Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2021

9 2 A greener ferry fleet Ferry operators move forward with plans for environmentally friendly ferries as shipyards continue to make progress on building projects despite the pandemic. Justin Merrigan reports C hina has dominated the ro- pax shipbuilding market in recent years, but a growing number of ferry operators are now turning to South Korea for construction projects. Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), for example, has been contracted to build operator Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new Irish Sea ro-pax vessel, Manxman. Plans are progressing well in spite of the ongoing impact of the pandemic. The vessel is due to replace existing ferry Ben-my-Chree when it comes into service in 2023. “We are pleased with how plans are advancing and that, despite the pandemic, we have largely been able to stay on schedule and continue to make significant progress,” says Mark Woodward, chief executive of Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. “It is a large-scale project which naturally takes time and many hours of meticulous planning, but we are excited to move forward with the detailed design of Manxman.” Soon after inking the contract with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, New Zealand operator KiwiRail named HMD as its preferred shipyard to build its two new Interislander ferries. According to KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller, the decision to work with HMD was a significant step forward for the new Interislander project and the culmination of a robust, competitive, year-long selection process. “Our ship procurement team and the evaluation panel, including naval architects, ship brokers and maritime lawyers, have undertaken a rigorous process to select the right shipyard and this announcement, on schedule, is a great end to the year for our team,” he says. “The two new ferries and the upgraded terminals in Waitohi Picton and Wellington are a major investment in the future of the Cook Strait freight and passenger services, with a significant taxpayer contribution. It’s crucial that we deliver the best outcome for New Zealand and for our passengers and customers and, with the selection of HMD shipyard, I am confident we have achieved that.” Miller said after the technical and commercial negotiations phase, the aim is to have the final shipbuilding contract signed by mid-2021 and construction of the ferries underway by late 2022. FERRY ORDER BOOK DFDS is working with a group of companies to develop a ro-pax ferry powered solely by hydrogen