Industry News




Debmarine Namibia secures loan for diamond recovery vessel

Debmarine Namibia has secured a loan from five banks to finance its N$7bn ($468m) diamond recovery vessel being built in Romania.

The lenders are Standard Bank Namibia, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Namibia, Nedbank Namibia, Bank Windhoek, and ABSA Bank.

A total of NAD5.6bn ($375m) will be provided by the banks, representing 80% of the cost of the vessel, while Debmarine Namibia will finance the remaining NAD1.4bn ($98.34m).

The ship, known as the AMV3, is being built by Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards and is expected to be commissioned in 2022.

It will be the seventh ship in Debmarine Namibia’s fleet. The company currently operates five diamond recovery vessels along with one exploration and sampling vessel.

Upon starting the commercial operation, the vessel is likely to add around 500,000 carats of diamonds, which will boost Debmarine Namibia’s annual production by 35%.

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “Some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found in the sea off the Namibian coast. With this investment, we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet consumer demands across the globe.”

The diamond recovery vessel is likely to provide approximately NAD2bn in taxes and royalties per annum. It will also generate more than 160 jobs.

Debmarine Namibia operates as a marine diamond mining company, which is jointly owned by the Government of Namibia and mining firm De Beers Group.

Debmarine Namibia first revealed its intention for the diamond recovery vessel in May this year.




UK’s Southampton and PortMiami sign sister seaports pact

The UK’s Port of Southampton and PortMiami in the US have signed an official international sister seaports agreement.

The pact is aimed at boosting the cruise market in both cities and share mutual best practices.

PortMiami is claimed to be the leading cruise port in the world, while the facility in Southampton is considered one of the top cruise turnaround sites in Europe.

Every year, nearly two million cruise passengers visit the Port of Southampton. The port brings in £2m to the economy with every cruise call.

Similarly, PortMiami is recognised as the Global Gateway. It contributes $41.4bn to the local economy per annum and supports more than 324,352 jobs in South Florida.

In addition, a city twinning agreement was signed at the Mayor’s Parlour at the Civic centre.

PortMiami director Juan Kuryla and Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez signed the agreement with Port of Southampton director Alastair Welch.

Welch said: “We are pleased to be officially linked with our friends at PortMiami and hope we can mutually benefit from lessons learned around successes seen on both sides.”

Kuryla said: “Miami-Dade County and Southampton have much in common. Our ports are both leaders in trade and tourism through our cargo and cruise activity.

“I look forward to growing our relationship as sister cities and sister ports through the strengthening of our cultural and commercial ties, and I anticipate the development of economic opportunities for us both.”

Recently, MSC Cruises revealed plans to build a terminal at PortMiami.

Bilge technology. Image courtesy of PRNewsfoto / Nautic Alert




Banks to consider shipping’s climate impact for lending decisions

Citi, Societe Generale and DNB are among the 11 global shipping banks that have agreed to lend to freight companies based on their carbon footprint in order to help protect the climate and promote green operations.

Other founding signatories include ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea. These banks represent almost 20% of the ship finance portfolio worldwide.

The banks partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute, Global Maritime Forum and UCL Energy Institute to prepare the framework, known as Poseidon Principles.

The lending framework will evaluate and reveal whether the bank’s lending portfolios are consistent with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) climate goals, adopted last year. IMO’s climate goals seek to cut emissions by up to 50% by 2050.

It is the first time that these lenders are collectively integrating a climate alignment strategy into their lending decisions.

The global lenders represent a bank loan portfolio to global shipping companies of approximately $100bn.

Citi shipping and logistics global industry head Michael Parker said: “As banks, we recognise that our role in the shipping industry enables us to promote responsible environmental stewardship.

“The Poseidon Principles will not only serve our institutions to improve decision making at a strategic level but will also shape a better future for the shipping industry and our society.”

Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking shipping and offshore global head Paul Taylor said: “The Poseidon Principles offer significant benefits to the global shipping industry and society and they allow us as banks to align and de-risk our portfolios in line with shipping’s green transition.”

Data released by the IMO shows that international shipping accounts for almost 2.2% of world CO2 emissions.

In 2018, the IMO implemented additional climate regulations in a bid to cut sulphur emissions from ships by 2020.

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Wärtsilä, MARIN and Grimaldi unveil energy saving device for ships

Wärtsilä has introduced an energy saving device (ESD) for ships in association with the Netherlands-based Maritime Research Institute MARIN and Italian shipowner Grimaldi.

Called ‘pre-swirl Stator’, the device is claimed to be suitable for use by ships with controllable pitch propellers (CPPs).

The device helped save 3.5% fuel savings for ships with CPPs during sea trials.

Trials were conducted with ship ‘Grande Portogallo’, a 165m-long Pure Car & Truck Carrier owned by Italian shipping firm Grimaldi.

Grimaldi stated: “The initial noon reports suggest a 5% decrease in the fuel consumption, but in order to get a more realistic value we need to record a wider range of data.”

The development of an energy saving device formed part of the LeanShips project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework project.

LeanShips seeks to showcase the efficiency and consistency of technologies, which have been designed to provide energy savings and reduce emissions on a large scale.

Grimaldi Group corporate energy-saving manager Dario Bocchetti said: “This represents a major breakthrough in making ships with controllable pitch propellers more efficient, and therefore less polluting.

“We have earlier established some energy savings for ships with controllable pitch propellers, and now this new technology has been extended in line with the objectives of the LeanShips project.”

Wärtsilä Marine propulsion director Lars Anderson said: “The energy saving device developed through the Leanships project is one more example of successful collaboration that results in substantial customer benefits.”

Recently, Wärtsilä won a contract to deliver environmentally sustainable solutions for China’s first seagoing LNG bunker vessel.

Earlier, Wärtsilä received the first order for its newly launched auto-docking system SmartDock that automates procedures and lowers chances of human error.

In April, the company launched Wärtsilä HY for Dredger, which is aimed at improving the efficiency and sustainability of dredging operations.




DMCO and IMDO sign MoU to strengthen maritime collaboration

Port of Halifax noted that the VFS application will be improved in the coming months to include non-container arrivals, as well as departures at the port.

Recently, the Government of Canada allocated approximately C$47m ($37.78m) to be invested in two projects aimed at expanding the capacity of the Port of Halifax.

The Port of Halifax is Canada’s Ultra Atlantic Gateway and links to over 150 countries, which helps it generate C$2bn in economic benefits for the country each year.

The Dubai Maritime Cluster Office (DMCO) of Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) and the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaborations.

Under the MoU, the partners will help promote trade, carry out joint initiatives, and support research to build a smart and sustainable maritime platform for offshore operations and businesses.

The entities will collectively promote trade across infrastructure and maritime spectrum around the world and recognise mutually beneficial initiatives in key maritime areas.

Furthermore, the partners will work on promotional and networking efforts during local and international trade events and conferences. These initiatives will aim to facilitate new cooperation between organisations, promote increased trade, and enhance connectivity.

The MoU also includes mutual referral of business opportunities in each party’s specialist fields, research activities focusing the socio-economic benefits of a sustainable maritime industry, and finding reciprocal investment opportunities for Irish and Dubai maritime firms.

Irish Maritime Development Office director Liam Lacey said: “The IMDO welcomes the opportunity to work with the DMCA and looks forward to cooperating and collaborating with the DMCA to the benefit of both our maritime economies.”

DMCA executive director Amer Ali said: “Our strategic collaboration with IMDO is an opportunity for us at DMCA and Dubai Maritime Cluster Office to further foster innovation and research in Dubai’s maritime community, as well as continuously implement enhanced global best maritime practices.

“Through this collaboration, Dubai will benefit from Ireland’s vibrant knowledge and innovation economy, as well as world-class business eco-system, particularly in emerging sectors such as deep tech, artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain.

“Our ties will help accelerate our efforts to build a vibrant and safe maritime environment and will be instrumental in enhancing Dubai’s position as a leading centre of maritime sectors worldwide.”




DSME, KMOU, NAPA and AVL team up to develop digital ship

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has joined forces with Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU) and NAPA and AVL to develop digital ships and related strategic solutions.

As per the agreement, the partners will leverage their know-how in naval architecture and shipbuilding, engines, big data, and software development and combine these to develop new solutions.

The collaboration will focus on acquiring and processing engine room data, ship performance and meteorological information, which will be used for training, simulation, human machine interfaces and developing more efficient ships.

DSME CTO Odin Kwon said: “The development of a digital twin ship and engine is one of the most exciting outcomes of the recent surge in maritime digitalisation and development of the Internet of Things.

“By creating a virtual, real-time copy of engine equipment, we can better monitor, analyse, and predict performance, leading to safer and more efficient operations.

“Here, the best experts in each field gathered in order to develop a digital twin ship. So we are confident that we can create and service superior products that exceed our customers’ expectations.”

KMOU professor Deog Hee Doh said: “We are actively entering into the digital era in the industry nowadays which could be a basis for the development of autonomous ships.

“Building a digital platform should be well balanced between actual application of technology and academic basis. We are happy to be part of this cooperation.”

Already, KMOU faculty members have begun developing a platform where AR/VR and digital twin technology are embedded. KMOU will deliver a knowledge-based platform in the fields of simulations and communications related to digital ships extending to AR/VR.

NAPA will develop digital twin ship models with digitalised components and a real-time simulation platform to incorporate between engine models and ship models.

AVL will develop the simulation tools and methodologies that the partnership projects will require while KMOU will offer the existing infrastructure as a basis for further development and optimisation.

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ClassNK issues guidelines for ships using low-flashpoint fuels

Japan-based classification society ClassNK has issued guidelines for ships using methyl, ethyl alcohol, and LPG low-flashpoint fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Following the discussion by IMO on international safety requirements for low-flashpoint fuels, the ‘International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-Flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code)’ has been adopted and implemented. However, it does not currently address specific regulations for alternative fuels except LNG.

To address this gap, the Japanese classification society has issued ‘Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels (Methyl/Ethyl Alcohol/LPG)’.

The new set of rules has been framed considering the latest technology and regulation trends to promote the design of alternative fuelled ships.

The guidelines have categorised targeted vessels into three classes, namely ships fuelled by methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel, ships using LPG, and liquid gas carriers fuelled by LPG.

ClassNK also considered the properties of each fuel type and ship regulations. It also pointed out safety requirements for the arrangement and installation of the low-flashpoint fuel related systems for minimising risks to vessels, crew, and the environment.

ClassNK corporate officer and plan approval and technical solution division director Hayato Suga said: “In addition to LNG, low-flashpoint fuels like methyl/ethyl alcohol and LPG are providing ships with alternative fuel options that have diverse characteristics in terms of environmental performance, availability, price, and more.

“Regardless of the choice, adequate safety measures are essential. Our latest guidelines have incorporated regulatory trends and our expertise proposes the appropriate requirements tailored to methyl, ethyl alcohol, and LPG respectively. I hope they will be well utilised for the efficient design and construction practice of ships using those fuels.”

The guidelines will be amended from time to time in accordance with changes in the IGF Code during future IMO discussions and the fast development of technologies.

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Port of Halifax launches app to track inbound vessels

The Port of Halifax in Canada has introduced a vessel forecast summary (VFS) application that will offer additional visibility on expected container vessel arrival times.

Using the new VFS app, cargo owners and port service providers can receive information with the accurate arrival time of container vessel at the Port of Halifax.

Halifax Port Authority president and CEO Karen Oldfield said: “As a digitally focused port, the ability for port service providers and importers to have an accurate forecast will build on Halifax’s reputation as a consistent and reliable gateway.

“Knowing exactly when a cargo vessel is due in port is the basis for other supply chain decisions, so we see this tool as an important element in a shipper’s choice of port.”

Powered by Denmark-based vessel forecasting solution provider eeSea, the application covers all container vessels serving the Port of Halifax.

The app displays a vessel’s pro forma arrival date, an eeSea-estimated arrival date, and any difference between the two, which is listed in hours and minutes.

The app will allow users to track an inbound vessel up to 30 days prior to scheduled arrival at the port.

Halterm Container Terminal CEO and managing director Kim Holtermand said: “There are many factors affecting vessel arrival at berth when compared to weekly pro forma schedules.

“As terminal operator, reducing the number of information sources that need to be checked and receiving reliable vessel forecasts will allow us to better schedule labour with our ocean carriers and to optimise our container yard planning and discharge operations while maximising terminal efficiency.”

“The app displays a pro forma arrival date, an eeSea-estimated arrival date, and any difference between the two.”

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