EU Commission approved the 125-million-euro Italian scheme to support Motorways of the Seas

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a 125-million-euro Italian scheme to encourage freight transport to shift from road-only to combined road-short-sea shipping transport.

The purpose of the scheme is to promote intermodal transport to shift freight traffic off the roads, thereby reducing the environmental, health and social impact of road traffic and the congestion of road infrastructures, in line with the objectives of the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and of the European Green Deal.

Under the scheme, which will run until 31 December 2027, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The scheme is open to road hauliers that transport their cargo vehicles via waterways on eligible maritime routes from an Italian port to a different port of the European Economic Area.

The aid will partially cover the higher costs of short-sea shipping legs compared to road-only transport options. The aid amount will be calculated based on the avoided kilometres on the Italian road network.

Beneficiaries can receive a maximum of €0.30 per vehicle-kilometre.

The Commission found that the scheme is necessary and proportionate to support transport coordination and contributes to the development of a more sustainable freight transport with a view to reducing the negative externalities of road transport, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. On this basis, the Commission approved the Italian scheme under EU State aid rules.

Eni and RINA join forces to accelerate the energy transition and decarbonisation of maritime transport

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Italy’s oil major Eni Group has signed up with class society RINA to work together on green-fuel initiatives, particularly in the maritime bunkering market.

The agreement focuses on the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biofuel produced by Eni in its Venice and Gela bio-refineries. Eni’s HVO is made from feedstocks that do not compete directly with food and feed crops, such as waste and agricultural residues.

The firm currently supplies HVO-based diesel for heavy transport and bio-jet fuel (sustainable aviation fuel) for aircraft. It aims to have about 4 million tonnes of production capacity online by the middle of the decade, enough to supply 1% of maritime bunkering demand if all of the output were reserved for maritime users.

Production of these sustainable oils is expected to scale up rapidly to 20,000 tons by 2023, and Eni hopes to have a vertically integrated supply chain of waste oil and non-edible oil of 700,000 tonnes per year by 2026. It is replicating its results in Kenya across other African countries and further abroad.

The partnership also extends to future marine fuels like blue and green hydrogen and ammonia, as well as the logistics and distribution of new energy carriers and the adoption of methods for calculating the emissions benefits.

Eni and RINA might also pursue experiments and pilot projects in on-board carbon capture.

DFDS launches new initiative to protect sperm whales in Southern Greece

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Together with a coalition of NGOs, including IFAW, Ocean Care, Pelagos Cetacean Institute, and WWF Greece, DFDS has developed initiatives to reduce vessel-whale collisions in the Hellenic Trench in Southern Greece:

  • Route Adjustments: DFDS has redefined vessel routes to avoid high-risk areas known for frequent sperm whale sightings.
  • Slow Steaming: DFDS has limited vessel speeds in these high-risk zones to minimize the potential of collisions.
  • Spotting and Reporting: DFDS has initiated a policy encouraging all Masters to maintain vigilance, identify whales, and communicate sightings promptly to DFDS vessels and other ships in the vicinity.

 While the route adjustments and slow steaming have extended trip durations, the impact has been minimal: an increase of 15-30 min per leg.

The changes apply to vessels calling Pendik, Trieste, Sete and Yalova.

HSC SUPERRUNNER JET and HSC CAT 1 sailings for summer 2023

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Seajets announced that on June 2, its HSC SUPERRUNNER JET will enter service on the Thessaloniki – Skiathos – Skopelos – Alonissos line. The ship will be serving the line four days a week, while as from July 4 she will serve the Thessaloniki – Lemnos – Lesvos line twice a week as well.

Seajets, connects Thessaloniki with the Sporades Islands and Northern Aegean Islands for a third year in a row, offering travellers from Northern Greece and the Balkan countries the opportunity to travel with their vehicle to the islands of these lines by High-Speed Craft.

On June 2, 2023, Magic Sea Ferries’ HSC CAT 1 will make her debut on the Agios Konstantinos – Skiathos – Skopelos – Alonissos line, while from June 30 she will serve the port of Mandoudi (Evia) until September 3, 2022.

Photo: Seajets and Magic Sea Ferries

Saos Ferries’ HSC NISSOS arrived in Greece

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

On May 31, 2023, Saos Ferries’ HSC NISSOS (ex ALCANTARA DOS) arrived under tow (tug BAS VIKING) in Greece, after a 12-day voyage.

The ship was purchased from the Spanish Acciona Logistica S.A. on April 17 and left the port of Almeria on May 19.

She will undergo necessary repairs and refit and she will be probably introduced -next year- on the Sporades Islands or Dodecanese run.

Two more ammonia-ready PCTC vessels for Grimaldi Group

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

The Grimaldi Group has further grown its order book with two more new Pure Car & Truck Carrier vessels.

Last January, the company signed an agreement with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company Limited (SWS) and China Shipbuilding Trading Company Limited (CSTC) – two companies part of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC) – for the construction of five PCTC ships.

The option for another two sister vessels was finally exercised few days ago.

They will be among the first ships equipped with a new type of electronic engine whose specific consumption is one of the lowest in its category.

Thanks to their emission abatement systems, the new units will comply with the most stringent limits established at international level for CO2, NOx and SOx emissions.

Thanks to design innovations and state-of-the-art engines and systems, their CO2 emissions index per cargo unit transported more is significantly reduced – up to over 50% lower than that of other PCTC ships currently operated by the Grimaldi Group.

In addition, the new ships received the Ammonia-Ready class notation from RINA.

They are designed for cold ironing.

The deal with the Chinese shipyard for the construction of the seven PCTCs is valued in excess of USD 630 million. This investment is part of the Grimaldi Group’s massive fleet renewal plan, which includes 26 ships currently under construction: 17 ammonia-ready car carriers, five “G5”-class multipurpose ro-ro units, two “GG5G”-class hybrid ro-ro vessels and two “Superstar”-class ro-pax ships (for Finnlines).

Spliethoff launches high speed Con-Ro liner service between Europe and the US East Coast

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Spliethoff is starting a monthly Con-Ro liner service from Belgium and the UK to the US East Coast from June 1. The very fast transit time of around 14 days from port to port makes this newly introduced service unique in the market.

Deploying a state-of-the-art Con-Ro vessel able to combine Ro-Ro and containerised cargo, the new service will call at Antwerp, Bristol and/or Marchwood and Baltimore, MD, Gloucester, NJ, and Morehead City, NC, in the US.

The service will be executed by the specialist Con-Ro vessels of Spliethoff Group’s sister company Transfennica. (640 TEU + 3,000 lane metres).

Regular passenger traffic in the Swedish seaports in 2022

By | 2023 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Port of Ystad

The last years were very tough for the ferry market, especially for the passenger sector. Although the freight market was not so much affected by the pandemic and started to recover earlier, the passenger traffic was more exposed to restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2022, total passenger traffic in Sweden amounted to nearly 21 million passengers, which indicates an increase by 35% in comparison with 2021 and 61% compared to 2020 figures.

The three biggest ports in terms of regular ferry passenger traffic are:

  • Ports of Stockholm (7.5 million passengers in 2022, +69.8%). Especially, traffic to popular tourist destinations such as Åland Islands and Helsinki increased.
  • Helsingborgs Hamn – Port of Helsingborg (4.9 million passengers in 2022, +23.5%). Due to stabilization of the pandemic, the commuters came back to their offices and started regular ferry crossings to Denmark.
  • Port of Ystad (2.6 million passengers, +8.8%)

Increases were observed in the vast majority of Swedish ports.

Demand is expected to remain high, or even to increase.