Superfast Ferries announced last month that it had won a Scottish state tender to ply routes to northern ports on continental Europe from 2002. Forty two companies took part in the international tender to run a service between Rosyth in Fife, Scotland and the Continent.
Superfast, which is due to start plying the Baltic in February, has four fast ferries currently operating Adriatic services. The company’s fleet is to acquire another two ships in the next two months.
“Scotland’s econonmy will reap many benefits from a direct connection with its European Union partners using our brand new luxury vessels,” said Alexander Panagopoulos, Superfast’s managing director.
The selection of Superfast Ferries was made by a steering group, chaired by Scottish Enterprise. The Group, which included Scottish Enterprise Fife, Fife Council and the Scottish Tourist Board, received 42 expressions of interest, with a shortlist of four major European companies invited to submit detailed proposals.
Detailed discussions will now take place between Superfast Ferries and the Steering Group to pull together the necessary financial package, including European funding, required to make the proposals a reality.
Speaking on behalf of the Steering Group, Robert Crawford, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise said: ‘We are delighted to have reached this advanced stage with this project, which Scottish Enterprise has been actively pursuing for a number of years. We can now move quickly to the next stage and then onto the start of the service in 2002. The proposal submitted by Superfast Ferries convinced us that they were both committed and well qualified to run a service between Scotland and Europe’.
Alexander P.Panagopulos, Managing Director of Superfast Ferries said: ‘We are delighted that Scottish Enterprise has chosen us for the direct ferry service between Scotland and the Continent. Like Greece, being in the geographical periphery of Europe, Scotland’s economy has a lot to gain from a direct daily link to its European partners with our brand new and luxurious car passenger and freight ferries’.
The proposed service is expected to meet demand for both freight and passenger traffic by offering a viable alternative to road or rail travel from Scotland to ports in the South East of England.
The selection of Superfast Ferries has been welcomed by the Forth Ports Authority, which would build and operate a new terminal in Rosyth. Alan Burns, Port Manager at Rosyth, said ‘Forth Ports is eager to build on the initial planning phase already conducted to operate the new service from Rosyth and to work with Superfast in the development of purpose built terminal facilities. With the pre-planning phase already complete, the port could be fully operational to meet the service start up date during 2002. We believe new facilities, based on an existing protected deepwater tidal berth, could be developed into a fitting and easy to use marine gateway for Scotland.’
Meanwhile, the board of directors of Attica Enterprises to announced the consolidated results for the six month period ended 30th June, 2000, which show sales of 25.2 billion drachmas and net profit of 2.9 billion drachmas. The group’s sales come from the consolidation of the turnover of Attica’s subsidiaries Superfast Ferries Maritime S.A. and Strintzis Lines S.A. Strintzis results are consolidated for the first time in the group’s accounts.