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Displaying items by tag: Brand new tanker

A brand new Chinese built Dutch flagged tanker ordered by a Swedish lake based shipping group arrived into Dublin Port from Wales this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The L-class leadship Thun Lidkoping is the first of five 18,650 deadweight chemical product tankers which was completed by Avic Dingheng Shipbuilding Ltd in China.

The name chosen for the leadship operated by Thun Tankers (Erik Thun Group), derived from the shipowner group's inland homeport of Lidköping located on the southern shores of Lake Vänern. This is the third largest lake in Europe which is connected to the sea by shipping canals.

The L-class each with a cubic capacity of (98%) 20,665 m3, have a design developed in-house using Erik Thun AB's long experience of building sustainable, high quality vessels that operate as a major player in northern Europe.

In terms of environmental care, a concerted focus has been made with new regulations and customers’ needs taken into the key design and building process of this new class type.

The 148m tanker along with second sister, Thun London which too was delivered recently, operate in the Gothia Tanker Alliance network while crewing and technical management is conducted through MF Shipping Group.

This morning's arrival in Dublin Bay of Thun Lidkoping from Milford Haven, Wales, also involved Afloat to track a passing fleetmate, Thun Gemini which had departed Dublin Port having docked at Oil Berth No.1. It was at the adjacent berth that Thun Lidkoping berthed, though the maiden call of the newbuild tanker took place at the Irish port only last month.

As for Thun Gemini, the smaller G -Class tanker is returning to the same south Wales port which saw a passage offshore of Dun Laoghaire Harbour where Afloat reported of the tanker's once-off call to enable maintenance carried out at the south Dublin Bay port.

Such a call by the 2003 built 4,100dwt tanker was notably a rare occurance for such a vessel type which as previously reported took place three decades ago.

Published in Dublin Port

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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