BLRT Grupp of Tallinn, Estonia, acquired a 235m long and 53m wide floating dock from the Adriatic Shipyard Bijela in Montenegro in June 2016. This, the biggest dock in the Baltic countries, opens up new opportunities for ship owners and the shipyard for which it was destined, Western Shipyard in Klaipeda, to carry out repair and modernisation projects on Panamax-type ships. At the beginning of August 2017, the 11,000 tonnes floating dock was loaded onto the 91,784gt/2013 built Dockwise Vanguard, the world’s only vessel with a deadweight of 110,000 tons for carrying heavy loads and floating oil and gas platforms. The complicated loading operation lasted 11 hours under strict supervision of BLRT Grupp specialists and Dockwise company representatives. After traversing 3,825 miles, the dock arrived in Klaipeda, Lithuania, towards the end of August.

Kleven Verft revealed on 8th September that Hurtigruten and its owners, Petter A. Stordalen and TDR, will be the largest partner in the newly established company, with a 40% share following NOK 300 million of investment. Of Its current owners, John Kleven AS and H-lnvest AS are also bringing new funds to the company. In addition, the group of investors consists of Age Remøy and Magnus Roth’s lnYard Invest, Lurssen-Group, and Per Lilleb0. Kleven is currently building the world’s most environmentally friendly expedition vessels, the hybrid powered Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen for Hurtigruten.

Kleven’s refinancing process is now close to being completed, with some formal conditions pending, including final approval from the company’s banks and GIEK

LNG Bunkering took place for the first time in the UK on 16th August when the 4,284gt/2016 built LNG powered cement carrier Ireland, operated by Norwegian shipping firm KGJ Cement AS, refuelled at the Port of lmmingham. The joint venture between Flogas and ABP is said to be a step forward for maritime bunkering in the UK. The new tanker-to-ship service provides the flexibility needed to service current demand, but as the LNG marine market grows, Flogas plans to invest in storage and bunkering facilities at ABP ports when required.

IACS Competition

Meyer Turku Shipyard announced on 6th September that it was more than doubling investments from the previously published 75 million Euros to 185 million Euros. The new investments include a new plate cutting line, a new profile cutting line and a new panel line to the steel halls of the shipyard. This new equipment will be ready by end of 2018/start of 2019 and will boost the steel production of the shipyard in order to fulfil the record breaking order book reaching to 2024. With the investments, Meyer Turku will have the most modern steel production facilities in the world with laser­ hybrid, digitally controlled welding technology. Part of the pro­ gramme is the new plate cutting line and the new profile cutting line, which will be supplied by Finnish company Pemamek Ltd. from Loimaa.

Meanwhile former STX Finland-owned compatriot shipyard Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) is targeting the ferry newbuild market and aims to become a major player. RMC is currently build­ ing a ferry for Mols-Linien and the yard has a strong history of building ferries, having built 40 when under STX Finland for opera­ tors including Stena Line, P&O Ferries and Brittany Ferries

MV Werften commenced construction of a new hall complex (Hall 11) in August that will house its new panel, section and section out­ fitting lines at the shipbuilder’s yard in Rostock, Germany. The new complex will be 385m long, 99m wide and up to 24m high. The centrepiece will be a semi-automatic panel line, one of the most advanced in the world, welding panels of up to 25m x 16m. The laser hybrid technique offers high quality standards at less heat production. Hall 11 will also house a new section building line and a section outfitting line. Upon commissioning in summer 2018, the new facility will then manufacture 80 large sections per ship of the 342m long Global Class cruise vessels. The shipyard added that, in total, more than 100 million Euros will be invested in the Rostock yard, about 80 million Euros of which will be in the new hall, mark­ing one of the largest company investments in the region in recent decades.

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