By Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding & Major Conversions.
This month it is five years ago we visited the Jinling Shipyard for the very first time where we initiated the discussions on our mega freight ferry project. That was the beginning of a long journey between the yard and DFDS.
Today, on 6 January, we have taken delivery of the sixth and final ferry in the series named Scandia Seaways. Our crew will now take the vessel home to “our” waters, where she will join three of her sisters and be put into service in our North Sea network. Therefore, this will also be a goodbye to Jinling Shipyard, but maybe followed by a “see you again” another time. This project marked the first time DFDS built vessels in China on our own. We have gathered huge experience and knowledge on how to execute shipbuilding projects in China including both “do’s and don’t’s” and also some lessons learned. All this will contribute to us being very well prepared next time. However, even though we are now finished at Jinling Shipyard, it is not at all goodbye to China. We have still three ferries under construction, i.e. the COTE D’OPALE on the shipyard in Weihai and two Ro-Pax’es for Baltic Sea on GSI in Guangzhou.
Successful but different delivery
On site we had Jeppe and Michael in place together with the shipyard. Ole Færge, Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Jens Peter Baltsersen and Jesper Aagesen joined the closing meeting via Teams. Taking delivery of ships via a computer screen is not exactly the same as being on site, but these days this is what is possible. However, we are looking forward to visit China again as soon as possible.
From today’s closing meeting and signing ceremony.
Last but not at least I would like to express my sincere thanks to our great site team on Jinling Shipyard for their huge efforts during the construction since the production start in August 2017. It has not at all been an easy job and you have from time to time had to navigate in troubled waters. Most of the site team members came from the external company OSM and did a great and dedicated job on behalf of DFDS. Furthermore, we have had Jeppe H. Pedersen and Michael Klysner based at Jinling Shipyard since 2017 and they have in cooperation with Senior Project Manager Jens Peter Baltsersen and the project team in Copenhagen also done a fantastic job throughout the project with the highest degree of enthusiasm.
The journey home begins
Our crew arrived to China in December and had to take 14 days of hotel quarantine, but all were out of quarantine before New Year. In the coming days the crew will make the ferry ready for the delivery voyage (via Singapore) and a flag change from China to Denmark will also take place. We expect the ferry to leave the shipyard by the end of this week and are looking forward to welcoming here in Northern Europe in beginning of February.
January 6, 2021