Fast ferry engines spur more legal action by state

The State of Alaska has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in Alaska Superior Court in relation to the ongoing lawsuit over the fast ferries.

Captain Mike Neussl, the director of the Alaska Marine Highway System, says the motion seeks to protect the state against prolonged loss of the Fairweather and Chenega due to engine degradation.

The motion asks the court to order the ship builder and engine manufacturer to maintain or fix the problem or replace the engines if they are decertified for use.

Captain Neussl explains that it could take a year to build new engines. As a result, he says the state could find itself in a position where the current engines are decertified well before the lawsuit is resolved.

The Fairweather was purchased in 2004 and the Chenega a year later from Derecktor Shipyards Connecticut.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010 against the ship builder and the engine manufacturers, MTU Friedrichshafen GMBH and MTU Detroit Diesel, Incorporated, alleging the engines did not meet contract and warranty requirements.