Denmark’s DFDS buys Eurotunnel ferries

DFDS takes advantage of competitor Eurotunnel's legal wrangling to purchase two MyFerryLink ferries for an undisclosed amount.

Denmark's DFDS buys Eurotunnel ferries
DFDS reached agreement with its competitor Eurotunnel to buy MyFerryLink, which sails between Calais and Dover. Photo: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/Scanpix
Danish ferry operator DFDS said on Monday it had agreed to buy two ferries from rail tunnel operator Eurotunnel, which had faced antitrust action in Britain over its Dover to Calais service.
“DFDS has submitted a binding offer to Eurotunnel for the charter or purchase of the ferries Rodin and Berlioz with an effective date of July 2nd, 2015, based on terms and conditions agreed with Eurotunnel,” the Danish group said in a statement.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Eurotunnel said in May it would not renew contracts expiring on July 2nd under which it leased three ferries it had acquired in 2012 from bankrupt maritime transporter SeaFrance to Scop SeaFrance, a cooperative of employee-owners of the re-baptised MyFerryLink line.
Eurotunnel said it “regrets that the Scop SeaFrance has not had the support it needed to be able to present a takeover proposal.”
“The Eurotunnel Group believes that the constructive manner in which DFDS conducted itself during the recruitment of ex SeaFrance personnel in 2012 gives hope for the best solution possible with regard to preserving employment,” it said.
On Monday Eurotunnel CEO however stressed that not all MyFerryLink personnel would retain their jobs.
“There will be a handover plan with retentions, I hope at a maximal number, but it will evidently not be equal to 100 percent of those concerned. I believe that everyone has understood that for a long time,” said Jacques Gounon in a telephone press briefing.
Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had argued Eurotunnel's partnership with MyFerryLink allowed the cross-Channel operator to dominate the competition.
On May 15th, a British appeals court supported MyFerryLink's challenge to a decision by the CMA banning the company's service.
However, the CMA indicated it would likely take its complaint to a higher court, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty Eurotunnel said it took into account in ending its MyFerryLink contract.

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Diesel-powered Danish ferry refuelled with 6,000 litres of gasoline

Two ferry departures bound for the Danish island of Samsø were cancelled while gasoline was pumped out of the vessel’s diesel tank due to a refuelling error.

Diesel-powered Danish ferry refuelled with 6,000 litres of gasoline
The Samsø Ferry. File photo: News Øresund - Johan Wessman/Flickr

A situation many motorists have cursed over the years also became reality for operators of a Danish ferry on Tuesday.

A wrong button pressed the driver of a fuel tanker resulted in thousands of litres of gasoline being poured into the diesel-driven Samsø Ferry at the harbour in the town of Hou, reports DR Østjylland.

Two departures were subsequently cancelled while 48,000 litres of fuel – 42,000 litres of diesel plus 6,000 litres of gasoline – were pumped out of the ship’s fuel tank.

The embarrassed driver of the fuel truck alerted the ferry’s crew to the error, Carsten Kruse, director of ferry operator Samsø Rederi, told DR Østjylland.

“If it had got into the system and into the engine, it would have been really bad. The engine is not designed to sail on petrol, only natural gas and diesel. So it is very, very good that the petrol didn’t get into other places,” Kruse said.

The fuel supplier will cover losses sustained by the ferry operator as a result of the blunder, according to the report.

The ferry serving the island of Samsø – a community that prides itself on its use of sustainable energy – uses primarily natural gas, but also runs on ten percent diesel, mainly during harbour manoeuvres, writes DR Østjylland.

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