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Fire hit Felicity Ace cargo worth an estimated $401m

Photo: Portuguese Navy Car carrier Felicity Ace on fire
Cargo onboard the burning car carrier Felicity Ace has an estimated value of $401m, according to risk analysts Russell Group.

The fire onboard 2005-built car carrier Felicity Ace in the Atlantic continues to burn after the 22 crew were evacuated on 16 February. Photos taken by the Portuguese Navy show extensive damage to the vessel and its cargo decks.

German media quoted an internal email from Volkswagen that the Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) vessel was carrying 3,965 vehicles of the Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini brands. Some 1,100 of the vehicles were from Porsche.

Russell estimated that the cars and goods vehicles onboard the Felicity Ace had a value of $401m, with the total value including the vessel estimated at $438m. It estimated losses of at least $155m.

Suki Basi, Russell Group MD commented, “These figures showed once again the precariousness of global supply chains. The incident comes at a bad time for global carmakers who are in the middle of a supply chain crisis sourcing semiconductors, resulting in new delays for new cars. An event like this will not do a great deal in instilling trust with consumers.

“Using our ALPS Scenario Factory, we identified that the Volkswagen brand and its subsidiaries do indeed have a significant exposure to this event, running into the millions,” he added.
The Felicity Ace was sailing from Germany to the US with automobile exports.

As the fire on the vessel continues to burn two large firefighting tugs were expected to arrive on the scene from Gibraltar on 20 and 21 February. A salvage craft with firefighting equipment was expected to arrive from the Netherlands on 23/24 February.