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Author Topic: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?  (Read 1298 times)

ferryfan

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Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« on: December 01, 2017, 01:59:28 PM »
ICG have taken "redelivery" of HSC Westpac Express. The vessel is to undergo a conversion to a fully operational passenger ferry fitted out to Irish Ferries specifications. A decision will then be taken on wether to seek to charter the vessel or to deploy it internally to replace the Swift. An announcement will be made in due course.

Steven

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 12:35:53 AM »
The wording of the statement they have put out certainly suggests to me she will operate in place of Swift once ready. The fact they have even mentioned it as a possibility says to me it is likely to happen.   Whilste longer she is also slower than Swift and just a couple of years younger.  I suppose if they have to put in new fixtures and fittings anyway they might as well make use of them themselves!  The potential extra capacity over Swift could come in handy as well with WB Yeats concentrated on the France service

Quote
StockMarketWire.com - Irish Continental Group has taken redelivery of the high speed craft Westpac Express under the terms of the charter with Sealift.

The group said the vessel - which had been on charter since its acquisition on 1 June 2016 - would undergo a refurbishment programme to bring it up to Irish Ferries' passenger service standards.

The group said it was currently finalising its fleet operational requirements for 2018 and a decision on whether to charter externally or deploy this vessel within the group's Irish Ferries services, in lieu of the existing vessel Jonathan Swift, would be announced in due course.

The group also said that gollowing the maturity of its existing debt facilities it had concluded a suite of financing agreements comprising:

- A 5 year multicurrency revolving credit facility provided by Allied Irish Banks (co-ordinating bank) and Bank of Ireland (agent bank) extendable by up to 2 years, comprising a committed €75 million drawing limit together with an additional uncommitted limit of €50 million;

-A 12 year amortising term loan provided by the European Investment Bank comprising a committed €75 million drawing limit, available on delivery of the new vessel W.B. Yeats

- Multicurrency private loan note shelf agreements with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Pricoa Capital Group comprising total uncommitted drawing limits of US$275 million and tenors of up to 15 years.

It said these had been supplemented with an overdraft and guarantee facility of €16 million provided by Allied Irish Banks Plc.

On 30 Nov the Group issued its first series of loan notes under the shelf agreements amounting to €50 million on a 7 year bullet repayment term with a fixed coupon of 1.40% per annum.

Following this issuance the aggregate committed finance facilities amount to €216 million, with uncommitted facilities of €222 million approximately.

These facilities will be used to support the long-term investment opportunities available to the Group the most imminent being the delivery of the cruise ferry W.B. Yeats in June 2018 when the remaining 80% of the €144 million contracted cost of this ship is due to be paid.

http://www.stockmarketwire.com/article/5764478/Irish-Continental-takes-redelivery-and-agrees-refinancing.html
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 01:43:17 AM by Steven »
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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IFPete

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 03:05:47 PM »
The speed differance would not be significant on a two hour voyage compared with the cruise ferry 3 hour 30 minute crossing time. The question will be can she operate in weather conditions above 2.5 metre wave height where the swift was limited.


Steven

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 01:23:22 PM »
The speed differance would not be significant on a two hour voyage compared with the cruise ferry 3 hour 30 minute crossing time. The question will be can she operate in weather conditions above 2.5 metre wave height where the swift was limited.
Some sources state she was only intended to operate at 20 knots in normal service, though I doubt that will be anywhere near the case if she operates on the Irish Sea (what would be the point!).  Being of similar hull design I expect she will have similar wave height restrictions as the swift.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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giftgrub

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ferryfan

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 03:17:11 PM »
Moved to Singapore over the weekend, taking bunkers at the moment, Where next? Austal for a refit?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 03:19:16 PM by ferryfan »

Chef

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 04:39:41 PM »
When was the last time the Swift operated at 42 knots .

Steven

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 06:05:11 PM »
Moved to Singapore over the weekend, taking bunkers at the moment, Where next? Austal for a refit?
A ferry brokers website actually.  They state her location as Singapore.  Could be the refit takes place there.  I imagine ICG are testing the water a little to see if there is any interest.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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IFPete

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 07:37:38 PM »
Austal might only be needed if they want ramps to be replaced.

I wonder could swift end up on lease to P&O in Larne,

Davy Jones

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 08:33:27 PM »
When was the last time the Swift operated at 42 knots .

I do recall seeing her on AIS travelling at over 40kts on her way to (or was it from?) Cammel Laird last year for (From) her refit. Of course she would not be loaded for that trip. Service speed is normally around 35kts - still faster than Westpac's top speed although, lets face it, Westpac is quite a bit bigger.

Do they both have the same engine/waterjet set up?

Steven

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 08:48:46 PM »
Austal might only be needed if they want ramps to be replaced.

I wonder could swift end up on lease to P&O in Larne,
Even then I’m sure the work could still be done elsewhere.

As for P&O they’d need to have a need for such a craft but I wouldn’t totally rule out a return to fast craft (though would be a huge u-turn).  Express is available again as well and would arguably be a better fit for them being a craft they have experience with and already fitted out in P&O colours.  I believe some of the P&O signage is still visible onboard!
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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TC

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 11:24:58 PM »
The problem as I see it with P&O introducing an 'express' service, have that be with the former HSC Express or Irish Ferries Swift, is higher running costs at Larne. P&O would have to foot the fuel bill for Express, which was quite large and also pay berthing fees at Troon, additional staff etc, and the general public would still likely opt for which ever route or operator was cheapest, thus putting P&O in very hazardous waters.

By retaining just the European Highlander and European Causeway, P&O have levelled the playing field with Stena Line, and are seeing the busiest carryings in 20+ years.

ferryfan

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 10:37:20 AM »
On her way to Kochi in India. I think she's on her way to Ireland or at least to Europe via Suez.

IFPete

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 08:59:52 PM »
Sounds like Christmas cover to me.

Steven

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Re: Westpac Express for Irish Sea?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2017, 10:54:20 PM »
On her way to Kochi in India. I think she's on her way to Ireland or at least to Europe via Suez.
Just to confuse matters Marine Traffic is indicating the Kochi in question is in Japan whilst vessel finder says India.   Both Kochi's have shipyards but her direction of travel on the last freely available satellite position (from 3 days ago) would suggest she is bound for India.
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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