Industry News




EU approves maritime transport schemes for five countries

The European Commission (EC) has granted permission to five schemes to support maritime transport in Estonia, Poland, Cyprus, Denmark, and Sweden.

In addition to promoting the vessel registration in Europe, the schemes will increase the sector competitiveness across the world without distorting competition.

The EC took five separate decisions, including the launch of a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Estonia and a new seafarer scheme in Poland.

The EU decided to continue a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Cyprus, extend and expand a seafarer scheme in Denmark and extend the seafarer plan in Sweden.

The commission found that the tonnage tax schemes in Estonia and Cyprus comply with the rules limiting tonnage taxation to eligible activities and ships.

It was also discovered that both the Estonian and the Cypriot tonnage tax schemes guarantee that shareholders in shipping firms are treated the same way as in any other sector.

All five member states, including Poland, Estonia, Cyprus, Denmark and Sweden, have agreed to apply the benefits of their respective schemes to all ships flying the flag of any EU or EEA member state.

In addition to offering equal opportunities to all relevant stakeholders, the schemes will ensure compliance with environmental, social and safety standards in Europe.

In May, the EU awarded €5m to the Flagships innovation project to help build two zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vessels for France and Norway.




macgregor to supply deck handling equipment to China's icebreaker

Finland-based cargo-handling machinery company Cargotec’s unit MacGregor has won a contract to supply deck handling solutions for polar research vessel Xue Long 2.

According to the contract, MacGregor will deliver a range of deck handling solutions, including research equipment deck handling systems, three offshore cranes, oceanographic winches, deck machinery and hatch covers.

The contract includes providing spare parts and service support to improve the icebreaker’s operational capability.

Xue Long 2 political commissar and chief technologist of newbuild icebreaker engineering department Wang Shuoren said: “Integrated capabilities on safety, reliability and operational support were the main decision-making factors whilst selecting key equipment for this important project.”

This contract is an extension of cooperation that started in 2011 when MacGregor’s project team joined the Xue Long 2 project.

In collaboration with the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) project team and Marine Design & Research Institute of China (MARIC), MacGregor developed a range of solutions for the effective operation of deck handling equipment at temperatures of less than 45°C.

MacGregor China head and strategy, marketing and communications vice-president Jane Chen said: “We are very proud to be a part of the Xue Long 2 project and make our contribution to China’s polar research operations and, in so doing, look forward to further extending our collaborative relationship with the PRIC and MARIC.”

Xue Long 2 is a Polar Class 3 vessel, which was collectively designed by Finland-based Aker Arctic Technology and MARIC.

In 2016, the construction of the ship started at the Jiangnan Shipyard owned by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation. It was handed over to PRIC in July.

With a displacement of 13,996t and a navigation capability of 20,000nm, the 122.5m-long and 22.3m-wide ship can cut through the ice while moving forward or backwards.

Currently, the Xue Long 2 project team is working with China’s research stations in Antarctica and South Africa to support scientific operations.

Bilge technology. Image courtesy of PRNewsfoto / Nautic Alert




Abu Dhabi Ports to invest $1.03bn in Khalifa Port

Port developer Abu Dhabi Ports is reportedly planning to invest approximately AED3.8bn ($1.03bn) in Khalifa Port expansion programme.

The project aims to increase Khalifa Port’s capacity by 50% by the end of next year.

According to the plan, Abu Dhabi Ports will spend AED2.2bn to develop the South Quay and Khalifa Port Logistics. An additional AED1.6bn will be invested to expand the capacity of Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT).

The South Quay development will include the construction of a 3km quay-wall and an 18.5m draft for roll-on / roll-off (RoRo), general cargo and bulk use.

The expansion programme will include the construction of eight berths and 1.3 million square metres of the terminal yard.

Similarly, Khalifa Logistics expansion project will involve the construction of a 3.1km quay-wall with an 8m draft, land plots and the development of 15 berths.

The first phase of the quay development is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year. The entire expansion programme is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2021.

The second phase of Khalifa Logistics is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2021.

Following the completion of the expansion, the container handling capacity of the port will grow to 7.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year. Currently, the port can manage five million TEUs of cargo a year.

The fund will be invested to acquire automated truck loading and discharge machines.

The $7bn (AED27.7bn) Khalifa Port, strategically located halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, was launched in 2012. It serves more than 25 shipping lines and directly connects to 70 destinations around the world.

In 2018, Khalifa Port partnered with Hong Kong-based Cosco Shipping Ports to invest and manage a port terminal.

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Stena Line and Semcon partner to develop AI-powered system

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has partnered with Semcon to develop a data management solution to boost the sustainability, efficiency and profitability of its fleet.

The development of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered data management system forms part of the Stena Line’s digital transformation initiative.

Semcon will be responsible for developing a platform that can manage all data needed for a new digital offer.

As part of the pilot programme, Semcon will create solutions for additional Stena Line AI projects in the future.

Semcon Digital Solutions global business director Carl-Johan Aldén said: “Stena Line is embarking upon a fantastic data transformation initiative and we are able to create smart data management solutions that allow new digital services to be implemented.”

According to the agreement, semantics and information structure experts and the AI teams of both Semcon and Stena Line will work together to create a scalable and dynamic semantic layer.

It will help to connect all the existing data from different systems.

According to Semcon, a human or another advanced AI solution can access the data, as required.

Stena Line AI head Lars Carlsson said: “Stena Line’s ambition is to be the world’s first cognitive ferry operator using AI throughout the entire organisation. To succeed in this, we need to structure all our data and intelligence and make it available.

“This may involve financial and operational data, for example. It will be exciting to see what new values we can create together with Semcon.”

In October, Stena Line concluded its ship Stena Estrid’s sea trials in the Yellow Sea in China. The ship will operate on the Dublin to Holyhead route.




MAN CEON launches maritime augmented-reality maintenance app

MAN CEON has launched a new generation of instructional material with augmented-reality features for the global maritime community.

MAN CEON is an umbrella brand of MAN Energy Solutions’ for all digital products.

Called MAN CEON TechGuide, the new solution features different types of multimedia.

Its central components include an augmented-reality view, automatic component recognition and two-way interface with planned maintenance systems.

The solution offers a new way of providing intuitive instructions and guidance on-site and on-demand.

TechGuide enables engineers to select a learning style of their preference, using mobile devices or head-mounted displays. They have options for animations, video, through 3D-models, audio instructions or a PDF document.

MAN Energy Solutions digital and strategy head Per Hansson said: “We foresee great benefits for our customers in the digital transformation of technical documentation.

“Thanks to the rapid development of information technology, MAN CEON TechGuide facilitates an intuitive documentation solution aimed at the safe and fast execution of maintenance and troubleshooting and will further optimise the availability of our customers’ vessels.”

Currently, MAN Energy Solutions is testing the TechGuide onboard various bulk carriers owned by Singapore-based Berge Bulk. The solution has been linked to the owner’s fleet maintenance and management system.

Once a maintenance job is completed using the MAN CEON TechGuide, the information is automatically uploaded to the owner’s system through Wi-Fi in the engine room to merge administrative procedures.

Dr Lars Gruenitz of Berge Bulk said: “The MAN CEON TechGuide app is transforming the way maintenance and inspection operations are carried out on board.

“With the app working in tandem with our current fleet-management system, we believe that it will not only significantly reduce our crew’s workload but that it will also further enhance the quality and reliability of our maintenance operations.”

According to MAN Energy Solutions, the deployment of real-time augmented-reality support in the future will allow shore-based locations to provide expert guidance to on-site crew.

MAN CEON TechGuide application-programming interface (API) facilitates various types of planned maintenance systems (PMSs).




SAL Heavy Lift introduces new injection technology to cut emissions

German marine engineering firm SAL Heavy Lift has launched hydrogen / methanol injection technology FS MARINE+ system to reduce its fleet emissions.

Developed in collaboration with Fuelsave, FS MARINE+ system significantly reduces emissions of CO₂, SOx, NOx and other particulates.

To cut the emissions, FS MARINE+ system infuses a mixture of oxygen, hydrogen, water and methanol into selected parts of the air intake of the main and the auxiliary engines.

The mixture undergoes a thorough combustion process, which helps to reduce the consumption of primary fuel, emissions and air pollution.

FS MARINE+ generator helps to cut SOx emissions by 15%, CO₂ by 10%, NOx by 30%-80% and particulate emissions by 40%.

SAL Heavy Lift chief technology officer Sebastian Westphal said: “SAL has always been a frontrunner when it comes to innovation and we are dedicated to making shipping more efficient and cleaner by using technologies that create a long-lasting effect.”

“We have tested a prototype on a generator engine of our MV Annette over more than two years with very convincing results. The FS MARINE+ system not only achieved significant fuel savings but also emission and air pollution reductions, which were verified by third parties both during field trials and in laboratory tests.”

Apart from SAL Heavy Lift and Fuelsave, EcoTune Marine, Classification Society DNV GL as RO for Antigua and Barbuda flag, M.A.C. System Solutions, AVL, Carl Baguhn and MAN Energy solutions also participated in the development of the new solution over the last four years.

Fuelsave CEO Marc Sima said: “With this system, we are driving the clean fuel transition with a high impact solution. It can optimise the energy consumption and the environmental impact significantly, irrespective of what fuel type you operate your vessel with. Thus, it is applicable to MDO, MGO, HFO, LSFO, as well as LNG.”

After successful testing, the new and advanced FS MARINE+ hydrogen / methanol injection solution has entered the next stage of validation. The solution will be deployed on six SAL ships as a permanent installation.

Initially, SAL will retrofit the FS MARINE+ system to its vessel MV Trina during the first quarter of 2020. After that, five more ships will adopt the technology.

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EU watchdog is set to investigate hhi merger with Daewoo

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries’ (HHI) $1.8bn merger with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is set to be probed by the EU antitrust watchdog.

The European antitrust authorities have expressed serious concerns over the deal.

The European Commission (EC) will initiate the probe into the deal next week after completion of a primary review, which is scheduled to conclude on 17 December.

It is believed that a full probe will take up to five months to conduct.

HHI agreed to acquire a controlling stake in its rival DSME from Korea Development Bank (KDB) in February.

Following the completion of the deal, HHI plans to set up a joint shipbuilding venture with KDB, which holds the largest share in DSME.

With a 21% market share, the combined company is expected to become the largest ship-maker in the world.

In July, HHI requested the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) to grant permission for the proposed takeover of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).

HHI has filed similar applications with antitrust authorities in Japan, China and Singapore, with additional plans in place to request permission from the regulators of other countries.

Kazakhstan has already granted permission for the proposed merger. Recently, Hyundai said it is collaborating with Singapore’s regulators to address their concerns.

A Hyundai Heavy Industries spokesman said: “We will do our best to get approval without any problems.”

Earlier, Hyundai has said that after the merger completion both companies will separately compete in the shipping market.

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Enterprise and enbridge to develop deepwater terminal for vlccs

Canadian energy transportation firm Enbridge and Enterprise Products Partners have agreed to jointly establish a deepwater crude oil terminal in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the agreement signed by the affiliates of both companies, the new terminal will facilitate the loading of very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

Enbridge and Enterprise will focus on the commercial development on Enterprise’s Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT) deepwater crude oil terminal.

Once SPOT acquires a deepwater port license, Enbridge affiliate will have an option to purchase an ownership stake in SPOT Terminal Services, which manages SPOT.

SPOT project includes onshore and offshore facilities such as fixed platform situated approximately 30 nautical miles off the Brazoria County, Texas coast.

SPOT can load VLCCs at rates of approximately 85,000 barrels an hour or up to approximately two million barrels a day.

To reduce emissions, the SPOT deepwater crude oil terminal has a vapour control system.

Enterprise’s general partner CEO Jim Teague said: “We are very pleased to work with Enbridge to jointly develop a deepwater port in the Gulf of Mexico to support growing exports of US crude oil.

“We value Enbridge’s expertise and resources as we focus our collective commercial development efforts on making the SPOT project a reality.”

The construction work of SPOT is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and licences from the federal Maritime Administration, which is currently evaluating the SPOT application.

Enterprise Products Partners offers natural gas and gathering, treating, processing, transportation and storage services.

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