Honfleur prior to launch last year. Now headed for completion?
Plans have been announced to resume construction of Brittany Ferries’ unfinished LNG RoPax ferry Honfleur at the insolvent German shipyard FSG in June, writes Germany Correspondent Tom Todd.
Managing Director Stefan Denkhaus, currently also the legal representative of FSG (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft), said yard officials were “involved in good negotiations” with Honfleur customer Britanny Ferries as well as with other potential financing partners and subcontractors.
The talks were “with a view to completing construction of the ship”, Denkhaus revealed, adding: “We are aiming to resume production in the second half of June”.
The unfinished 42,000gt, 2,400 lane m Honfleur is the only ship still at FSG – long a RoRo specialist and Germany’s northernmost shipyard. Originally for delivery last year, completion of the €195 million Wärtsilä driven newbuild has been held up by delivery delays on the earlier 54,975gt Irish Ferries newbuilding W.B.Yeats. The delays left FSG in financial difficulties further compounded in February by cancellation of a €438 million Australian order for LNG DF ferries.
FSG closed down in mid March and the legal and management team that took over its administration at the end of April said a first step to putting operations back on a sound financial footing was to complete Honfleur.
Denkhaus said that at the same time as negotiating with Britanny Ferries, FSG was also “holding initial parallel talks with further potential customers”.
He did not elaborate but former FSG owner Siem in Norway has to be one of them. It has already had a series of RoRo ferries built at the yard – the latest, Liekut, delivered in March after the yard closed – as well as ground-breaking well-intervention and specialist oil and gas seismic vessels.
Explaining the thinking behind the search now for new orders, just as the yard is still in administration, Denkhaus said “we are in the process of establishing a robust plan for ending insolvency. … In the event that we succeed, we are assured of favourable scrutiny of applications for federal state financial guarantees”.