May 14, 2013
The Vancouver Sun
The navigating officer in charge of a passenger ferry that struck an island and sank off the coast of British Columbia seven years ago, killing two passengers, was convicted Monday of criminal negligence causing death. He will be sentenced June 21, though his lawyer said he's already considering an appeal.
The Queen of the North was on a routine overnight voyage down B.C.'s Inside Passage, when, shortly after midnight on March 22, 2006, the ship missed a scheduled turn in a body of water known as Wright Sound. The ferry struck Gil Island and sank.
May 9, 2013
International Maritme Organization
This week marks the start of a six-month consultation period in which IMO will seek widespread input on the administrative burdens that may result from compliance with IMO instruments. The intention is to gather data from a broad spectrum of stakeholders from which recommendations on how to alleviate administrative burdens can be developed.
The Organization recognizes that some administrative requirements contained in IMO instruments may have become unnecessary, disproportionate or even obsolete, and is committed to reducing their impact.
The consultation process is being carried out through a dedicated website, which is accessible from the IMO website (http://www.imo.org/OurWork/rab). It offers practical information and guidance to participants in the consultation and includes a questionnaire to be filled in and submitted electronically. The consultation is open to everyone, including the general public.
May 6, 2013
The Economic Times
France said Friday it would seek to reverse an EU decision to order ferry firm SNCM to pay back 220 million euros ($288 million) in state aid, which could prove a death knell for the cash-strapped company.
Following an in-depth probe triggered by a complaint by SNCM's Italian rival Corsica Ferries, the European Commission ruled Thursday that part of the state aid given to the company was incompatible with EU competition rules. The European Commission said it had taken into account the need for Corsica to have effective maritime links with the mainland, and ruled that while some state compensation was justified, other types of aid gave it an "unjustified advantage."
SNCM, which provides ferry services between mainland France and Corsica, Tunisia, Algeria and Sardinia, has until the end of August to "hand back the money to the taxpayers" -- in this case to the French region of Corsica. The EU decision could prove a death knell for the 1,400 employees of SNCM, which registered a loss of 14 million euros last year for a turnover of just 300 million euros and has suffered a string of strikes.
May 5, 2013
CASH-strapped STX is considering whether to sell its yards in France and Finland, which would represent a near-complete departure from Europe for the South Korea-based conglomerate. In a regulatory filing, the company said it was considering the sales as part of a group-wide restructuring plan to raise more funds. Mounting debts have prompted the STX group to sell its overseas units to stay afloat over the past two years.
The disclosure came after STX Europe, a 100% subsidiary of the Seoul-listed parent, sold its stakes in offshore shipbuilder STX OSV to Fincantieri for $1.2bn and its yards and ship-design assets in Florø, Norway. However, it is not certain that STX would receive satisfactory offers for its yards in France and Finland, which build cruise ships and ferries.
In late April, the Finnish government paid subsidies totalling €31m ($40.7m) to STX Finland to ensure that the yard had funds to build two cruise ships for TUI Cruises.
May 4, 2013
STX Marine of Vancouver was recently awarded the contract for the engineering package for Seaspan Ferry Corporation’s fleet replacement program. The completed concept design will form part of a bid package, expected to be released to shipyards for tender in July 2013.
The new design will feature a 60 trailer capacity, service speed of 14 knots and a planned 40 year service life. STXM will be examining the "latest propulsion technology and energy efficiency technology" for incorporation into the design. In addition, the design will include a modern comfortable facility for crew and drivers.
Seaspan Ferry (part of the Washington Marine Group)operates eight RoRo vessels carrying trucks and rail cars between Vancouver and Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada.
May 3, 2013
Lloyd’s Loading List
DFDS announced today it is in the running to acquire the former state-controlled Danish/German shipping company Scandlines. Current owners, 3i Group and Allianz Capital Partners, have reportedly received three bids for the ferry operator.
Earlier this year, Lloyd’s Loading List reported that DFDS was a frontrunner to bid for Scandlines and that Grimaldi and Stena Line had also expressed interest, but market analysts suggested that the Italian and Swedish groups would find it difficult to finance a major acquisition and meet the reported €1.42 billion (US$1.8bn) asking price.
Today, DFDS said: “With reference to media reports concerning the ongoing competitive sales process of Scandlines, it can be confirmed that DFDS is participating in the process. DFDS’s interest and participation is aligned with our strategy of expanding the route network through value-creating acquisitions.”
May 3, 2013
Hong Kong’s Marine Department has come in for intense and withering criticism in a report released this week from the inquiry into the ferry casualty off Lamma Island in October that claimed 39 lives. In response, the government has promised Marine Department reform.
The charges against the department in the report by Mr Justice Michael Lunn and Benjamin Tang include a “systemic” failure to ensure safety of small vessels navigating Hong Kong’s waters. Criticisms included focus on several crucial areas in which proper inspection might have reduced the number of lives lost in the casualty.
Apr 19, 2013
The Government of the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia issued a Request for Proposals in December 2012 in order to recruit a ferry operator to re-start the dormant ferry service along the Canada-USA Atlantic coast. Two proposals were received but both were rejected in March 2013 having failed to meet the Province’s minimum requirements. The Province is now renewing its search for an operator. In addition to the $C 21 million already committed to mitigate start-up costs, the Province has announced a new tourism initiative with a contribution of $1M to improve the tourism product in the Yarmouth region of Nova Scotia.
Full details are available at: http://novascotia.ca/econ/docs/40580_CANUSAFerryOpp_3.pdf
Apr 15, 2013
The Philippines is set to launch the region’s first international roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry link, with a route connecting the cities of Davao and General Santos in the nation’s south to Bitung in Indonesia’s north.
The announcement came from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), with PCCI President Miguel Varela commenting that the international ‘Super Shuttle’ Ro-Ro will take its maiden voyage through a partnership between the business community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Business Advisory Council and the Department of Trade and Industry.
“The private sector has taken the lead in spearheading the implementation of the project through a bilateral arrangement between the business sector of the Philippines and Indonesia,” said Mr Varela.
Calling the project a “milestone”, Varela said that the route will improve connectivity with other ASEAN members, cut transportation time by up to half, promote a significant increase in trade activity, as well as reduce transportation costs by up to ten per cent.
Apr 12, 2013
Over fifteen years ago they were hailed as being to the ferry industry 'what the jet plane was to aviation in the era of propeller aircraft'. Now, final preparations are underway for the departure from Belfast of the HSS 'Stena Voyager' on a one-way passage to the breakers.
The second of the three HSS 1500 fast craft, the 'Stena Voyager' and her sisters 'Stena Explorer' and 'Stena Discovery' took much of their technology from the world of aviation. The vessel series featured the maritime versions of gas turbines, fuelled by a light diesel oil with low sulphur content. When the HSS started operating in 1996, oil was just USD18 a barrel. Fuel costs rose by 600 per cent since the introduction of the 'Stena Voyager', forcing reductions in speed and, consequently, slower running became the norm. Eventually, in November 2011, the craft was withdrawn from service.
With the earlier sale of the third HSS 'Stena Discovery' to Venezuela, this leaves the 'Stena Explorer' as the remaining craft in service. Her employment at Holyhead is reduced to just one round trip a day, down from a peak of five, on a seasonal basis.