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Another conversion order from Finnlines

Gdansk Shiprepair Yard Remontowa SA is ready to undertake yet another conversion of two ro-ro vessels, in which area the company has gained considerable experience over the recent years on repairs, upgrading and conversions of ro-ro ferries as well as the construction of new vessels of this type. Meanwhile, Remontowa has acquired another order from the same Finnish owner.

The two 183.00 m long ro-ro vessels Finnpartner and Finntrader, operated on the Baltic by Finnlines Plc, Helsinki, with gross tonnage of 32 534 each, were originally built in Poland by Stocznia Gdanska SA and delivered in 1994 and 1995 respectively. In April 2005, Remontowa acquired a conversion contract covering the two vessels.
Initially the work on each vessel was expected to begin during the first quarter of this year (2006) and both ships would be completed by the second quarter of 2006. The first ship was expected in January, then - in May. Meanwhile, the yard got itself ready for earlier expected arrivals of ships to be converted. All the new steel structures sections that could have been fabricated before the ship arrival are ready and waiting for Finntrader for quite a time. It now seems, the first ship - Finntrader - would arrive for conversion early July, 2006. The delay is caused by late deliveries of newbuildings that were intended to replace the ships, to be converted by Remontowa, on Helsinki-Travemünde route.
Meanwhile, on May 19, 2006, Remontowa SA has signed a contract for the conversion of another ferry for Finnlines, namely the Finnclipper. The 188.30 m long and 28.70 m wide passenger and car ferry, built in Spain, will get a new deck (to be designated as deck no. 7) at Remontowa. Also new hinged ramp will be installed. Shipboard systems will be modified accordingly. The conversion of Finnclipper is to commence during winter, upon arrival of the ship expected on December 27. Finnclipper was transferred from FinnLink trafic (Sweden-Finland) to Nordö-Link trafic between Sweden and Germany in early 2005 and returned to FinnLink service earlier this year.

The two vessels from earlier contarct (Finntrader and Finnpartner), will operate primarily on the Malmö (Sweden) to Travemünde (Germany) route (Nordö-Link), but will also be available for other services within the Finnlines network.
Conversion of the pair of ships will involve addition of a new deck, between existing decks no. 3 and 4 and installation of 160 additional passenger cabins on the new deck, as well as the rearrangement of the upper (weather) deck. The vessels will undergo extensive modification to their cargo spaces arrangement, cargo flow paths and thus - also cargo access equipment. The new equipment to be installed onboard each vessel comprises:
- bow doors (folding out to the sides) and bow ramp (folding frame type) on deck 2 - this is for special transport vehicles used in the port of Malmö and for 40 foot roll trailers having a maximum weight of 128.60 tons and 47.10 tons axle load in harbour and 43.10 tons axle load at sea,
- bow doors and bow flap on deck 3 - the bow flap is designed for trailers with a maximum weight of 60 tons,
- a two-way tiltable ramp - also designed for a maximum weight of 60 tons,
- one end-hinged ramp cover,
- one flood prevention door,
- hydraulic pump station.
The new cargo access equipment has a gross weight of about 330 tonnes for each vessel and will be built to design by Sweden's TTS Ships Equipment, Gothenburg, part of the Dry Cargo handling Division of Norway's TTS Marine ASA, Bergen. All hull structural modifications and cargo access equipment installation work complies with the latest SOLAS and IMO regulations governing this type of ship.

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Shipping company Oy Finnlines was established in 1947 as a daughter company of trade and forest industry company Merivienti Oy. Finnlines operates a fleet of some 80 ships nowadays, of which 17 are ro-pax'es utilised in Baltic line trades.
Just before the market downturn of the 90-ties, Finnlines managed to invest in three new ro-ro's, nick-named "combi" by Finnlines, namely: Finnhansa, Finnpartner and Finntrader.
Each of the ships built in Poland, featured 3200 lane metres of ro-ro cargo capacity and berths for 114 passengers. The trio, employed since 1994 on the route linking Finland and Germany, was later supplemented by Transeuropa, from Gdansk Shipyard, too. The Finnlines' Germany-Finland ferry connection fleet is being upgraded by newbuildings from Fincantieri, the world's largest ro-pax'es, while two ships to be converted at Remontowa will be moved back to Malmö - Travemünde route (Nordö Link), however, with the flexibility to be able to me deployed somewhere else in Finnlines ferry connections network, should the need arise.

Copyright 2005 Remontowa