies are worth almost EUR 37 million for five years.

Liberty Lines will have to offer regular shuttle services (up to 16 round trips from Monday to Friday) between Reggio Calabria and Messina taking half an hour on each direction to cover 18.1 miles distance with hydrofoils or high-speed crafts.

Construction of the Spirit of Tasmania ferries has begun

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Rauma Marine Constructions has started the construction of the first of two ropax ferries ordered by the Australian company Spirit of Tasmania.

The vessels will operate an extremely challenging open sea route between mainland Australia and Tasmania.

The start of construction was celebrated in Rauma on February, 28, in a traditional steel cutting ceremony.

The route the vessels are set to operate will be the world’s southernmost ferry route powered by LNG.

Maritime electrification company Echandia starts branch office in Norway

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The Swedish company Echandia, a leading developer of battery systems for maritime electrification, expands in the Norwegian market through the appointment of industry veteran Roy Storeng to lead the business development for Echandia in Norway.

Roy has an extensive background from the maritime and transport industry in Norway and abroad.

Echandia is a leading developer of zero-emission energy solutions for heavy-duty maritime electrification. Echandia has customers in Europe, Asia, and Oceania, including Cochin Shipyards, building the world’s largest fleet of electric ferries in Kochi, India, and the major global shipyard Damen Shipyard in the Netherlands.

OSK ShipTech: More Retrofits – Fewer Newbuildings

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OSK ShipTech writes in an interesting LinkedIn post: “We have to shift the lens from focusing only on the operational CO2 emissions of a newbuilding to also focus on and include the emissions related to building the ship in the first place!


ECO MALTA delivered

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The delivery of the Grimaldi Green 5th Generation class roro vessels is now halfway. Grimaldi Group took delivery of the ECO MALTA, the sixth of twelve state-of-the-art units ordered from the Chinese Jinling shipyard located in Nanjing.