Displaying items by tag: Stena Line
#EUsulphurDirective - The EU's new sulphur directive for shipping traffic within the North European Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA), which comes into force on 1 January 2015, is due to have a significant economic impact on Stena Line's business.The Swedish owned ferry company is to face more than £100,000 per day in extra fuel costs.
The new sulphur directive has been in the planning stage for a number of years and its negative economic impact, a significant increase in fuel costs, was one of the key drivers behind Stena Line's decision to implement a company-wide two year Change Programme in 2013.
One of the key objectives of the Change Programme was to improve Stena Line's performance by £100m to help put the company on a more secure financial footing post- directive implementation. The rolling programme has resulted in a number of steps being taken including the reduction from two vessels to one on the Trelleborg-Sassnitz route and the fact that Stena Line is now being forced to increase its prices to freight customers as a direct result of the change in legislation.
"From an economic perspective, this is one of the largest negative political decisions taken since tax-free shopping was discontinued. As a company we are very supportive of environmental improvement regulations as long as the changes are the same for everyone and are implemented at a rate which we and our customers can handle but unfortunately this is not the case with the new sulphur rules. Ultimately, the resultant increase in fuel costs negatively impacts on North European export and import trade because a significant proportion of these trades are facilitated by sea transport", said Stena Line's CEO Carl-Johan Hagman.
For Stena Line, the changes mean a direct increase in fuel costs of more than £100, 000 per day, or around £41m annually as a result of having to use the more expensive low sulphur fuel.
"If you look at the freight side of our business for example, we are going to have to increase prices by around 15%. As a business, we are committed to delivering the same quality and service and we will continue our efforts to offer environmentally effective transports. This means that unfortunately we are left with no alternative but to pass on the imposed increase in costs to our freight customers", said Carl-Johan Hagman.
Since 2005 Stena Line has worked diligently to reduce its environmental impact with a comprehensive Energy Saving Programme which has successfully reduced vessel energy consumption by approximately 2.5% every year since 2005.
In parallel with the change to low-sulphur oils, Stena Line is also running a number of projects to look at alternative fuels and different techniques for emission purification.
"In early 2015 we will be starting a trial with methanol as a potential fuel on one of our ferries. At the same time we will be taking a closer look at deploying scrubber technologies and also looking at LNG as a possible fuel. Naturally, converting and rebuilding our ferries will both take time and require a significant investment on our part", concluded Carl-Johan Hagman.
#StenaTALLship – Stavros S. Niarchos a brig operating for Tall Ships Youth Trust which visited Dublin Port earlier this month has returned again and as of this afternoon she departed on a passage bound for Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 197ft long the brig was the largest built in Britain for over a century when launched in 2000 from the then owned Appledore Shipbuilders yard in Bidna, which lies downriver of Bideford in North Devon.
The brig flies the Stena Group houseflag as she is one of more than 130 vessels managed by a subsidiary of the Swedish shipping giant through the Clydebank based Northern Marine Management.
Recently the former Celtic Link operated ro-pax which was taken over by Stena Line has been renamed Stena Horizon (2006/27,522grt) and she becomes under the NMM operated fleet. The 940 passenger capacity vessel continues to serve to the thrice weekly round-trip sailing schedule of the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.
The Italian flagged Stena Horizon is currently berthed in Rosslare Harbour this evening as is her fleetmate, Stena Europe which sails on the company's established service to Fishguard. The St. Georges Channel route commenced in 1906 and originaly operated by railway companies from both sides of the Irish Sea.
The present-day service to Wales offers an alternative 'landbridge' service to the continent via the UK from where the operator's only ferry service to Europe is Harwich-Hook van Holland.
Ironically, the 1981 built Stena Europe previously served on the UK-Dutch route between 1997 until she was transferred to the Wexford-Pembrokeshire link in 2002.
#NewStenaRoute - Following the recent acquisition of Rosslare-Cherbourg ferry service from Celtic Link Ferries by Stena Line, the ferry company has started operating the service under its ownership from the start of April.
The first round-trip sailing between Ireland and France was completed today and this marks a historic milestone for Stena Line as it represents the company's first direct ferry link between Ireland and the Continent.
The new Stena Line route will operate an all year round service with 3 weekly sailings from Rosslare and Cherbourg accommodating up to 1 000 passengers, 200 cars and 120 freight units per sailing.
Richard Horswill, Stena Line's Head of Freight UK and Ireland said: "Whilst today is an historic day for Stena Line it's also a very exciting one as we integrate an important economic and leisure connection from Ireland to the Continent into our business. We believe the timing is opportune for this development as improving economic data in Ireland and Europe points to the potential for increased traffic on this important commercial link between both regions.
Richard added: "As one of the leading ferry companies in the world, we believe we can help the Rosslare-Cherbourg route realise its full potential by bringing our experience, business practices and customer service standards to the service. Since the announcement of the acquisition in late February our teams have been busy integrating the new service into Stena Line's day to day business operations and I am delighted that we are in a position to officially operate the service."
Stena Line will operate the 28,000 tonne ro-pax Celtic Horizon, soon to be renamed Stena Horizon on the route offering 3 weekly sailings from Rosslare at 21.30 on Tuesday and Thursday with a Saturday sailing at 16.00.
From Cherbourg the schedule is 21.00 on Wednesday and Friday with a Sunday sailing at 16.00 with a journey time of approximately 17 hrs.
John Lynch, General Manager Rosslare Europort commented: "We are delighted to have a company of the size and experience of Stena Line take over the Rosslare-Cherbourg service. They have an enviable reputation in the ferry industry for developing business opportunities across their freight and leisure travel business and we are looking forward to working with them to help develop the route in the months and years ahead".
He added, "There has been a lot of positive feedback from customers of the port since Stena Line confirmed it was acquiring the route and there is a sense of collective relief that the future of the route has now been safeguarded in the hands of a highly respected global ferry business."
#JobsThreat – According to yesterday's Belfast Telegraph, there are major fears for the jobs of hundreds of Stena Line workers in Northern Ireland.
Maritime staff employed on Belfast to Scotland ferries route to the Port of Cairnryan, have expressed concern that they are to be replaced by foreign crews as the company attempts to slash £10m from its operating costs.
The threat – which could affect more than 200 local workers – initially emerged in a letter the company sent to employees last month, which listed the recruitment of foreign workers as a possible cost-cutting option.
This was denied at the time, but sources have told the Belfast Telegraph (which has much more on this story) that at least five foreign crew have been taken on in the last month.
Afloat.ie adds that Stena Line's loss-making Irish Sea routes over the last decade, have been switched to Northern Marine Management, part of the Stena Group as previously reported.
In turn Northern Marine formed a new structure earlier this year, Northern Marine Ferries, in an attempt to cut £10m from maintenance and crewing costs. Discussions with staff representatives and trade unions have according to Stena Line included a decision not to increase wages for all staff in 2014.
The first Irish Sea route vessels to switch to Northern Marine Ferries were the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) ro-pax pair, Stena Lagan (click for photo and more) and Stena Mersey.
It is understood the rest of the fleet are to be transferred to the newly formed ferry division by the end of this month and that the cost-cutting exercise is to be completed by the start of 2015.
In the meantime, Stena launched their first direct Ireland-continent service sailing last night, as the yet to be renamed Celtic Horizon, departed Rosslare bound for France, where she is scheduled to dock in Cherbourg this afternoon. The ro-pax is also part of the Northern Marine Ferries outfit and has a multi-national crew of around 50 staff.
The 197ft brig which was the largest built in Britain for over a century was launched in 2000 from the Appledore Shipyard in North Devon.
She arrived to Dublin Port having made a passage on 30 March from Liverpool from where she spent a winter lay-up in the Canning Half Tide Dock.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, she is one of more than 130 vessels managed by Clydebank based Northern Marine Management, a part of the Stena Group.
Over the years she has visited Irish ports to where she is not the only vessel in port to fly the Stena houseflag, notably at ferryports such as Dun Laoghaire Harbour with its fast-craft HSS Stena Explorer operating to Holyhead which is to resume service on 9 April.
In the meantime, tonight marks Stena Line's first ever direct Ireland-continental sailing as the former Celtic Link Ferries ro-pax, Celtic Horizon sets sail this evening at 21.30 on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.
It is understood that the 940 passenger capacity ferry will be renamed next week the Stena Horizon.
#StenaTALLSHIP – One associates, Stena Line primarily with ferries operating across the Irish Sea, however through a division of the Stena Group, Northern Marine Management are responsible for the UK brig STA Stavros S. Niarchos, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 59m vessel which berthed in Dublin Port today and is due to depart tomorrow is coincidental in timing as Stena Line's acquisition of Celtic Link Ferries is effective as also of today, with their first sailing tomorrow when the Tall Ships Youth Trust Sail vessel also heads out to sea.
Northern Marine Management also manages a diverse range of merchant shipping in their portfolio of more than 130 vessels including very large crude carriers (VLCC).
The Clydebank based ship, crew, and technical service management company earlier this year formed Northern Marine Ferries, which today added the former Celtic Link ro-pax Celtic Horizon to its book of vessels that they are managing for Stena Line's Irish Sea fleet.
#StenaHorizon – Northern Marine Management, part of the Stena Group, which earlier this year formed a separate ship management division for their Irish Sea fleet will be incorporating the former Celtic Link ro-pax Celtic Horizon, which was handed over today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported, the Stena Line acquisition of Celtic Link Ferries will see the new ferry division, Northern Marine Ferries, bring the Italian flagged and built 27,555 tonnes vessel to be renamed Stena Horizon into the fold of the company's fleet. The Visentini built 940-passenger / 200-car/ 130-truck vessel will continue to operate the year-round Rosslare-Cherbourg service. Her first sailing is tomorrow from Irish port.
The Wexford port is also where Stena Europe serves Fishguard and the introduction of the French route newcomer represents an important milestone for the history of Stena Line of more than 50 years. This is the first time Stena will be able offer a direct Ireland-continent link.
The route's previous owners, Celtic Link in late 2011 chartered Celtic Horizon, on a five-year term charter from her shipbuilders Visentini outside Venice, where she was launched in 2005. She belongs to a very successful design of fast ro-pax vessels to be found employed in most European waters.
They are primarily for transporting freight ro-ro units and with up to 1,000 passenger capacity in limited facilities compared to conventional and cruiseferry style services. However, Stena Line invested in a £4m upgrade to improve passenger and truck-driver facilities of their slightly larger Visentini built sisters, Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey on the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route.
#FarewellCelticLink - Celtic Link Ferries final farewell sailing arrived into Rosslare this morning from Cherbourg, marking an end of the era as the Wexford based company are been acquired by Stena Line with effect today, writes Jehan Ashmore, who travelled on board the ro-pax Celtic Horizon.
The last crossing was in command of Captain Richard Collins and his crew of 50 that operate services on board the 27,522 tonnes Visentini shipyard-built ro-pax. The 17-hour continental route will continue to maintain a sailing schedule of three return-crossings weekly when Stena Line rename the vessel for their first sailing tomorrow.
As Celtic Horizon bade farewell to Cherbourg yesterday afternoon, she cast her moorings alongside the former trans-Atlantic liner terminal, now the maritime and undersea exploration visitor attraction 'La Cité de la Mer'.
On board Celtic Horizon where excited French teenage students that occupied the uppermost deck drenched in 18-degrees sunlight and to the sound of the ship's horn marking her final departure.
Asides the countless coach based students that have travelled since Celtic Link began reinstating the service in 2005, after P&O Ferries abandoned the route the previous year, the company has catered for a diverse market that includes passengers on foot and in cars, camper-vans and motorcyclists.
In respect to freight, this involved un-accompanied freight-units and trucks notably carrying livestock trade, in which 18 such large trucks were conveyed on yesterday's sailing to Cherbourg during the busy calve season. Over the years there have been contracts to import French manufactured trade vehicles.
Of primary importance is fish exports to French, Spain, Italy and beyond, this was one of the major reasons why the owners of Celtic Link, the O'Flaherty brothers (and local investors) who operate a fish processing plant in Kilmore Quay and fleet of more a dozen trawlers purchased P&O's service.
Celtic Ferries departs Cherbourg Photo Jehan Ashmore
The deal had involved the route's existing freight-vessel European Diplomat, which incidentally formed part of the Falklands Task Force in 1982, however as Celtic Link's 'Diplomat' she served a limited passenger service for Celtic Link. She was displaced by ro-pax Norman Voyager which last week started new Brittany Ferries Économie services.
In 2011 Celtic Horizon which is the same ro-pax design of Norman Voyager, entered service on a five-year charter from the Italian shipyard owners to Celtic Link.
Celtic Horizon became the first and only vessel during the last nine years of the ferry company to be given a name reflecting her trading route and her owner's brand name displayed on her funnel.
Watch this space... with further reports from Afloat.ie's dedicated Ferry News section.
#StenaLine – An adjusted timetable has been announced for the passenger and freight ferry Stena Adventurer on Stena Line's Dublin Port-Holyhead route with effect from this Sunday 30 March.
The daily 21:15hrs sailing from Dublin Port will now depart at the slightly earlier time of 20:30hrs each evening - all other sailings on the Dublin Port – Holyhead route will remain unchanged.
Richard Horswill, Stena Line's Head of Freight UK and Ireland said: "Following regular communication with our customers, we have taken their feedback onboard and the Stena Adventurer will now depart each evening at 20:30hrs – 45 minutes earlier than before."
"The key benefit for our freight customers will be arriving in Holyhead 45 minutes earlier at 00:01hrs which will be a great advantage and benefit for our customers with early morning time sensitive deliveries to their customers throughout Great Britain. In addition, it will also improve the journey times for those customers making Landbridge connections," Richard continued.
For further information and details go to www.stenalinefreight.com or contact: 0870 850 3535
#NewTimetable – The Belfast-Liverpool (Birkenhead) timetable of Stena Line's 'freight' ferry service operated by Stena Hibernia has been adjusted to better suit the needs of its customers.
The service will now start the week from Belfast at 15.00 on a Monday. The ferry company has identified Monday afternoon as a key sailing time for its customers and the vessel now departs from Belfast on Mondays at 1500hrs.
Richard Horswill, Stena Line's Head of Freight UK and Ireland said: "Stena Line introduced the Stena Hibernia in November 2013 to complement the Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey to help cope with increased demand for freight capacity on this route.
"We have had a fantastic response from our customers to the new service and I am delighted to report that this demand has continued. We are working with our customers to ensure we develop the service to meet their needs and with this in mind, the first sailing of the week will now leave Belfast at 15.00hrs on a Monday instead of 03.00hrs on a Tuesday from Liverpool," Richard continued.
The Stena Hibernia, which has capacity for 12 drivers and 110 unaccompanied units representing an additional 1,680 lane metre capacity, operates eight sailings per week, giving freight customers greater availability and choice.