The Cantiere Navale Visentini Srl shipyard in Porto Viro near Chioggia in northern Italy launched and docked on 6 April a ferry being built for a subsidiary of the shipyard for charter to the Polish Baltic Shipping Company (Polferries).
The contract for the 10-year charter was signed in August 2022. Prior to that, the ferry was started and built on a speculative basis, i.e. without a contract. The contract was concluded as a consequence of the granting of funding to the Polish Baltic Shipping/PBS in the form of bonds transferred from the State Treasury in late 2021/2022.
On Tuesday, the ferry, with a shipyard construction number of 237 and IMO number 9990480 and an undisclosed or not yet chosen name, was viewed during a study visit by a Polish delegation with Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Grzegorz Witkowski and President of Polska Żegluga Bałtycka Andrzej Madejski, as well as Kołobrzeg’s PiS MP Czesław Hoc. They were acquainted with the stages of the investment, and the delegation participants saw the launched hull at the shipyard quay.
According to some sources, the ferry will enter service in the fleet in the colours of PBS / Polferries on the Świnoujście-Ystad line in the second half of 2024 or next year without specifying the half-year, according to others – in the second half of this year. One source (S&P Global database) gives December 2023 as the shipyard’s delivery date.
As the shipyard’s co-owner Carlo Visentini told PAP, the ferry for the PBS is the largest vessel to be built in the 60-year history at the Chioggi shipyard.
– Speaking to PAP on board the ferry under construction, Deputy Minister Witkowski admitted that everything is going according to plan. “This is the last moment for us to effectively replace the fleet of the Polish Baltic Shipping and we are doing it. The plan has been outlined by the Polish government,” – he pointed out. Witkowski added that “three more ferries are being built in Polish shipyards on the Baltic. It is important that we maintain competitive rules on the Baltic. There is no reason why our two shipowners should somehow be disadvantaged or discriminated against and not participate in this great cake to be shared, which is the Baltic ferry transport market,” – the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure stated.
The ro-ro cargo line of the Visentini ro-pax ferry, with a gross tonnage of around 41,000 units and a carrying capacity of around 8,000 tonnes, will be almost 3 km long, allowing it to carry around 100 trucks and around 200 cars at a time.