Industry news

Kongsberg Maritime secures contract to upgrade NSML fleet

22 JUNE | Digitalisation

NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML) has chosen Kongsberg Maritime to provide its Just Add Water System (JAWS) draught and trim optimisation software from Shell across its fleet.

These solutions will be installed across the entire NSML fleet comprising 11 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.

The Kongdberg Information Management System (K-IMS) digital solution will be used to distribute JAWS.

As a result, JAWS and K-IMS will become a ‘core element’ for the digitalisation and cybersecurity plans of NSML.

The K-IMS, a suite of specialised solutions, supports complex operations and is hosted on the Kognifai open digital ecosystem.

The solution provides a complete flow of information for users by combining all data logging and communication channels into one secure system.

Kongsberg Maritime has signed around 300 K-IMS contracts within the LNG sector. Credit: Kongsberg Maritime


Icon Of The Seas takes shape

Royal Caribbean International has marked the start of construction on its first Icon Class ship, Icon Of The Seas, with a steel-cutting ceremony at Finnish shipyard Meyer Turku. 

Due to set sail in autumn 2023, Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG.

The ships will boast other environmentally-friendly credentials including shore power connection that will boost energy efficiencies and reduce their carbon footprint. 

“We made our commitment to making clean power at sea a reality – and soon the norm – when Icon Class was first announced in 2016, and we’re excited to see construction underway on what will truly be a ship unlike any other,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.


IMO adopts mandatory carbon measures

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has introduced mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of international shipping and help it to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets established in the 2018 Initial IMO Strategy for Reducing GHG Emissions from Ships.

IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) has adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI that will require ships to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. 

These amendments combine technical and operational approaches to improve the energy efficiency of ships and provide important building blocks for future GHG reduction measures.

The new measures will require all ships to calculate their Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index following technical means to improve their energy efficiency and to establish their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating.


ABB and Keppel O&M demonstrate remotely operated tugboat

ABB and Singaporean shipyard Keppel Offshore & Marine have demonstrated the remote joystick control of a tugboat in the busy Port of Singapore. 

The marks a major milestone in validating the increased safety and efficiency of tug operations using digital solutions already available today for nearly any kind of vessel.

ABB’s technology and Keppel O&M’s technology solutions were retrofitted on the 32m harbour tugboat Maju 510. 

ABB Marine & Ports division president Juha Koskela said: “The intent of this technology is to relieve the crew of tasks that can be automated, enabling them to perform at their best during critical periods and enhancing the overall safety and productivity of marine operations. This trial also confirms the possibility for application of remote and autonomous technology to other vessel types.”



UK-based Silverstream Technologies has completed trials of its air lubrication system, Silverstream System, on a Shell-chartered 170,000m³ liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, named Methane Patricia Camila.

The system is claimed to have shown approximately 6.6% net savings after its operational testing.

To analyse the fuel and emissions savings, the technology was tested at several vessel speeds at the time of the Methane Patricia Camila’s normal operations, and its unique design is claimed to increase fuel and emissions efficiency.

The Silverstream System produces a thin layer of micro-bubbles along the entire flat bottom of the vessel, thereby reducing the frictional resistance between water and hull.

During its October 2020 dry docking at the Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Shipyard in Singapore, the system was retrofitted on the 2010-built LNG carrier.

Silverstream Technologies founder and CEO Noah Silberschmidt said: “Shipping requires solutions to solve the decarbonisation challenge today. With fuel bills only set to rise in the future, owners need to invest in fuel-agnostic technologies that are proven to save costs and emissions, without impacting the flexibility or profitability of the vessel. We are proud of the role that our technology can play to solve this challenge.”

In brief

Yantian delays continue

Global shipments are still experiencing delays after Yantian port in China’s Shenzhen province closed for a week at the end of May following a Covid-19 outbreak. Productivity at Yantian, the world third-largest port, has since returned to 70% of normal levels. 

It has caused knock-on delays at Nansha and Shekou ports as container shipping operators skip the congestion at Yantian, exacerbating existing supply chain delays.

Hapag-Lloyd expands fleet

German carrier Hapag-Lloyd has ordered a further six 23,500 TEU container ships from South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

The company had already placed an order for six ships of the same size at the end of 2020. 

The ships will be equipped with dual-fuel engines that operate on LNG but can use regular fuel as an alternative.

UNESCO vows to protect Venice from shipping

UN cultural organisation UNESCO is considering a proposal to put Venice on its endangered list if the city does not issue a permanent cruise ship docking ban.

UNESCO will discuss the topic at its plenary session on 16-31 July with a final decision to be taken by the World Heritage Committee. If approved, the agency could demand urgent action from the Italian Government by next February.

The government had previously passed a decree to ban large ships from the lagoon, but it proved to be temporary and a ship that docked in the historic port on 5 June was met by protestors.

New eco venture marked by Asia’s first hydrogen tugboat

Belgian shipowner Comagnie Maritime Belge has teamed up with Tsuneishi Facilities & Craft to launch a joint venture exploring hydrogen internal combustion engines with a view of finding a less carbon-intensive fuel source to power ships. This is being marked by Asia’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, which launched in Japan.


Höegh considers listing to fund ammonia vessels

Norway’s Höegh Autoliners is considering a public listing to fund its plans to order up to 12 multi-fuel and ammonia-ready vessels from Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry in China.

The company claims the Aurora Class of vessels, which have a 9,100 car equivalent capacity, will be the largest and most environmentally friendly vehicle carriers ever built.

Höegh says the vessels would be the first in the segment to be ready for operation on carbon-neutral ammonia and that it anticipates delivery of the first vessels at the beginning of 2024.