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Islands have concerns over long-term viability of high-speed vessels

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CONDOR is set to have its operating permit extended for five years from January 2014.

CONDOR is set to have its operating permit extended for five years from January 2014.

Guernsey and Jersey wanted a longer agreement, possibly for 10 to 15 years, but new sulphur emissions laws, which take effect from 2015, had created 'uncertainty'.

'These new regulations will require extensive engine modifications to traditional freight ships and many of the high speed craft used by ferry companies have been running for 15 years or more and have limited commercial life left,' said Jersey's Economic Development minister, Senator Alan Maclean

'There are many new options for ship design, including vessels driven by liquid petroleum gas (LPG), but the best option is not yet clear.

'This uncertainty makes it difficult to reach a long-term agreement, so we have taken external advice, jointly with Guernsey, on the condition and reliability of the high speed fleet.'

Guernsey's External Transport Group chairman, Deputy Paul Luxon, said: 'Our island governments now have the opportunity to work together to provide a coordinated and effective approach to sea transport. '

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