Tribute to Marian Bulutu

It is with deep sadness that we pay tribute to Marian Bulutu, Second Officer, who passed away on Thursday 20th January during the call of our ship Marin in Guadeloupe.

Marian was for many years faithful to Marfret and our Ferrymar line. He was a colleague, but also a friend for the employees of Marfret Guadeloupe as well as for the stevedores, dockworkers, inter-island carriers and Port community, whom he worked with from near and far.

Hardened shipping professional, he was driven by a passion for a job well done and made it his duty to optimise every corner of the ship so that nothing was left behind. Captains Bessonov, Constantinescu, Moise and Pilarski, under whose orders he worked, always had a great respect and deep affection for him.

We will always remember his extraordinary kindness and the warmth of his welcome and hospitality each time we came on board the Marin.

He leaves behind a wife and two young children to whom we send a message of compassion and affectionate thoughts.

Marfret all sails aloft

A wind of innovation is blowing through Marfret. As part of our commitment to energy transition, we have fitted one of our ships with 21st-century sails. Four aluminium sails, in fact, will provide power to the Marfret Niolon as it is borne by the trade winds on the MPV service.

Using the force of the wind -a clean, free and infinite source of energy- for assistance was the subject of a months-long study, which led to Marfret equipping the Marfret Niolon with four wing-shaped sails, which are expected to provide fuel savings of between 10 and 15%. “We firmly believe in the future of containerisation and energy and that’s what led us to opt for the technology developed by the Dutch firm eConowind.” Indeed, the wing-sails are easy to deploy and, since they are stored in a 40’ container. “All the ingenuity of the container, the foundation in many ways of our business, has here been applied to a system to assist the ship’s propulsion,” points out Guillaume Vidil. Containerisation also allows great adaptability, as the wings can easily be transferred from one ship to another to suit the needs of our shipping lines.

Inside, the control system and hydraulics deploy the sails and retract them on entering port. The quartermaster on the bridge decides when to raise or lower the sails, depending on the weather conditions encountered during the voyage.

Marfret intends extending the system to its entire roro fleet, combining it with coupled reversible alternators, providing hybrid wind and electric power. “We are committed to making our energy transition happen and to develop our position as a company apart from the rest,” insists Vidil. As the world begins to grasp the challenges laid down by global warming, Marfret intends playing its part in the collective effort.

Photo: The Marfret Niolon fitted with four aluminium sails that will provide fuel savings of 10-15%.     

New container delivery

Marfret is readying to expand its container fleet, with the acquisition of 500 40’ HC (high-cube) dry and 500 40’ HC pallet-wide containers from manufacturers CXIC, based near Shanghai. Construction of the metal cuboids started at the end of December, with delivery due in January 2022 and introduction on the European market this March. The positioning of these new boxes at Europe’s Northern Range ports (Antwerp, Rotterdam, Le Havre) and in the Mediterranean will help relieve a market that has seen severe disruption over the past two years. Some of the 40’ HC pallet-wides, greatly appreciated by large retailers, will then set sail for the West Indies and French Guiana to re-stock the supermarket shelves. Marfret currently has a fleet of 20,000 containers at its clients’ disposal.