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Rhenus Arkon Shipinvest orders short sea bulkers

Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest has placed orders for the first four environmentally-friendly vessels known as Hanse Eco Short Sea Coasters; Unifeeder adds Kaliningrad; new ro-pax for Stena Line; Condor Ferries changes hands   

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Construction work is expected to start in February 2020 and the ships are due to be delivered during H2 2021. The vessels are based on the latest developments related to environmental protection, digitalisation and design.


The ‘Hanse Eco’ fleet is the result of an initiative launched by Torsten Westphal, one of the founding members of Arkon Shipping. Developing a future-oriented short sea fleet provides a sustainable solution for shipbuilding that is designed to meet specific needs – and this work is taking place with its partner Rhenus.

The cargo hold has capacity for more than 5,500 m3 of bulk, project or breakbulk cargo
The cargo hold has capacity for more than 5,500 m3 of bulk, project or breakbulk cargo

“Our Hanse-Eco fleet is pointing the way forwards so that we can meet climate protection requirements and also make sensible use of the mega trend of digitalisation," said Westphal. "We’re providing a high standard for European shipping 2.0 – from the planning stage until the vessels are put into service.


The ‘Hanse-Eco’ vessels are claimed to have a number of optimised features compared to traditional designs: having the bridge at the front provides a clear view during deck loading procedures and the innovative hull shape reduces fuel consumption.


An enlarged hold length also makes it possible to transport project loads as well as classic bulk and breakbulk cargo. "This type of vessel with its end-to-end deck is ideally suited to handle large-volume and bulky goods and is able to serve new cargo segments with its ’open-top’ capability, said the company.


Alongside the water treatment systems, which will be mandatory from 2020 onwards, the eco-vessels are equipped with a hybrid ship’s propulsion system with an organic catalytic converter, support from an electrical motor and a waste gas after-treatment unit.


This meets the stipulations in the future IMO Tier III exhaust gas standard and also significantly reduce emissions of CO2 and PM as well as fuel consumption. The main engine can also use organic fuel.


“An integrated automation system and using the latest camera technology simplify the operational processes on board and in ports and reduce the administrative work needing to be completed by captains,” added Ralf Uebachs, Managing Director of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest.

Calls will be made at both Kaliningrad Sea Commercial Port and Baltiysk
Calls will be made at both Kaliningrad Sea Commercial Port and Baltiysk

Citing "strong market demand," Unifeeder is adding the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to its extensive feeder and shortsea network consisting of almost 50 ports, starting December 8th.


"We will call both terminals in Kaliningrad, Sea Commercial Port and Baltiysk, as well as all major terminals in Hamburg, and offer connections to/from our other European locations," said Unifeeder’s Shortsea Director, Timm Niebergall. "Part of Unifeeder’s strategy is to provide a price-competitive, multimodal alternative for our customers, as well as, ensure a steady flow for their cargo from East to West and vice versa."


Stena Line has taken ownership of its newest ro-pax ferry STENA ESTRID following a handover ceremony at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in north-western China. STENA ESTRID is the first of five next generation Stena Line ro-paxes now under construction. The vessel will begin service on the Dublin to Holyhead route in January 2020.


A further two of the new ferries are also destined for the Irish Sea with STENA EDDA expected to commence operations from Belfast to Liverpool next spring, and a third vessel STENA EMBLA to be introduced on the same route in early 2021.

STENA ESTRID at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard
STENA ESTRID at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard

Stena Line owner Dan Sten Olsson attended a service officiated by the Reverend Stephen Miller of the Mission to Seafarers, who undertook the long held maritime tradition of blessing the ship, in order to bring it good luck at sea.


At 215m in length, STENA ESTRID will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters, meaning a 50% increase in freight tonnage, and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.


Finally, The Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) is to acquire Condor Ferries, which operates lifeline ro-pax services between the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey, the British mainland ports of Poole and Portsmouth, and the Port of St Malo in France.


The acquisition is made in consortium with Brittany Ferries, which is taking a minority stake. Condor Ferries has been acquired from Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II, managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

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