Labrador Marine Inc., kjøper "Grete" (ex. "Muhumaa") og "Hiiumaa"

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#1
Ferry on coast will allow vehicle and passenger transport

A plethora of government officials were in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Sept. 7 to announce two new ferries servicing Labrador. Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker announced that beginning in 2019 two newer ferries would be replacing the current older ones.

“This will have significant benefits to Labrador and to the island as well,” he said. “It will amount to a significant enhancement in the marine transportation network in the region.”

The contract for the Strait of Belle Isle is valued at approximately $11.9 million per year for a 12-year term. The contract for the north coast of Labrador is valued at approximately $14.6 million per year for a 15-year term, delivered in partnership with Nunatsiavut Marine Inc.

Both ferries are also much newer than the current ones with the new ferry for the north coast, the MV Grete, being only eight years old and MV Hiiumaa on the Strait of Belle Isle only seven years old. The MV Apollo is 48 years old, the MV Ranger is 32 years old and the MV Astron is 47 years old.

A big change with the Grete, which will replace both the Apollo and the Ranger, will be combining passengers and freight on the same boat and allowing, for the first time ever on the coast, a roll-on roll-off service allowing vehicles to be transported with passengers.

Peter Woodward, CEO of Labrador Marine Inc., the company that won the tender for both contracts, said he’s been searching for the appropriate vessels for at least a decade and is excited about the changes they will bring.

“It’s going to change the way that people on the north coast receive services, but it’s going to greatly enhance them,” he said. “It’ll be phenomenal for personal travel but also a benefit for commercial travel when it comes to moving goods and services on the coast.”

Woodward said in his opinion, it will double the capacity for the Labrador coast and be a much better match for the region. The new ferry will be able to accommodate 140 passengers, up from 131 currently and be able to handle up 20 vehicles. It will also have containers on wheels and freight will now be loaded in Happy Valley-Goose Bay instead of Lewisporte, which Woodward said will have a big impact on how long freight takes to reach the coast.

LMI will be partnering with Nunatsiavut Marine Inc on the north coast ferry, a move Woodward said he is happy about and hopefully opens the door for future partnerships.

When the request for proposals for the new ferries was announced in April, concerns were raised about infrastructure and that the new ferry would only service Black Tickle once a month. Woodward said the concern with port infrastructure will be dealt with. The Grete is being modified to have the exact same ramp structure that’s on the Astron to accommodate the north coast communities.

Cartwright–L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster spoke at the announcement and said the Black Tickle issue has been resolved and the community will continue to be accommodated once a week.

Strait of Belle Isle

The MV Hiiumaa will be replacing the MV Apollo for the Strait of Bell Isle. The new boat will be able to accommodate 60 more people, up to 300 from 240. It will also be able to accommodate 120 vehicles, up from 85. Dempster said this is great news, since the biggest issue she’s been hearing about the Apollo is capacity.

“We are so pleased to see this replacement vessel with increased capacity for an ever-growing Newfoundland and Labrador,” she said. “I think, in the past two summers, the most calls I have gotten have been about capacity and people not being able to book (on the Apollo).

“We are now opening up Labrador in ways we have never opened it before.”

Concerns were raised on social media about the new Straits ferry, specifically that some vehicles will be on an open deck, not below deck as they are now.

“People are saying these are open deck vessels,” Woodward said. “The main deck on these is down below. It will accommodate the biggest personal vehicles you could possibly accommodate; it will also accommodate forklifts and things of that nature down there. The upper deck is made to accommodate tractor-trailers and construction equipment.”

Both ferries are now en route to Canada for modifications and the ferry for the Straits is expected to be in operation in March of 2019, with the other one coming online in June.

Labrador Marine Inc.

Kilde: The Telegram
 
#2
M/V GRETE is at present underway to Aalesund, HIIJUMAA still moored on her laid up Position in Kiel´s Ostuferhafen (East bank port).

The third of the MM 90 FC sisters SAAREMAA still laid up in Hamburg!
 
Last edited:
#5
The history – translated from Wikipedia

MM 90 FC


The three ships, ordered on 24. August 2007, were built by the Norwegian shipyard Fiskerstrand BLRT for the Estonian shipping company Saaremaa Laevakompanii. The hulls were built by Western Shipyard in Klaipėda, the outfitting was made by Fiskerstrand Verft in Fiskerstrand. The construction costs are said to have totaled around 90 million euros.

The ships were used under the Estonian flag with home port Roomassaare in the Baltic Sea between the Estonian mainland and the islands of Hiiumaa and Muhu.

Since 20th August 2015 two of the ferries, the MUHUMAA and SAAREMAA, were deployed on the resumed ferry service across the river Elbe between Cuxhaven and Brunsbuettel on the Elbe estuary. The connection was discontinued for the time being on 01.03.2017 (due to financial problems). From 25 May 2017 MUHUMAA, renamed in GRETE and reflagged to Germany – in between the two ferries sailed under the flag of Malta - used again on the connection. In summer, the operator swapped the GRETE with the SAAREMAA. While the GRETE was laid up in Bremerhaven, the service was continued with the SAAREMAA until October 9, 2017. Continue of operation of the ship was prohibited by the owning company.

The subsidiary Elb-Link of the Estonian shipping company marketed the ships with a capacity of 160 cars or 16 trucks and 52 cars and 600 passengers and under the names Grete and Anne-Marie. The company reminded them of the Cuxhaven citizen Margaretha Handorf, who started after the First World War with two cutters with these names a ferry service between Cuxhaven and Brunsbüttel.

All three ferries were sold to an investor group in the spring of 2017. They are managed by Conmar Shipping in Jork (D). Like the GRETE, also the other two ferries were brought under the German flag. Home port was Cuxhaven.

The Hiiumaa arrived after the end of the mission in Estonia on October 7, 2017 in Kiel and was laid up at the Ostuferhafen. The ferry is to be prepared for a new mission in the Baltic Sea during the winter months…
 
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