Grimaldi Formally Opposed State Aid To Ferry Companies In Italy And Finland

By | 2020 Newsletter week 24 | No Comments

Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Grimaldi Group, exclusively announced to Ferry Shipping News that his company has formally opposed the financial measures decided in Italy and in Finland to support some ferry competitors.

“We have formally contested, both on the local market and in Europe, those measures aimed at giving financial support specifically to some companies and which is selective, discriminatory and capable of distorting competition” Grimaldi said.

Legal actions have been promoted and addressed to Rome and Bruxelles for the EUR 72 million public subsidies extended by the Italian government to Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (part of Onorato Armatori and operating Tirrenia’s fleet and routes) until 18 July 2021.

A similar action was taken in Finland against the National Emergency Supply Agency which “has already granted financial support to four out of seven commercial operators securing the main maritime bridges for rubber-tired vehicles. Finnlines has also filed an application under this same emergency financial support programme but up to know we did not receive any public aid”. For this reason, Grimaldi sent a letter to the European Union Directorate-General for Competition accusing Finland’s government of providing selective assistance to five ferry operators that compete with Finnlines.

In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal, the Italian owner further added: “Those who are not strong enough to survive should be incorporated by those who are strong. That’s the way it should work, but with the pandemic, it’s not. I’ve never seen so much state interference in shipping,” Grimaldi concluded.

FERRY SHIPPING

By | 2020 Newsletter week 22 | No Comments

Minoan To Launch A New Connection Between Patras, Igoumenitsa And Venice

From next June 4, and until the end of the summer season, Grimaldi Group will link Italy and Greece with a new ropax service calling at the ports of Patras, Igoumenitsa and Venice (Marghera).

This new service was revealed by some media in Greece and already on the website of Grimaldi Group-controlled Minoan Lines.

The Visentini ropax VENICE (former CIUDAD DE CADIZ) will be deployed on the route and the frequency will be twice a week, thus competing with the Greek ferry company Anek Lines.

Grimaldi has been serving the line between Venice, Bari and Patras since 2015 bust just for cargo shipments and currently there are two ro-ro ships serving this line (EUROCARGO GENOVA and EUROCARGO ALESSANDRIA).

FERRY SHIPPING

By | 2020 Newsletter week 16 | No Comments

Mr Grimaldi Opposing Unfair State Aid to Troubled Ferry Companies

Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO of Grimaldi Group, said in an interview published by Lloyd’s List that he is not opposed to state intervention in such difficult times, but stresses that any financial aid has to be provided in accordance with existing rules, and that individual companies should not be singled out for support at the expense of more robust rivals.

The Italian shipowner is afraid that public funding of ferry companies may distort competition by “bailing out weak shipping lines at the expense of those operating in the same trades that are well capitalized” is written in the article. Otherwise, he may consider lodging antitrust complaints on behalf of operators that are not included in any financial support packages.

 

Grimaldi also stated that his group of companies (Finnlines, Minoan Lines, Malta Motorways of the Sea, Atlantic Container Line, Grimaldi Euromed and Grimaldi Deep Sea) did not ask for assistance from any national government.

He estimates that Grimaldi Group revenue could be down by as much as 15%, equivalent to some EUR 500 million in the coming months, but notes that this downturn will be offset by much cheaper fuel costs. With no debt on 57 of its 120 ships, very low financing costs, and healthy profit margins for many years of between 5% and 10%, “we have never been in such a strong position to weather this storm” he concluded.

FERRY PORTS

By | 2020 Newsletter week 9 | No Comments

Some Troubles for Grimaldi and Tirrenia RoRo Ships in Malta 

Earlier this week Maltese chandlers and port workers stopped their operations over coronavirus fears, refusing to board vessels coming from Italy to unload cargo, Malta Today reported.

The local media was informed that port workers were complaining for a lack of medical staff in the area as they handle cargo that was coming from Italian ports. Port workers said they would not handle cargo unless in supervision and after clearance of medical doctors. “The cargo in question concerns retail food and other supplies. Maltese port workers claim they are not convinced with documents showing that the vessels have been given the all-clear” Malta Today reported.

The two vessels in question were the Grimaldi Group-controlled EUROCARGO MALTA and the Tirrenia-operated MARIA GRAZIA ONORATO. Some hours later both vesseld were regularly discharged. They could sail back to the Italian ports of Catania and Genoa.

TOP STORY

By | 2019 Newsletter week 51 | No Comments

Grimaldi Chose Avic Weihai for Two New Ferries for Finnlines

Grimaldi Group has chosen the Chinese shipyard Avic Weihai for the construction a pair of Superstar Class ferries due to be operated by Finnlines.

  • Contract price roughly USD 135 million each.
  • Delivery is scheduled as from 2023.
  • These new ice-class ferries are an evolution of the Fincantieri-built Star-class vessels.
  • Capacity 5,000 lane metres and 350 cabins.
  • They will have the biggest battery pack ever mounted on a ship.

This is the first time the Grimaldi Group will build ropax ferries in Asia. The other shortlisted yards were Hyundai Mipo, Jinling and Guangzhou Shipyard International in China.

All the European shipyards has been left out since the price were in some cases twice as high.

Italian Fleet Movements

By | 2019 Newsletter week 50 | No Comments

Grimaldi Group of Italy took delivery of the former Ciudad De Cadiz, the ropax just bought from Trasmediterranea (Naviera Armas group) and renamed Venezia. The price paid by the Naples-based group for this vessel is around €35 million.

The same Italian ferry company has also chartered in the roro Super-Fast Baleares from Trasmediterranea in order to replace the Eurocargo Trieste which caught fire three weeks ago off the port of Leghorn and is still under repair.

According to what Ship2Shore reported, also the ferry GNV Azzurra was chartered as accommodation vessel by Virgin Voyages for the crew which will be employed on the new cruise ship Lady Scarlett, soon to be delivered by Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard.

Grimaldi’s CRUISE OLBIA Gets Scrubbers in Messina

By | 2019 Newsletter week 47 | No Comments

Grimaldi Group’s l RoPax CRUISE OLBIA arrived at the Palumbo Shipyard in Messina on 15 November 2019 in order to undergo her annual scheduled repairs as well as to have scrubber units installed.

CRUISE OLBIA is the third ship of the Grimaldi’s Mediterranean fleet to undergo the specific conversion, after CRUISE BONARIA and CRUISE OLYMPIA which are currently in Malta for the same reason.

The other three vessels of the Italian Group are Minoan Lines’ large cruise ferries MYKONOS PALACE, KNOSSOS PALACE and FESTOS PALACE which underwent the same conversion a few months ago in Malta.

INTERESTING

By | 2019 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

According to the current timetable, the UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October. But what does withdrawal mean for those who ship freight between Sweden and the UK via the Port of Gothenburg? And will it affect those handling non-UK bound freight at the port?

IN THE MEDIA

By | 2019 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

Does Grimaldi Intend To Take Over ANEK LINES?

According to an article in the Greek news website newmoney.gr, there has been an exploratory discussion between a representative of the Italian Group and the management of Piraeus Bank, on whether there are conditions for Grimaldi Group to acquire ANEK LINES. A development that became serious when Piraeus Bank opened the discussion about the future of the MIG’s Attica Group (Superfast-Blue Star Ferries-Hellenic Seaways), as well as the future of ANEK LINES.

A few days ago, a senior executive of the Grimaldi Group said that Emanuele Grimaldi is interested in making serious investments in Crete. Within that framework there was a meeting held with the management of Piraeus Bank about ANEK LINES. However, the price was initially considered high and the conversation stopped there. Of course, that is not meaning that there will not be any surprises in the future.

Italian Group’s “circles” add that: “Crete must have one company resulting from the Minoan-ANEK merger and the Attica Group as a competitor”. Also they claimed that: “Minoan Lines have repaid all their bank loans while the company’s overall financial condition can possibly absorb the financial shocks from a possible purchase of the ANEK LINES “.

Moreover, senior executives of the Italian Group made a few points about the future of Hellenic Coastal Lines:

  • Things will become very serious at the end of 2019 early 2020.
  • Next year will be crucial for the Greek Ferry Operators. The comparative advantage in Hellenic Coastal Lines will be for those who do not have debts as well as for those that have also foreseen installing scrubbers on their ships.
  • Those operators that failed to install scrubbers to their fleets will be forced to use the other type of fuel that costs much more.
  • The increase in fuel prices will result in the financial burden on ferry companies in 2019.

Also, they stressed that the Italian Group is always considering plans to expand its routes, but everything will depend on the conditions of the ferry market.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

By | 2019 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

Grimaldi Group’s Ferries Undergoing Scrubber Conversion

Grimaldi Group’s ferries have already been in line in order to undergo their scheduled scrubber conversion. First to have arrived at Dock n°4 of Palumbo shipyards (Malta) was the cruise ferry CRUISE BONARIA. The Italian-built ship is also having her shafts repaired.

A few days later she was followed by the larger CRUISE OLYMPIA which is currently at Dock n°6 undergoing her scrubber conversion.