- Condor and the States of Guernsey have concluded a 50/50 joint venture agreement for the purchase of an additional ferry. [see the news: Condor Ferries buys STRAITSMAN]
- The aim is to increase the resilience of the Island’s lifeline sea links with the UK, France and Jersey.
- The deal will see both parties investing £3m of equity in the joint venture to own the second ‘ropax’ ship – the CONDOR ISLANDER – and receive a commercial return from the ferry operator. In addition, the States of Guernsey have made a loan from the bond of £26m, which will be repayable at a fixed rate of interest over 10 years.
Norled and Brødrene Aa have entered into a contract for the construction of a new hybrid electric vessel, to be named BRE.
It will be used as a reserve vessel on Norled’s routes from Bodø to Væran and Gildeskål. On these services she will have a hybridization rate of 70% electric operation.
When not operating on these routes, BRE will operate as a 100% electric sightseeing boat for Brim Explorer.
- Passengers : 130 with space for luggage, bicycles and kayaks
- Speed : 30 knots
- Length : 24 metres
- Battery : 1.2 MWh
- Construction : Carbon Fibre
With significant global interest, it is Condor Ferries that has succeeded in buying the ro-pax STRAITSMAN from Bluebridge Ferries, New Zealand.
As reported last week by FSN, operators including CTMA and CMAL/NorthLink Ferries were also in the running to acquire the ship.
Re-named and upgraded, the 125-metre vessel will enter service between the UK and France and the Channel Islands in the autumn. Condor has said that the move will bring “greater resilience, capacity and connectivity”.
Condor Ferries has promised an overnight service in both directions from the UK and Channel Islands. The new vessel will also provide additional passenger capacity in the event of Condor’s fast craft being affected by bad weather.
The larger fleet will also assist with inter-Island frequency and help to develop the growing freight services from France.
Built in 2005, the 400-passenger STRAITSMAN is very close in design to Condor’s existing ro-pax ferry, COMMODORE CLIPPER. She previously operated in Europe as Bornholm’s DUEODDE.
Québec’s CTMA has confirmed an interest in acquiring the STRAITSMAN from New Zealand operator Bluebridge. The 2005 ro-pax will soon leave the service, after being replaced in the fleet by the CONNEMARA, acquired from Stena RoRo.
CTMA would purchase the STRAITSMAN to replace the back-up vessel C.T.M.A. VACANCIER, originally the AURELLA of 1973.
Meanwhile, appearing in front of a Scottish Government committee, Stuart Garrett, Managing Director of Northlink Ferries indicated that industry reports of CMAL visiting the vessel were also correct. If CMAL was to purchase the vessel for use by Northlink, it would operate on services to Orkney and Shetland to boost passenger and freight capacity.