JULY 23, 2012 — Norway's Fjord Line has decided that two new cruise ferries will be fully LNG fueled rather than "dual fuel."
The 170 m, 1,500 passenger, 600 vehicle ferries are being built in Norway by Bergen Group Fosen, with the hulls coming from Poland's Stocznia Gdansk shipyard.
Today, Bergen Group Fosen reported that it has been awarded a supplementary contract for conversion of the ships to single-fuel LNG engine systems. LNG will then be the only fuel source for both vessels from the first day of operation.
The scope of work includes installation of what Bergen Group describes as "four modern and very environmentally friendly gas engines" in each of the two cruise ferries.
The contract involves change in delivery time for both ships. The first ship will now be delivered in April 2013. The second ship will be completed some months later.
Bergen Group CEO Terje Arnesen says the modification project will enable the two ships to be among the most environmentally friendly cruise ferries in the world.
"LNG represents a very exciting future as a fuel source for an increasing part of the maritime industry. This contract contributes to a strengthening of our expertise within this area in early stages of an existing market development," he says.
JULY 1, 2012—Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced the completion of the 6,400-auto hybrid car carrier Emerald Ace, designed to generate zero emissions while berthed, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., in the Kobe shipyard in Japan.
The 199.9m x 32.26m x 34.52m Emerald Ace was built as world’s first newly built hybrid car carrier, and is equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that combines a 160kW solar generation system—jointly developed by MHI, Energy Company of Panasonic Group, and MOL—with lithium-ion batteries that can store some 2.2MWh of electricity. Conventional power generation systems use diesel-powered generators to supply onboard electricity while berthed.
On the Emerald Ace, electricity is generated by the solar power generation system while the vessel is under way and stored in the lithium-ion batteries. The diesel-powered generator is completely shut down when the ship is in berth, and the batteries provide all the electricity it needs, resulting in zero emissions at the pier.
The vessel's hybrid system represents a significant step forward in realizing ISHIN-I, the concept for the next-generation car carrier that MOL announced in September 2009. MOL continues to take a proactive stance in technological development with the aim of reducing the environmental burden of its vessels and operations.
The words “Solar Hybrid” on the aft of the hull designate the ship as a hybrid that makes use of renewable energy.
The development of the Emerald Ace was subsidized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as a project to help reduce CO2 emissions from ocean-going vessels, and received support from ClassNK as a cooperative development project to reduce greenhouse gases produced by ocean shipping operations.
AUGUST 9, 2012 — More details have been released about the two platform supply vessels ordered by GulfMark Americas, Inc. from BAE Systems shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, at an expected cost of $48 million each (see earlier story).
Each of the GulfMark vessels will be qualified under the U.S. Jones Act and will measure 288 feet long and 62 feet wide. The selection also includes options to build two additional platform supply vessels in the future.
The design for the BAE Systems-built Green DP2 vessels will be provided by MMC Ship Design & Marine Consulting, Ltd. of Poland and will be based on similar platform supply vessels currently under construction for GulfMark abroad.
"GulfMark is excited about partnering with BAE Systems on this important project," said David Rosenwasser, chief operating officer of GulfMark Offshore. "BAE Systems demonstrated unique capabilities that are essential to us, and we look forward to building a long-term relationship going forward."
The new vessels will be U.S. flagged and will support the anticipated future demand in the Gulf of Mexico offshore market, as well as other areas around the world as necessary.
"This contract reinforces our commitment to new construction in the commercial market and strengthens BAE Systems' position as a highly competitive and financially stable builder of technically sophisticated ships," said Richard McCreary, vice president of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. "We continue to grow our backlog of projects and build our workforce in Mobile."
The GulfMark contract is part of a recent expansion at the Mobile shipyard. Last month, the company teamed with Mid Ocean Tanker Company and Alterna Capital to complete the American Phoenix, a U.S. flag/Jones Act-qualified product chemical tanker. Measuring 616 feet long and 105 feet wide, it is the largest vessel ever built and launched in the State of Alabama. BAE Systems has also begun construction on the MV Magdalen, a trailing suction hopper dredge that is scheduled to be delivered in 2014.
In addition to the vessels under construction in Mobile, BAE Systems announced in June that it was awarded a contract with Great Lakes Dock & Dredge Company to build two dump scows, which are used for dredging operations. Construction on the 262-foot-long dump scows is expected to start in October.
BAE Systems currently employs more than 650 people in Mobile and expects to hire an additional 275 workers there by the end of this year.
OCTOBER 25, 2012 — A dhow being used as a Somali pirate mother ship ended up in flames in an incident that saw the Royal Netherlands Navy LPD Hr. Ms. Rotterdam come under fire from a fishing vessel and from the shore as well as from the dhow.
The fire was answered in self defense. In addition to the Rotterdam, NATO assets involved in the response included an unmanned aircraft and three RHIBs.
One RHIB was slightly damaged by a bullet as naval personnel continued to come under fire from the shore even as they attempted to rescue pirates who had jumped into the water from the burning dhow.
One pirate drowned in the incident and eight were treated aboard the Rotterdam for injuries. No naval personnel were hurt.
OCTOBER 5, 2012—Brazil shipyard Wilson, Sons is the midst of constructing six Platform Supply Vessels under license based on Damen’s PSV 4500 design for Wilson Sons Ultratug Offshore (WSUT). Two PSVs have been recently delivered, with the others due in 2013.
Damen and Wilson have enjoyed a business relationship for 20 years and the new PSVs will be supplied to WSUT, a joint venture between Brazilian operator Wilson, Sons and the Chilean Ultratug group for long term charter to state-owned oil company Petrobras. To date Wilson, Sons has built 16 Damen PSVs, all for its own fleet.
As one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, Brazil is very much an expanding market and particularly the offshore sector is demonstrating exceptionally strong growth. Local manufacturing is a key factor and the service through Damen Technical Cooperation (offering ships in kit form for completion locally) ensures the shipbuilder complies with the 60% local content threshold imposed by the government.
Santos-based Wilson, Sons is the largest operator of harbor tugs in Brazil and already has a large fleet of Damen vessels comprising Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tugs and Platform Supply Vessels (PSV).
The Damen 4500 PSVs will each have a deadweight of 4,500 tons, an overall length of 87 m, beam of 16 m and maximum draft of 6.19 m, providing a large deck area amounting to 840 m². A diesel-electric propulsion system comprising four Caterpillar 3512C generator sets, each of 1,570 kW at 1,800 rev/min, power two Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters of 2,500 kW. Fixed-pitch propellers of 2,800 mm diameter, with nozzle, deliver a speed of 13 knots (at 5 m draft). A Caterpillar C9 genset of 238 ekW at 1,800 rpm is for emergency use. Twin bow thrusters ensure good maneuverability and the vessel has a dynamic positioning DP2 classification. There is accommodation for 14 crew and up to six passengers.
Currently Damen is engaged in the design of a new range of PSVs. Based on operational studies, feedback and questionnaires from crew and operators of the Damen PSV 3000, 4500 and other non-Damen PSVs operating in the area, analyses are made to refine the specifications of the new design.
The new Damen PSV range will soon cover five models, the 3300 (the number relates to the vessels’ deadweight), the smaller 1600 and 2500 and the larger 4000 and 5000, which are currently being designed. Together with Wilson, Sons, Damen is developing several other vessel types for the Brazilian offshore market, such as Anchor Handlers, ROV Support Vessels and Well-stimulation Vessels.
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