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Container ships: New berth attracts new vessels
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 16:42

APL Merlion alongside the new container berth recently opened at Southampton. Andrew McAlpineAPL Merlion alongside the new container berth recently opened at Southampton. Andrew McAlpine

Opened at the end of March, Southampton’s new state-of-the-art SCT 5 container berth has already seen maiden calls from two of the world’s largest container vessels. The first new vessel to use the berth was APL Merlion, which arrived on 7 April.

APL Merlion is the fifth in a series of ten ships ordered by APL from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in Mokpo, South Korea. The 151,000gt vessels are 368.5m by 51m with 20 rows of boxes. With a declared capacity of 13,900TEU, the vessels are the largest in APL’s fleet. Five of the series are being chartered to Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), a partner in the G6 alliance.  

The series were the first ultra-large twin-island container ships designed with a fully enclosed bridge, and the first five vessels also have a distinctive though rather ugly deck house that features flush-sided bulkheads with lots of internal empty spaces and cofferdams. The boxy design is intended to keep the crew safe in case of pirate attacks, but undoubtedly increases wind resistance. All ten vessels will be deployed on the G6 Alliance Europe-Far East Loop 7 service.

 
Freight news: New service offers added benefits
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 16:40

The ro-ro vessel Stena Forecaster.The ro-ro vessel Stena Forecaster.

A new twice-weekly freight service from Northern Spain to Portsmouth International Port started on 13 May using the ro-ro vessels Stena Forecaster and Stena Forerunner (both 2003/24,688gt), with the route offering the added benefit of going on to Belgium. Transfennica, the Netherlands-based freight company, announced in April it was starting the ‘triangular’ route from Bilbao to Portsmouth, Zeebrugge and back.

The service will use the two recently-acquired vessels, which have capacity for 100 trailers, 150 double-stacked containers and 12 drivers. Transfennica’s ships will arrive at Portsmouth on Sunday and Thursday each week. Once the freight from Northern Spain is unloaded, the vessels will then take on board the containers and trailers headed for Belgium.

The new route is expected to be popular with companies looking to send unaccompanied freight, with fast transit times from Bilbao to Portsmouth. The direct service from Spain to the UK is also well suited for out-of-gauge, heavy and hazardous cargoes. Transfennica is part of the Spliethoff Group, one of the largest ship owners in the Netherlands.

 

 
FERRY UPGRADES: Refit and rebuild for Silja
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

Silja Serenade in drydock at the Turku Repair Yard. John PagniSilja Serenade in drydock at the Turku Repair Yard. John Pagni

Estonian shipping group Tallink is investing a total of €20 million in upgrading the two Helsinki-Stockholm ferries operated by its Finland-Sweden brand Silja Line. The first, Silja Serenade, came out of Turku Repair Yard on 15 February after six weeks undergoing both technical maintenance of its propellers and shafts plus a major rebuild of some passenger areas. Sistership Silja Symphony will have the same work carried out on her in autumn.

The ships are well known for being the world’s first to have the soaring  ‘atrium-style’ high, open mall running for 150m of their 203m length. The Promenade now features several new shops modified to meet modern tastes. Two new restaurants, Grande Buffet (ex-Buffet Serenade) and an Italian ristorante, Tavolata (former Maxim’s), improve the dining range. Three premium suites and 34 new Commodore Class cabins have also been created, and there is access to the new private Commodore Lounge. JP

 

 
New hull form: Negative stem hull
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:00

The forward hull shape of the multi-purpose vessel Reestborg prior to launch at the Ferus Smit yard. Ferus SmitThe forward hull shape of the multi-purpose vessel Reestborg prior to launch at the Ferus Smit yard. Ferus Smit

The 23,249dwt Ice Class IA multi-purpose vessel Reestborg, completed last year by Ferus Smit for Wagenborg, illustrates one of the many new hull forms being developed to reduce resistance, the design in this instance featuring a bulbless bow with negative stem profile along with sharp entrance angles and reduced bow flare.

This combination, used in conjunction with a ducted large slow-running propeller and an engine of 4,350kW output, provided a service speed of 14.5 knots on the 14,141gt ship’s initial outing when she carried 16,500 tonnes of iron ore between Hargshamn, Sweden and Hamburg, Germany on a draft of 26.2ft. JS

 

 
Passenger ship: Unscheduled diversion
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 00:00

 An unusual visitor to Sunderland was Gann. She berthed at the Corporation Quay on 5 April for an overnight stay before departing for Aberdeen. Ken Short An unusual visitor to Sunderland was Gann. She berthed at the Corporation Quay on 5 April for an overnight stay before departing for Aberdeen. Ken Short

The small Norwegian passenger ship Gann made her first visit to Wearside after an unscheduled diversion. Used as a winter training school for sea cadets, she was carrying 184 crew and student mariners when plans to dock at another North-East port had to be changed at short notice.

So instead the vessel sailed into the Port of Sunderland and berthed at the Corporation Quay on 5 April. The 6,257gt vessel had travelled for 36 hours to get to Sunderland and stayed a day before leaving for Aberdeen. As Sunderland is not currently a passenger-handling port, special security measures had to be implemented and approved by the Maritime Transport Security Division of the Department for Transport.

Gann was built in 1982 as the Hurtigruten ship Narvik and was in service along the Norwegian coast until 2007, when she was taken over by the Sea Cadets and renamed Gann. She measures 108.6m by 16.5m.

 
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