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Four ships 30 metres longer

Finnlines is halfway in its ship lengthening programme, the energy efficiency and emission reduction investment programme, which it launched in 2017. As part of the programme, four of its breeze series vessels will be lengthened, with an option of two additional vessels.

MS Finntide is the first vessel, which was lengthened at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Gdansk, Poland. The vessel returned to the normal traffic at the end of November 2017. The second vessel is MS Finnwave, which returned to the service at the end of January 2018.

By the end of May, two more vessels, MS Finnsun and MS Finnsky, will be lengthened.

Image: The 30-metre long extension section has already been attached to the stern of the vessel and here the bow is being floated to its place to be welded.

Better energy efficiency

Each lengthened vessel will have a significant capacity increase, around 30%. The capacity increase reduces the bunker consumption per transported cargo unit, and thus improves energy efficiency further and contributes more to reduced emissions.

The Breeze series vessels will have a capacity of 4,192 lane metres. The 30-metre long centre section increases the vessel capacity by around 1,000 lane metres.

In response to growing volumes

Finnlines responds to growing demand by increasing cargo and passenger capacity. In addition to the ship lengthening programme, Finnlines has purchased MS Europalink from the Grimaldi Group in January 2018. The Star class ro-pax vessel will be fitted with exhaust gas scrubbers in mid-March and her public areas will be refurbished. MS Europalink will start to operate on the Malmö–Travemünde route.

The new vessel in rotation will also generate changes elsewhere – at the end of April, MS Finnswan (former Nordlink) from the Malmö–Travemünde route will be re-deployed on Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route.

MS Finntide and MS Finnwave have already been operating in their extended length in the Baltic Sea for a while. Tom Pippingsköld, CFO of Finnlines, says that the results have been as planned and as positive as expected.

“This investment programme is in line with our sustainable development. Some years ago, we launched an investment programme of EUR 100 million to fit vessels with exhaust gas scrubbers. Now we continue with this EUR 70-million investment programme aimed at energy efficiency and emission reduction,” Tom Pippingsköld says.

“We respond to the growing demand by increasing vessels’ cargo and passenger capacity. This will enable us to serve our customers more efficiently,” he continues.

Niclas Seligson, Master of MS Finntide, says that after the extension the ship has more waterline and its behaviour is more stable in rough seas. Cargo safety has also improved as the vessel rolls less in heavy weather.

“Harbour manoeuvres are now a bit slower but not significantly. The maximum draught continues to be 7.05 metres,” Niclas Seligson says. In early 2018, Captain Seligson was appointed as a master for the Star class ro-pax vessel.

Image: In all its new 217-metre long grandeur MS Finntide returned from Poland to its route at the end of November 2017.