Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2017

81 to extend Croatia’s season from Easter to October, and to attract more young travellers and cruise passengers, as well as the traditional family groups. No decisions have been taken about the interior design of the newbuilds as yet. Jadrolinija has been working closely with local companies over the past decade and a lot depends on which yard wins the building contract, However, recent newbuild work has seen the interior and shipbuilding contracts split. Jadrolinija has also recently refurbished interiors on four of its high-speed craft and is planning to replace three passenger ships that are used for specific local routes to small islands. Dalmont in Kraljevica, Croatia will start building one vessel this year, with options for two more. More orders are expected in the next year and the company is also considering catamaran newbuilds. Overall, the line aims to launch 20 to 23 new vessels in the next 10 years. With a 50-strong fleet, continuous investment is necessary, Klanac stresses. Funding in the past few years has come from the company’s own resources, partly in the form of loans and partly in cash generated by the business. Going forward, the company may consider alternative funding. “We experience quite high interest from banks to finance our projects,” says Klanac. On the one hand, he adds, Jadrolinija shares some of the legal risk issues with other shipping companies, but on the other, revenue comes from the tourism market and the general economy. Klanac also explains that ferry operations are perceived differently by some banks. His company has a strong balance sheet, good debt levels and long-term contracts with the government, which boost its financial position and put it in a good position when seeking to raise funds. Meeting environmental regulation deadlines is also no problem for Jadrolinija – its fleet burns clean diesel with less than 0.1% sulphur. The company’s most recent vessels also operate more efficiently and going forward, it will consider more efficient designs and the use of fuels like LNG – there are plans for a large LNG terminal in Croatia. For short routes, the company is exploring hybrid technology and diesel- electric propulsion is installed on four vessels. “Going to a diesel-electric hybrid would be just another step,” Klanac says. Outside of Croatia, Jadrolinija has signed a new deal with ferry line Barska Plovidba, which will benefit tourists and locals in both Montenegro and Bari, Italy. The company has taken over the service of Barska’s fleet and, happy with the passenger traffic, Klanac says it hopes to make the service an annual one, provided the numbers add up. “We plan to open new lines and expand our international service,” he says. “But right now, the plan is to strengthen the footprint in the Adriatic.” This October, Klanac will also host the Interferry conference in Split, Croatia, as part of his role as the organisation’s president. “We have a large number of keynote speakers who will provide satisfaction, both on commercial- and safety-related issues,” he says. “We have a great social programme planned so I’d like to see all my friends in this business coming to Croatia and enjoying the Interferry 2017 conference with us.” C&F The Adriatic is seeing continued growth and the tourism industry is looking to attract more passengers ”Right now, the plan is to strengthen the footprint in the Adriatic ”