Displaying items by tag: Dublin Port
Dublin Port Company today published trade statistics for 2010 which showed an increase in the port's volumes of 6.1% in 2010.
Total throughput for the year was 28.1m tonnes which is less than 10% down from the port's best ever performance in 2007 at the height of the boom. Export traffic was particularly strong with 12.6% growth in the year.
Growth was concentrated in the unitised modes but was partially offset by declines in bulk liquid and bulk solid cargoes due directly to the sluggish performance of the economy.
The volume of Ro-Ro freight units increased by 12.8% to 725,665 which is less than 1% down from the port's highest ever throughput. This performance confirms Dublin Port as the island's premier port for Ro-Ro. Growth in the year was driven in part by the new CLdN Ro-Ro services to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.
Growth in Lo-Lo container volumes was 1.1% with an outturn of 554,259 TEU in 2010.
Dublin's position as the island's largest unitised port was reinforced by the commencement of rail freight services linking Dublin to Ballina. Demand for these services continues to grow and during 2011, we expect rail freight to remove up to 10,000 trucks from the road.
Further underpinning Dublin Port's popularity among RoRo shipping lines was the decision by Seatruck Ferries yesterday to announce a new freight- only service linking Dublin with Heysham which will commence Monday 14 Feb 2011.
Imports of fuel oil products (motor fuel and aviation spirit) dropped 6.5% in the year to 3.8m tonnes. Notwithstanding this decline, Dublin Port remains the country's most important port for oil imports, accounting for more than 50% of national demand.
In the bulk solid mode, there was a 7.9% decline to 1.5m tonnes in the year due to the continued decline in demand for construction materials. Trade cars imported through Dublin Port doubled to 47,249 in the year and there was also a strong performance in the ferry passenger business with numbers up 17.6% to 1.8m.
In addition to the ferry business, Dublin Port remained the country's largest port for cruise ship visits with 85 cruise ship calls bringing 130,000 tourists and crew to the city during the year.
Discussing Dublin Port Company's outlook for trade levels in 2011, Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, said:
"2010 was an exceptional year for Dublin Port. Notwithstanding the poor performance of the economy, port volumes grew by 6.1% as importers and exporters sought to minimise the cost of moving goods to market. Passenger and tourism volumes were also very buoyant as the benefits and reliability of ferry travel became clear particularly during the ash-cloud crisis.
"For 2011, we are projecting continued growth, albeit at a reduced level compared to 2010."Dublin Port's success is due to its location at the centre of the largest concentration of population on the island and also to the exceptional connections to the national road and rail networks. Dublin is close to the main markets, and shipping services are available from a wide range of excellent ferry and container lines offering importers and exporters competitive and reliable routes to market. We are very conscious of the central role Dublin Port plays in facilitating merchandise trade, the value of which is in excess of 80% of Ireland's GDP, and we are committed to continuing to develop the port in line with the needs of the economy and funded from our own resources."
Dublin Port Company's Annual Report for 2010 will be published later in the year.
The ro-pax Dublin Seaways made a last crossing with a Saturday morning arrival at Birkenhead. After disembarking passengers, vehicles and freight traffic, the 21,856grt vessel immediately departed the Mersey for a short-term deployment on the company's North Sea Rosyth-Zeebrugge service.
Sistership, Liverpool Seaways also completed her last crossing to Birkenhead with an overnight Saturday sailing. This was the final scheduled sailing under DFDS Seaways ownership and marked the last foot-passenger crossing on the Liverpool route as rival operators P&O (Irish Sea) and Seatruck Ferries do not cater for this market.
The vessel returned to Dublin yesterday from Birkenhead; this was to facilitate the loading of drop-trailers and terminal based tugmasters (engine-driven truck/cabs) that tow unaccompanied trailers on the roll-on roll-off vessels. After a short turn around at the terminal, Liverpool Seaways departed Dublin, bound for Immingham. The UK east coast port is where DFDS operate an extensive freight route network across the North Sea.
The ro-pax Liverpool Seaways and freight-ferry Anglia Seaways berthed in Dublin Port yesterday prior to sailing away from the Irish Sea. Photo Jehan Ashmore / ShipSNAPS
In addition the 13,704grt Anglia Seaways also docked in Dublin yesterday from Heysham to perform similar duties like the Liverpool Seaways. Several hours later, the 114-trailer capacity vessel set a southbound course past The Muglins, bound for Avonmouth.
DFDS cited its decision to exit entirely from Irish Sea sector due to the sharp decline in the Irish and UK economies in 2008 and 2009. The company suffered continuous losses on its remaining routes and the issue of over-capacity, particularly on the north Irish Sea.
Only last December, the Danish owned shipping operator sold its other two Irish Sea routes to Stena Line in a £40m acquisition deal. This is all the more remarkable considering DFDS Seaways purchased the previous route operator, Norfolkline's Irish Sea division of their four routes and seven vessels, in July 2010.
The sale to Stena covered the three terminals used on the Belfast routes to Birkenhead and Heysham, which is another freight-only service. In addition the acquisition involved the sale of the South Korean built freight-ferries Hibernia Seaways and Scotia Seaways; like the Anglia Seaways they were all former Norfolkline / Maersk Line vessels.
Interestingly the acquisition is to include the purchase of the chartered 27,510grt ro-pax sisters Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways. When the Visentini built sisters were completed at the Italian shipyard, they were placed on the Belfast-Birkenhead route in 2005.
On 1 December Stena Line UK Ltd acquired DFDS Seaways Irish Sea Ferries Ltd (since renamed Stena Line Irish Ferries Ltd). Although the acquisition of SL ISF by Stena Line has been completed and DFDS no longer owns SL ISF, Stena Line await formal approval from the Irish competition authority and the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to integrate SL ISF into the wider Stena Line business.
In the meantime during this transitional period, it is business as usual for customers using the Belfast-Birkenhead and Belfast-Heysham routes. Online bookings continue to be accepted on www.dfdsseaways.com or tel: (01) 819 2999 and in the UK tel: 0871 230 033
Normally the Pauline operates on other routes. She along with her sister Yasmine are the largest vessels in the Compagnie Luxemburgeoise de navigation SA (CLnd) / Cobelfret fleet. The vessels are of the Con-Ro design, also known as the 'HumberMax' vessels which have 5,632 lane metres capable of carrying 258 container trailers and 656 cars.
Apart from the Dublin debut of the Pauline which docked at Ocean Pier, the final vessel of the trio, Celestine (1996 / 23,986grt) was the first to arrive from Zeebrugge, docking at the ferryport berth 51A (also used daily by Stena Line vessels). Like the Pauline, the Opaline (2009 / 25,235grt) docked at Ocean Pier and is the newest and last of six newbuilds built from German yard of FGS Flensburg.
CLnD won the Short-Sea Shipping Company Award in 2010 at the Irish Exporter Awards in November and hosted by the Irish Exporter Association (IEA). The award was sponsored by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) which recognises the strategically important role of short sea shipping to our island economy.
There are four sailings operated by CLnD between Dublin Port and Rotterdam / Zeebrugge. From the Dutch port there are onward sailings linking Göteborg and Esbjerg while the Belgian route connects the UK ports of Killingholme, Purfleet and Ipswich.
The development of the Irish routes are part of the "Motorways of the Sea", an EU-wide programme to promote a modal shift of goods from congested roads to alternative sea transportation. In addition to the concept is the international trend in the use of larger and more efficient vessels.
In October 2009 CLnD /Cobelfret switched their Irish operations from Rosslare to Dublin Port. The transfer to Dublin allowed CLnD to introduce larger tonnage at the then newly upggraded No. 2 ro-ro linkspan at Ocean Pier, Alexandra Basin East.
CLdN ro-ro SA and CLdN ro-ro UK offer ro-ro connections from Belgium and the Netherlands to the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark. Both divisions share a combined core fleet of 20 vessels. Some ships including the Pauline are registered and flagged from land-locked Luxembourg. The fleet operate on short sea ro-ro trade routes, occasionally supplemented by time chartered tonnage, which accommodate trailers, containers, vehicles and other rolling equipment.
The routes represented a fifth of the freight market and will result in the withdrawal of the twin 21,856grt passenger ferry (ro-pax) sisters, Dublin Viking and Liverpool Viking on the 7-hour Mersey route and the 13,000grt freighter Anglia Seaways on the route to Lancashire.
In recent years, new tonnage notably in the form of four freight-only newbuilds commissioned for Seatruck Ferries on their Warrenpoint-Heysham and Dublin-Liverpool routes has added to intense competition in a crowded north Irish Sea ferry-freight sector.
The process to purchase Norfolkline's Irish Sea operations by DFDS Seaways was finally completed in mid-summer of last year. The acquisition saw the Scandinavian newcomer take control of four routes between Birkenhead-Belfast / Dublin and the freight-only Heysham-Belfast / Dublin services and a fleet of seven vessels, four (ro-pax) ferries and three freight-only vessels.
DFDS Seaways latest decision is all the more dramatic as the company in early December then sold both Belfast routes to Birkenhead and Heysham to Stena Line. In addition the £40m acquisition included the sale of the chartered 27,510 ro-pax sisters Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways and the 13,000grt freighter half-sisters, Scotia Seaways and Hibernia Seaways. The deal is significant in that Stena will make an inaugural foothold on the Merseyside market.
With the sea-changes swirling in the Irish Sea market, the dominant player is with out doubt Stena Line. The ferry operator closed late last year the Larne-Fleetwood route and three vessels (for more information about those vessels click here) yet the inclusion of the former DFDS Belfast-Heysham route is closely similar with neighbouring ports and newer larger vessels.
The acquisition by Stena of the loss making routes from DFDS last month also coincided with a review to be conducted by the Danish companies remaining Dublin routes to Birkenhead and Heysham. The findings of that review were concluded with this months' decision by DFDS to close down the routes, marking the Scandinavians operators brief foray on the Irish Sea ferry scene.
The work is part of a Dublin City Council project to evaluate an extension at the Ringsend plant where treated water will be released into the bay. The council are conducting detailed feasibility studies which will be examined for an Environmental Impact Assessment.
To date the project has involved two other rigs, the Aran 250 and the larger Excalibur which remains in the bay. The barges will be towed to 20 pre-determined bore-hole locations in the bay where the jack-up rig barges operate 'legs' to sit on the seabed which enables a steady working platform. The rigs are operating on a continuous basis in an area covering most of Dublin Bay and close to the Burford Bank on the eastern fringes.
In addition a buoy will be positioned 300-metres of the barge during drill operations, which is expected to take approximately one week for each drill. For information on the location of the bore-holes, they can viewed from the Dublin Port website by clicking HERE The project is expected to be completed in late Spring.
Several support craft are engaged in the project that recently included the Seabed Worker, a 3,923 gross tonnes Norwegian anchor-handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) the tugs Multratug 7, MTS Valiant and Trojan and the RIB-craft sisters, Brian Boru and James Joyce which are on standby duties. Like the Trojan, the 12-seater RIBS are based at the Poolbeg Yacht Club Marina where in the tourist season the craft provide excursions in Dublin Bay for Sea Safari Tours. In October the project also required the services of the yellow-hulled catamaran, Xplorer to carry out a bathymetric survey of Dublin Bay. The larger tugs and rigs are based opposite in Alexandra Basin / Ocean Pier.
The largest drill-rig working to date on the project, the Excalibur arrived under the tow of the Multratug 7 on a misty morning on Christmas Day. Due to the weather conditions the red-hulled craft slipped quietly into the port. Several days later the imposing looking craft re-emerged with its six-towering jack-up 'sea-legs' that jutted skywards into an otherwise horizontal expanse of Dublin Bay.
The sight of the rig has presented many onlookers to mistakenly believe the drilling was for oil!...Not so but the assumption is not surprising given the reports last year of an oil-field discovery named the Dalkey Island Prospect. The name for the oil-field was referred to Dalkey, as the coastal suburb on the southern shores is the nearest landfall to the exploratory well sites at the Kish Bank Basin.
In fact this kind of exploratory activity was again to confuse residents throughout the bay when the drill-ship, Fugro Synergy was offshore at the Kish Bank between December 2009 and early Spring of 2010. Though on this occasion the search was not for oil but coal!
During this period the 5,200 tonnes vessel equipped with a drill-tower, seemed to be a near permanent feature on the horizon. A series of drill-wells up to 3,500-metres were conducted when the 2009 built ship was contracted to Irish based VP Power Ltd, to determine the commercial viability of extracting coal from the sea for generating electricity. The Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project is a process where coal is heated in underwater rock reservoirs to extract gas, essentially converting gas-from-coal energy. Otherwise this method is commonly referred to as a 'clean' technology.
In addition to last year's search for deposits of large coal seams under the seabed, there was reports of a significant natural resource in the form of oil!... when several exploratory blocks again in the Kish Bank Basin were surveyed. The company behind this venture, Provident Resources, another Irish based exploration company, conducted initial oil surveys using air-born craft and as such no actual drill-based ships or rigs were used. Though should any oil flow, such an operation would be required.
Incidentally the Excalibur is designed also to perform offshore wind turbine installation work and is equipped with a 250-ton crane to hoist the wind-farm components. The vessel is operated by Fugro Seacore, a subsidiary of the Dutch parent company, Fugro, which also managed the drill-ship Fugro Synergy.
In the case of Irish Ferries, their Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route vessel, Isle of Inishmore arrived on the Mersey yesterday at the Cammell Laird dry-dock facility in Birkenhead.
The 1997 Dutch-built Isle of Inishmore had relieved the 50,938 tonnes 'flagship' Ulysses from the Dublin-Holyhead route which too had gone to Birkenhead for maintenance since January 4th.
The Ulysses is now back on service and the company's French routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde is covering the Isle of Inishmore's absence from Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings.
Continental services to France on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route will resume on February 16th when the Oscar Wilde returns from her overall. The Bahamas flagged vessel will re-open seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff sailings starting on May 13th.
In addition to conventional tonnage Irish Ferries also operate the fast-craft catamaran Jonathan Swift in tandem with Ulysses on the Dublin-Holyhead route. The Ulysses takes 3 hours 25 minutes while the 39-knot catamaran craft marketed as the Dublin 'Swift' is advertised with a scheduled passage time of 1 hour and 49 minutes.
The Australian-built catamaran was taken off the central corridor route yesterday to be drydocked also in Birkenhead until January 18th. Dublin Swift sailings return to the Dublin-Holyhead route on February 19th with the first crossing to depart at 14.30 hours from the capital port.
For the latest information on ferry sailings and reservations click: www.irishferries.com
Seatruck Ferries, the only Irish Sea ferry company, dedicated solely to the carriage of freight, are looking to appoint a Group Operations Manager. The position is based in their Heysham office in Cumbria. In addition the appointment would require regular travel to Seatruck's other terminals on both sides of the north Irish Sea.
The company operates the Dublin-Liverpool, Warrenpoint-Heysham and Heysham-Larne routes which are served by an eight-strong fleet. In recent years four Spanish built newbuilds were commissioned into service on the Dublin-Liverpool and Warrenpoint-Heysham routes. Each newbuild has a 120 freight unit capacity.The remaining four vessels where built in 1998 and they can each handle 65 freight units.
Seatruck's Dublin Port operations is located at the Alexandra Basin terminal close to the East-Link Toll-Lift Bridge and the Point Village.
In total the National Roads Authority (NRA) will have 25,000 tonnes of salt available during the Christmas week, with 3,000 tonnes distributed to authorities on a daily basis. As a priority the salt will be used to grit the national primary network.
The second bout of artic conditions that has gripped the country with temperatures plummeting to -17 degrees in the west and -15 degrees is forecast tonight in the north-west. Further snowfalls are also due in various regions tonight and with sub-zero temperatures expected to last up to St. Stephens Day. As such the demand for salt supplies has soared resulting in shipments sourced from overseas countries to include Turkey and Egypt.
CFL Prospect (see video-clip here) is owned by the Dutch shipping company, Kees Koolhof which since 2006 has built up a fleet of modern vessels to trade in the short-sea sector. The 2007 built vessel is one of nine Jumbo 6500s from a series completed by the Peters Shipyard at Krampen.
Two Dutch naval frigates, HNLMS Tromp and HNLMS Van Amstel are due to arrive into Dublin Port tomorrow for a courtesy visit over the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS Van Tromp is a De Zeven Provinciën-class air-defence and command frigate (LCF). The class has a striking streamlined visual appearance, through the use of stealth design technology. The stealth design is to minimise the vessels signature as much as possible from the detection of enemy vessels using radar.
At 6,050 tonnes, the stealth frigate is one of five built by the Royal Schelde Group, of Flushing, Netherlands. Spain and Germany also participated during the design stage of the 144-metre class which are powered by gas turbine engines capable of reaching 30 knots.
They are equipped with an Oto Breda 127 mm cannon, vertical launch system (VLS) Mk 41 for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), Standard Missile and Harpoon Missiles. In addition the frigate has a Goalkeeper (rapid-fire gun), a Oerlikon 20 mm machine gun and a Mk. 46 Torpedo weapon system. The vessel also has the ability to carry a Lynx or NH-90 helicopter.
The second frigate to visit the capital is HNLMS Van Amstel, one of two multi-purpose M-class frigates. The frigate which is also known as the Karel Doorman class can be used for surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare. They also have their own air-defence capabilities.
The 122-metre vessels displace 3,300 tonnes and have a two Rolls Royce (Spey 1A) gas turbines delivering 29 knots. The class are equipped with an array of defence / attack armament to includes an Oto Melara 76 mm gun for surface and air targets, a Harpoon weapon system and a NATO Sea Sparrow Vertical Launch weapon system for use against air targets at close range. Like the De Zeven –class the M-class frigate is also capable of carrying a Lynx helicopter.
The Royal Navy's Type 22 frigate HMS Chatham (F87) which recently returned to UK waters after a seven month deployment on anti-piracy duties off Somalia, visited Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
HMS Chatham was the lead vessel for NATO's 'Operation Ocean Shield' as part of a multi-national task force in the seas off the African state that in recent years has become notorious for piracy.
HMS Chatham departs Dublin Bay and the rocks off Dalkey Island. Photo: Jehan Ashmore /ShipSNAPS
The frigate departed Dublin on Monday afternoon and set an easterly course off the Baily Lighthouse, but surprisingly the 5,300 tonnes vessel returned into the bay. HMS Chatham then crossed the bay towards Sandycove. From there the 148m vessel which has a draft of 6.7m veered in a south-easterly direction, to sweep past off the rocky outcrop, to the north of Dalkey Island and continued southbound off The Muglins.
In mid-November the frigate visited her namesake port on the Medway to mark the 20th anniversary since the vessel's commissioning at Chatham in 1990. The occasion was also the first time that such an event had taken place outside a Royal Navy establishment.
Built in 1988, the vessel was launched from the Swan Hunter shipyard on the Tyne and is normally based in her homeport of Devonport, Plymouth.