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Interferry Welcomes IMO Decision on LNG Fuel Tanks

Nov 24, 2014

Interferry News Release

Interferry has welcomed a decision at last week’s IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting (MSC94) setting out rules for the location of fuel tanks on LNG-powered ships – a decision that the trade association says will safeguard further development of the LNG option. Following concerted cross industry coordination, key member states agreed a way forward that offers impact protection of the tanks in the event of collision or grounding while avoiding the potentially prohibitive requirements of proposals previously under discussion. 

Until now the IMO’s efforts to avoid damage to LNG tanks and the consequent fire hazard have focused on placement of the tanks according to a mix of prescriptive rules and sophisticated calculation models.  This has caused increasing concern among ship designers and owners because LNG is more voluminous per energy content than conventional fuels and therefore needs bigger tank systems.  Objectors to the approach argued that the space methodology limited the fuel autonomy of vessels - raising the unreasonable expectation of them having to refuel at every port of call. 

Good News from Greece

Nov 21, 2014

Shippax Information

Riding on the wave of a strong summer, Greece’s Attica Holdings, operator of Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries, has pushed up its profit for the first nine months of 2014. The company's €6.11m net profit for the first three quarters of 2014 is a significant 47% increase on the €4.15m recorded 12 months ago. The company notes that for the nine months of 2014 the revenue increase was registered in the Greek domestic routes, but was offset by a decrease in income in the Adriatic Sea. With Attica in positive territory for the nine months, a €4m boost is set to come in the final quarter from the sale of the BLUE STAR ITHAKI to the Canadian government for €31m.

Stena to Convert Ferry to Methanol

Nov 19, 2014

Lloyd’s List

STENA Line has confirmed it will be converting one of its vessels to run off methanol. The Stena Germanica conversion will cost €22m ($27.6m) and will begin in January 2015. The conversion is in response to the sulphur emission regulations that come into force at the end of this year. All vessels operating in an emission control area will be forced to use fuels that have less than 0.1% sulphur content or use abatement technology to remove the sulphur in the ships’ exhaust to an equivalent level.

Some owners such as DFDS and Finnlines have already said they will mostly use exhaust gas scrubbers to meet the sulphur challenge, while others have begun ordering dual-fuelled vessels capable of running off liquefied natural gas.

MAN to PowerNew Chinese Ferries

Nov 18, 2014

World Maritime News

MAN Diesel & Turbo has secured a contract for the supply of four engines for the diesel-mechanical propulsion of two passenger ferries for Chinese shipping companies, Huadong Ferry and Dadong Ferry. The two newbuildings are currently under construction at Huanghai Shipyard in Shangdong, China. Both vessels have a passenger capacity of 1,500 and are intended to connect South Korea with the Chinese mainland upon entering service.

The China Shipowners’ Association has proposed limiting the maximum age of a vessel in service to 28 years. The two ferry newbuildings will enter service in autumn 2016, replacing vessels about to reach the new, proposed age limit. In the near future, more and more ships are similarly expected to be decommissioned.

Gotland Orders LNG Ferry from China

Nov 14, 2014

World Maritime News

Sweden’s Rederi AB Gotland has signed a contract with GSI Shipyard in China for a new LNG-powered ro-pax ferry with the capacity to carry 1650 passengers. Upon delivery in 2017 the new ferry will become the first Swedish-flagged passenger vessel powered by LNG. The ferry is a SEK 1 billion (USD 134.9m) investment and the single largest investment in the company’s 150-year history.

Rederi AB Gotland has had a successful relationship with GSI Shipyard since 1999, when the contract was signed for M/S Visby and M/S Gotland, which were delivered in 2003. In the years 2006 to 2012 the yard delivered a total of six product tankers to Gotland.

Gotland says that it worked together with GSI on the design of the new ferry to create optimal hull lines for reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. The concept of the ship is a further development of the existing SF1500 ship design. Following the order, Gotland will focus on creating the necessary LNG supply infrastructure.

Bohai Ferry Launches the Biggest Ro-Pax in Asia

Nov 14, 2014

Shippax Information

Bohai Ferry, the Shandong-based Chinese cruise and ferry operator, has just launched the biggest ro-pax unit in Asia. BO HAI MA ZHU, a luxury 35,000 gross tonne, 2,300-pax ferry built by Huanghai Shipyard, is expected to enter service on the busy Yantai-Dalian route in February 2015. Its sister ship, BO HAI ZUAN ZHU (BOHAI DIAMON PEARL), which was launched in September, is reportedly in the final stage of the construction process. She will enter service in January 2015 on one of the Bohai Bay routes.

Sewol Jail Terms too Harsh

Nov 12, 2014

Lloyd’s List

Seafarer groups have condemned the 36-year prison term handed to Lee Joon-seok, master of the Korean ferry Sewol, which sunk with the loss of almost 300 lives last April. Capt Lee was acquitted of homicide but he was found guilty of negligence in failing to organize evacuation efforts, and violating maritime law by leaving the ship before the passengers. Park Gi-ho, the ferry’s chief engineer, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 30 years. Another 13 crew members — including the chief officer and second mate — face between five and 20 years behind bars.

Seafarer professionals believe that a number of factors were at work and that crew has been made to carry the can for the failings of others. Hans Sande, president of the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Association, described the decision as a travesty of justice. 

European Shipowners Launch Low Sulfur Impact Survey

Nov 7, 2014

Maritime Executive

European shipowners have launched a survey to monitor the economic impact of the 0.1 percent sulfur requirements for shipping in the European Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECAs), which are due to enter into force on 1 January 2015. Numerous reports have already been published on the implementation of the new sulfur rules and the ensuing risks of a modal backshift (from sea to land-based transport), but have so far primarily been based on forecasts.

“As we get closer to the entry into force of the new rules it becomes vital to move to fact-based analyses and take stock of what is actually happening in the market,” says Patrick Verhoeven, European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA) secretary general.

Flensburger CEO Steps Down

Nov 6, 2014

Shippax Information

After 18 successful years at German shipyard Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG),Peter Sierk has stepped down from his position as CEO. Ulf Bertheau has been appointed as temporary CEO.

“After turbulent and exhausting years – also for me personally – we were able to lead FSG into calmer waters during the past weeks, and to work out an optimal perspective for the future of the yard” said Peter Sierk. “I know FSG to be in very good hands with Siem Industries and I am sure that FSG and Siem together are very well positioned for a new start.”

He has agreed with the new Supervisory Board to support the yard in finding a suitable successor for the position of CEO. During the transition period he will also proactively assist the new Supervisory Board as well as his temporary successor Ulf Bertheau and the future CEO.

[Siem Industries formally acquired FSG last week. Siems is a diversified industrial holding company with interests in shipping, mining and finance.]

Polferries Sale is Relaunched

Oct 29, 2014

Lloyd’s List

The Polish Treasury is seeking to raise more than $14m from selling a 91% interest in state-owned Polferries (Polish Baltic Shipping Co) which runs three vessels to ports in Sweden and Denmark. The company reported net losses in 2010 and 2011, then a net gain of Zloty6.4m ($1.9m) in 2012. However, the results for 2013 have not been made public.

The Polish government is offering 9.5m shares representing more than 91% of the company, with a minimum share price of Zloty4.90. This values the company shares being sold at Zloty46.6m and the company at about $15.4m.

Interested parties have until November 26 to submit by hand a sealed offer, along with a Zloty4m security deposit. The ministry said the sole substantive criterion will be the price offered for the shares in Polferries.

Danish operator DFDS previously eyed the company as it sought consolidation. Grimaldi-controlled Finnlines has said it is looking to join the bidding.