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Traffic start for M/V Gute on Gdynia-Karlskrona

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The strong growth within Stena Lines freight business on Baltic Sea South continues. This call for increased capacity and from Monday the 28th of August a fourth ship, M/V Gute, has been taken into operation between Gdynia and Karlskrona.

In 2016 the number of freight units on the route increased significantly and in the first eight months in 2017 the growth continues.

“Over these last few years we have experienced a very positive volume development and we believe this will continue and we are very happy to introduce a fourth ship since we are in need of extra capacity to be able to continue to grow. Our route between Poland and Sweden is strategically important to Stena Line and an integral part of the infrastructure linking the Central part of Europe with Scandinavia”, says Marek Kiersnowski, Trade Director – responsible for Stena Line’s operation between Poland and Sweden.

M/V Gute is time-chartered from Gotlandsbolaget. The vessel will be a complement to Stena Vision, Stena Spirit and Stena Baltica with the major focus on Stena Line’s freight operation. The introduction of M/V Gute will add an additional 8 trips a week and now Stena Line can offer 44 weekly trips on the route.

“We see continued strong demand for extra capacity and for our customers it is very important that we have availability and flexibility, and these developments are in line with our growth strategy. M/V Gute will be a great addition to our fleet leading to a timetable more adaptable to our freight customers ensuring the best possible service and maintaining our strong market position with the Baltic Port in Karlskrona and the new terminal in Gdynia which are important hubs for both freight and passengers,” says Marek Kiersnowski.

Facts M/V Gute 

Crossing time: 14 hours

Length: 138 m

Width: 16 m

Freight capacity: 865 lane meters

First tanker crosses northern sea route without ice breaker

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On 17 August 2017, the Sovcomflot-owned icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie successfully completed her first commercial voyage, transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Norway to South Korea. During this voyage, the vessel set a new time record for an NSR transit of just 6 days 12 hours and 15 minutes. Moreover, Christophe de Margerie has also become the world’s first merchant vessel to travel the full length of the NSR without any icebreaker escort.

During her record-setting voyage, the LNG carrier covered 2,193 nautical miles (4,060 km) from Cape Zhelaniya of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago to Cape Dezhnev at Chukotka, Russia’s easternmost continental point.

The vessel again proved her ability to operate in harsh, high-latitude environments. Her average speed during the passage exceeded 14 knots, despite the fact that in some areas she had to sail through ice fields 1.2 metres thick.

The total time of the voyage from Hammerfest in Norway to the port of Boryeong in South Korea was 19 days, about 30 per cent faster than the regular southern route through the Suez Canal. This again demonstrates the economic potential of using the Northern Sea Route for large-capacity vessel transits.

Christophe de Margerie is the world’s first and currently the only icebreaking LNG carrier. This unique vessel has been built to order for SCF Group (Sovcomflot) to serve the Yamal LNG project and transport LNG year-round in the difficult ice conditions of the Kara Sea and Gulf of Ob. The vessel was delivered to Sovcomflot on 27 March 2017, following her successful ice trials in the Kara and Laptev Seas.

The LNG carrier is capable of sailing independently through ice of up to 2.1 metres thick. She has been assigned an ice class Arc7, the highest ice class amongst existing merchant vessels. Meanwhile the power of her propulsion system is 45 MW, which is comparable to the capacity of a modern nuclear-powered icebreaker. Christophe de Margerie became the world’s first vessel with a high ice-class to have three Azipod units installed, providing the vessel with a high ice-breaking capability and significant manoeuvrability.

The LNG carrier is named after Christophe de Margerie, the former CEO of Total, who  played a key role in developing the investment decisions behind, and a technological basis for, the Yamal LNG project. He also made a major contribution to the development of Russo-French economic relations in general.

Stena Imperator and Stena Imprimis in double naming ceremony in Guangzhou

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Yesterday, the Stena Imperator side by side with her sister the Stena Imprimis were named at the Chinese shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International) in Guangzhou in southeast China. The two vessels are nos. 11 and 12, in a series of 13 identical IMOIIMAX tankers all ordered by Stena Bulk. The 13th and last IMOIIMAX tanker will be delivered in January next year. Both the now named vessels are owned by Stena Bulk.

It was a hot summer day when the hundred or so guests from all over the world gathered on the quayside for the solemn double naming ceremony. The two proud godmothers – for the Stena Imperator , Ylva Syrén Carlsson and for the Stena Imprimis , Denise Baum – as tradition dictates, wished the vessels, their captains and crews fortune and prosperity on the seven seas and swung the bottles of champagne against the tankers’ bows.

“It was a spectacular sight with the two sister tankers beside each other and the somewhat unusual situation as such made the naming ceremony a bit special and extra festive. We are now approaching the final delivery of our large order consisting of 13 IMOIIMAX tankers. We are very proud of and satisfied with our fleet, which now consists of ten units in operation. Both the technical and the commercial concept have proved to be very successful”, says Erik Hånell, President & CEO, Stena Bulk.

The captain on board the Stena Imperator is Mikhail Kutuzov and Alexey Vaganov will serve as captain on board the Stena Imprimis . The Stena Imperator will be delivered next week and the delivery of the Stena Imprimis is expected to take place in about two months. On her maiden voyage, the Stena Imperator will sail with a cargo of vegetable oil to Papa New Guinea and then to Rotterdam. The two tankers will be operated by Stena Bulk’s Product and Chemical Operation and will sail in its global logistics system, which currently employs some 60 vessels.

Traditionally, the shipowner, in conjunction with the naming ceremony, makes a donation to the shipyard to be used in a suitable project. In this case, USD 15,000 were donated to GSI’s shipyard workers as well as USD 15,000, half of which was donated to a nursing home and half to a Kindergarten, both related to GSI.

Facts – the IMOIIMAX concept

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.

The tankers have a length of 183 metres, a beam of 32 metres and a deadweight of 50,000 tons.

Fjord Line invests in new tonnage – doubles the capacity on the fastest route between Norway and Denmark

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(18.08.2017) After three years of solid growth on the route between Kristiansand (Norway) and Hirtshals (Denmark), the Norwegian shipping company Fjord Line invests in a new high speed catamaran ferry. The investment will improve the Fjord Line offerings in regard of higher capacity, increased comfort, more departures and a stretched sailing season compared to the present service.

– This is a new milestone in Fjord Line’s development. We have been successful on the route in recent years and are delighted to have ordered a new ship, says Rickard Ternblom, CEO of Fjord Line AS.

The Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships Pty Ltd has been commissioned to build the ship, which will represent a new technological standard and provide clear environmental gains on the route. The vessel will be ready to enter into revenue service from the 2020-season.

– During the development phase, comfort has been important to us. The new catamaran will be the most relaxing and comfortable mode of travel, as well as being the fastest route between Norway and Denmark. With a top speed of 40 knots, the travel time will still be 2 hours and 15 minutes, says Ternblom. – Furthermore, the investment will make Fjord Line into a new operator within the freight segment on this corridor.

New concept in the Norwegian and Danish market

The new ship will be able to carry 1,200 passengers and more than 400 cars – almost double from today’s capacity. The tax-free shop on board will be twice as large compared with today’s vessel and guests will be able to choose from three exciting food concepts on their journey.

– The ship is light and spacious with a clear Scandinavian profile on the décor. Children and families with children will also have their own section where kids can bustle around on their own accord. This will constitute a whole new ferry experience in the Norwegian and Danish markets, says Ternblom.

Fjord Line will still keep investing in today’s catamaran, HSC Fjord Cat, towards the summer season 2020, to ensure a continued competitive product on the Skagerrak corridor.

– We are continuously working on developing all our products and offerings from Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Langesund and Sandefjord. That also means upgrades on today’s ships, says Ternblom.

Strong development for the Kristiansand-Hirtshals route

From 2014 to 2016, Fjord Line grew with 26,000 passengers and 7,400 cars on the route between Kristiansand and Hirtshals. In 2016, the shipping company transported 213,000 passengers on the route, divided into 576 sailings.

– We want to be innovative in the development of new products and routes, an overarching core strategy we hope will ensure continued growth for many years to come, says Rickard Ternblom in Fjord Line.

Technical information about the ship (HSC Fjord Cat in brackets)

Length 109m (91m)

Width 30.5m (26m)

Depth under the waterline 3.8m (3.8m)

Passengers 1,200 (676)

Passenger vehicles 410 (200)

Freight >500LM (lane meters) (0 m)

Speed 40 knots (40 knots)

Crossing time 2h15min (2h 15min)


Boskalis acquires subsea survey specialist Gardline

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Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. announces that it has acquired all shares of the Gardline Group (Gardline) as of today. The UK based company’s main activities include marine geophysical surveys, offshore geotechnical services and environmental surveys. With the acquisition Boskalis fulfils its strategic ambition to build a position in the offshore survey market and becomes a specialist provider of subsea geotechnical surveys with an exposure to the renewables market and the early cyclical oil and gas market. Gardline operates 15 survey related vessels in addition to 25 smaller vessels including crew transfer vessels and survey catamarans.

The consideration paid including assumed debt amounts to approximately GBP 40 million. The current annual revenue level is approximately GBP 60-70 million. Based on the challenging near-term outlook Boskalis does not expect the transaction to be EBIT accretive within the next few years. This transaction however positions Boskalis well for when end-markets recover.

Gardline was established in 1969 and was a second-generation family-owned business. The company’s principal offices are located in Great Yarmouth, UK with further activities in the USA, Brazil and Singapore. Gardline currently employs approximately 750 employees including a pool of 100 surveyors. The core geographical market is Northwest Europe, where Gardline is the main competitor of Fugro in marine surveys. With the acquisition Boskalis strengthens its position as marine services provider in Northwest Europe.

All-time record for Viking Line in July – over one million passengers chose the big red boats

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Viking Line’s passenger volume on all routes in July stood at record high 1,021,890 passengers, up by 9 per cent compared to the same period last year. The number of cars transported increased by 14 per cent to stand at 138,168.

The biggest growth occurred on the Helsinki (Finland) – Tallinn (Estonia) route where Viking Line offered 12 daily departures this summer. Viking Line responded to the high demand by introducing a new vessel, Viking FSTR i.e. Faster, which operates on the route from 10 April – 22 October. The total number of passengers carried by Viking Line on this route during July was 378,704, up by 24 per cent on the same period last year.

Growth was also observed on many other routes, e.g. cruises from Stockholm (Sweden) to Mariehamn (Åland), and the short route between Mariehamn and Kapellskär (Sweden). Passenger volumes on the long routes between Finland and Sweden were stable. The share of international customers was higher than in previous years – a trend that has continued for some time.

Passenger volumes:                                                              2016                    2017

Helsinki-Mariehamn-Stockholm                                             114,620               114,872

Turku-Åland Islands-Stockholm                                             276,414               275,947

Helsinki-Tallinn                                                                      305,315               378,704

Cinderella cruises from Stockholm                                        106,891               111,487

Mariehamn-Kapellskär                                                           131,538               137,111

(Stockholm-Tallinn/ Mariehamn–Tallinn)                                   4,229                    3,769

Total numbers of passengers                                             939,007               1,021 890 + 9 %

Personbilar totalt                                                                     121,498               138,168 + 14 %

“We are very satisfied with the trend of passenger numbers in July and are pleased that so many people are choosing to travel on our vessels. The price competition this summer has been fierce, which has benefited customers,” says Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line.

Stena Line to add extra North Sea freight capacity on Rotterdam to Harwich route

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London, 21 July 2017 – In response to demand on the route from Rotterdam (Europoort) to Harwich, Stena Line is to increase capacity by changing to larger ships 

The current RoRo ships the Capucine and Severine operating twice daily from Europoort in the Netherlands and Harwich in the UK will be replaced by larger ships, the RoRo ships MV Misida and MV Misana, when their present charter contracts expire in January 2018. The overall freight capacity of the route will hereby increase by some 20%.

The change coincides with the expected completion of a second berth in Europoort, part of a significant investment program in the port to ensure it develops into a strong multipurpose freight transport hub. The capacity expansion is also linked to Europoort developing as an important rail freight connection point to and from the UK.

Annika Hult, Trade Director at Stena Line North Sea says: “I am very pleased to announce that we will now take the next step in the strategic development of our Rotterdam (Europoort) – Harwich route. We have seen a strong growth in the transport market to the UK over the past several years and we are currently trading at very high utilization on this route. This has been further fuelled by freight volumes arriving to Europoort by train. The current rail connections between Poznan, Poland and Europoort, which changed ownership earlier this year, are running very well. We believe that this combination of rail and RoRo transportation will only increase in the future.”

“We have seen a strong growth in the transport market to the UK over the past several years and we intend to maintain our strong position on the Continent – UK market. We want to be in the best place to care for the business needs of our most important relations, our customers. With this tonnage change and capacity increase we clearly show that we will be keep on providing a reliable service where we can meet future demands. Europoort continues to develop as a key freight hub for Stena Line and we are confident our customers will react positively to our further expansion.

The new vessels will be chartered on a time-charter contract and will consequently be fully manned. Unfortunately this will impact our onboard staff. As a company we want to avoid as many redundancies from happening as reasonably possible and we will be looking at all available options including redeployment to other vessels within Stena Line ”, she continues.

Facts MV Misida and MV Misana

Type of ship: RoRo
Year of construction: 2007
Length: 165.75 m
Width: 23.4 m
Service speed: ~19 kn
Passengers: 12, Lane meters: 2,155

The Costa Concordia Ship Recycling Project has been completed in Genoa

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– The dismantling and recycling of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, one of the most important green ship recycling projects ever carried out in Europe, has been completed in Genoa by San Giorgio del Porto, in partnership with Saipem.

The success of these operations represents an additional recognition of the high value of Italian naval engineering, while demonstrating the importance of a ship recycling activity that is respectful of the environment and of the safety of workers, in accordance with the most recent European regulations.

Less than three years have passed since the arrival of the Costa Concordia wreck in Genoa, on July 27th 2014. Below some of the most significant numbers of this project since the beginning of the operations:



  • Workforce employed: up to 350
  • Total effective hours worked: approximately 1 million
  • Companies and suppliers involved: 78 (98% of them are Italian)
  • Total recycled material: approximately 90%, equal to over 53,000 tons for almost 4,000 trips to recycling facilities in Italy
  • Total dismantled material: 8,000 tons with over 850 trips to dismantling facilities.




Austal Limited (Austal) (ASX:ASB) is pleased to announce the 50 metre high-speed passenger ferry SeaStar 11, for Seaspovill of South Korea, has been successfully launched at the company’s shipyard in the Philippines.

Austal was awarded the A$16 million contract for the Incat Crowther designed catamaran in June 2016, following Seaspovill’s continued satisfaction with a pre-owned Austal vessel, Seastar 3, constructed in 1998.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the successful launch of the Seaspovill ferry, on schedule, confirms Austal’s ability to deliver multiple vessel programs for numerous customers, from a single shipyard.

“Austal Philippines has had 4 vessels for 3 international customers under construction over recent months, demonstrating proven skills in managing multiple, complex commercial vessel projects, simultaneously.

“Customers like Seaspovill of South Korea are benefiting from Austal’s valuable experience, having delivered more than 255 vessels worldwide since 1988. Commercial operators appreciate the extraordinary focus we have on delivering the highest quality ships, on time and on budget,” Mr Singleton said.

Transporting as many as 450 passengers at speeds greater than 40 knots, the new ferry is Austal’s first new build for a South Korean operator and will join Seapovill’s growing fleet operating out of the Port of Donghae.

Austal Philippines delivered two 30 metre high speed passenger ferries to the 2Go Group of the Philippines in June and construction continues of a 56 metre high speed passenger ferry for FRS of Germany.

Statoil awards contract on new shuttle tankers

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Statoil and AET extend partnership in North Sea shuttle sector as Statoil awards a contract to AET to operate two specialist DP2 offshore loading shuttle tankers (OLSTs) on long-term charter.

Statoil ASA and AET, one of the world’s leading petroleum and chemical tanker owners and operators, announce that they are extending their partnership in the North Sea shuttle tanker sector. Statoil has, today, awarded a long-term contract to AET, a subsidiary of Malaysian energy shipping group, MISC Berhad, to operate two specialist DP2 offshore loading shuttle tankers (OLSTs) on long-term charter. These new vessels will be in addition to the two AET DP2 ships currently on charter, in the same area, for Statoil.

These new vessels are in addition to the two AET DP2 ships currently on charter in the same area for Statoil. The two existing DP2 tankers are owned and operated by AET Sea Shuttle AS (AETSS), a joint venture company formed in 2012 that is also 95% owned by AET and 5% by Norwegian ADS Shipping.

The two twin skeg 125,000dwt tankers will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries for delivery in 2019 and will be contracted to Statoil for operations both in oilfields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and the southern Barents Sea as well as on the UK Continental Shelf.

Built to a superior specification with a fatigue life based on 30 years of operations in the North Sea, they will be fully capable of working in the harshest of weather conditions. Each will be equipped with winterisation features, high power thrusters, shaft generators and the latest generation of bow loading system.

With a focus on energy efficiency, the shuttle tankers will be built with LNG dual-fuel for main and auxiliary engines and also an option to be fitted with a volatile organic compound (VOC) recovery system. Other environmental innovations will maximise fuel efficiency and minimise emissions. When in operation from 2019, these two DPSTs are expected to be the world’s first LNG fueled DPSTs and most energy efficient.

“Statoil is pleased to award this contract to AET and their partners and thereby deepen and increase our cooperation within shuttle tanker operations. The agreed newbuild state-of-the-art DP2 shuttle tankers will strengthen Statoil’s position for safe, efficient and cost competitive transportation of offshore loaded crude oil production to our customers. The fuel efficiency features built into these vessels, including LNG duel fuel capabilities, will significantly reduce operational costs and climate emissions. As such this contract is strongly aligned with Statoil’s sharpened strategy,” says Statoil’s senior vice president for asset management in Marketing, Midstream and Processing, Grete Birgitte Haaland.

Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam, chairman, AET Sea Shuttle AS (AETSS) and president & CEO, AET, said:

“We first forged a partnership with Statoil in 2012 when we were awarded a long-term contract to operate two state-of-the-art shuttle tankers in the North and Barents Sea. I am delighted that Statoil has recognised and endorsed the quality of our operations in this most demanding of environments by giving us a further opportunity to support their business with two additional state-of-the-art DPSTs. We believe, as part of the MISC Group, our strategic partnership and our innovative solutions gave us the edge over other operators in the North Sea.

Statoil is global leader in this region and I am confident that we will deliver on the trust they continue to place in our capability to deliver flawless operations in this challenging region. We are proud to be extending our partnership with this world leading oil company.”

In 2012, AET formed a joint venture company – AET Sea Shuttle AS – 95% owned by AET and 5% owned by Norwegian ADS Shipping, to own and operate two North Sea DP vessels. The two new ships will also be owned and operated by the same joint venture partners. OSM Maritime Group will provide the lead technical management, supported by the MISC Group, during the newbuilding.

ADS and OSM group chairman, Bjørn Tore Larsen said:

“This is a great opportunity for us to extend our successful partnership with AET. We have been operating in this region for many years and extending the joint venture cements our relationship both with AET and Statoil. I firmly believe that the combination of technical, operational and commercial skills delivered through the joint venture will continue to provide Statoil with an ocean transportation solution that is second to none”.

OSM Maritime Group will provide the lead technical management, supported by the MISC Group, during the construction of the vessels.

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