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Interferry Applauds IMO Move to Consider Ballast Water Exemption

Oct 24, 2014

Interferry News Release

Interferry has praised a decision at last week’s meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) that could exempt certain ferry operators from fitting equipment required by the impending Ballast Water Management Convention to reduce the spread of invasive species.

In a joint submission with Denmark, the trade association argued that ballast water management systems were irrelevant for ships continuously operating in the same body of water, such as between the UK and Ireland. The MEPC responded by agreeing that one of its sub-committees should further consider the issue - including how appropriate operators could obtain an exemption certificate.

Interferry’s director of regulatory affairs Johan Roos comments: “This is a very welcome step in the light of mounting concerns by short sea operators in general and ferry operators in particular. We recognise the need to act on the movement of invasive species between geographical areas where natural spread does not occur, but in our view there is no added value to the environment by destroying organisms that may spread naturally.”

Interislander Boss Steps Down

Oct 17, 2014

The Dominion Post

Thomas Davis, general manager of New Zealand’s Interislander ferry service is stepping down. He circulated an email to staff and customers late yesterday afternoon advising them that he would be leaving as part of a major KiwiRail restructuring exercise.

Ross Allen was appointed acting general manager, Interislander Operations, from yesterday.  Davis will leave the company at the end of November as a result of his position being disestablished in the restructuring exercise.

In his farewell email yesterday Davis said the rail industry in New Zealand was continually restructuring, while seeking to provide safe, efficient and customer focused services.
"A restructure is in progress at the moment with the aim of achieving the next step forward. It has provided me with an opportunity to consider my own career and in doing so, I have decided that leaving KiwiRail is the best option for me and my family."

Get Ready for Dangerous Goods Code Revisions

Oct 16, 2014

Exis Technologies

Amendment 37-14 of the IMDG Code will be introduced on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2015 and will be mandatory from 1 January 2016. Interferry member Exis Technologies has produced a free comprehensive summary of the Amendment which is available at

Exis is in the process of updating their products to align them with Amendment 37-14. The updated products will be available from December 2014 and Interferry members are eligible for a 30% discount.

Hazcheck Systems:

IMDG Code e-learning:

CTUpack e-learning:

Contact for a free trial or a 30% discount quoting INTERFERRY 2014

Interferry Conference Summary

Oct 16, 2014

A wide-ranging review of the ferry industry’s latest challenges and opportunities attracted a record 340 delegates to Vancouver last week for the 39th annual Interferry conference. The global trade association event exposed a string of concerns – notably over punitive safety and environmental regulations – but also highlighted the financial potential of new routes, onboard shopping incentives and the use of LNG fuel.

Alongside sessions on the future of the industry, Canada-based CEO Len Roueche outlined a vision for maintaining Interferry’s influential lobbying role among politicians and regulators. The association opened an office in Brussels in 2012 to cover IMO and European Union affairs. Funding for the start-up and operating costs for the first three years was provided by 11 major Interferry operators. From 2015 funding responsibility will be assumed by Interferry.

Brittany Ferries Cancels LNG Projects

Oct 15, 2014

Marine Log

French operator, Brittany Ferries, has pulled the plug on plans to switch to LNG fueling that included the building of a 2,474 passenger/800 car LNG fueled ROpax ferry at STX France and the conversion of three existing ROpax ships. The ferry company said that the conditions necessary to realize its LNG plans had not been met and that, two and a half months before the January 1, 2015 entry into force of new emissions regulations, all indications were that there would be no temporary exemption for shipowners undertaking an environmental transition plan.

Brittany Ferries Supervisory Council President Jean Marc Roue said it was impossible for the company to afford the investment needed for the LNG plan while paying tens of millions of euros in added fuel costs for gasoil during the period needed for the conversion of vessels to LNG. Scrubbers will now be installed on the three ships originally slated for conversion to LNG and, meantime, Brittany Ferries will allow itself time to study a replacement vessel for its ferry Bretagne. The company still considers LNG to be a viable economic and ecological option for the French maritime industry.

Vancouver Conference Press Release

Sep 29, 2014

Two major examples of Interferry’s growing influence will be highlighted next week at the global trade association’s 39th annual conference in Vancouver.

CEO Len Roueche will report on his nomination to a new UN high level advisory group on sustainable transport, while executive director for European Union and IMO affairs Johan Roos will explain a breakthrough by ferry operators in obtaining EU funding to help them comply with the low sulphur rules that enter force in Emission Control Areas next January.

The recently confirmed EU aid has been granted under the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) programme, which includes the Motorways of the Seas (MoS) initiative promoting environmentally friendly alternatives to overland transport. Previous TEN-T funding focused on road, rail and port infrastructure, with ships largely excluded because they were defined as ‘floating assets’.

Alaska Ferries to be Built in Alaska

Sep 22, 2014

KRBD Ketchikan

The Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard will build two new ferries for the Alaska Marine Highway System over the next few years. “The construction contract to build both ferries in Ketchikan at $101.5 million, the economic and job benefits are going to be felt throughout the community, throughout the region and throughout the state,” said Gov. Sean Parnell. The ferries will be the first Alaska Marine Highway System vessels built in Alaska, and Parnell said that when they’re completed they also will be the largest vessels ever built in the state.

“The ferries will be 280 feet long, seat up to 300 passengers and carry 53 standard vehicles,” he said. “Each ferry will feature bow and stern doors for quicker loading and unloading, fully enclosed car decks, and controllable pitch propellers to maximize maneuverability and efficiency. A modified hull design will greatly improve traveler comfort during rough weather.” Both of the new vessels will be day boats to serve the Lynn Canal route between Juneau, Haines and Skagway. Delivery of the two vessels is expected by 2018.

LNG Bunkering Study Wins EU Funding

Sep 20, 2014

Lloyd’s List

A Qatar-backed study project that is being steered from Greece has become the first cross-border LNG bunkering project in southern Europe to receive a green light from Brussels. Poseidon-Med aims to design “a comprehensive value chain for the use of LNG as marine fuel in the East Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea”. It has qualified for €5.1m ($6.6m), or 50%, funding from the European Union’s Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) programme and the study is scheduled to be completed in December 2015. Work on the project began at the end of last year, before the application for funding was made.

By February next year, the project team hopes to have drawn up feasibility studies and a timetable for retrofitting six vessels for LNG as a fuel. The vessels will be of different types — a car-passenger fast catamaran, a ro-ro ferry, a medium-sized conventional ro-pax ferry, a large ro-pax cruise ferry, a car carrier and a handysize cargoship. In Greece there is already political backing for converting much of the domestic ferry fleet to run on LNG.

Staten Island Ferry Gets Big Federal Grant

Sep 17, 2014

Marine Log

The Staten Island Ferry got a big boost today in the form of a $191.6 million federal grant that will fund the construction of two new 4,500–passenger ferries, harden ferry facilities against flood damage, and add emergency ferry landings around New York City.

“This funding will provide better ferry service for the 22 million passengers who ride the Staten Island Ferry every year, and better prepare New York City for future storms,” says New York City DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. 

The new ferries will offer critical protection and replace two vessels that have reached the end of their useful life. They will each have four Voith Schneider Propellers, along with side doors, which will allow them to operate in more extreme weather conditions and dock at other terminals around the city in case of emergency. NYCDOT early selected Elliott Bay Design Group of Seattle to design the new class of ferries.

Electric Ferry Wins Ship of the Year

Sep 15, 2014

Maritime Executive

Norwegian ferry owner Norled and Fjellstrand Yard have won the prestigious "Ship of the Year" industry award presented in Hamburg last week for the world's first battery driven car ferry – ZeroCat 120. Rolls-Royce contributed to the innovative ZeroCat 120 ferry with optimized Azipull thrusters and hull design and hydrodynamics, based on advanced analysis.

An important factor in the development of the ferry was to provide a propulsion system with the lowest possible energy consumption during fjord crossings, and at the same time ensure safe and efficient low speed maneuvering when operating near piers. The propulsion system is a key element in lowering energy requirements, enabling a reasonably sized battery pack to be installed onboard. To achieve high energy efficiency, the system from Rolls-Royce has a low propeller rotation rate, propeller blades with high aspect ratio and a low blade area, as well as a slender thruster body. The battery technology and electrical systems are provided by Siemens.