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Rauma Marine Constructions signs letter of intent for a new car and passenger ferry servicing the Vaasa-Umeå route

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Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has signed its third letter of intent within a short period of time. The newest letter of intent concerns a car and passenger ferry set to operate between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå. The vessel order, with a value of approximately EUR 120 million, will have an impact on employment totalling around 800 person-years. The formal construction agreement is to be signed in early 2019, with the design and construction work set to start immediately thereafter, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of RMC.

”RMC won the public international tender thanks to our expert knowledge and technology. RMC specialises in the design and construction of car and passenger ferries. We are therefore both pleased and proud to have showcased our competence in this area. We are also very grateful for the confidence that the customer has shown in RMC, having commissioned this ferry from us.”

The vessel order comes at an appropriate time for RMC, seeing as the design and construction will mainly be carried out before the construction of the Tallink Shuttle-vessel begins. The letter of intent for the ferry was signed in October last year.

Vessel running on gas and biogas

The ferry, commissioned by Kvarken Link, will accommodate some 800 passengers and has a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for lorries. The vessel will be designed to be environmentally friendly, with a machinery running on a dual fuel and battery solution, and the main source of fuel being liquefied natural gas. The vessel will also be able to utilise, for example, biogas produced in Vaasa.

Car and passenger ferry M/S Hammershus, commissioned by Danish ferry operator Molslinjen, is RMC’s first newbuilding vessel and began operating in September. In comparison to Hammershus, the new ferry between Vaasa and Umeå will be more comprehensively outfitted; it will house more cabin space, as well as a more varied restaurant offering, to name just a few extra touches.

The ferry has an ice class of 1A Super, in order to guarantee that the vessel is able to navigate in the challenging ice conditions of the Kvarken region as independently as possible. RMC’s aim is to ensure the reliability of its vessels in all operating conditions.

Kvarken Link is owned by the city of Umeå and the city of Vaasa, both of whom serve as guarantors of the financing.

Rauma Marine Constructions, which operates from Rauma Shipyard, has seen rapid growth. During autumn, the shipbuilding company has signed letters of intent regarding both a new ferry for Tallink to operate the Helsinki-Tallinn route, and four combat vessels, as part of the Squadron2020 project. In addition, RMC is also currently building blocks for a cruise ship at Turku Shipyard.

Due to the growing number of orders, RMC has actively been recruiting new workforce for the shipyard. The recruitment efforts will continue in the near future, with the aim being to recruit both nationally as well as internationally.

Further photos from the RMC shipyard: https://rmcfinland.fi/contact/media/

Containers caught fire on board the Yantian Express

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On 3 January, a fire broke out in one container on the deck of the Yantian Express and spread to additional containers.

The crew of 8 officers and 15 seafarers is unharmed. Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers were launched immediately but have had to be suspended for the time being due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions.

The 7,510 TEU vessel, which is 320 meters long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service, was built in 2002 and was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal. At present, the ship is approximately 650 nautical miles off the coast of Canada.

It is still too early to make a precise estimate of any damage to the vessel or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is closely cooperating with all relevant authorities.

NorthLink Ferries to operate revised timetable during dry dock period

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NorthLink Ferries has published timetables confirming arrangement for the regular planned maintenance of its passenger vessels, with one vessel at a time due to be out of service between 13 January and 25 March.

MV Hamnavoe, which operates between Scrabster and Stromness, will be removed from service for five days from 13 – 19 January and MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick route from 02 – 18 February and 19 – 25 March.

On the Pentland Firth route, freight vessel MV Helliar will provide a replacement bed and breakfast service for MV Hamnavoe with capacity to carry up to 12 passengers, while MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland will provide additional north and southbound connectivity via Kirkwall by operating the peak summer schedule. Alternative travel arrangements for foot passengers will also be provided between NorthLink Ferries and Pentland Ferries at their respective terminals.

Similar to previous dry dock periods, a reduced service will operate between Aberdeen and Lerwick while MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey are undergoing maintenance. This will result in the sailing of one vessel every other day from Lerwick to Aberdeen while daily freight connections will be continued with additional sailings of MV Helliar and MV Hildasay.

The scheduled dry dock period has been designed to minimise disruption to customers and takes place during the quietest time of year for both passengers and freight shipments. Time in dry dock allows each vessel to receive routine maintenance and necessary repair work.

Stuart Garrett, Serco’s Managing Director at NorthLink Ferries, commented: “We have worked hard to minimise the impact of the maintenance programme on passengers.  We have introduced arrangements that ensure travel demands will be met between Orkney and Caithness while MV Hamnavoe is in dry dock. This includes continuation of the popular bed and breakfast offer, introduction of our freight vessel MV Helliar and increased calls to Kirkwall by MV Hjaltland & MV Hrossey.”

For more information about NorthLink Ferries and to view timetables, visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk

Norway’s warship collides with tanker in fjord

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HNoMS Helge Ingstad was involved in a collision with the oil tanker Sola TS in Norwegian waters around 0400 this morning (8 Nov) while sailing inner Fjords for navigation training.

Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place and the crew was evacuated in a professional manner. There are no reports of damages or leaks from the oil tanker and no report of serious injuries, though eight crewmembers are being treated for minor injuries.

The Norwegian Armed Forces are working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority to address the situation. The Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad is part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The group was sailing in and around the Fjords, following their participation in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 which concluded on November 7th.

Photo: The Norwegian Armed Forces

Hurtigruten orders new hybrid powered expedition ship

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Hurtigruten continues to push the borders for green travel – and orders new, groundbreaking hybrid powered expedition cruise ship.

Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Norway’s Kleven Verft AS for the construction of their third hybrid powered expedition cruise ship.

– We are thrilled to introduce yet another revolutionary hybrid powered expedition ship. This groundbreaking vessel will take our guests to some of the most spectacular areas of our planet, in a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way than ever seen before, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

The new ship’s design, construction, engineering and advanced technology will be based on Hurtigruten’s two next-generation ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, currently under construction at the Norwegian yard.

The new hybrid powered expedition ship, accommodating 530 guests, will be custom built for some of the most extreme conditions on the planet, with specially designed, ice-strengthened hull.

– These are greener, more advanced cruise ships than the world has ever seen – and ships that will raise standards for the whole industry to follow, as we enter a new era of expedition cruising driven by sustainability, Skjeldam says.

Green technology and battery packs

The new Hurtigruten hybrid powered expedition ship is expected to be delivered in Q2 2021.

Among the innovative green features on the new ship, are substantially larger battery packs to make expedition voyages even more sustainable.

– We are grateful for the confidence Hurtigruten shows us by signing a memorandum of understanding for a third, advanced expedition vessel with green technology combined with premium guest comfort. This is a confirmation of our unique skills and facilities, Kleven CEO Olav Nakken says.

17 ships and growing

Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018, Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise operator.

With a growing fleet of 17 custom built expedition ships, Hurtigruten explores unique destinations from pole to pole, including Antarctica, South America, Norway, Svalbard, Greenland, Northwest Passage and other Arctic destinations.

– We strongly believe that Hurtigruten, and our responsible and innovative approach to sustainable solutions, is the perfect fit for the modern-day explorer. Hurtigruten is experiencing a substantial global growth. The expansion we have seen so far, is just the beginning, Skjeldam says.

The Hurtigruten Kleven agreement is subject to certain contingencies, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

Newbuilt shuttle tankers for the Roncador field in Brazil

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The crude oil production from the newly acquired 25 % interest in the Roncador oil field in Brazil will be lifted and transported by shuttle tankers.  Equinor has now entered into time charter contracts for two newbuilt shuttle tanker with the shipowner Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS (Knutsen). The tankers will be built at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

With the acquisition of the interest in the Roncador field, the third largest producing field in Brazil, the Equinor’s equity production in Brazil is increasing to around 100.000 boe per day, an increase of around 60.000 boe per day.  With the newbuilt shuttle tankers, a reliable and robust solution for the evacuation of the equity oil production from the field has been obtained.  The crude will be transferred to conventional tankers and marketed to customer around the world.

‘We have now secured the long-term solution for the lifting of the Roncador crude’ says Kjetil Johnsen, head of Shipping in Equinor.  ‘With these modern and fuel-efficient vessels, we will evacuate the crude oil in a safe, sustainable and cost-efficient way. We are very pleased to enter into this contract with Knutsen with extensive experience from shuttle tanker operations in Brazil.

The vessels are designed for operations in Brazilian waters and are optimized for intended trading pattern. The vessels will come in operation in 2020 and meets all requirements for offshore loading in Brazil. In addition to the new shipping capacity for the Roncador production, Equinor has seven conventional tankers on long term contracts in operation for the Peregrino field.

‘This acquisition of the share in Roncador field is a key element in the building of Brazil as a core area for Equinor’ says Veronica Rezende Coelho, head of Partner-operated Licenses & Area Development in the business area Development and Production Brazil. ‘With these new shuttle tankers, we are securing value creation along the whole value chain from production to market’.

220 ships dismantled worldwide in Apr-June 2018

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Brussels, 25 July 2018 – There were a total of 220 ships broken in the second quarter of 2018. Of these, 169 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia for dirty and dangerous breaking [1]. Between April and June, 6 workers have lost their lives and 7 workers have been severely injured when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Another worker was reported dead after an accident at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India. So far this year, Platform sources have recorded 18 deaths and 9 injuries in South Asia.

As reported in our previous update, worker Shahidul Islam died at Zuma Enterprise in April while breaking the Greek tanker EKTA, owned by Anangel Group. Belal Hossain, Md Musa and Md Najmuddin Alazy were all mortally struck by falling iron pieces during the cutting operations at Asadi Steel, KR Steel and S Trading yards respectively. On 22 May, three workers got severely injured at SN Corporation, where two other workers were killed last year. Farid Ahmed, a cutter man from the Gaibanda region, was hit by an iron piece and killed at Janata Steel on 31 May. One month later, 22 years old Nayon, an employee of Kabir Steel’s Khawja shipbreaking yard, lost his life. Local sources claim that the death of Nayon has been treated as a road accident by the yard management, although there are no police records of such a type of accident having taken place. In 2018, there have already been three deaths linked to Kabir Steel.

According to local sources, three yards in which fatalities occurred this quarter – Kabir Steel, SN Corporation and Janata Steel – are clients of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), although the bank neither confirmed nor denied this when asked. SN Corporation and Kabir Steel are recurring names on the list of companies involved in the death of shipbreaking workers. Janata Steel is the company that bought the infamous FPSO North Sea Producer for which the Bangladesh Supreme Court is expected to pronounce itself shortly with regards to its illegal import. A responsible financer is expected to divest from companies that have an extremely bad track record and continue to ignore basic health and safety precautions for the purpose of cutting costs.

In India, one accident in Alang, which cost the life of a worker, was reported: on 13 April, Ravindra Chaudhari, who was working in Plot 2, was hit by a falling steel plate and died. Plot 2, which has applied to be on the EU List of approved ship recycling facilities, and was one of the first yards in Alang to receive a so-called Statement of Compliance with the Hong Kong Convention by ClassNK, is the main yard of Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. Ltd. Apart from this incident, little is known about accident records in Alang as no information is made publically available by the authorities, and access to the yards by civil society organisations and journalists is not allowed.

In the second quarter of 2018, American ship owners sold the most ships to the South Asian yards with 26 vessels beached, followed by Greek and UAE owners. American company Tidewater was the worst corporate dumper with fifteen vessels beached. In the end of April, Pakistan re-opened the market to the import of tankers. In two months alone, twenty-two tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be scrapped. Industry sources report that devaluing freight rates have contributed to the demolition of over 100 tankers in the first half of 2018.

Only three ships had a European flag – Greece, Malta and Norway – when they were beached last quarter. All ships sold to the Chittagong, Alang and Gadani yards pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, also known as cash-buyers, that often re-register and re-flag the vessel on its final voyage. Grey- and black-listed flags of convenience are particularly popular with cash-buyers, and more than half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. This is the highest number of flag changes recorded by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and raises serious concerns with regards to the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts. They are grey- and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.
NOTES

[1] During the second quarter of 2018, the following number of vessels were broken in other locations: 33 in Turkey, 5 in China, 4 in Europe and 9 in the rest of the world.

 

Stena signs order for two additional E-Flexer ships

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Europe’s leading ferry company has an option on a further four vessels

Stena has decided to exercise its option to build a seventh and eighth E-Flexer vessel. The two vessels will be deployed within Stena Line’s route network with a planned delivery in 2022. Additionally, Stena RoRo has taken an option on the construction of a further four E-Flexer vessels also to be built at Avic Weihai Shipyard, China.

“We are very pleased to have ordered two additional E-Flexer vessels from Stena RoRo. We foresee increasing demand for freight capacity in Northern Europe and our new vessels fit very well in matching anticipated market developments as we prepare ourselves for further expansion. At this stage we haven’t decided where within our route network these two vessels will be deployed and are currently evaluating several options,” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

The new order and the four further options are important milestones for Stena RoRo.

“These vessels are the result of good cooperation between Stena RoRo and the AVIC Weihai Shipyard. With their strong design capabilities, Stena Line will be able to optimise its capacity to accommodate the vessels within most parts of its route network”, says Per Westling, MD Stena RoRo.

As with the previous E-Flexer vessels ordered by Stena, energy efficiency and sustainability will be key design features.

“We want to lead the development of sustainable shipping and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness,” says Niclas Mårtensson.

The two new ships on order will be larger than the three E-Flexer designs currently being built for Stena Line. The first three E-Flexer ships will be 215 meters long with 3 100 lane meters whilst the next two ships will measure 240 meters with a freight capacity of 3 600 lane meters.

“We are building on our successful RoPax concept mixing freight and passenger traffic. Through standardisation we can secure a reliable operation and by investing in tonnage that is flexible we can provide an even better product that will ultimately support our customers and help them to grow”, said Niclas Mårtensson.

A total of eight vessels have now been ordered by Stena from Avic Weihai Shipyard in China. The first one is planned to operate on Holyhead-Dublin and the next two delivered to Stena Line are planned to operate on the Liverpool-Belfast service. Three other vessels will be chartered out to external ferry operators by Stena RoRo.

Facts about E-Flexer 7 and 8

Length over all (LOA): 239,7 m

Width: 27,8 m

Draught, max: 6,4 m

Pax capacity: 1200

No of cabins: 263

Capacity: 3 600 lm

Stena Bulk positions itself in crude oil

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Over the last six months, Stena Bulk has expanded its fleet in the Sonangol Suezmax pool with the addition of six Suezmax tankers. The TC in fleet consists of modern tonnage of varying length and with different options.

  • SKS Skeena
  • Istanbul
  • Almi Galaxy, Almi Voyager and Almi Sky

In what has generally speaking been a stable low market, we have recently seen opportunities to utilise our business model in the current market. With our successful commercial management, we believe, despite continuing rather difficult conditions, that we can make a positive difference and have thus now chartered in six vessels. We are in a good position to expand our pool to about 30 Suexmax tankers and expect to do so with the help of partners and chartered tonnage. We are continuously evaluating the market and acting accordingly”, says Erik Hånell, President & CEO, Stena Bulk.

The successful Stena Sonangol Suezmax pool, which was established in 2005, currently consists of some 25 high-quality Suezmax tankers. The pool is operated in the form of a joint venture owned on a 50-50 basis by Stena Bulk and the Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol. Stena Bulk’s offices in Gothenburg, Houston and Singapore are responsible for operating and chartering of the vessels in the pool, which are deployed in the open spot market worldwide.

Of the about 25 tankers in the pool today, 6 are time chartered and 3 are under commercial management. The average age of all the vessels is seven years.

Why a pool arrangement?
“We now have a relatively long history, when it comes to our joint pool, with a long-term partner. The pool arrangement has many advantages, not only logistic, but mostly, the biggest reason, which includes having a larger market position and, in general, an opportunity to spread the risks resulting from the fluctuations in a volatile market. Opportunities are as well arising from joint developments with a partner with shared views. Access to our global coverage with support and a high utilisation rate due to our operational excellence are also important factors”, says Erik Hånell.

“We have been extremely successful and are one of the leaders when it comes to earnings, both compared with the index and with competing pools and Suezmax fleets”, adds Erik Hånell.

A Suezmax tanker has a length of 270 metres, a beam of 50 metres and a deadweight of 160,000 tons.

NORWEGIAN BLISS MAKES HISTORY AS THE LARGEST SHIP CHRISTENED IN SEATTLE

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Following a month-long tour around Europe and the United States, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, was officially christened in her summer home of Seattle. She was welcomed with a water-canon salute by the Seattle Fire Department, as she cruised into Port of Seattle and will join Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl as the youngest fleet ever to cruise to Alaska.

“Norwegian Cruise Line has been cruising out of the Port of Seattle for eighteen years, and the public-private investment between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Seattle that made the enhancement of Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 possible, demonstrates the commitment we have to the city of Seattle,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “This month, Norwegian celebrates twenty-four years of cruising to Alaska, and with Norwegian Bliss joining our Alaska fleet we will have the largest capacity in our history, offering guests more options to experience the majesty of that destination.”

Led by the godfather, Elvis Duran and The Morning Show crew, nearly 2,400 people witnessed the christening ceremony as it was broadcasted throughout the ship, making it an interactive experience for all on board.

Frank Del Rio and Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, welcomed travel partners, investors and industry representatives on board Norwegian Bliss. Special guests included Meyer Werft representatives governor of Alaska Bill Walker and local officials from Seattle. Also in attendance was the internationally renowned marine life artist Wyland, whose larger-than-life mural adorns the hull of Norwegian Bliss, and stands as an inspiring reminder of the splendor of Alaska and the importance of preserving the world’s oceans.

After the traditional blessings, honorary Godfather, Elvis Duran, officially christened Norwegian Bliss with the symbolic bottle break across the ship’s hull, wishing a safe voyage to all guests and crew wherever in the world she may travel, and commencing an evening full of show-stopping surprises.

Norwegian Bliss will cruise seven-day voyages to Alaska from Seattle and then in October she will sail select voyages to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. For her fall/winter season, she will sail to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami and in 2019; she will sail from New York City to the Bahamas and Florida, the Southern and Western Caribbean.

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