With confidence towards the next anniversary
Meriaura was celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and although a company of this age has already faced both good and bad times, this year will be remembered as one of the more challenging ones for the entire shipping industry. In an open market the imbalance in supply and demand will over time correct itself, and unfortunately this year we have seen several shipping companies throw in the towel, which has caused anxiety and turbulence in the market. However, even if the year did not turn out as expected, I would like to quote the old saying “what doesn´t kill you makes you stronger”, since I am convinced that the need for reliable and well reputed shipping companies will remain and even grow in the coming years.
The delivery of our two newbuilt “EcoCoasters” symbolizes our faith in the future. Both Eeva VG and Mirva VG have successfully started trade this autumn and the high expectations on remarkably lower fuel consumption and lower emissions have been met. Encouraged by this experience we continue to stick to our long term strategy: setting the new standard for sustainable shipping.
Another delight this year has undoubtedly been the favorable development in the project division. The return of MV Aura made it possible for us to improve the services we offer, thereby expanding our clientele. I chose to see the increased demand for project transports as a sign of better times ahead for the business in general. With this I like to thank you for the cooperation over the past year, and on behalf of the entire Meriaura team wish you a Merry Christmas and a successful New Year 2017!
Vice Managing Director
First experiences with VG EcoCoasters in traffic
Experiences with our EcoCoasters m/v ‘Eeva VG’ and ‘Mirva VG’ have been very positive. The older sister, Eeva VG, has now been sailing for about 2,5 months, and the fuel consumption has proven to be in line with the test results, that is, almost half compared to conventional cargo ships of same size and type. Consumption and speed with biofuel seem to be roughly the same as with MGO while sailing on ecospeed. Captain of Mirva VG, Vidar Tollander is very pleased after the first two weeks of sailing: “65% of the engine capacity, which so far seems to be the optimal ecospeed, gives 10 knots with a total daily consumption of 3,7 tons. I was surprised that speed and consumption were almost the same with a full cargo, when usually consumption is a lot higher than in ballast conditions”, he says. Another reason to rejoice was that speed did not drop much with adverse wind. Captain of Eeva VG, Thord Vaenerberg, tells that there have been very few problems that usually arise at the early phase with a newbuilding. According to him the ship’s accommodation section is quiet and there’s very little of trembling. “The shape of the hull is excellent, at least in the conditions on the Baltic Sea. Even in ballast the moves in swell are moderate and soft” both captains praise.
Shipping sector must do its share in reducing fuel consumption and emissions. EcoCoasters have already proven how energy efficiency can help achieve these goals. At present oil price is rising and lower fuel consumption is becoming more significant in maritime transport, not only from an environmental, but also from an economical point of view.
Meriaura participates in building a sustainable ocean liner demolition industry in Finland
Meriaura is participating in a new ‘Ship Recycling’ project for starting ocean liner demolition industry in Finland. The project has been launched by Tekes in cooperation with a consortium of four Finnish companies. The first pilot demolition project is currently under discussion and is planned to begin in late 2017.
So far most ocean liners are taken apart outside of the EU, for example in India or Bangladesh, where working conditions are sometimes questionable. The EU legislation will tighten, and in the future ships sailing under an EU flag have to be dismantled inside the borders of the EU. At the moment there is a lack of docks dismantling huge ocean liners within the EU area. Turku repair yard in Naantali that is participating in the project, would be suitable for ships up to 280 meters of length.
Meriaura’s part in the project is to acquire the ships to be demolished and bring them to the dry dock. Other partners, Delete and Industrial and Ship Cleaning Services Hans Langh will remove any hazardous waste and dismantle the vessels, while Meriaura will sell and transport the steel waste for recycling. A single ship weighs thousands of tons and up to 90 percent of this is recyclable material.
“It is unethical to dump vessels to Asia where even lives are lost in the harsh working conditions. I believe that we can do this better and much more sustainably. This would also create new jobs to Turku area”, says Jussi Mälkiä, President of Meriaura Group.
New coworkers to the Meriaura team
Due to the growth in project shipments and our increased capacity, the demand for planning and surveillance services has grown accordingly. Therefore two of our experienced ship officers have come ashore to strengthen our engineering team. Supercargo Olli Keintola used to work as chief mate on MV Meri, and Marine Superintendent Lassi Eloranta recently served as Captain on MV Aura. Olli and Lassi bring years of highly valuable skills and experience of handling demanding projects in practice. Juha Ylitalo who used to work for our project department, has decided to resign for a career outside Meriaura Group.
Lawyer Jutta Seppänen, who has been working part time for the Meriaura Group, has signed up for a full time contract from the beginning of 2017. Prior to her employment at Meriaura, Jutta worked as researcher in maritime law at the University of Turku.
Minna Suuronen and Emilia Mustonen are returning from child care leave in the beginning of January. Emilia will continue with bio oil business and Minna concentrates on general administration.
Technical Manager Henri Tuominen will return to VG-Shipping in the beginning of January. Later in the spring he will start managing r/v Aranda's renovation Project.