KiwiRail focuses on core passenger and freight ferries
KiwiRail has confirmed its intention to sell the freight-only Valentine ferry to free-up crew and funding to increase investment in reliable freight and passenger ferries.
19 June 2023
The Valentine was originally leased by KiwiRail to provide additional freight capacity when the Kaiarahi went out of action for an extended gearbox repair in 2021 and was subsequently purchased at the end of the lease in January 2023.
General Manager Interislander Operations Duncan Roy says Valentine has served its purpose to the Interislander fleet over the past eighteen months, providing additional capacity but has not been required consistently. Keeping her ready for sailing and crewed is taking funding and resource that could be better invested in strengthening reliability in the rest of the fleet.
“With our fleet now back up to full strength we have sufficient freight capacity on the other three ships, so now is a good time to sell the Valentine and realise the financial benefits. It makes good commercial sense.
“It is not operationally practical or commercially viable to have the Valentine on a regular sailing or to maintain her on standby ready for short term outages.
“We already have in place a number of measures to enhance resilience in our fleet. Our ship inspection and maintenance programme includes more frequent scheduled maintenance breaks, where we take our ships out of service more regularly for maintenance checks in wet and dry dock environments, and we are instituting a new approach to managing our assets and fleet.
“Having additional crew and funding available from the sale of the Valentine will support the increased focus on delivering reliability in our core fleet until the new ferries arrive in 2025 and 2026.
“We will now actively explore market interest with a view to concluding a sale of the Valentine.”