Finlandia finishes in Immingham in an extraordinary way

The date, 26 January, was a bittersweet day in Immingham. Finlandia Seaways had her last loading of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) destined for Fredrikstad and she definitely ended her run in great style. Due to efficient teamwork, an impressive 71 mafis, carrying 3106,315 tonnes of RDF, were loaded and this set the record for most tonnes on one vessel. What a way to go out. Finlandia is now being used as a sweeper vessel between Immingham and Vlaardingen.

Mike Hughes, Business Development Manager, says: “Finlandia was only in Immingham for four Saturdays but she certainly made an impact as she transported a total of 193 mafis carrying 7,098 bales of RDF, equal to 8,730 tonnes. That is a tremendous achievement and was warmly welcomed by our customer, Geminor, who demands growth week after week.

“The Christmas and New Year period meant limited time for the team on the ground to get cargo ready for the first sailing, but I can honestly say it did not cause any issues. The crew and stevedores excelled in providing whatever was needed by the customer. This performance is a testament to the experience and strength we have at DFDS and keeps us at the forefront when dealing with this growing export commodity.

“In February, RDF will be shipped by a replacement sideport vessel, but I have no doubt that this will prove to be another success.”

RDF bales transported on a mafi getting loaded on to Finlandia in Immingham

Finlandia – back in business

We are happy to show you recent pictures of Finlandia once again at sea after extensive repairs of damage caused by an engine room fire in April 2018.

Superintendent Ivan Bakken Jepsen and team have worked long and hard to get Finlandia back in business, so it was a great feeling for them when earlier this month Finlandia had her first trial run in Odense Fjord. Tests of control systems and engine systems were all successful and it did not take long before she set course for her first voyage to Immingham.

“Finlandia is now navigating the waters between Cuxhaven and Immingham. The new main engine is operating without any challenges, running with a sound like sweet music. It’s because of a perfect teamwork with the crew on board that Finlandia is safely back in operation again,” says Ivan.

Finlandia finalising tests on Odense Fjord. Pictures by Peter Therkildsen.

New main engine ready for operation. Picture taken by Ivan Bakken Jepsen.

Norske Skog and DFDS are expanding their collaboration

Norske Skog (NS) and DFDS are expanding their collaboration and extending it as of 1 January 2019.
NS Halden have used DFDS for many years and starting in the new year, NS Skogn will also be collaborating with DFDS once again. The parties have entered into a long-term agreement, which will expire on 31 December 2024. The number of vessels will increase from two to four due to the new freight volumes from Skogn. In terms of outbound paper cargo, we estimate yearly volumes of about 600-700,000 tonnes as well as paper as return cargo.

“For a long time, we have been determined in our efforts to become NS Skogen’s supplier once again, while continuing our collaboration in Halden. It is both great and motivating that this is now happening, “says Vidar Karlsen, Managing Director.

Both DFDS and NS are working on the planning for January 2019. The side port ships used for the NS Halden activities will be moved to Skogn, and the ro-ro vessels Finlandia Seaways and Norrland will be used at NS Halden. An adaptation of the infrastructure is required to make such a change, and preparations are now being made for ro-ro vessels to call at Halden.

“We have a good dialogue with operations in Halden and in Skogn, and we are en route to begin operating in the new year,” says Kasper Svenningsen, Director Shipping Logistics, Norway.

New engine block for Finlandia safely arrived

On 4 October, the new engine block for Finlandia safely arrived from MAN Hamburg. The engine block is now placed on the quay side, waiting to be lifted onboard the ship shortly.

Ivan Jepsen, Superintendent, Technical Organisation, says: “We have already experienced the first challenges. The engine block weighs 107 tonnes, and the crane can lift 110 tonnes 20 metres, but all overload systems on the crane were activated already at 15 metres. We will try again when the wind hopefully dies down and we will make a plan B, just to be prepared.”

Finlandia towed to Fayard in Denmark

Following the engine room incident and fire, Finlandia Seaways was towed to Immingham where the authorities and DFDS inspected the engine room to establish the cause of the fire. This will be concuded on when  they have analysed their findings.  The ship has also been inspected by yards, and DFDS decided to have the ship towed to Fayard in Odense, Denmark, where she arrived on 22 May. As we suspected, it will take several months before the ship is back in service. “At the moment, if the repair works go as planned, we hope to have Finlandia back at sea in October,” says Andrej Zamkovoj, Operational Director of the Lithuanian fleet.

Fortunately, the injured engineer, Konstantin Semionov, is getting better all the time. On his way home from hospital with his wife Leva, he sent greetings to his colleagues.

As the route has been closed following the fire, and with the prospect of Finlandia being out of service for several months, DFDS has not yet decided where to use her after the repairs.

Finlandia fire: Injured engineer‘s health is improving

As we wrote previously, a crew member was injured during the recent incident in the engine room on board Finlandia Seaways.

3-rd Engineer Konstantin Semionov was found with severe injuries caused by the heavy smoke and was airlifted to hospital in the UK.

For some days, we haven’t been able to provide good news about his recovery. However, finally things seem to be improving. “He feels much better, starts walking and eating,  but there is still a need for improved level of oxygen in his blood as the lungs were affected, and along with his vision and voice, they haven’t yet fully recovered,” says Captain Andrej Zamkovoj, Operational Director.

“But these are also improving, and according to his wife Leva, he may be able to leave the hospital within a day or two if the oxygen level in the blood increases as expected. We all hope for a full and speedy recovery and send our best wishes from us all to Konstantin and his wife who is with him in the hospital.”

DFDS closes Zeebrugge – Rosyth route after fire

Inspection of fire damage on Finlandia Seaways in Immingham. “We have lost all hope of being able to turn around the route’s loss-making situation. Therefore, we have no alternative but to close the route,” says Kell Robdrup

As we reported on Monday, a fire broke out in the engine room on board Finlandia Seaways en route from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Rosyth in Scotland.

The injured crew member who was taken to hospital is still being treated for injuries caused by smoke inhalation, and DFDS has ensured that his wife can visit him in the hospital from Lithuania.

The ship was towed to DFDS’ terminal in Immingham where the cargo on board was discharged, and where our technical department, insurance partner as well as the relevant authorities were able to inspect the engine room and assess the damage.

“The inspection revealed substantial damage to the ship’s engine room, and we estimate that it will be out of service for several months for repairs. Furthermore, our search for a replacement vessel was fruitless and revealed that there are no suitable ships available,” says Kell Robdrup, Senior Vice President of DFDS’ routes connecting to the southern part of the North Sea.

“Unfortunately, this will bring about further losses on the route, and it means that we have lost all hope of being able to turn around the route’s loss-making situation. Therefore, we have no alternative but to close the route as we undoubtedly will lose clients who will be forced to seek other solutions for their transport,” says Kell Robdrup.

“We are extremely sorry for the effect this has on our customers and partners in Scotland and Belgium. In cooperation with the Scottish Government and the port, we have tried everything in our power to save the route. This included going from a combined passenger and cargo ship to a freight ship, reducing costs by enabling double stacking of containers and reducing fuel costs by installing a scrubber to remove sulphur from the exhaust gas instead of using expensive, low-sulphur fuel. However, the route continued to make losses. And with the new situation with the ship out of service for months, the market, the customers and the financial situation will make a turnaround and a reopening unrealistic,” he says.

The closure will only affect a very limited number of people employed by DFDS as port handling was performed by external companies. They have been informed.

DFDS has not made any decisions yet as regards the deployment of Finlandia Seaways when she returns from her repair docking.


Finlandia Seaways hit by engine room fire

Last night at 22:13, a fire broke out in the engine room on board Finlandia Seaways on its voyage from Zeebrugge to Rosyth.

The crew quickly had the situation under control and the Humber rescue service was alerted and assisted the vessel.

Regrettably, a crew member who was in the engine room at the time of the incident, was injured and has been airlifted to a hospital in the UK for treatment. No-one else of the 19 Lithuanian crew members and four passengers (drivers) were injured.  As the situation was under control, medical assistance from a nearby navy vessel was called off.

Finlandia Seaways is currently anchored off the British coast and we expect that the ship will be towed to Immingham where the cargo will be discharged.

We will inform you in more detail about the situation and when the service can be re-established as soon as we are able to assess the situation.