Memorandum of Cooperation Signed Between Attica Group and ONEX

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On December 15, the Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between Attica Group and Elefsis Shipyards with a total budget of EUR 1 billion. The agreement outlines a 10-year cooperation framework for Attica Group’s shipbuilding program, which aims to modernize its fleet as well as that of its subsidiaries. ONEX Group will undertake this initiative at its Elefsis and Syros Shipyards facilities.

The agreement was signed by Mr. K. Mageiras, Executive Chairman of Attica Group, and Mr. P. Xenokostas, Chairman and CEO of ONEX Group, in the presence of the American Ambassador to Greece, George Tsounis; the CEO of Attica, Mr. Panagiotis Dikaiou; the Minister of Development, Mr. Kostas Skrekas; the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis; the Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Nikos Papathanasis; and the Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy, Mr. Christos Stylianides. According to the Minister of Shipping, the signing of this Memorandum represents another significant step towards the development and ‘green’ transition of the Greek fleet.

Official signing of agreement for the sale of 67% of Heraklion Port Shares to Grimaldi Group

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On December 18, 2023, GRIMALDI EUROMED – MINOAN LINES officially signed the concession agreement with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) for 67% of the Port of Heraklion’s shares. The Hellenic Parliament is expected to ratify the agreement in early January 2024, while the transfer of the shares is anticipated to occur at the end of January 2024 in Heraklion, Crete.

Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. – Minoan Lines secured the international tender last June with a bid of EUR 80 million, and the total investment by the Italian consortium is projected to reach EUR 100 million.

This specific agreement focuses on the green transition of the Cretan port through the electrification from renewable energy sources and the installation of a system for electrifying docked ships (cold ironing), along with the modernization of infrastructure and mechanical equipment. Furthermore, it aims to develop the cruising sector and facilitate the offloading of electric vehicles from China.

The double-ended ferry HARDINGEN sold to Greece

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Recent reports indicate that the Norled A/S double-ended ferry HARDINGEN has been sold to a Greek ferry operator. The vessel is a sister ship of MØYSALEN, which was recently acquired by Kerkyra Seaways. This connection suggests that Kerkyra Seaways might also be the purchaser of HARDINGEN.

HARDINGEN previously operated on the Lyngseidet-Olderdalen route. Her three sister ships are VIKINGEN, SVANØY, and GÖKÇEADA I.

Currently, HARDINGEN is laid up at the port of Sandnes and is slated for delivery within January 2024. She has a carrying capacity of 399 passengers and 90 cars and is capable of cruising at a speed of 13.6 knots.

Photo: Wikipedia

Stena Line has signed another important deal with Peel Ports Group

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Stena Line has signed a significant deal with Peel Ports Group to operate from Heysham Port for the next 77-years until 2100.

Stena runs a twice daily freight service Belfast-Heysham.

The news comes on the back of Stena Line’s announcement last week of a new freight service between Dublin and Peel Ports’ 12 Quays Terminal in Birkenhead (Liverpool). Earlier this year, Stena Line and Peel Ports signed a similar agreement for the 12 Quays Terminal to operate from the Port until the end of the century.

Two ‘NewMax’ ferries will be built for Belfast-Heysham. They will boost freight capacity by 80%.

Peel Ports, working collaboratively with Stena Line, plans to invest in new terminal management and a ‘smart gate’ automatic check-in system to improve customer experience at the port, and will increase the parking for trailers to accommodate the additional capacity of the new vessels.

Photo: Carl-Johan Hellner Chief Operating Officer Ports Terminals Stena Line and David Huck Chief Operating Officer at Peel Ports Group.

Finnlines to enhance Biscay service with bi-weekly connections between Belgium and Spain

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Starting in January 2024, Finnlines will expand its Biscay services to include a bi-weekly connection between the ports of Bilbao, Vigo, and Zeebrugge.

Through this new service, Finnlines and its parent company, the Grimaldi Group, aim to strengthen their network in the Iberian Peninsula, establishing a link from the Atlantic coast to the North and Baltic Seas.

The schedule will feature departures from Zeebrugge and Bilbao on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while from Vigo, the service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays.

Connections through Zeebrugge will facilitate further services to Ireland, the UK, Norway, and Sweden. Additionally, from Antwerp, there is access to the extensive Grimaldi network, which includes routes to North and South America, West Africa, and the Far East.

CLdN to further expand Dublin services

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CLdN announced a further expansion of its Irish Sea services. This follows the decision by Dublin Port Company (DPC) to grant CLdN a license to use the port’s Terminal 5. The decision further expands CLdN’s capabilities in the port.

In September 2023, DPC called for proposals from interested ferry lines to service west coast English or Welsh ports out of Dublin following confirmation that P&O (which operated from Terminal 5 in Dublin Port) would exit the Dublin-Liverpool route by year end.

As a result of the decision, CLdN will move its Dublin-Heysham service operated by Seatruck Ferries to Terminal 5 in early 2024. All other Seatruck Ferries services will continue to operate from Terminal 4.

CLdN will also add a vessel to the Dublin-Liverpool route providing extra sailings and bringing the total number of daily departures to four in each direction.

Seatruck commenced services in Dublin in 2007 and is now the largest mover of ferry freight between Dublin and Great Britain.

CLdN is also increasing the size of its Liverpool terminal to deal with the continued growth as part of a new long-term agreement with port operator Peel Ports. The new land area has space for over 300 trailers and is directly linked to the current terminal by a refurbished swing bridge.

The new Polferries Ro-Pax is taking shape

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The shipyard Cantiere Navale Visentini located in Porto Viro, Italy is building a new Ro-Pax for Polferries. The 10-year charter contract was signed in August 2022.

The new ferry will be the largest in this Polish shipowner’s fleet. It will have around 3,000 lane meters for freight units (140-145 standard trucks 16,5-17m) which will be loaded on 3 ro-ro decks and in addition opportunity to load about 200 passenger cars on other 2 car decks.

The ferry will accommodate 920 passengers and 60 crew members.

It will enter the fleet in mid-2024 and will operate on the Swinoujscie-Ystad route.

Estonia launches a call for tender for a new generation zero emission ferry

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On 11 December 2023, the Estonian State Fleet announced the procurement of a new energy-efficient ferry.

The deadline for submission of tenders for the construction and design of the vessel is 17 January 2024.

The new Estonian ferry will be unique in the region:

  • hydrogen fuel, in addition to shore-supplied electricity.
  • operate without noise and vibrations.
  • operate in fully autonomous mode with crew onboard.
  • readiness for remote control with onboard back-up and situational awareness.

A conceptual ferry design and feasibility study were developed with Deltamarin Ltd. in the preparatory phase of the construction project to verify which characteristics

According to the plans, the new ferry will start operating on the Virtsu–Kuivastu route on 1 October 2026.

The estimated cost of the procurement is around 40 million euros.

The shipbuilding will be financed by the European Modernisation Fund and revenues from CO2 emissions trading.