Industry News




Fugro to provide ROV and systems package to GMG

Fugro has received a contract from Global Marine Group (GMG) to provide two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and a full survey positioning package on Normand Clipper.

The Normand Clipper is GMG’s newly chartered vessel.

GMG is currently upgrading the vessel for the projects in the summer. The ROV and systems package support future operations from Fugro’s remote operations centre (ROC) in Aberdeen, Scotland.

According to the contract, GMG will receive two Fugro core vehicles (FCVs) from Fugro. The FCVs will be a part of the FCV600 model portfolio.

As a versatile work-class ROV (WROV), the FCV600 will enable Fugro’s Normand Clipper to perform different operations while focussing on subsea cable-laying for the use in the offshore and renewables markets.

The FCV600 model can be installed with a custom-built tracked skid to improve the operability by 30% in strong currents.

Fugro Europe Positioning and Construction Support director Alastair McKie said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this contract by Global Marine Group and look forward to supporting their remote operations on the Normand Clipper.”

Global Offshore MD Mike Daniel added: “These two Fugro ROVs form an important part of our wider upgrade and mobilisation plan for the Normand Clipper, ahead of some exciting projects for us in the coming months.”

In July 2018, Damen Shiprepair Harlingen (DSHL) completed maintenance and repair work on Fugro Mercator, a twin-hulled survey vessel.




Finnlines contracts SeaQuest Marine for vessel supervision

Finnlines has awarded a vessels supervision contract to SeaQuest Marine Project Management for three Green 5th Generation zero-emission NB roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) vessels.

The vessels are at Nanjing Jinling Shipyard of China Merchants Group.

In May 2018, Grimaldi Group unit Finnlines placed an order to purchase three RoRo hybrid vessels from Jinling shipyard for more than €200m.

Designed in partnership with Nordic marine designer Knud E Hansen, the hybrid vessels are based on the same hull as the Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) vessels that are under construction.

The vessels can accommodate heavy cargo and operate in cold climates and are flexible enough for all types of RoRo cargoes.

The new vessels include green features such as lithium batteries for electricity, zero emissions when in port and an innovative air lubrication system to decrease hull resistance.

The supervision site office will open in June and will operate until the delivery of the last vessel. The final vessel is scheduled for delivery by April 2022.

SeaQuest MD and CEO Jan Andersson said: “We are extremely pleased to be selected to look after the construction of these challenging and advanced vessels, which will be the most innovative and efficient RoRo vessels in the world.

“Finnlines has invested heavily in technology and sustainability of the fleet operations and the company is a forerunner in green shipping.

“We shall prove once more that our experience in supervision and familiarity with Far Eastern builders can serve a newbuilding project like no one else. This is the second time Finnlines have bestowed their trust in SeaQuest for a project in China, we are privileged and look forward to collaborating with them again in future”.

The site team will be composed of SeaQuest site manager and specialist supervisors to oversee the machinery, outfitting, hull, structure, electrical, automation and coating and a secretary or document controller.

Additionally, the team will also include inspectors from Finnlines. The team members will operate according to the ISO 9001:2015 certified QA system of SeaQuest.




HMM unveils world’s largest containership in South Korea

HMM (previously Hyundai Merchant Marine) has revealed the world’s largest containership HMM Algeciras in Geoge, South Korea.

The naming ceremony was held at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard and was attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other dignitaries.

The 24,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU)-ship is the first of the 12 vessels that will be delivered to the company by September.

In September 2018, the company ordered 20 new eco-friendly and highly efficient mega containerships, as part of a contract with DSME, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

The DSME and SHI were contracted to construct seven and five 24,000-TEU containerships, while HHI will build eight 16,000-TEU containerships.

HHI will deliver the vessels from the second quarter of next year.

HMM plans to increase its environmental capabilities with the launch of the containerships. The ships feature a scrubber system to adhere to the IMO 2020 environmental regulation.

Additionally, the optimised hull design and a highly efficient engine will also boost energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Moon Jae-in said: “For me, it is very meaningful that HMM takes delivery of the most technologically advanced containership in this difficult time. I would like to celebrate it and hope that HMM continues to secure competitive advantage as a Korean national flagship carrier.”

HMM CEO and president Bae Jae Hoon added: “HMM will strive to expand its presence in the global shipping industry based on optimised fleet management and new cooperation with THE Alliance.”

The containership will operate on the Far East Europe 4 (FE4) service, which is one of the Alliance’s Asia-North Europe trade lanes.

Last month, HMM deployed underwater robots to help clean the hull of its vessels to reduce environmental hazards.




ESA awards contract to CYSEC to improve cybersecurity in ship tracking

Swiss cybersecurity company CYSEC SA has received a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a solution to reduce cyber risks when using satellite communications to track ships.

The digital revolution has impacted the shipping industry with the integration of automated navigation, cargo-tracking systems and digital platforms to carry out operations, trade and data exchange.

However, there are many issues with the current maritime communication systems that could lead to negative effects when there is a cyberattack.

Some of the systems such as Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) can be tampered, which can lead to disastrous consequences.

GNSS and AIS are one of the most important aspects of improving the safety of maritime navigation and data reliability.

CYSEC SA said that it will use its secured servers and satellite communications expertise to lead a feasibility study and investigate the defence of GNSS and AIS systems.

CYSEC SA has put together a consortium, consisting of U-blox and Gomspace, which will work under the guidance of ESA and maritime stakeholders in Europe.

CYSEC Space and IoT VP Mathieu Bailly said: “It is an honour to be awarded a contract from the European Space Agency on such an important topic.

“The shipping industry currently suffers from various cybersecurity flaws, posing great threats to the global industry.

“Resolving these issues is in CYSEC’s DNA by making the best cyber protection tools accessible to companies that currently do not have the expertise nor the resources to benefit from it.”




QP signs $3.01bn agreement to reserve LNG ship capacity in China

Qatar Petroleum (QP) has signed a QR11bn ($3.01bn) agreement to reserve liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship construction capacity in China that will be used for the future LNG carrier fleet requirements.

The agreement was signed with China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s (CSSC) subsidiary Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group where the capacity will be reserved until 2027 for QP.

The officials from both companies signed the agreement in a virtual ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “Today, we have taken yet another concrete step to reinforce Qatar’s commitment to its global reputation as a safe and reliable LNG producer at all times and under all circumstances.

“By entering into this agreement to reserve a major portion of Hudong’s LNG ship construction capacity through the year 2027, we are confident that we are on the right track to ensuring that our future LNG fleet requirements will be met in due time to support our increasing LNG production capacity.”

CSSC chairman Lei Fanpei added: “The 174,000m³ LNG carrier for Qatar Petroleum is the latest generation of LNG carrier design customised by CSSC for Qatar. The carrier has the world’s leading performance for efficiency, reliability and environmental conservation, demonstrating CSSC Group’s great efforts and commitment to the success of Qatar Petroleum’s projects.”

The agreement will also cover the North Field expansion projects, which are expected to boost the country’s LNG production capacity to 126 million tonnes each year from 77 million tonnes.

The QP’s LNG carrier fleet programme is considered to be the largest in the LNG industry and will help the company to meet the requirements of the local and national LNG projects. It is also expected to replace a part of current Qatar’s LNG fleet.




DFDS lays up 12 of 50 ferries due to reduced services

Denmark-based shipping company DFDS is offering 12 of its 50 ferries in a lay-up due to reduced services amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

DFDS is operating at all its sites with increased health protocols issued by the authorities to adapt to the lockdowns in place.

Additionally, in offices, the company has implemented travel restrictions and remote working. It has also divided teams and increased hygiene standards.

Last month, the company suspended two routes, Copenhagen to Oslo and Amsterdam to Newcastle that cater to passengers mostly.

The capacity of freight carried in the remaining 20 operational routes has also been reduced.

The passenger activity in the Channel and Baltic Sea has decreased and only includes necessary travel. The number of drivers has also been reduced.

The company has participated in the government wage and fixed cost compensation programmes and has announced that approximately 2,200 employees are on forced paid leave in areas with decreased activity.

DFDS is planning to reduce the logistics capacity in its contingency planning and will implement cost-saving and postponement initiatives.

In a statement, DFDS said: “All of DFDS’ freight activities continue to operate through the lockdowns as Europe supports its economies by exempting seafarers, dockworkers and truck drivers from travel restrictions to keep trade open for all kinds of goods, including priority items such as medicine and food.

“On the other hand, the lockdowns have caused passenger routes to be suspended.”




Singapore’s MPA awards two bunker supplier licences

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have granted two new bunker supplier licences to TFG Marine and Minerva Bunkering.

Singapore’s MPA had previously sought new license applications in December last year.

The Port of Singapore’s bunkering services and oil trading are reported to be unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first quarter of this year, the bunker sales were 12.72 million tonnes, an increase of 5.4% compared to the first quarter of last year.

In a statement, Singapore’s MPA said: “These two new players will increase the supply of marine fuel that is compliant with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 sulphur regulations in the Singapore bunker market.

“It brings the total number of MPA-licensed bunker suppliers to 45 in the Port of Singapore. Minerva Bunkering and TFG Marine will also be required to each operate at least two clean energy dual-fuelled bunker barges. This will help drive more sustainable bunkering activities in the Port of Singapore.”

The licencing is expected to boost the country’s ecosystem of global companies such as Shell and BP and other trading companies such as Glencore, Vitol and Mitsui.

MPA plans to work with different stakeholders for periodic reviews to develop a regulatory framework and ensure the quality and availability of bunkers.

In November last year, Wartsila and terminal towage operator PSA Marine partnered to conduct trials of a dynamic positioning (DP) system in the Port of Singapore under real-world conditions.




US DOT’s MARAD provides funding for 24 small shipyards

The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded a $19.6m grant for 24 small shipyards.

In January, MARAD announced its plans to offer funding to small shipyards. The deadline for grant applications was 18 February.

The funds will be provided from the Small Shipyard Grant Program.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine L Chao said: “This $19.6m federal government investment in the nation’s small shipyards will help maintain the US shipyard infrastructure of our country.”

The Small Shipyard Grant Program will help the shipyards to increase efficiency in the construction of commercial vessels.

The funding will help to modernise operations, boost efficiency and increase productivity with investment in emerging technologies and skilled workforce.

The programme will fund projects to increase efficiency and develop quality ship construction, repair and reconfiguration along with training projects for employees.

Maritime administrator Mark Buzby said: “Small shipyard grants play a significant role in supporting local communities by creating jobs for working families.

“These shipyards are a tangible investment in our nation’s maritime infrastructure and the future of our maritime workforce.”

American shipyards support 400,000 jobs across the nation, with $37.3bn in the gross domestic product (GDP) and $25.1bn in labour income.

The shipyards that received funding are from Alabama, California, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.