SSL ferries need replacing

The ferry, Ternan, that sails the route between Tórshavn and Nólsoy, has been hauled up on the slipway for repairs for the second time this year.

Most of the ships of the National Faroese Transport Company (SSL) are in a bad shape and need replacing, Kringvarp Føroya reported on Friday.

“None of the ships, except Teistin and Smyrilin, live up to current standards,” said Hilmar Eliasen, CEO of SSL, in an interview with Dagur og Vika. He noted the ferry is not suitable because it is too corroded, and it requires large expenses to keep it up to date.

On Wednesday, the crew of Ternan noticed that the hull of the ferry had started leaking due to corrosion but there was no imminent danger for crew or passengers because the ferry is double hulled meaning water only leaked into a sealed compartment and not into the rest of the ship. It is not uncommon for ships that are almost 40 years old to leak but when something like this happens it needs to be repaired immediately, SSL reported on their website.

An inspection made by ship engineers of Knud Johansen in 2016 of the fleet of SSL revealed that the Faroese ferries are marred by old age and do not fulfill the requirements made of ferries today. They said that Ternan is badly corroded, it has become heavier and finding replacement parts for it is difficult.

Only three months have passed since the ferry was on the slipway for general maintenance. Hull inspection was not on the checklist when the ferry was on the slipway in April: “Other work in the interior of the ferry was made back then,” Mr Eliasen explained.

Ternan is expected to return to its route on Wednesday next week. Spógvin will replace Ternan until then.