Jump to content
1kerbut1

St Nazaire to Gijon

Recommended Posts

Yes. It's just too far to travel - and unnecessary.   I would imagine that the difference in sailing time to Falmouth compared with Plymouth would be minimal.  Maybe half an hour?

Edited by Gareth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, penguin said:

There simply isn't the space in Falmouth to do it,  nor the road infrastructure to support it. Even if someone was willing to build a terminal. The dream is that it would be great for Cornwall, but I highly doubt it would be economically viable.

So this rather rules out Falmouth, doesn't it?  Indeed I read recently that a cruise operator had dropped Falmouth from its itineraries because of the poor facilities there.

Thus there doesn't seem to be that many alternatives.  Weymouth/Portland suffer from dire roadlinks, worse than Poole in fact.  Additionally a Visentini would be far too big for Weymouth even if their berth was in a state of full repair and Portland port doesn't have a linkspan of any sort and probably can't justify the cost of installing one in present circumstances.  Southampton's days as an international ferry port would seem to be over so that leaves just Poole and Portsmouth in the western Channel.  One would hope PHC are alive to what could be coming down the track and are keeping an eye on developments being prepared to put the case in a convincing way on behalf of Poole.  After all the Harbour has hosted a service to northern Spain before and its closure had nothing to do with Poole as such.  Indeed I believe LD Lines acknowledged they got good service from the port.

 

Edited by Hawser Trunnion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HT the problem for cruise ships is the big ones can't get into Falmouth, the main channel needs dredging or the whole port will die as far as big ships are concerned.  This has been an ongoing argument for years, Portsmouth needs dredging "No problem" Falmouth the environmentalists are out "You can't do that there's a rare seaweed"  forgetting that it has been dredged in the past and recovered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprised to hear that Solo - I thought Falmouth was supppsed to be the deepest natural harbour in England?  Wasn't aware there was any need for it to be dredged...(?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No other carrier can sail from any channel port to Spain without direct MoS funding for the Atlantic Arc. BF won GULFSTREAM.MOS in 2010 which was the catalyst for commencing an expanded service with the Cap'. The likes of LD, Anconia, Transmed etc were all refused in favour of BF.

Ld LInes were allowed to sail from Poole in late 2013 & 2014 as the funding was being renegotiated and BF had pulled the Cotentin leaving a gap. BF had to give the EU assurances that the Poole gap would be filled and also illustrated that further expansion was warranted...Hence the 'Tat originally then BDS...

Once BF had won the funding for a further 4 years, LD Lines had no choice but to pull out of Poole.

Currently there is no service gap as BF have the Pelican so consequently during the "negotiations" taking place now no other carrier can move in... With BF currently seeking a replacement for the Cap' & BDS I think it's fair to say they know they have the MoS funding market cornered especially from 2018-2022. Following on from that the next tender will be worth twice as much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gareth said:

Replacement for Cap??

BF said last year that they want to replace Normandie, Cap Finistere & Bretagne.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Surprised to hear that Solo - I thought Falmouth was supppsed to be the deepest natural harbour in England?  Wasn't aware there was any need for it to be dredged...(?)

Yes Gareth the main channel is very deep but the channel to the docks is only 5 metres at low tide.  Most charts show it as dredged to 40ft in the forties but there's been no dredging since the sixties.  Perhaps we should get back on topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, jonno said:

BF said last year that they want to replace Normandie, Cap Finistere & Bretagne.

I wonder if these plans have now changed though; Normandie is to go to Le Havre in a few years time, there is seemingly no replacement for Bretagne on the horizon and I still can't recall reading anything which explicitly said they wanted rid of Cap Finistere - she's not long had a fairly major refit. Though having said that, one of the new Stena Line vessels would doubtless be cheaper to operate to Spain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/08/2017 at 16:02, jonno said:

No other carrier can sail from any channel port to Spain without direct MoS funding for the Atlantic Arc. BF won GULFSTREAM.MOS in 2010 which was the catalyst for commencing an expanded service with the Cap'. The likes of LD, Anconia, Transmed etc were all refused in favour of BF.

Ld LInes were allowed to sail from Poole in late 2013 & 2014 as the funding was being renegotiated and BF had pulled the Cotentin leaving a gap. BF had to give the EU assurances that the Poole gap would be filled and also illustrated that further expansion was warranted...Hence the 'Tat originally then BDS...

Once BF had won the funding for a further 4 years, LD Lines had no choice but to pull out of Poole.

Currently there is no service gap as BF have the Pelican so consequently during the "negotiations" taking place now no other carrier can move in... With BF currently seeking a replacement for the Cap' & BDS I think it's fair to say they know they have the MoS funding market cornered especially from 2018-2022. Following on from that the next tender will be worth twice as much.

I'm afraid I'm not totally convinced this is right!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I'm afraid I'm not totally convinced this is right!

Having looked into it further and hoping to find anything which may back this up, BF's subsidies don't include Plymouth or Poole to Gijon. LD did run a limited service on this route during 2014. I wonder if consideration would be given to an initial subsidy of say two years for a company to expand into this area?

Reading the link above it's clear that Gijon is to receive new facilities and linkspan plus with the final discussions between Balearia, the Spanish et al coming up in September coupled with the expectant rise in freight movements a direct link could well be realistic.

I suppose the only real obstacle would be the logistics on the English side. Plymouth have already relocated the area where refrigerated trucks park as families in the newbuilds in the area have been complaining about the noise but that could be offset by better freight movements taking advantage of the A38 improvements and I believe there are also improved road links to the port itself... Could land be purchased from the M.O.D?

Now... to put the cat amongst the pigeons.

I wouldn't be surprised if BF take two of Stena's E-Flexers replacing both BDS and the Cap' seeing the latter replace Pelican at Poole taking advantage of the new longer berth. With the much publicised 3100 lane metres these two new builds will have the new inter-modal facilities around Portsmouth would be well exploited and the Cap' could easily offer a realistic freight/passenger vehicle/ passenger ratio from Poole.

I can see two of the Stena beasts replacing the Visentini's on the Mersey however it's unlikely that the Superfasts will be displaced at Loch Ryan. Stena have invested heavily in these to ships both aesthetically & structurally in order to carry double deck trailers plus of course they now own both of them. Surely they wouldn't spend that kind of money if their future was so short term on the route?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are BF in receipt of subsidies from MoS for their Spanish services?  I wasn't aware of it if they are.  Indeed what is being suggested would seem to indicate control of all ferry services to Spain from the UK is exercised by MoS -- and I don't believe this is the case.  I thought MoS funding was limited to the Gijon-Montoir service to encourage an operator to institute an otherwise unprofitable service to get traffic off the congested roads of South Western France and North Eastern Spain.  When LD Lines withdrew from all ferry operations the subsidy went to Suardiaz for their Vigo-Montoir export vehicles service.  As I understand the position the subsidy that's available for a revived Gijon-Montoir service comes from Spanish governments, central, regional and local.  It has nothing to do with MoS that I can discern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

Are BF in receipt of subsidies from MoS for their Spanish services?  I wasn't aware of it if they are.  Indeed what is being suggested would seem to indicate control of all ferry services to Spain from the UK is exercised by MoS -- and I don't believe this is the case.  I thought MoS funding was limited to the Gijon-Montoir service to encourage an operator to institute an otherwise unprofitable service to get traffic off the congested roads of South Western France and North Eastern Spain.  When LD Lines withdrew from all ferry operations the subsidy went to Suardiaz for their Vigo-Montoir export vehicles service.  As I understand the position the subsidy that's available for a revived Gijon-Montoir service comes from Spanish governments, central, regional and local.  It has nothing to do with MoS that I can discern.

This is taken from the link I posted above...

"The Action aims at re-establishing the MoS RoPax link between the core ports of Gijón (Spain) and Nantes Saint-Nazaire (France). It will connect this maritime service to the other transport modes on the TEN-T network, in particular the Atlantic Core network corridor. To deliver on its main objective, the action entails the following works:  Terminal works in the Port of Gijón: construction of a new RoRo ramp, investments in safety and security ICT equipment, and ICT systems for management of terminal operations.  Adaptation of the Montoir de Bretagne RoRo terminal in the Port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire by providing ancillary infrastructure  Upgrade of the vessel with modern equipment and technology necessary for the vessel to sail according to the highest standards of efficiency, safety, security and sustainability. The action will result in an efficient, safe and high quality MoS service between the two concerned ports, offering efficient logistics solutions to the customers, with three weekly departures from each port. Furthermore, it will enhance the position of the two ports as important transport nodes in the Atlantic Arc and will foster multimodality along the Atlantic Corridor"

There are also links in my posts above which illustrate BF's funding since 2008. It also explains how since Transfennica have ceased their RoRo service from Bilbao-Portsmouth-Zeebrugge further opportunities are there to carry larger volumes.

LD Lines only received funding for 12 months. When Suardiaz were offered a subsidy to run a second vessel the powers that be felt that this would be enough, they were wrong hence the reason why since 2016 both Gijon & Montoir have seen ongoing port improvement, the final piece of the puzzle through 2018 is selecting a suitable carrier with tonnage which ticks all of the new environmental boxes hence Balearia's haste and decision to choose Visentini.

The reason they've opted for LNG is that further subsidies are available in doing so in a similar way to BF's €80m from the French Gvt.

Within the next 5-8 years Spain will have three northern seaports capable of handling large freight volumes enabling them to cope with the movements through the Atlantic Arc. Gijón, Bilbao/Zierbena & Pasajes. 

Whether we like it or not ferry company survival is about freight first and passengers second. It's why we now have the RoPax rather than the cruise ferry. I imagine Pont Aven's replacement to be a large RoPax similar to Tallinks new Megastar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, jonno said:

Now... to put the cat amongst the pigeons.

I wouldn't be surprised if BF take two of Stena's E-Flexers replacing both BDS and the Cap' seeing the latter replace Pelican at Poole taking advantage of the new longer berth.

The problem is the work being done at Poole is work on new quays. It does not appear to have any advantages for RoRo 3 regarding the length of shipping that can be accommodated as the new quay is separated from RoRo 3 by RoRo 2 and is not even parallel to the existing RoRo berths but offset about 30%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it does rather look as if Balearia are coming!  As I have suggested previously one hopes PHC are preparing to argue the case on behalf of Poole, if they are not already doing so, just in case Balearia are entertaining ideas of further expansion beyond Gijon-Montoir.

I was surprised LD's Visentinis at 186.5m o.l. were able to berth at Poole's RoRo 3.  Even so I wonder if the length could be extended further by some engineering solution such as cylindrical piles.  Don't forget RoRo 2 is being lengthened as part of the South Quay project -- Barfleur has already berthed there in LD days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

So it does rather look as if Balearia are coming!  As I have suggested previously one hopes PHC are preparing to argue the case on behalf of Poole, if they are not already doing so, just in case Balearia are entertaining ideas of further expansion beyond Gijon-Montoir.

I was surprised LD's Visentinis at 186.5m o.l. were able to berth at Poole's RoRo 3.  Even so I wonder if the length could be extended further by some engineering solution such as cylindrical piles.  Don't forget RoRo 2 is being lengthened as part of the South Quay project -- Barfleur has already berthed there in LD days.

I don't think you'll find RoRo 2 is being lengthened. If you look at page 27 on the link below it can clearly be seen that the new quay is not aligned with RoRo 2 although if you look at page 25 there does appear to be a very small in fill which provides a small extension to the dock side at RoRo 2.

 

http://www.pianc.org.uk/documents/seminars/6Jun17/6Jun17-Richard-Hayman.pdf

Edited by G4rth
addition
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading 1.45 & 1.46 of Poole Port's Master Plan doesn't encourage me to think that RoRo berth improvement far less extension is high on their priority list... So much for my cunning plan for the Cap' then... Hey ho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, jonno said:

Reading 1.45 & 1.46 of Poole Port's Master Plan doesn't encourage me to think that RoRo berth improvement far less extension is high on their priority list... So much for my cunning plan for the Cap' then... Hey ho.

Jonno, your cunning plan for the Cap, perhaps not so cunning after all.:)

However PHC/BF do appear to have found themselves a niche market in unaccompanied freight between UK and Northern Spain. The Pelican charter has been extended for 2 years and the UK may need to import more food from Spain in the short to medium term. If more capacity may be needed in a couple of years time when would Cotentin become available to BF again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, jonno said:

Reading 1.45 & 1.46 of Poole Port's Master Plan doesn't encourage me to think that RoRo berth improvement far less extension is high on their priority list... So much for my cunning plan for the Cap' then... Hey ho.

I think one should always remember Poole is a "trust port" set up under the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed as long ago as 1890.  Essentially what this is is a nonprofit making statutory body -- it isn't a trust, that's just a name -- the earnings of which are ploughed back into the port.  There are no shareholders to whom dividends have to be paid.  While this set-up might be OK for small to very small places it has disadvantages in relation to the larger trust ports of which Poole is one.  A PKF inquiry ten years ago found trust ports functioned less efficiently than PLC ports or municipal ports.  Portsmouth is the leading example of the latter.  Thus it is no surprise to learn that a number of significant trust ports had already been privatised under Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major.  Dover and Poole were not among them but both, notwithstanding the restrictions on their operations, have major civil projects ongoing.

Personally I think this has led to an overdependence on BF on the part of Poole with a tendency to follow what they want to do rather than taking the initiative themselves.  The major project of the capital dredge of Middle Ship Channel for Cotentin was carried out at the request of BF -- and where's Cotentin now?  Since BF didn't ask for South Quay it's not for them but for cruise ships and large freighters up to 220m o.l.  Thus there are no plans for it to be a roro berth.  Somehow I think things might have gone rather differently had Poole been a PLC or municipal port.

 RoRo 2 does seem to have undergone some lengthening from the illustrations and plans -- for which many thanks -- and so could take larger vessels than at present.  What, if anything, happens regarding Balearia we'll just have to wait and see!  Currently it's just an entertaining speculation.  As of this writing there's not even been an official announcement about Gijon-Montoir that I'm aware of.

 

Edited by Hawser Trunnion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, G4rth said:

Jonno, your cunning plan for the Cap, perhaps not so cunning after all.:)

However PHC/BF do appear to have found themselves a niche market in unaccompanied freight between UK and Northern Spain. The Pelican charter has been extended for 2 years and the UK may need to import more food from Spain in the short to medium term. If more capacity may be needed in a couple of years time when would Cotentin become available to BF again?

G4rth I wouldn't be surprised to see Cotentin used by BF as part of any E-Flexer deal especially as the press release indicated that BF would look to purchase them or it sometime after year 5. If Irish Ferries can squeeze over €45m out of KiwiRail for Isle of Innisfree/Kaitaki, which is close to her original build cost, I'm sure Cotentin would muster around €60m. Not bad for a ship they don't seem to particularly want and a figure such as that would eat a substantial chunk of what Stena would be looking at.

If PHC have no plans to increase RoRo3 the Cap' is a non starter, she's just too long and any less substantial form of lengthening such as a channel dolphin would hinder access to both RoRo's in an area which see's the use of tugs in strong winds.

The conundrum is that both freight & passenger numbers are increasing on the Spanish routes, BF need more space for both, It's the reason why I think Pelican will be returned in 2019. Unaccompanied trailers aren't the key here as almost 30% of the freight from PIP sails this way too and more importantly BF would be able to expand their capacities without the need of further MoS subsidies which another carrier would be looking for.

I don't believe BF would replace the Cap' as quickly in that scenario, possibly with one of Stena's next batch of 4 but an E-Flexer for BDS, which we all now assume is on the cards, and possibly Stena Mersey or Lagan replacing Pelican would give BF a lot more Pax & freight space. 

Why not just switch Etretat? Ok fair question as they're all Visentini's (still sounds like it should written on an ice cream van!)... Both Stena Lagan & Mersey have had a lot of time, effort & money spent on them raising their standard significantly, both are an improvement on Etretat with interiors more suitable for a longer sea journey and could realistically be available when replaced on the Mersey.

This would leave BF with the lesser headache of just building Pont Aven's replacement.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I think one should always remember Poole is a "trust port" set up under the provisions of an Act of Parliament passed as long ago as 1890.  Essentially what this is is a nonprofit making statutory body -- it isn't a trust, that's just a name -- the earnings of which are ploughed back into the port.  There are no shareholders to whom dividends have to be paid.  While this set-up might be OK for small to very small places it has disadvantages in relation to the larger trust ports of which Poole is one.  A PKF inquiry ten years ago found trust ports functioned less efficiently than PLC ports or municipal ports.  Portsmouth is the leading example of the latter.  Thus it is no surprise to learn that a number of significant trust ports had already been privatised under Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major.  Dover and Poole were not among them but both, notwithstanding the restrictions on their operations, have major civil projects ongoing.

Personally I think this has led to an overdependence on BF on the part of Poole with a tendency to follow what they want to do rather than taking the initiative themselves.  The major project of the capital dredge of Middle Ship Channel for Cotentin was carried out at the request of BF -- and where's Cotentin now?  Since BF didn't ask for South Quay it's not for them but for cruise ships and large freighters up to 220m o.l.  Thus there are no plans for it to be a roro berth.  Somehow I think things might have gone rather differently had Poole been a PLC or municipal port.

 RoRo 2 does seem to have undergone some lengthening from the illustrations and plans -- for which many thanks -- and so could take larger vessels than at present.  What, if anything, happens regarding Balearia we'll just have to wait and see!  Currently it's just an entertaining speculation.  As of this writing there's not even been an official announcement about Gijon-Montoir that I'm aware of.

 

Yes, I see your point HT.

Remember too that without the channel dredging there would be no Pelican which essentially replaced Cotentin and Ld Lines wouldn't have been able to offer any sailings however short lived.

Gijon-Montoir announcement will be next month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×