Former owner acquires unfinished ferry from troubled shipyard
According to the IG Metall union, Norway-based SIEM has acquired the LNG Ro-Pax ferry HONFLEUR from Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) reports NDR.de. The ship, which was under construction for Brittany Ferries was cancelled last month following lengthy delays to its delivery. Brittany Ferries has stated they were informed by the yard that the ship was around a year from completion. Little work is understood to have been undertaken on the vessel since the cancellation, though the Brittany Ferries logos on the exterior appear to have been painted over rather than merely covered as before.
The reported sale of HONFLEUR comes ahead of the start of insolvency proceedings for the yard starting on August 1. According to the union, the sale should secure the yard financially for the next six months. No sale price has been reported.
As former owner of the shipyard, SIEM provided loans to finance the construction of HONFLEUR which have yet to be repaid. This means that despite selling its stake in the yard, SIEM still has considerable interest in the yard surviving and completing the ship. It is standard industry practice that when a new ship is ordered full payment is not made until delivery, meaning that the shipyard has to finance construction from its own resources. HONFLEUR is currently the only work the yard has, though SIEM is also reportedly still in talks about ordering a further two Ro-Ro vessels from the yard. That order has yet to be finalised, however.