Mar 31, 2015
Sweden's Stena Line has unveiled the world’s first methanol-fuelled ferry, the 2001-built Stena Germanica. Stena opted to try out methanol as a fuel to meet strict emission regulations, rather than liquefied natural gas or distillate fuels, believing it will be more economic for the company in the long run. Half of the €22m ($28m) project cost has been funded by the European Commission as it meets the criteria for Brussels' plans to green the region’s transport chain.
The Stena conversion saw one of the Stena Germanica’s four Wärtsilä four-stroke engines being modified by the engine maker to run off methanol. The preparatory work, which includes special pipeworks, has been done in such a way that if initial tests go well, the other engines will be converted during the year while the vessel is in service.
Mar 27, 2015
The latest vessel by Hobart shipbuilder Incat left Tasmanian waters for a new home in Japan. AKANE is an 85 metre wave piercer and becomes the first high-speed passenger and car carrier to operate for Sado Kisen from Niigata and Naoetsu, on the west coast of Japan, to the Sado Island ports. It will take 692 passengers and crew with vehicle deck space for 151 cars or 330 truck lane metres. AKANE is powered by four Caterpillar diesel engines, each rated at 5,650kW, and driving four Wärtsilä waterjets. Company chairman Bob Clifford said he is in negotiations for further work and will be going to Tokyo soon to talk to potential clients.
Mar 16, 2015
ExxonMobil is expanding its range of specialist fuels for use within Emission Control Areas (ECA) with the introduction of ExxonMobil Premium Advanced Fuel Marine ECA 200 (AFME 200), which has a viscosity comparable to heavy fuel oils. The new fuel joins ExxonMobil Premium HDME 50 as part of a new category of marine fuel that has emerged as a result of the 2015 ECA sulphur limit of 0.10 percent. These low sulphur fuels help engineers safely and efficiently operate their main and auxiliary engines and boilers.
Mar 15, 2015
Hogia Ferry Systems
Last year Canadian operator Marine Atlantic resolved to elevate service levels for freight customers and improve the efficiency in their ports. As an extension to the ferry reservation system BOOKIT, delivered by Hogia Ferry Systems and in operation since 2007, Marine Atlantic selected Hogia’s standard HT Complete solution to be implemented to support the operations at all three ports.
The integrated solution is one of the first of its kind in the marine industry, with real-time synchronised data between a terminal management system and a ferry reservation system. Marine Atlantic benefits from the removal of the need to duplicate data entry and through seamless interaction between terminal operation activities and ferry freight reservations.
Terry Anderson, Terminal Manager, Marine Atlantic, said: “This new workflow management function significantly enhances ability to manage our traffic at our ports; we can now track our drop trailer traffic in real-time, increasing efficiencies for our business and for our commercial customers.”
Mar 14, 2015
At least 33 people have drowned after an overcrowded ferry capsized in northwestern Myanmar. The Aung Tagun 3 was carrying more than 200 passengers when it encountered bad weather and was hit by huge waves on its journey from the coastal town of Taunggok to Sittwe, capital of the western coast state of Rakhine.
Apparently the boat sank because it was overloaded with goods. It was listed as carrying 214 passengers and crew but locals said they feared the ferry was packed with unregistered ticket holders who would not have shown up on the ship's manifest.
Mar 13, 2015
Interferry News Release Interferry has joined other co-organisers in praising last week’s inaugural European Shipping Week (ESW) in Brussels – and is now urging the industry and regulators to build on the initiative’s success by continuing to develop closer cooperation. Hailing the high attendance and constructive discussions at more than 40 events, the trade association’s regulatory affairs director Johan Roos noted: “What struck me most is how all of the shipping representatives and European Union decision makers seemed to be on the same page when we were able to get together like this for the first time. “Interferry is often critical of the EU’s approach to shipping regulations, where new requirements are consistently piled on top of the industry and only rarely with any meaningful preceding dialogue. The week clearly revealed the value of what we lack at present - a proper setting for discussing issues before they emerge in the regulatory process.”
Mar 13, 2015
“The largest Croatian passengers company won't have a new owner; conversely, it will still be owned by the State, due to its strategic importance, to ensure the quality of life on its islands and to sustain domestic tourism”, stated Croatian Minister for Shipping, Transports and Infrastructures, Siniša Hajdaš Doncic.
“We are getting ready to upgrade the company in order to tackle the liberalization of shipping transports in Croatia, due to occur in early 2017 when foreign shipowners will be able to bid for ferries or catamaran service concessions, so as to enable Jadrolinija to fairly compete with them” concludes the Minister, also recalling that Croatian Government annually pays HRK 230 million (€30 million) to subsidize the shipping lines between mainland and the islands.
Mar 10, 2015
Attica Group became the first of Greece’s publicly-listed ferry operators to turn an annual profit after more than five years of crisis. The owner of Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries posted an after-tax profit of €4.3m ($4.7m) for 2014 compared with a loss of €10.1m in 2013. Attica, which is a member of the Marfin Investment Group, had suffered even heavier losses in years prior to that as high fuel prices and the Greek economic and social crisis battered the entire sector.
An extraordinary capital gain of €4m from the sale to Canada last November of one of its vessels, Blue Star Ithaki, contributed to the profit. But the result also included a non-recurring foreign exchange loss of more than €1.4m. The company linked its return to profitability to restructuring its operational model to meet the challenges of the sector, attributing it to a mixture of cost containment, fleet deployment changes, increased turnover and lower fuel oil prices.
Mar 5, 2015
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.
Feb 26, 2015
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.