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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ventures into new ‘European River Cruising’ on ‘Brabant’ in 2018

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today [Wednesday 17th May 2017] announced the launch of its new dedicated cruise programme by river boat, unveiled in its new ‘European River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure. Fred. Olsen River Cruises is now offering European river cruise holidays, between 5th April and 3rd November 2018, on board 156-guest river boat, Brabant, to go on general sale from 26th May 2017.

Fred. Olsen will be operating its new river cruise programme – taking in some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle – on a total of 30 departures in 2018, on durations ranging from five to 25 nights, complemented by a selection of high-quality chargeable shore excursions, designed to enhance guests’ experience of the destination.

Fred. Olsen will be bringing its unique style of ‘destination exploration’ to the river cruise market, with exciting itineraries visiting some of Europe’s most stunning rivers, canals and valleys. Guests can choose to sail the breath-taking Danube, taking in the major cities and wildlife-rich Danube Delta; savour the highlights of the heart of Europe, along the twists and turns of the Moselle, Rhine and Main valleys; or enjoy a ‘taster’ cruise to Amsterdam, when the tulips are in full bloom.

Importantly, Fred. Olsen has also incorporated a large amount of scenic cruising in daylight hours into its new river cruise itineraries, so that guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery on offer at the best time of the day.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“At Fred. Olsen, we specialise in creating a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time. In fact, the name Brabant harks back to Fred. Olsen’s historic passenger ship of the same name from the 1920s.

“Guests can rest assured that the new Fred. Olsen river cruises will be underpinned by the usual high standards, award-winning customer service and understated elegance that they have come to expect of our ocean-going offer. We firmly believe that we have crafted the perfect formula to ensure that our new river cruise guests are able to get the most out of their holiday with Fred. Olsen.”

Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise itineraries on board Brabant for 2018 include: Düsseldorf, Germany to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Düsseldorf to Nuremberg, Germany; Nuremberg to Budapest, Hungary; Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest), Romania; Düsseldorf to Basel, Switzerland;and Hirsova (Bucharest) to Düsseldorf.

Built in 2006, 110-metre-long Brabant is a stylish and comfortable river cruise boat, and has everything that guests will need to make their holiday a memorable one: from bright and spacious public areas, to well-equipped bedrooms and ample deck space, from which to enjoy the superb views. With just four decks – Haydn Deck 1, Strauss Deck 2, Mozart Deck 3 and Sun Deck 4 – and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, staffed by 40 crew members, Brabanthas the intimate and friendly feel that Fred. Olsen’s guests know and love.

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river boats, so guests will enjoy the usual hallmarks of Fred. Olsen’s ‘closer’ approach to cruising. In keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going fleet, this smaller-scaled vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance of a country house hotel. Cherry wood interiors and contemporary colours combine to make guests feel relaxed from the moment that they step on board. Juliette balconies with panoramic windows are a feature of many of the rooms, so that guests can enjoy expansive views of Europe’s most impressive waterways.

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in Pounds Sterling. The British taste will also be reflected in the cuisine, customer service and shore tours on offer.

All holidays featured in the new ‘River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure are based on fly-cruises, and include return flights from / to a London airport and transfers to / from the boat. Cruise-only options are also available.

An example itinerary from the new ‘European River Cruisingby Fred. Olsen’ brochure is as follows:

Springtime Dutch Discovery– 5-night fly-cruise via London, from Amsterdam to Dűsseldorf, prices from £999 per person (fly-cruise package) / £749 (cruise-only, excluding flights / transfers), based on two adults sharing a Standard Room.

Selection of dates available: 5th April 2018 (R1801) to 15th April 2018 (R1803)

Ports of call: Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Cruising across IJsselmeer – Hoorn, The Netherlands – Kampen, The Netherlands – Cruising IJssel River – Deventer, The Netherlands – Cruising past Zutphen – Arnhem, The Netherlands – Cruising the Pannerden Canal & Fortress – Nijmegen, The Netherlands – Dűsseldorf, Germany

With so much variety in one short sailing, this is the perfect way to sample the river cruising experience. Starting in Amsterdam, you will be able to visit legendary Keukenhof Gardens and view the vibrant tulips in bloom.

Then, from gliding through Dutch countryside, to transiting the Pannerden Canal, there is a wealth of scenic delights to be discovered, from the elegant comfort of ‘Brabant’. Dotted along the route are towns and cities steeped in seafaring history and authentic culture.

As with its ocean cruises, peace of mind and relaxation start from the moment that guests choose a Fred. Olsen holiday! Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise programme will be reinforced by its industry-leading Enjoyment Promise: if guests book at least 12 weeks in advance, on cruises of five nights or more, and find that the cruise is not for them within 24 hours of sailing, they just need to let Reception know on board and Fred. Olsen promises to arrange and pay for their flight back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of their cruise.

The ATSB has released its preliminary investigation report into the Propulsion failure on board Norwegian Star, Bass Strait, Victoria on 10 February 2017

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On 9 February 2017, the passenger cruise ship Norwegian Star departed Melbourne, Australia, on a scheduled cruise to Dunedin, New Zealand. There were 2113 passengers and 1017 crew on board. On departure, the starboard propulsion unit (Azipod) was operational and the port Azipod was under repair.

At about 0134 on 10 February, the vessel was about 18 nautical miles south-west of Cape Liptrap, Victoria, when the starboard Azipod failed. Propulsion power could not be restored and two tugs were deployed from Melbourne to tow Norwegian Star back to Melbourne. The vessel arrived back without further incident at about midnight on 11 February 2017.

Based on the preliminary information, the ATSB found that the Norwegian Star experienced three separate propulsion unit failures over a period of about nine weeks. In each case, the field exciter unit for the main propulsion motor failed. The first two failures (the starboard unit in December and the port unit in January) involved a breakdown of electrical insulation and the third failure (on 10 February 2017) related to a modification made to the starboard Azipod exciter unit during its earlier repair.

Preliminary investigation report:

Propulsion failure on board Norwegian Star, Bass Strait, Victoria on 10 February 2017

 

Boskalis orders self-propelled mega cutter

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Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has ordered a new self-propelled mega cutter from IHC Merwede. It concerns a sister vessel of the ‘Helios’ which will be taken into service later this year. The new vessel will also have a total installed power of 23,700 kW, a pumping capacity of 15,600 kW and a maximum cutter capacity of 7,000 kW. The new cutters can dredge in extremely hard ground at depths ranging from 6 to 35 meters. The new vessel is expected to be commissioned in the course of 2020.

  

General profile of a cutter suction dredger

A cutter suction dredger (cutter) is a vessel that dredges while being held into place using spuds and anchors. This technique combines powerful cutting with suction dredging. Cutter suction dredgers are mainly used where the underwater surface is hard and compact. The dredged material is sometimes loaded into barges but is generally pumped to land through a pressure pipeline.

Stena Line sustainability targets is paying off

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Stena Line’s increased strategic focus on sustainability and environmental improvements over recent years is starting to pay off.   Key measurement data has shown that fuel consumption and emission levels to the air and sea have both decreased.  The results are contained in a new Stena Line publication, ‘ A Sustainable Journey ’ which also presents information on ambitious targets the company is setting for itself for a more sustainable future. 

“We are one of the world’s leading ferry companies with 27,000 departures per year on our 20 routes. Given the size and scale of our business, we are fully aware of our responsibility to operate in a sustainable way.  Our belief is that a reduced environmental impact is also essential for long-term profitability.  This is why sustainability is included as a central part of our strategy and why we have set ambitious sustainability targets”, said Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson.

Stena Line has extensive experience of investment in energy efficiency transport. The launch of the world’s first methanol-powered ferry, Stena Germanica, in 2015 is a good example. To connect ferries to shore power when in port is another.  However, these are only two examples of some 300 initiatives which Stena Line has implemented to reduce fuel consumption and emissions to sea and air involving the ferry company’s 35 vessels.  A summary in the publication ” A Sustainable Journey ” shows that between 2013-2016 Stena Line managed to decrease fuel consumption by 6.5 % and carbon dioxide emissions by 6.2 % per nautical mile.

Stena Line is now setting course towards a more sustainable future. The sustainability focus is being targeted into four key strategic areas based on the UN global goals for sustainable development – Clean Energy, Sustainable Consumption, Life Below Water as well as Good Health and Well-Being. Within each focus area a number of specific and ambitious goals have been set for the short and long term, including:

  • Clean energy …reduce carbon emissions per nautical mile by 2.5% annually and a total of 35% between 2010-2030.
  • Sustainable consumption … replace disposable items and plastic bags onboard during 2017-2018.
  • Life below water … halve the use of harsh chemicals by 2020 and completely phase them out by 2030.
  • Good health and well-being … continuously reduce workplace accidents to the target 1.2 LTIF (Lost Time Injury Frequency) 2017.

“This gives us a strong foundation and signposts the direction for our sustainability efforts ahead. In the coming year, we will launch a number of major new projects primarily in the areas of clean energy and sustainable consumption.  Tests with battery power on one of our ferries and biodegradable bags onboard are just two exciting projects in the pipeline”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Stena Line’s Sustainability Manager.

In the Autumn of 2017 the construction of Stena Line’s new RoPax vessels will start in China. The new ships are scheduled to be delivered between 2019-2020 and will be among the most fuel efficient RoPax vessels in the world.  The new vessels will deliver 25% lower carbon dioxide emissions per freight unit compared to today’s ferries and they will also be pre-prepared for gas, scrubbers and catalytic reduction systems.

“A Sustainable Journey” can be downloaded from:

http://www.stenaline.com/en-GB-corp/our-sustainable-journey

Norwegian Cruise Line provides first look at new Project Leonardo-Class ships

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Norwegian Cruise Line showed first images of its new Project Leonardo-Class ships at Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami yesterday. Four firmly ordered ships will be delivered by Fincantieri S.p.A. as of 2022. In addition, the cruise line holds the option of two further ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

“We are looking forward to this exciting new generation of ships. The new, breathtaking design will offer our guests a flexible on-board experience with an incredible array of offerings and further integrates inside and outside spaces, so they feel more connected with the sea”, says Christian Böll, Managing Director Europe, Middle East and Africa Norwegian Cruise Line.

The four 140,000 gross ton ships will each accommodate approximately 3,300 guests. The new class of ships will build upon the highly successful offering of freedom and flexibility found on the brand’s most recent Breakaway-Plus Class ships and feature a host of innovative designs that will further elevate its already award-winning guest experience. A priority of the prototype design is energy efficiency, with the aim of optimising fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment. Details on the ships’ many innovative guest facing and first at sea features will be announced at a later date.

NYK Cruises Announces WORLD CRUISE 2018 Schedule -A Blissful Voyage of Over 100 Days on Asuka II-

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NYK Cruises Co. Ltd. (head office: Yokohama; president: Hiroshi Hattori) has announced the schedule for the WORLD CRUISE 2018 aboard Asuka II. This will be the 22nd world cruise* to have been offered by Asuka II or its predecessor Asuka since 1996.
The 2018 voyage will be a 102-day cruise departing from Yokohama, Japan, on March 25, 2018, crossing the northern hemisphere, and making stops in or sailing through Asia, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, Europe, the Atlantic, North America, the Panama Canal, and the Pacific. The cruise will include a private tour of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and guests will also have the option of a private tour of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. In Lisbon, Portugal, a tour option will include a private dinner at the Hieronymites Monastery. **
Eight ports will be first-time stops for Asuka II: Civitavecchia, Italy; Valencia, Spain; Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory; Bilbao, Spain; Hamburg, Germany; Halifax, Canada; Saint John, Canada; and Baltimore, U.S.
Last year, NYK marked the 25th year of service by the Asuka cruise brand. The NYK Group will continue its efforts to provide high quality cruise products that meet the passions of its customers.
* The 22 world cruises include two cruises to South America and the Antarctic.
** The cruise fare does not include the shore excursions to the Sistine Chapel and Hieronymites Monastery. The number of guests for those events will be limited.
Asuka II
Gross Tonnage: 50,142 GT
Sea speed: 21 KT
Passengers: 872
Crew: 470
Cabins: 436 (All oceanview cabins)
NYK Cruises Co. Ltd. website: http://www.asukacruise.co.jp/english/

Stena Impeccable delivered to Stena Bulk

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The Stena Impeccable , the tenth of 13 IMOIIMAX tankers ordered from the Chinese shipyard in Guangzhou, China, has been delivered to Stena Bulk. The chemical and product tanker Stena Impeccable has a length of 183 metres, a beam of 32 metres and a deadweight of 50,000 tons. The tanker, which is wholly owned by Stena Bulk, will be operated by Stena Weco and will sail in the company’s logistics system, which currently employs more than 60 vessels.

IMOIIMAX is a further development of an already well-established concept. The innovative technical design was developed by Stena Teknik together with the shipyard Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI). This MR tanker is characterised by extra large cargo flexibility, a high level of safety and low fuel consumption, i.e. 10-20% lower than that of equivalent vessels when sailing at service speed.

With offices in six countries, Stena Bulk is one of the world’s leading tanker shipping companies. The company controls a combined fleet of around 100 vessels. Stena Bulk is part of the Stena Sphere, which has more than 20,000 employees and sales of SEK 60 billion. www.stenabulk.com

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Some of the technical solutions that will result in more efficient energy consumption and greater logistic flexibility:  

  • Main engine auto-tuning
    With an auto-tuning system, the combustion process in each cylinder is continuously automatically controlled for optimal main engine performance.    
  • More efficient boiler with recovery from multiple heat source
    The vessel is also equipped with a so-called exhaust gas multi-inlet composite boiler, one of the very first to be installed. This boiler not only recovers energy from the main engine’s exhaust gas but also recovers the exhaust gas energy from the auxiliary engines. In addition the boiler has an oil-fired section that can be used in port, thus avoiding the need to run the larger oil-fired boilers to heat the vessel. This, together with main engine auto-tuning and part-load optimization of the auxiliary engines, will result in very efficient energy consumption.
  • Recovery of propeller energy loss
    All propellers lose some of the energy input in the rotating water behind the propeller. With the IMOIIMAX, the energy loss is recovered by fitting a Hub Vortex Absorbing Fin.
  • Aerodynamic design of the accommodation and bridge
    In heavy weather, wind resistance can be significant. The streamlined design of the accommodation and the bridge means that the IMOIIMAX is less affected by wind resistance than other similar vessels.
  • All cargo tanks are designed to accept any type of cargo the vessel can transport
    An IMOIIMAX has 18 cargo tanks. They are all the same and are designed to hold a maximum of 3,000 m3, i.e. the maximum volume permitted for the special-type cargoes the ship can transport.
  • Effective tank-cleansing system
    The flushing system installed ensures that the cleansing process is optimised and since four tanks at a time can be flushed, the time between discharge and loading can be minimized.

Norwegian Joy, first custom-designed cruise ship for China, floats out from building dock in Germany

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Norwegian Joy, soon to be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first cruise ship custom designed for China, was floated out of MEYER WERFT’s covered building dock II on Saturday, March 4 in Papenburg, Germany, where the 168,800-ton ship has been under construction since September 2015. Beginning early Saturday morning, the 3,850 passenger vessel, with her distinctive hull artwork designed by Chinese artist Tan Ping, departed building dock II. Norwegian Joy is the second ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus Class.

Arriving in Summer 2017 with home ports in Shanghai and Beijing (Tianjin), Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market and designed to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences.

Norwegian Joy’s float out represents a major milestone in the vessel’s construction. With the ship being well on her way to completion, she will now move into the final phase of construction with delivery taking place on April 27, 2017.

“We are thrilled that Norwegian Joy is now one step closer to delivery and one step closer to delivering on our promise to create a First Class at Sea experience for our Chinese guests,” said David J. Herrera, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China President.

From the ship’s beautiful and symbolic hull artwork to her thrilling first-ever racetrack at sea, Norwegian Joy represents Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to providing an unparalleled cruise experience for Chinese consumers.

Norwegian Joy

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Joy is Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship customized for China. The name Norwegian Joy emphasizes the experience that the ship will offer, a promise that guests will ‘Experience Paradise on the Sea.’ Accommodating 3,850 guests with luxurious suites in the exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex, the new Breakaway-Plus Class Ship will debut in China in summer 2017.

Designed to provide First Class at Sea experiences with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests, Norwegian Joy will provide a multitude of VIP accommodations including The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex, which will also include an all-new Observation Deck that features 180 degree views, and a Concierge level, an all-new accommodations category which will provide a VIP experience and feature larger balcony staterooms. Accommodation offerings will also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together, as well as a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies.

Norwegian Joy will offer engaging and innovative activities including a first at sea two-level competitive racetrack, an open-air laser tag course, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls at the Galaxy Pavilion as well as hover craft bumper cars, a state-of-the-art racing

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line and to book a cruise on one of these exciting new itineraries, visit www.ncl.eu.

Scandlines now operates two hybrid ferries on the Rostock-Gedser route

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On Sunday evening 5 February 2017, the two new hybrid ferries M/V Berlin and M/V Copenhagen went into ordinary service on the Rostock-Gedser route.

In May and December 2016, Scandlines inserted two new ferries on the Rostock-Gedser route. Until then the route had been operated by two former Great Belt ferries, which were no longer able to meet the capacity requirements. For the first time in history, two new ferries were especially designed for the route as Scandlines wanted to give the customers a special maritime experience on board as well as increase the effectiveness of the service.

The vessels were originally fitted with a combined diesel mechanic and diesel electric propulsion system. As part of the completion at the Danish shipyard FAYARD A/S, a battery bank was installed so that the vessels operate as hybrid ferries today. Subsequently to the delivery, a yard stay was planned in order to complete the technical installations. This work has now been completed, and on Sunday both ferries went into ordinary service on the Rostock-Gedser route.

The two new ferries are operated by the Scandlines’ hybrid propulsion system combining traditional diesel power with electric battery power. This enables the ferry to optimise its fuel consumption by adjusting its engine output, and at the same time there is a redundant power supply in case one of the diesel engines stops unintentionally. Along with other optimising initiatives, the fuel consumption of the vessels has been reduced to almost one third per crossing per car compared to the former ferries on the route.

Both new vessels have also been fitted with an exhaust gas cleaner, a so-called closed-loop-scrubber. The scrubber cleans at least 90 percent of the sulphur and particulate matter out of the exhaust gas, thereby emitting water vapour from the funnel of the ferry.

At 18,000 kW, the vessels operate at speeds of up to 22 knots (41 km/h), and the 48.9 km between Rostock and Gedser are covered in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

With space for 460 cars or 96 lorries the capacity on the route has been more than doubled. Furthermore, Scandlines has extended the timetable so that there are up to 21 daily departures.

About Scandlines

Scandlines stands as a symbol of a historical and close cooperation between Denmark, Germany and Sweden since 1872. Under the names Scandlines and Scandlines Helsingør-Helsingborg three short ferry routes are marketed with high capacity and frequency and with a green vision for the future.

The core business is to provide an efficient and reliable transport service for both passengers and freight customers. The main focus for all activities in Scandlines is to create value for our customers on board the ferries as well as in the shops of Scandlines.

With more than 90,000 departures on 12 ferries, in 2015 Scandlines transported 15 million passengers, 3.3 million cars, 900,000 freight units and 65,000 busses on the routes Puttgarden-Rødby, Rostock-Gedser and Helsingør-Helsingborg.

Read more about Scandlines at www.scandlines.com

Ninth IMOIIMAX tanker, Stena Immaculate, named in Guangzhou, China

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Guests at the Stena Immaculate’s naming ceremony. Photo Silverbullet
Guests at the Stena Immaculate’s naming ceremony. Photo Silverbullet

The Stena Immaculate , the ninth of a total of 13 IMOIIMAX MR tankers, was named today, 10 January 2017. The vessel is owned by Stena Bulk and her godmother was Katarina Ljungqvist, Head of Handelsbanken Western Sweden. The solemn naming ceremony was held at the shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International) in Guangzhou from where the vessel will be delivered within the next few days.

A large number of guests, from both corporate management and partners as well as representatives of the shipyard had gathered on the quayside to attend the naming ceremony. The ceremony began with traditional Chinese dance and music before godmother Katarina Ljungqvist swung the bottle of champagne against the tanker’s bows and wished the vessel, her captain and his crew fortune and prosperity on the seven seas. The Stena Immaculate’s captain, Sachin Salunkhe, then showed the guests around the newly built vessel. On her maiden voyage, with a cargo including vegetable oils, she will sail from Papua New Guinea to Europe.

“Almost exactly two years have passed since the delivery of our first IMOIIMAX tanker and the vessels are continuing to perform beyond our expectations. The concept has set a new standard for both cargo efficiency and bunkers consumption. With number nine of the13 vessels on order soon out on the market, this tanker will be yet another addition to our high-quality fleet. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the shipyard GSI for fantastic collaboration during both the technological development and construction”, said Erik Hånell, President & CEO, Stena Bulk.

Facts – the IMOIIMAX concept
The chemical and product tanker has a length of 183 metres, a beam of 32 metres and a deadweight of 50,000 tons. IMOIIMAX is a further development of an already well-established concept and the innovative technical design was developed by Stena Teknik together with the Chinese shipyard GSI. It offers several advantages such as extra large cargo flexibility, a high level of safety and economical fuel consumption – 10-20% lower than that of equivalent vessels when sailing at service speed.

All the IMOIIMAX tankers will be included in a fleet operated by Stena Weco and will sail in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs more than 60 vessels.

The delivery of the tenth IMOIIMAX tanker, the Stena Impeccable , is expected to take place in March 2017. The remaining three vessels will be delivered by 2018. Five of the 13 IMOIIMAX tankers are wholly owned by Stena Bulk, four together with GAR (Golden Agri Resources), two by Stena Bulk’s sister company Concordia Maritime and two by Stena Weco.

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