For anyone who doesn’t want to pay the cost of an air ticket, the journey to the island starts on board a ferry operated by Bintan Resort Ferries, which was established in 1994. In a shade under an hour, the high-speed catamarans convey the holidaymakers from Singapore to Bintan. “For Bintan Resort Ferries or any ferry operator, the main thing is having the right machinery parts. The main engine is the heart of the vessel and must be able to perform”, says Mr Kan Yew Fai, Operations Manager, Bintan Resort Ferries. With such high payload vessels, machinery space is a key constraint – hence, small but powerful engines are necessary to transfer the optimum number of passengers to their destination quickly and safely. The four mtu Type 16V 2000 M72 propulsion units can propel each of the ferries at speeds up to 40 knots. Nevertheless, the craft rarely exceed 30 knots as that keeps the crossing more comfortable for the passengers.
“mtu engines are safe and reliable”
It is shortly before 11 a.m. Before the first passengers board his ship, Captain Simon Say completes his routine inspection of the decks. All equipment is set up, the vessel is clean, and he starts the engines and checks navigational systems. The kiosk is ready, where attendants are busy warming delicious hotdogs and pies for passengers, and coffee and tea is ready to be served in Emerald Class, the premium class and latest signature effort to enhancepassengers’ travel experience between Singapore and Bintan Resorts. The ten crew on board the vessel are ready with a full load of passengers, the captain clears the passengers manifest and ensures all documentation is in place. “Like any other business, safety in the maritime industry is a key priority”, he says, adding that, “mtu
engines are safe; you’ve never heard of anything going wrong in the industry”. He has been sailor for 18 years and can’t imagine a more enjoyable job.
Bintan Resort Ferries typically operate five to six daily trips between Bintan Island and Singapore, ferrying 333,309 passengers last year. “Our reputation is built on the fact that over the past 16 years, we have never cancelled a single ferry trip”, Mr Kan Yew Fai adds. In 2011, their total combined uptime was well over 85% percent, an impressive feat in today’s challenging maritime environment. In the ferry industry, higher level of availability equates higher sales revenue.