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European Shipbuilding: Securing the future of the Flensburg shipyard

Weathering the storm of an unsteady economic climate has seen many companies starting to join forces, as well as to help develop better technical solutions for the market, as the recent investment from Sapinda Holdings has seen with Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft (FSG), writes Samantha Fisk.

FSG recently announced that Siem Europe signed an agreement with Sapinda Holding B.V., now known as Tennor, to purchase 76% of the shares of the business of Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.

The company explains that Tennor Holding B.V. is a global investment holding company, which invests in public and private companies through the acquisition of majority and minority stakes, as well as public and private debt instruments. Its portfolio is well diversified across technology, industrials, natural resources, media, entertainment & sports, retail and real estate.

A spokesperson for FSG says that: “In February of this year, Tennor (formerly Sapinda Holding) became the principal shareholder in Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft by agreeing to purchase 76% of the business, with Siem Europe holding the remainder. In August 2019, we announced that Tennor had purchased Siem’s stake to become the sole owner of FSG.”

June saw a bit of confusion as to the future with orders and the new owner was forced to put out a statement about current orders the yard was working on.

“The Ropax ferry Honfleur is currently in the phase of extensive outfitting and commissioning alongside the commissioning work of the RoRo Leevsten and the work on construction number 781 for SIEM has been partially rescheduled which has resulted in temporary under capacity in part of the production. For this reason, some colleagues are currently temporarily working short-time labour.”

After becoming a shareholder in 2014, Siem Europe became one of FSG’s largest customers. This included the construction of eight large roll-on/roll-off freighters, with all but one now delivered.

The seventh, and recently delivered, vessel is 209.79m in length and 26.00m in width. It has a capacity of 11,900 tonnes, a draft of 6.45m, with a gross tonnage of 32,887. The vessel has 4,076 track metres and is powered by a pair of MAN 8L48/60CR engines.

Flensburg had built up a reputation within the ferry and ro-pax sector for building highly efficient tonnage, and having a well staffed design team. The new owners are keen to state that this focus on quality and reputation will remain:

“At FSG, the environment is an important part of our strategy and this will not change”, the company spokesperson said. “As a world market leader in the roll-on/roll-off sector, FSG builds the most modern, innovative, environmentally friendly and flexible ferries.”

FSG highlights that Tennor aims to leverage and build on FSG’s existing expertise in the roll-on/roll-off and roll-on/roll-off passenger sectors. It will also explore potential avenues for the yard to bring its leading technology and services to new types of clients in order to support FSG’s future growth and still keep the competencies that it has built around efficient design.

As for keeping those competencies and still upholding them, the spokesperson states that: “Absolutely and more – FSG customers and suppliers can benefit from Tennor’s support, which will ensure the long-term growth and prosperity of the business.”

One of FSG’s recent crowning glories has been the Ropax Ferry W.B Yeats for Irish Ferries that was delivered at the end of 2018, with a second ferry due to be delivered next year. The ferry has incorporated some of the latest technology to allow it to adapt to the changing operations that are faced by the market, both from operations and environmental regulations. Adding to this the ferry also won the Shippax Ferry award for 2018.

Sheer poetry: WB Yeats built at Flensburg Shipyard

W.B Yeats is one of a growing number of vessels being built with sulphur emission scrubber technology, – two multi-inlet hybrid scrubbers are incorporated within the funnel casing. The vessel will operate on both long and short routes.

Cars and commercial vehicles have also been separated to improve the safety of the vehicle decks and allow and optimised 2,800 lane metre cargo in-take. The separated 295 car deck is located directly under the accommodation decks, allowing for easy access. The ‘Maud Gonne’ bar & Lounge (named after Yeats’ muse) is one on the key features onboard the ferry.

About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.