14 Apr 2022

Blue Fin Shipping orders Six Combi Freighters from Damen

Blue Fin Shipping ordered an additional four Damen Combi Freighters 3850, accelerating the fleet expansion to six new vessels since the order for the first one was signed

Hans Buitelaar

Impressed by the outstanding performance of the first two Combi Freighters 3850, German ship owner Blue Fin Shipping has ordered an additional four of these cargo vessels from Damen Shipyards Group, accelerating the fleet expansion to six new vessels since the order for the first one was signed, late 2020.

The two new vessels Unitas-H and Solitas-H are already in full operation in typical European shortsea trades, transporting a variety of cargoes like steel, woodpulp, grain, fertiliser in bulk or in big bags. These are the first two operational CF 3850 vessels built to the new and improved design from Damen.

The first ordered CF 3850 Unitas-H was delivered to Blue Fin Shipping within six weeks from signing the order, from stock at Damen Shipyards Yichang in China on January 4th of 2021. The owner successfully arranged a crew (challenged by covid restrictions) and the vessel sailed for Malaysia where she took on cargo and departed for Rotterdam. Throughout the voyage the owner and Damen monitored the vessel with regard to its fuel consumption, speed and weather conditions. Analysis of the data confirmed that the vessel’s fuel consumption had not only improved significantly compared to the older designs, but that she also had done so while maintaining a very acceptable sustained speed in the face of head winds and seas while fully loaded.

The owner was so pleased with these results that shortly after the arrival at the North Sea port, a contract was signed for the second vessel of the same design, this one to be named Solitas-H. This second vessel was delivered from stock August 21st that same year. Client satisfaction and good cooperation with Damen Shipyards have led to even more new orders: on August 16th, 2021, orders were signed for two more CF 3850, Baltic Fin and Bothnia Fin to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022. And then two more vessels of the same design were ordered at a contract signing on November 2nd, the Bering Fin and Biscay Fin will be delivered in the third quarter of 2023.

Blue Fin Shipping is founded to set new standards in short sea shipping for economic and ecological performance by operating a fleet of coasters. The company aims to be ahead of competition by meeting current and even future environmental protection criteria. Founded as a joint venture with four entrepreneurs with a deep maritime knowledge and one big shipping company that has functioned for many years, Blue Fin Shipping implements cloud based fleet management tools to achieve state-of-the-art real time reporting for quick decision making. This results in maximised efficiency, profitability and sustainability while minimising risk.

“The vessel is fulfilling its expected performance in fuel consumption and quality, even in rough seas,” CEO Peter Hinsch from Blue fin Shipping confirms. Peter Hinsch is also owner of Reederei Hinsch that is a shareholder in Blue Fin Shipping. “Charterers are happy with reduced fuel consumption. We were happy with the size of the vessel and it’s hold on the previous versions of the CF 3850. This has not changed in the new design, Cooperation with Damen is professional, quick and reliable. the Damen team finds a solution for any complication that appears. This feels like working with friends who trust each other 100%.”

Damen is continuously improving the design of the yard group’s best selling freighter model CF3850. The current optimisation materialises a big step forward with a focus on lowering emissions and reducing fuel consumption. This has been achieved through the optimisation of the hull lines and introducing new efficiencies in the way that energy is used on board. The specification of the design has been brought up to the latest standards with regard to the regulations governing ballast water treatment, Tier III NOx emissions and other recently mandated operational requirements. These modifications have resulted in notable improvements in its rating at the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), and at the Environmental Ship Index (ESI).

While the dimensions and tonnage of the new CF 3850 are similar to those of its predecessor, the re-design has enabled reduction of its installed main engine power from 1,520 kW to 1,104kW as the power needed to propel it at 10 knots fully laden has dropped more than equivalent of the power reduction. Damen Shipyards Group has delivered more than 80 vessels of this type to customers since it was first introduced.

"Together with our business partners Blue-Fin, we have managed to accelerate our strategy of offering greener transport solutions to our clients. The M/V Solitas-H design is state of the art. The low consumption, the tween-deck and excellent stability are ideal for our trade." Says Ronnie Hulstrøm, CEO of Baltic Shipping Company A/S who are chartering the Solitas-H and are also eager to see the newbuilds coming.

“We are delighted that the owner has taken the first two Combi Freighters into operation and was so pleased with their performance, that they ordered four more of the same design” says Remko Bouma, Commercial director Damen Cargo Vessels. “The Damen Combi Freighter 3850 has for some years been a reliable and cost efficient work horse for our customers and, following these positive results, we look forward to building more of these vessels so that owners can benefit from this improved performance on fuel consumption and emissions in todays and future market.”