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New Double-ended Ferry for Norden-Frisia

Aug 28, 2014

Voith Turbo

The German North Sea ferry operator Norden-Frisia AG has been serving the East Frisian island of Norderney for many decades. The island is currently served by five ferries with a one-hour crossing time from the mainland port of Norddeich. Navigation in these coastal waters poses special challenges: in some areas the waterway only leaves a few centimeters below the keel and the water contains a significant amount of swirled-up sand. A new sister ship of the double-ended ferry MS Frisia IV equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) is to enter service in summer 2015. The shipping company again chose Voith Schneider Propellers as these are ideally suited for the specific operating conditions in shallow tidelands.

The ferry will be built by the Cassens shipyard in Emden. With a length of 74.3 meters and a beam of 13.4 meters, she will be slightly longer than her sister ship. The newbuild with a draft of 1.75 meters is designed to carry 1,340 passengers and 60 cars. She will reach a speed of 8 knots in shallow water and 12 knots in deeper water.

DFDS Profits Surge

Aug 21, 2014

Lloyd’s List

Improvements in second-half profits have prompted Copenhagen-listed ro-pax operator DFDS to lift its full-year expectations. The Danish shortsea operator saw revenue grow 8%, to DKr3.3bn ($586.5m) and earnings before deductibles rise by 31% to DKr403m compared to the second quarter of 2013. Pretax profit rose by 143% to DKr231m.

While the overall trade and passenger volumes have improved, the group has noted that there has been an impact on its Baltic Sea business from the Ukraine conflict. As a result of the conflict in Ukraine and certain sanctions against Russia, Russia has imposed food import bans from Europe, starting with a meat ban in January and then a one-year general food ban from this month.

DFDS chief executive Niels Smedegaard said in the company’s stock exchange announcement that the quarterly results were ahead of expectations and performance in July, the start of the third-quarter high season, had shown this to be continuing.

Condor Buys Austal Cat

Aug 20, 2014

Marine Log

Austal has completed the sale of the 102 m trimaran stock vessel Hull 270 to Channel Islands ferry operator Condor Ferries for A$61.5 million. Condor Ferries has been operating since 1964 and carries more than one million passengers and 200,000 vehicles between France, the U.K. and the Channel Islands each year. It says it will bring the vessel into service in Spring 2015 and will base it in Poole, Dorset, U.K.

The vessel will remain at Austal's commercial shipyard in the Philippines for customer modifications. The modifications will commence immediately and are valued at approximately A$6 million, to be paid by Condor progressively as works are completed.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the significant capabilities provided at Austal's Philippines shipyard had been crucial in securing the additional customisation contract. Condor Chief Executive Officer James Fulford said: "It is fantastic to be adding this prestigious ship to our fleet. The 102 will offer increased reliability, capacity and comfort for our guests and we are very much looking forward to her arrival in our islands in the Spring."

New Ferries for Japanese Line

Aug 19, 2014


The Osaka-based Meimon Taiyo Ferry (City Line), which operates the Osaka-Kita Kyushu route, announced that it will introduce two 15,000gt ferries in September and November 2015. The new ferries will be built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with a length of 183m, 2,713 passengers, hybrid propulsion and the energy saving Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System. They will replace the 1992-built Ferry Osaka and Ferry Kita Kyushu (length:183m, beam: 27m, passengers: 713).

Shipowners Challenge Ballast Water Regulations

Aug 14, 2014

Lloyd’s List

With the ballast-water convention likely to come into force in a year, at least two papers have been submitted by shipowner groups for debate when the marine environment protection committee meets in October. One of the proposals, from Interferry, the Danish Shipowners' Association and the Danish Maritime Authority, raises the difficulty in shipowners being able to gain exemptions from complying with the regulations, even when operating solely in waters that are in a common ecosystem such as across the English Channel.

The ballast-water convention was written with the aim of preventing species being accidentally transferred to parts of the world where they could easily get established and become problematic, eradicating native flora and fauna and having a negative ecological and an economic impact. The rules effectively mandate that each and every ship will have to have a costly, and relatively untried, treatment system installed. However, without specific and unique exceptions, even owners of vessels such as shuttle tankers and ferries operating across small waterways will need to invest in costly systems.

Bangladesh Arrests Ferry Owner

Aug 14, 2014

The Maritime Executive

A special Bangladesh anti-crime unit arrested the owner of a ferry that sank in a river killing about 110 people, the first time authorities took such action in a country where shipping accidents with heavy loss of life are common. The ferry capsized and sank during bad weather on August 4. The vessel had a capacity for 85 passengers but was crammed with about 250 people. Authorities had lodged murder charges against the owner and five other people including the captain, for overloading, operating the ferry with an expired license and disregarding the river authority's instructions not to sail because of bad weather.

Interferry Appointed to United Nations High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport

Aug 13, 2014

The United Nations

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the membership of a High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport to provide recommendations on sustainable transport actionable at global, national, local and sector levels. The Advisory Group, established for a period of three years, will work with governments, transport providers (aviation, marine, ferry, rail, road, and urban public transport), businesses, financial institutions, civil society and other stakeholders, to promote sustainable transport systems and their integration into development strategies and policies, including in climate action. The members of the Advisory Group are: CEO of Volvo Group, Mayor of Santiago, Chile, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL, President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners, CEO of Services & Other Shipping, Maersk Group, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport, Mayor of Nouakchott, Mauritania, Secretary General of China Energy Fund Committee, Deputy Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, Director-General of the International Union of Railways, Secretary of Environment of Mexico City, CEO of Interferry.

Bangladesh Ferry Capsizes

Aug 4, 2014

New York Times

A ferry overloaded with more than 200 passengers sank while crossing a river in central Bangladesh on Monday morning, and despite rescue efforts by naval forces and fire brigades, at least half the passengers were missing and presumed dead, officials said.

The ferry, which was making the roughly two-hour journey to the Padma River port of Mawa, was hit by high waves and capsized in the strong current, Samsuddoha Khondaker, the chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, said.

Hamidur Rahman Siddique, an intelligence officer in the Munshiganj district, said that as many as 300 passengers might have been onboard the ferry when it sank. According to the Bangladesh Department of Shipping, the 64-foot ferry was licensed to carry a maximum of 85 passengers at a time.

Fakhrul Islam, the chief engineer of the department, said that the ferry’s operating license had expired in April and that it was operating in violation of safety limits, which forbade it from carrying more than the 85-passenger maximum. It was also sailing in spite of a warning of severe weather, he said.

STX Sells Turku Shipyard

Aug 4, 2014

Lloyd’s List

The Finnish government and Germany’s cruiseship builder Meyer Werft have jointly acquired the Turku shipyard from STX Europe. Under the new agreement Meyer Werft will become the majority owner with a 70% stake, and will have main responsibility for the yard’s main operation and development.

In a press statement both Meyer Werft and the Finnish government confirmed the injection of substantial amounts of new equity into the Turku yard to help it to develop. Along with the change of ownership comes the announcement that Tui has booked two cruiseships at Turku for delivery in 2016 and 2017. The order comes with two options. The €1bn ($1.3bn) booking comes as the Finnish government supports the yard with innovation aid of €10m in relation to the two new orders.

Design Contracts Awarded

Aug 4, 2014

Marine Log

Wärtsilä has been selected to design a new ferry that will be a key part of an EU sponsored project intended to strengthen transportation links between Finland and Sweden. The ferry is designed for sailing between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden across the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. The scope of Wärtsilä's work under the new contract will be both initial and basic design.

The design will take into account the need for operational flexibility as transportation demands on this route vary from season to season. Though the demand for cargo transport is quite stable throughout year, passenger traffic peaks in summer. During peak periods the ferry will run to a tighter schedule than is required at other times when the speed can be reduced to save fuel costs. Ice conditions during winter months can be quite severe and therefore the design must also onsider operations during harsh winters.