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Impact of Low Sulphur Rules in Europe

Mar 5, 2015

Lloyd’s List

The introduction of tighter rules in the sulphur emission control areas this year was not the end of the world. But it may well be a close run thing, according DFDS chief executive Niels Smedegaard. Speaking at the European Shipping Week in Brussels, Smedegaard said January 1, 2015, represented a “pretty dramatic turn of events. We had to switch from 1% sulphur to 0.1%. But 0.1% marine gas oil is roughly 50% more expensive and that has put some challenges to the industry.”

Some shipowners have decided to go for scrubbers but by far the majority have elected to switch fuel to MGO. “Fortunately, by coincidence we have seen a fall in the fuel price since last September, which to a certain extent has alleviated the impact of the transition to the new product, but it has by no means fixed the challenge we have seen," Smedegaard said.

A positive for shortsea operators has been the Ten-T funds that have become available from the European Union for financial support when retrofitting scrubbers to vessels. Companies can potentially get up to 30% of the investment supported as part of an effort to facilitate the transition to new low-sulphur rules.

Damen Fast Cat for South Korea

Feb 26, 2015

Baird Maritime

South Korean operator Seaspovill has taken delivery of its second Damen Fast Ferry, the ‘Sea Star 5’, at a ceremony held at Damen Shipyards Singapore recently. The catamaran passenger ferry is 42.2 metres in length with a beam of 11.6 metres. The vessel will transport up to 450 people on the 80 nautical mile route between Gangneung on the east coast of South Korea and the island of Ulleung-Do. Powered by her four MTU main engines, ‘Sea Star 5’ can reach over 40 knots.

The DFF 4212 is designed and built to comply with the international code of safety for High Speed Craft, 2000 HSC Code. Damen Shipyards manager Michiel Hendrikx said this order was important as it is the first new delivery of a ferry to South Korea since the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry in the country last year.

New US Ferries

Feb 25, 2015

Marine Log

East Coast
Cape Cod, Massachusetts passenger ferry company Hy-Line Cruises has ordered a new 493-passenger, high-speed catamaran from Gladding-Hearn for delivery in 2016. It will be the fourth Incat-Crowther designed fast ferry built by the Somerset, MA, shipyard for the Cape Cod passenger ferry company and will be larger and more stylish in design than the previous deliveries. The all-aluminum 30-knot ferry will provide year-round passenger service between Hyannis and Nantucket.

West Coast
Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders of Freeland, Washington has completed construction of the 115 ft, 23 car, 100 passenger ferry M/V Oscar B. Designed by Seattle's Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) the steel-hulled, aluminum superstructured vessel has been built for Wahkiakum County for service between Cathlamet, Washington and Westport, Oregon.
The new M/V Oscar B is nearly twice the size of its predecessor, which held 12 passenger cars. Designed to operate at 8 knots, the Oscar B has hydraulic steering instead of cable and chain steering, up-to-date electronics, a passenger lounge and ADA-accessible restrooms.

Bangladesh Ferry Collision

Feb 22, 2015

The Guardian

At least 39 people died in Bangladesh on Sunday when a passenger ferry with more than 100 people aboard capsized 44 miles west of the capital, Dhaka, after colliding with a trawler on the Padma river.

Rescuers managed to save at least 50 passengers and were still searching for more survivors. “The ferry capsized as it was hit by a cargo vessel,” regional police official Bidhan Tripura said. A similar accident on 13 February killed at least seven passengers in southern Bangladesh.

Shajahan Khan, the shipping minister, told reporters at the scene that an investigation had been launched. “A probe committee has been formed and they have been directed to find out the real cause of this sad incident within seven days,” he said.

Baleària to Retrofit Rolls-Royce-Gas Engine

Feb 22, 2015

Marine Log

Rolls-Royce has signed a collaboration agreement with Spanish energy company Gas Natural Fenosa to develop and install a pure-gas Bergen engine aboard the Baleària-operated ferry Abel Matutes. Baleària has a fleet of 20 vessels operating between the Iberian peninsula, the Balearic Islands, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bahamas, and is committed to developing LNG as a marine fuel.

The 29,670 tonne RoPax ferry, delivered in 2010 from the Barreras shipyard in Spain, will use an LNG-fueled Rolls-Royce Bergen engine to generate 1560 kW of clean power, dramatically reducing emissions during port stays in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. The new engine will be fully integrated into the electricity plant on the vessel, enabling operation with any of the on-board auxiliaries. When Abel Matutes is in port, the gas engine will be connected to the distribution infrastructure ashore or the LNG tank located on-board. The ferry will also consume natural gas during approach and departure maneuvers to generate electricity, replacing the heavy fuel oil previously used for this purpose.

First WIFI Hotspot on the English Channel

Feb 20, 2015

MTN Communications

P&O Ferries and MTN Communications (MTN) announced the delivery of high-performance Internet connectivity and access to online content through the first Wi-Fi hot spot on the English Channel. This service is now live on ferries serving the P&O Dover-Calais route.  These are the first ferries in the world connected to the MTN Terrestrial Broadband Network (TBN), in addition to having back-up satellite connectivity, as many cruise ships do today.  Each P&O vessel now has a broadband antenna tracking and stabilization system, which works across the entire 22 miles (35.40 kilometers) of the English Channel.  MTN’s hybrid network comprises satellite and terrestrial broadband connectivity, seamless switching with zero impact to users, smart computing and a comprehensive platform for eCommerce and other apps. 

Passenger Vessel Sinks in Bangladesh

Feb 14, 2015


Seven bodies have been retrieved after an overcrowded trawler sank in the river Paira with over 200 people on board, police say. The vessel’s engine abruptly shut down when it reached the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, triggering panic among its passengers. As waves were pounding the trawler, its passengers tried to balance it by moving to both sides, witnesses said. It caused the vessel to shake more and finally capsize. Locals rescued most of the people with fishing trawlers as the accident took place near the shore.

[Ed. Note: Reuters news service is reporting the vessel as a “ferry”.]

Large Scale Rescue Operations at Sea

Feb 12, 2015

International Chamber of Shipping

In response to the growing number of migrants and refugees being rescued by merchant ships, the International Chamber of Shipping has issued a new Guidance on such rescue operations. The 12 page document can be downloaded free of charge at

Ferry Service Contemplated between Oman and Iran

Feb 10, 2015

Times of Oman

An Omani ferry sailing from the Port of Khasab recently docked at Iran's Qeshm Island on a test voyage, prior to possibly offering ferry services between the two countries.  The Sawqrah, operated by Oman's National Ferries Company, is 52 metres long, has a capacity of 160 passengers and 22 vehicles, and has a speed of 40 knots.

Omani Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy recently expressed his hope that the current trade between Khasab and Qeshm Island will be more regulated in the future. "We hope that as we expand the port of Khasab in the next Five-Year Plan, and as we add more facilities and as Iran gets beyond some of its sanctions, that trade will become more regulated," Al Sunaidy said.

Iranian officials say that the establishment of a shipping line can help make Oman a major hub for the re-export of Iranian goods and will lead to an increase in the number of Omani tourists visiting Iran for leisure, business or medical treatments.  

New Ferry for Lake Malawi

Feb 8, 2015

RCI Ventures

A new ferry has been launched on Lake Malawi, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, offering a major boost to transportation in the region. The Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 3307 ‘Chilembwe’ was commissioned by Malawi Shipping Company and built by Damen of The Netherlands, in Monkey Bay shipyard in central Africa. The new vessel is 32 metres long with two fixed-pitch propellers and Caterpillar engines. It will carry 120 passengers and 20 tons of cargo, including food and medicines, at a maximum speed of 22 knots.

Lake Malawi is 365 miles long, 52 miles wide and bordered by Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. Its unpolluted water contains over 1,000 species of fish. Several million people live around the lake in remote fishing villages and on islands. For many their only transport is wooden dug-out canoes, risking crocodiles, hippos and dangerous storms. Speaking at the launch, Francis Kasaila, Malawi’s Minister of Transport and Public Works, said that water transport is an important catalyst for economic growth and poverty reduction on Lake Malawi.