Industry News




Melbourne hosts largest container capacity ship at its port

The Port of Melbourne (PoM) has hosted the CMA CGM Ural, the largest container ship by capacity to dock at the Australian port.

The 299m-long vessel arrived from Singapore and moored at the port’s Webb Dock for handling by terminal operator Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT).

PoM CEO Brendan Bourke said that the arrival of CMA CGM Ural demonstrates the port’s capability to accommodate larger container ships.

Bourke said: “The arrival of CMA CGM Ural shows Port of Melbourne’s capacity to service the growing number of bigger vessels we will see into the future. PoM’s operations have undergone significant change over the years, including automation, changes to supply chains and to the infrastructure that supports them.

“We are always looking at ways to leverage the significant capability of our operations. We have developed a 30-year strategy that addresses PoM’s critical role as part of an interconnected network of physical infrastructure, commercial systems and land-uses.”

Usually, vessels with an average capacity of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) call at the Melbourne port.

On the other hand, CMA CGM Ural can carry up to 10,662 TEU of cargo.

VICT CEO Tim Vancampen said: “VICT is well-equipped to accommodate this class of vessels, ranging from 10,500 TEU – 13,000 TEU and plans to further invest in the Port of Melbourne to accommodate the next generation of the vessel, ranging from 15,000 TEU to 18,000 TEU.

“We will ensure that Port of Melbourne will continue to fulfil its role as the main gateway to Victoria, and consolidate and expand its position in the global shipping network.”

CMA CGM Ural, named after the Ural mountain range, started its journey from Malaysia and called at Singapore before arriving at Melbourne. The vessel will now travel to other Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane.




Artemis Technologies-led consortium to build zero-emissions ferries

A Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK-based consortium led by Artemis Technologies is set to develop zero-emission ferries for maritime transportation.

The consortium, which also includes Belfast Harbour, Bombardier, as well as local universities and public bodies, seeks to develop an environmentally friendly vessel that can carry up to 350 passengers.

The project has secured a £33m innovation grant from UK Research and Innovation, a government-owned body that supports science and research projects.

The consortium partners are expected to make further contributions to increase the total project investment to £60m over the next four years.

Additionally, the project will create approximately 125 research and development jobs and more than 1,000 jobs in the region over the next ten years.

Artemis Technologies was founded in 2017 as a spinoff of America’s Cup sailing team Artemis Racing. It is led by Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy.

Commenting on the project, Percy said: “Our concept for an electric hydrofoil propulsion system is totally unique and will enable vessels of the future to operate with up to 90% less energy and produce zero emissions during operation.

“As cities across the world seek ways to reduce pollution and ease traffic congestion, the transformative vessels to be produced right here in Belfast will have a global role to play in delivering the connected maritime transport system of the future.

“This investment from the UKRI Strength in Places Fund is a major endorsement of what we are trying to achieve, which we strongly believe will see Northern Ireland at the centre of the revolution in water transport.”




Wartsila to provide upgraded solutions to E-Marine

Marine technology group Wartsila has received an order from Dubai-based E-Marine to upgrade its fleet, which is expected to improve efficiency.

The company will provide comprehensive solutions that are scheduled to be delivered in October.

The company will provide two controlled pitch propeller (CPP) systems with control and fuel efficiency devices.

The contract also includes the delivery of two Wartsila tunnel thrusters, a Wartsila 20 auxiliary engine and class-approved ship design engineering services.

The solutions will be used to upgrade a current cable layer vessel to adhere to the latest operating requirements.

Wartsila Marine Senior Sales Account Manager Sandeep Padhi said: “Being able to deliver everything in line with the tight schedule required by the customer is a challenge that Wartsila is capable of meeting.

“Our track record in this respect speaks for itself. Furthermore, we have a strong support presence in the UAE and throughout the Middle East region to ensure the ongoing reliability and high performance of our solutions.”

E-Marine Marine Operations general manager Captain Adil Salmanov said: “E-Marine is investing heavily in new technologies to ensure that its operating efficiency remains at the highest level possible.

“This upgrading programme is aimed at delivering the best possible service to our customers, and the Wartsila solutions are an essential element within that ambition.”

The company has earlier provided a propulsion upgrade for an E-Marine vessel.

Last week, the company received an order to supply Wartsila solutions for a new 8,200 deadweight tonnage (dwt) multi-purpose cargo vessel.




Maersk to open new research centre for decarbonised shipping

Danish shipping company Maersk has announced the launch of a new research centre, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.

It is expected to lead the way for the development of new fuel types and technologies.

The shipping industry has announced plans to reduce carbon emissions around the world by 2050.

The centre was founded by ABS, AP Møller – Maersk, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line and Siemens Energy.

The centre will be located in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is financed by a donation of kr400m ($60.3m) provided by the AP Møller Foundation.

The independent research centre will support the shipping sector and partner with industry, academia and authorities.

The team will consist of people from different disciplinaries and will partner to form overviews of decarbonisation pathways, boost the development of some decarbonising fuels and power technologies.

It will also support the formation of regulatory, financial and commercial means to help the transformation.

AP Møller Foundation Board chairman Ane Uggla said: “With this donation, The A P Møller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping. My father Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than seven decades.

“He was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment. Already, in the 1980s, he championed the use of low sulphur fuel, and he pioneered the first double hull oil tankers in the 1990s to minimise the risk of oil spills. Therefore, I find it very natural that my father’s name will be connected to the centre.”




The UK and UN to support seafarers and stabilise shipping sector

The Government of the UK has announced plans to host the first international summit regarding the Covid-19 impact on seafarers and crew changes.

Guests will include the United Nations (UN), as well as political and business leaders from around the world.

UK Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst will lead the virtual summit.

The summit is expected to help reflect on the pandemic impact on the global shipping industry and the steps needed to ensure crew workers’ welfare.

The UN secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization Kitack Lim has highlighted the need to protect the workers and the duty of the governments to quickly repatriate the crew members.

It is estimated that due to Covid-19, over 1.2 million seafarers are stuck at sea and approximately 200,000 seafarers are due for a changeover.

Tolhurst said: “Seafarers have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to ensure people across the globe can access the essential food, medicine and supplies we all need, but thousands have been left with no way of coming ashore when faced with border restrictions.

“This government has helped more than 7,000 crew get home back to their loved ones across the world, regardless of nationality or circumstance.

“I hope that this meeting will be a reminder of the international collaboration required by all states to bring people home.”

Last week, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that it has detained five ships over crew welfare concerns.

The MCA surveyors uncovered many seafarers’ employment agreements that were expired and invalid, late payment of wages and crew members who were on board for more than 12 months.




Saudi Ports Authority launches new Dubai-Egypt shipping line

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has partnered with DP World to launch the first direct shipping line that links Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, UAE, with Sokhna Port in Egypt via Jeddah Islamic Port in Saudi Arabia.

It will be the start of a new phase in the shipping industry of the region. It will be the fourth shipping line to be introduced by Mawani this year.

The Government of Dubai’s Media Office said that the move was supervised and followed up by Saudi Arabian Minister of Transport Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser.

The Ministry of Transport aims to connect the country with the neighbouring countries by sea, land and air.

It is expected to generate different opportunities that use the location of Saudi Arabia and connect it with Europe and Africa.

In December last year, DP World won a 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession from Mawani to manage and develop the Jeddah South Container Terminal.

Mawani president Saad Alkhalb said: “The launch of the new shipping line is part of Mawani’s ambitious initiatives to achieve its strategic goals set by the National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme (NIDLP) to support economic growth, foster investments and contribute to achieving Saudi Vision 2030 positioning Saudi Arabia as a global centre for logistics.”

DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem added: “The launch of the first dedicated shipping service connecting Jebel Ali, Jeddah and Sokhna will be a game-changer in promoting the much-needed intra-regional trade.

“This development is also the result of the encouragement and drive by his excellency Eng Saad Alkhalb, President of the Saudi Ports Authority. The shipping line will directly benefit the Arab world’s three largest markets.

“We are committed to delivering best-in-class efficiency and productivity, using smart technology-led logistics.”

In October last year, Mawani established the Al Khomra Logistics Zone in Jeddah to reduce Saudi Arabia’s economic dependence on oil.




HHI to merge shipbuilding and offshore businesses

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is planning to merge the shipbuilding and offshore businesses.

The merger will come into effect on 1 July.

The company is planning to relocate its offshore business division workers to the merchant ship section.

It is expected to ‘prevent them from loitering’ and it aims to use the empty inner walls of the offshore plant building for the construction of merchant ships.

Additionally, the company plans to downsize its organisation by approximately 20% by integrating departments that carry out similar work.

The company will not make any promotions in the first half of this year amid its regular personnel reshuffle.

It also plans to lay off approximately 20% of the executives. It will reduce the total number of executives by 50.

The ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic has affected the global shipbuilding market.

Previously, the Government of South Korea said that it would provide approximately KRW1.25tn ($1bn) to support the Korean shipping industry.

The industry is considered to be one of the seven key industries.

Earlier this month, the EU antitrust regulators resumed their probe into a $1.8bn merger of HHI and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

The regulator also set a deadline of 3 December for reaching a decision.

The organisation halted the process on 1 April as it is waiting for information to be provided by the companies.

In June last year, HHI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Norwegian chemical company Jotun for the supply of marine paints.




Five ships detained by UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has announced that it has detained five ships over crew welfare concerns.

In a tweet, MCA stated: “Five out of six ships inspected by MCA surveyors today detained after concerns raised about crew welfare.”

The ships, namely Astoria, Astor, Colombus and Vasco de Gama, were detained and are located at Tillbury while Marco Polo is situated at Bristol.

The five ships are from the Global Cruise Lines where four ships are flagged with the Bahamas and another with Madeira, Portugal.

The MCA surveyors uncovered many Seafarers Employment Agreements that were expired and invalid, late payment of wages and crew members who were on board for more than 12 months.

These aspects breach the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and were detained for that reason.

UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said: “The welfare of seafarers is of the utmost importance and we take any reports of safety concerns around crew incredibly seriously.

“Following today’s investigation, five ships have been detained and we will not hesitate to continue to use every power within our control to safeguard the health and happiness of every seafarer currently working in the UK.”

The ships will be detained by MCA until the MLC breaches are resolved, after which the MCA will be invited to reinspect.

The sixth ship, Magellan, was not detained as significant deficiencies were not found. The vessel also belongs to Global Cruise Lines.

More than 150 crew members on the Astoria ship are Indians and have been stuck for three months. One of the crew members is reported to have died due to ‘natural causes’.

The Indian Seafarers Union has sent a mail to the Indian Government to help in the repatriation of national citizens.

The statement added that the crew members have started a peaceful protest to urge the officials to help them return home.

Last month, the UK Chamber of Shipping requested the UK Government to adopt new measures so that crew changes in a ship can take place.