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A look at the best passenger ships of 2015

MV Veteran, 80m Ice Class Ferry
Delivered this past October by Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania, the RoPax ferry MV Veteran is built to handle the tough environment of the Arctic region. The 200-passenger vessel was designed to operate specifically in icy waters by a partnership comprised of Fleetway Inc., for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Denmark’s Knud E. Hansen.

The MV Veteran can handle 40 cm-thick floating ice at 4 knots, says Jan van Hogerwou, Damen Manager, North America. The ferry’s “rudders, hull and propellers have been strengthened and are outfitted with extra plate thickness for heavy winter conditions.”

Three MTU 16V 4000M23S engines generate 1,700 kWe, 400V, at 1,800 rev/min. The emergency genset is provided by one Volvo D16 engine generating 440 kWe 440V, at 1,800 rev/min. Its propulsion set is made up of two 1,600 kW Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters, Electric Drive, and two 2,600 mm ice strength fixed pitch propellers.

And while the vessel was built in Romania, its very much a Canadian product, with several Canadian companies providing services for the vessel, with products including electrical equipment to fire-fighting systems.

MV Veteran has roll-on, roll-off capacity for 60 vehicles, is 80.9 m long with a beam of 17.2 m and can operate at a cruising speed of 14 knots.

The first in a two-vessel contract, the Veteran, and its sister ship the MV Legionnaire, are part of a large “lifeline” vessel replacement program being undertaken by the Provincial Government to modernize its fleet. The fleet transports over 900,000 passengers, 400,000 vehicles and 20,000 tonnes of freight with more than 50,000 arrivals and departures every year.

MV Veteran is class by ABS +A, Vehicle Passenger Ferry, Ice Class 1AA, Near Coastal, Voyage Class II, E, +AMS, HAB+, ACCU GP.

Product Director at Damen Ferries, Henk Grunstra, acknowledges that the Ice Class 1A Super certificate in the highest available for ferries. He also says the vessel has redundant systems in place for safe operation.

MV Veteran features 127 seats in the forward passenger lounge, 88 seats in the aft passenger lounge, 15 single crew cabins.


The Sally Fox, 105 ft fast ferry
Sally Fox Maiden VoyageLast April, a new foxy lady on the Puget Sound made her presence felt. Built by All American Marine, Bellingham, WA, the MV Sally Fox, is the first of two new ferries ordered by King County’s Marine Division. The vessel is also the first ferry to be built under the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sub-Chapter K rule, and delivered under the new 5A Space Performance Guidelines issued.

The 5A Space Performance Guidelines make it possible for a boat builder, such as All American Marine (AAM), to design and implement suitable structural fire protection in very low fire load spaces in the construction of weight-sensitive high-speed passenger vessels.

The 105 ft x 33 ft catamaran was designed by AAM, however, for its wave piercing hull design the builder called upon New Zealand-based naval architecture firm Teknicraft Design Ltd. The wave piercing hull design helps reduce drag and enhance passenger comfort.

Sally Fox is powered by twin Cummins QSK-50 tier II engines rated at 1,900 rev/min. The 250-passenger ferry operates at a service speed of 28 knots across the Puget Sound from Vashon Island to downtown Seattle.

Special attention was paid to each passenger deck’s layout in order to facilitate and streamline the boarding and disembarking process. Additionally, the new ferry features some green technologies, for example, instead of paint, the decks are covered with a peel-and-stick non-slip tread, while the exterior of the superstructure is wrapped in UV-stable vinyl.

Funded by federal grants, the new water taxi will replace the Melissa Ann, a 27 year old vessel leased to operate on the route since 2010. Its sister ferry, the MV Doc Maynard was delivered by AMM September 2015.


Baynes Sound Connector, Longest Cable Ferry
Next month, BC Ferries’ first ever cable ferry, the Baynes Sound Connector will make its long awaited debut and begin operations. Built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, the 78.5 m ferry will accommodate 150 passengers and 50 vehicles on a 1,900 meter (about 1.9 km) route, making the ferry one of the longest cable ferries in the world.

BaynesSoundConnectorSABaynes Sound Connector will travel at a speed up to 8.5 knots between Buckley Bay and Denman Island. The ferry operates on one drive cable, and two guide cables along the route on the Baynes Sound Channel. Operator BC Ferries expects the cable ferry will help reduce operational costs, saving the company over $80 million over its expected 40-year service life; will have a smaller environmental footprint and lower fuel emissions.

While the news of the Baynes Sound Connector is exciting, the project was initially met with fears from the local community that felt a ferry operating on cables would be unsafe and wouldn’t be able to meet BC’s promise of a more efficient ferry on the run.

BC Ferries has stated that the ferry has been designed and built to safely operate in the Bayes Sound environment, which is a relatively low marine traffic area, and was tested in some of the worst weather conditions.

To further safety, it was recently announced that transit lights have been installed at both the Buckley Bay and Denman West terminals to secure safe passage for the cable ferry and other vessels in the area. A green light would indicate that the Baynes Sound Connector is docked at a terminal and boaters can safely cross the channel. A red light indicates the ferry is in transit, and it may not be safe for other vessels to cross the channels since the cables in operation may not be fully submerged.

Texelstroom, CNG Hybrid Ferry
TexelstroomBuilt by Spanish shipbuilder Construcciones Navales del Norte—La Naval, the 135m Texelstroom will offer its owner, Royal N.V. Texels Eigen Stoomboot Onderneming (TESO), a unique energy efficient vessel package that will combine a variety of green energy sources to help reduce its environmental impact when its delivered 1Q 2016.

The 1,750-passenger ferry is equipped with a hybrid propulsion system comprised of dual fuel (diesel/CNG) generating sets and a battery system, feeding the propulsion electric motors. The ferry is expected to operate mainly on the natural gas that will be storing two batteries of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bottles installed on the top deck.

The double-ended ferry was designed with two separate navigation bridges and two independent engine rooms. One engine room is fitted with two ABC diesel engines, each generating 2,000 kW of power; and the other engine room is fitted with two ABC dual fuel engines, also generating 2 x 2,000 kW. Each ship end will be fitted with two Rolls-Royce azimuth propeller.

The ferry, designed by La Naval in close cooperation with TESO and C-Job Naval Architects & Engineers, and classed by Lloyds’ Register, will also feature over 700 m2 of solar panels, helping the ship to be more sustainable. Additionally, according to LR, the ferry’s design is supported by the European Union’s “I.Transfer” program. The goal of the program is to make ferry transport accessible and sustainable.  

The ferry will be ice class, featuring a strengthened hull to operate through winter ice, and will have a notation for Passenger and Crew Accommodation Comfort (PCAC) to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for passengers and crew.

Texelstroom will provide services in The Netherlands, between the island of Texel and the port of Den Helder. The ferry, which will also have capacity for 350 vehicles, will operate between 10 to 15 knots.

Ampere, Zero-emission Battery Powered Ferry
Norway was one of the first countries to embrace the move to alternative energies; the country was one of the earliest adopters of LNG as a marine fuel, and now it is the homebase for the world’s first battery powered electric car/passenger ferry. Built by Fjellstrand Shipyard, the 80 m long x 21 m wide Ampere produces zero emissions thanks to its Siemens’ BlueDrive PlusC electric propulsion system. The ferry does not use any fuel tanks or engines. Instead, it derives its power from its batteries which enable Norled to reduce its fuel costs by up to 60%, and save one million liters of fuel annually.

Ampere Credit SamferdselsfotoAmpere’s power system is made up of 224 Corvus Energy AT 6500 modules with a total capacity of 1.46MWH, an energy management system, a steering system, thruster control and an alarm system. The Energy Storage System (ESS) is split into four parts. Each of the vessel’s ends is fitted with a vessel mount and a shore power station—this enables and facilitates the rapid recharging of the batteries.

The innovative vessel is meant to be as environmentally friendly as possible, from the inside-out. Constructed from light-weight aluminum, the Ampere, weighs just half of what a conventional ferry would weigh. Its service life is double that of a steel hull ferry, and the vessel requires fewer drydock periods which help lower the vessel’s maintenance costs.

The Ampere is also equipped with LED lighting, high efficiency thrusters with feathering propellers from Rolls-Royce, and a HVAC system with extensive heat recovery. The ferry, which has passenger capacity for 350 and room for 120 cars, is classed by DNV-GL as 1A1- LC R4(nor), CF, C, BP, IOPP-A.

Mein Schiff 4, 99,500 grt cruise ship
vlcsnap 2015 05 20 15h01m01s183Designed for the German premium-class cruise market, the 99,500 gt Mein Schiff 4 is the fourth in a series of cruise ships being built for TUI Cruises, a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean.

Mein Schiff 4 was constructed using advanced and eco-friendly technologies according to ship builder Meyer Turku Shipyard, Finland. The ship was built to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Its expected to consume 30 percent less energy when compared to other ships its size. The cruise ship is also fitted with a combined exhaust after-treatment system, made up of a scrubber and a catalyzer, lowering sulfur emissions by as much as 99 percent, and NOx by 75 percent.

Engine power is provided by two Wartsila 12V46 diesel engines and two Wartsila 8L46F diesel engines.

The ship is 294m long x 36m wide, with an 8m draft. It features 1,253 cabins, and has capacity for 2,790 passengers and 1,030 crew members.

Mein Schiff 4’s initial itinerary included traveling through a variety of routes in the Baltic Sea to the Baltic States and in Northern Europe around Norway. This winter, the ship will travel to the Canary Islands making stops along Morocco and Mediera.

Mein Schiff 4 is classed by DNV-GL +1A1 Passenger Ship BIS Clean F(M) Fuel (991 kg/m3, -7°C, 380 cSt) LCS(DC) TMON. Sister ships Mein Schiff 5 and 6 will be completed and delivered by the Meyer Turku yard by 2017.

Samish, 144-Car Ferry
The second in a series of four Olympic Class ferries for Washington State Ferries, the 144-Car Samish, was named in honor of the region’s native Samish Indian Nation. It’s name means “giving people,” and Washington State Ferries is hoping to do just that, by giving back to the community with the addition of the Samish to its growing ferry fleet.

SAMISH17087700982 5682073bfa oDelivered by Vigor Industrial, the new $126 million ferry, like its sister ship, the Tokitae, is based on the Olympic Class design by Seattle-based Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. The ferry measures 362 ft x 83 ft and has capacity for 144 cars and 1,500 passengers.

The Olympic Class, is built by a group of Washington-based companies—led by Vigor Industrial—offering the very best the state has to offer in design and production; and generating and supporting over 500 jobs in the Puget Sound.

Its superstructure was build by Whidbey Island, WA-based Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. Nichols built the superstructure for the Tokitae and will do the same for the third and fourth vessels in the series.

Olympic Class vessels were designed with passenger comfort in mind. The class provides wider lanes and more spaces for cars and trucks, additional comfort for passengers with two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant (ADA compliant) elevators, an ADA-compliant car-deck restroom; flexible seating configurations; improved heating and ventilation; and wider stairwells and passageways.

Samish’s main propulsion is provided by two Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) engines developing a total 6,000 hp, enabling the vessel to reach speeds up to 17 knots on its Anacortes to San Juan Islands route. Olympic Class ferries are also equipped with the latest emergency-evacuation and fire-suppression systems.

Samish and the other vessels in the Olympic Class also provide WSF with improved efficiency and better fuel consumption. Its hull design helps reduce wake, further improving fuel efficiency. The ships will replace the aging Evergreen State Class vessels which have been in operation since the 1950’s.

F.A. Gauthier, First LNG ferry for North America
2GauthierCanada’s Société des Traversiers du Québec (STQ) is committed to a greener future. To that end the company invested in the construction of three LNG-fueled ferries in between 2014 and 2015, including the F.A. Gauthier, which was delivered to the operator this past summer.

Built by Italy’s Fincantieri Castellamare di Stabia shipyard, the F.A. Gauthier has the distinction of being the first LNG-fueled ferry to operate in North America. Classed by Lloyd’s Register, the ferry is fitted with an ultra compliant, low-emission, dual-fuel system from Wärtsilä.

Powered by four Wärtsilä 12v34D dual-fuel generating sets, meaning the ship can run on either Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Marine Diesel Oil (MDO), the 133 m x 22 m ferry can reach a maximum speed of 20 knots on its Matane-Baie-Coreneau-Godbout route.

The ship is also equipped with Wärtsilä’s LNGPac system comprised of LNG bunkering, storage tanks, and handling equipment. Its fitted with two contra-rotating propellers, making the ferry exceptionally maneuverable.

The F.A. Gauthier’s hull is certified as Ice Class 1 and Propulsion Class 1, enabling the ship to break sea ice and handle adverse weather conditions on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  The ferry can carry 900 passengers and 180 vehicles on each trip, and is expected to transport more that 205,000 passengers and 118,000+ vehicles a year.

Viking Star, 48,000 grt cruise ship
Viking Ocean Cruises made its debut into the ocean going cruise market last year with the delivery of its highly anticipated 930 passenger Viking Star. The ship is the first of three cruise ships under construction at Fincantieri Marghera, Italy shipyard for the brand—which is a spin off of Viking River Cruises.

STAR CHRISTENING BERGEN 51611The goal for Viking Ocean Cruises was to bring the focus of cruising back to the destination. With that in mind, the brand decided to build a smaller passenger cruise ship, with a smarter design and providing guests with an enriching trip.

What makes the “small” cruise ship unique is that its engineered at a scale that enables the ship to have direct access into most ports, making embarkation and debarkation effectively easier and more efficient for guests. This lets passengers spend more time at each destination along the ship’s route.  

The Viking Star’s design pays homage to the brand’s Nordic heritage, effectively immersing the passenger into local surroundings. Clean lines, woven textiles and light-wood help evoke the Viking spirit of discovery, according to the brand, and helps connect the passenger with nature.

The 228m long ship, which features 465 state room—each with its own veranda—has two pools, a main pool with a retractable roof, and a glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern; the ship also includes indoor-outdoor spaces for al fresco dining, large windows and skylights that further blur the light between inside and out, and a wrap-around promenade deck that pays homage to classic ocean liners.

Viking Star was also designed with the environment in mind. The ship is powered by energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hulls and bows for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.

Oscar B. 115 ft ferry, Wakiakum County
OScarBWahkiakum County, Washington State is paying homage to one of the greatest skippers the country has ever had by naming the county’s newest ferry, the Oscar B, after him. Oscar Bergseng skippered the ferry, Wahkaikum, which was built in 1961, for 17 years.

Built by Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders, Freeland, WA, the 115 x 47 ft Oscar B is double the size of its predecessors, offering an expanded vehicle capacity.

The new ferry can carry 100 passengers and 23 cars between the Cathlamet, WA and Westport, OR terminals.

The ferry, designed by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Design Group, features a steel-hull, aluminum super-structure. Its power is provided by two state-of-the-art Cummins QLS diesel engines, each delivering 285 hp at 1,800 rev/min and couple to ZF Marine reversing reduction gears with two fixed-pitch propellers.

Oscar B meets all current U.S. Coast Guard requirements. Additionally, it features a hydraulic steering system, up-to-date electronics, a passenger lounge and ADA-accessible restrooms.

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LNG fueled cement carrier enters service

After an extensive program of trials and tests, the 7,300 dwt vessel today departed Delfzijl on her first commercial voyage to Rostock where she will receive her first cement load.

With dimensions of 109,66 m x 14.99 m, M.V. Greenland is a dedicated cement carrier build for the joint venture JT cement, in which Erik Thun AB cooperates with KG Jebsen Cement from Norway.

The vessel is the first ever dry cargo ship with an LNG fueled propulsion system and LNG tanks integrated inside the hull. The unique design incorporates a pressurized LNG tank positioned in the foreship.

The vessel has a 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF main engine, with Wärtsilä also supplying an enclosed Gas Valve Unit (GVU) for easier installation and additional engine room safety.

The cement cargo system consists of a fully automated cement loading and unloading system, based on fluidization of cement by means of compressed air. The cement can be loaded and unloaded fully enclosed through pipes and is thus dust-free.

Greenland 700

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The Best Ships of 2015


TOTE Maritime’s 3,100-TEU containership Isla Bella was due to set sail for San Juan, PR, on November 24, marking the first time a ship in a Jones Act liner service will burn Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.  When the 764-foot-long Isla Bella transited the Panama Canal back on October 30 on her way to the Port of Jacksonville, Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano called her “a true engineering feat.”

Among the principal maritime stakeholders involved in the successful launch of the Isla Bella and her sister Perla del Caribe are: owner and operator TOTE, shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO, designer DSEC (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s ship design arm), engine licensee MAN Diesel & Turbo, classification society ABS, and regulator U.S. Coast Guard.

The two Marlin Class containerships were contracted by TOTE in December 2012 and are being built at a total cost of about $375 million.

The 764-ft Isla Bella is equipped with the world’s first dual-fuel slow-speed engine, an 8L70ME-GI built by Korea’s Doosan Engine, under license from MAN Diesel & Turbo. With a 3,100 TEU capacity, the LNG-powered Isla Bella reduces NOx emissions by 98 percent, SOx emissions by 97 percent and CO2 emissions by 76 percent. The technology makes the ship one of the world’s most environmentally friendly containerships afloat.

During LNG will allow the Marlin Class Isla Bella to be fully compliant with strict emissions regulations while operating in both the North American Emissions Control Area and the U.S. Caribbean ECA.

At the time of her delivery, Kevin Graney, Vice President and General Manager of General Dynamics NASSCO, said, “Successfully building and delivering the world’s first LNG-powered containership here in the United States for coastwise service demonstrates that commercial shipbuilders, and owners and operators, are leading the world in the introduction of cutting-edge, green technology in support of the Jones Act.”

The moment is bittersweet for TOTE as it unfolds within the shadow of the tragic loss of the SS El Faro with all hands aboard during Hurricane Joaquin on October 1. The ship’s crew of 28 and five Polish nationals onboard were lost. The U.S. Navy, working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has located the ship in waters 15,000 feet deep near the Crooked Island in the Bahamas.

The Isla Bella will be joined by the Perla del Caribe in Puerto Rico cargo service in the first quarter of 2016.



The 330,000 bbl Ohio was became the first product tanker to be built with the future consideration for the future use of LNG as fuel when it was delivered earlier this year to Crowley Maritime Corp. by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA.

New OhioWebThe Ohio received American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval, meaning Crowley has the option to convert the tanker to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion in the future.

The Ohio along with her three ships being built at Aker Philadelphia are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design which incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and a slow-speed diesel engine built under license from MAN Diesel & Turbo. The 600 feet long Ohio is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products.

Crowley’s Seattle-based, naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime is providing construction management services for the product tankers. Jensen now has an on-site office and personnel at the Philadelphia shipyard to ensure strong working relationships with shipyard staff and a seamless construction and delivery program.

“We are excited to offer our customers cutting-edge technology available in these new tankers, which not only embraces operational excellence and top safety, but also offers the potential to be powered by environmentally friendly LNG in the future,” said Crowley’s Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum and chemical transportation. “Adding these new Jones Act tankers to our fleet allows us to continue providing our customers with diverse and modern equipment to transport their petroleum and chemical products in a safe and reliable manner.”

Blount Boats, Inc., Warren, RI, delivered the Chandra B, a new mini-tanker for American Petroleum & Transport, Inc., Miller Place, NY. The 79 ft by 23 ft, double-hull bunkering tanker operates in New York Harbor and New Jersey supplying fuel to ferries, dinner boats, dredges, and other vessels.

ChandraBPropulsion power for the tanker is supplied by two EPA Tier 3-compliant Cummins Model QSL9, six-cylinder diesel engines rated at 330 hp at 1,800 rev/min with ZF Model W325 marine hydraulic gears that will have 4.91:1 reduction ratio. The self-propelled Chandra B is equipped with a 50 hp Wesmar hydraulic bow thruster, providing it with enhanced maneuverability.

Designed by Farrell & Norton Naval Architects, Newcastle, ME, the Chandra B is built to USCG Subchapter “D” specifications and is less than 100 gross tons. Farrell & Norton also designed one of the tank barges in American Petroleum & Transport’s fleet. The double-hull Chandra B will replace the 1979-built single hull Capt. Log in American Petroleum & Transport’s fleet.

American Petroleum & Transport (APT) has had to retire all of its single-hull tankers because of OPA 90 regulations.

APT vessels crisscross New York Harbor delivering ultra low sulfur diesel to clients such as Circle Line, New York Water Taxi, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, and Sterling Equipment, as well as for the auxiliary engines of larger ships. The Chandra B has cargo fuel tankage is designed to hold a capacity of 56,450 gallons.



This past year, NYK took delivery of Sakigake, Japan’s first LNG fueled tug. Built at NYK’s wholly owned subsidiary Keihin Dock Co’s Oppama shipyard, the 37.2 m x 10.2 m Sakigake is operated by Wing Maritime Service Corporation, mainly in the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki. Wing Maritime also operates the hybrid tug Tsubasa.

Sakigake webThe Sakigake is equipped with two Niigata 6L28AHX-DF dual-fuel engines, each developing 1,618 kW. Propulsion is supplied by two Niigata Z-Pellers.

The DF engines can burn either LNG or diesel oil. The environmental advantages of operating on LNG as compared with conventionally powered tugs that use marine diesel oil is Sakigake emits about 30 percent less CO2, 80 percent less NOx, and no SOx.

While the project posed several challenges—the relatively small size and limited amount of space on the tug, and the large variation in engine power—Keihin Dock was able to achieve the desired level of environmental performance while maintaining the same hull form and steering performance of existing tugs. Keihin Dock worked closely with both Niigata Power Systems and Air Water Plant & Engineering Inc. to develop equipment for supplying LNG.

The project was supported by subsidies from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. ClassNK also provided joint research support.




Emblazoned on the JS Ineos Insight’s hull is the phrase, “Shale Gas for Manufacturing.” Built specifically to transport shale gas from the U.S. to Europe, the JS Ineos Insight is the first of eight 180m x 26.6m ethane gas carriers built by China’s Sinopacific for Denmark’s Evergas.


JSINEOSINSIGHT 2Named on July 14, the JS Ineos Insight can not only carry ethane, LPG or LNG, but can also burn ethane, LNG and conventional diesel in its two Wartsila 50DF dual fuel engines.

The eight Ineos ships will transport over 800,000 tons of ethane gas at -90°C per annum across the Atlantic from the U.S. to Norway and Scotland.

Classed by Bureau Veritas, the Dragon vessels were originally designed as dual-fuel LNG/diesel-powered vessels, with two 1,000 m3 LNG tanks on deck powering two Wärtsilä 6L20 DF main engines with a total output of 2,112 kW and two shaft generators with a total output of 3,600 kW power. The vessels will initially transport ethane from the U.S, to the U.K. Ineos refineries, the ability to also burn ethane was added to allow use of the cargo gas as fuel. 

At the christening of the JS Ineos Insight and the JS Ineos Ingenuity, Ineos Chairman Jim Ratcliffe says, “Today is a landmark day for both Ineos and Europe. We have seen how U.S. shale gas revolutionized U.S. manufacturing and we believe these huge ships will help do the same for Europe. Ineos together with Evergas has commissioned eight brand new ships, accessed hundreds of miles of new pipeline and built two enormous terminals to get U.S. Shale gas to Europe. The scale of the whole project is truly breathtaking.”

According to Bureau Veritas Business Development Manager Martial Claudepierre, the ability to burn ethane and LNG as fuel in the Dragon Class ships “is a major step forward in the use of clean fuels.” He says that BV worked with Evergas and the Danish Maritime Authority to verify and ensure that the use of ethane is at least as safe as required by the IGC and will not impair the engine compliance with MARPOL Annex VI.  

According to Claudepierre, using ethane required extra engine room ventilation and additional gas detection, plus modifications to the main engines including a lower compression ratio, different turbocharger nozzles and de-rating of the engine to cope with the lower knocking resistance of ethane. “But,” he says, “The gains in not carrying an additional fuel and in environmental performance from being able to burn clean fuel throughout the voyage are significant.”


Capable of carrying up to 1,200 cars and 1,400 TEU of containers, the Combination Container and Roll-on/Roll-Off (ConRO) vessel Marjorie C entered Jones Act service this year between the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii.

honolulu 13231 webBuilt by VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, MS, the Marjorie C was engineered from a proven design by Grimaldi at Croatia’s Uljanik Shipyard. The 692 ft x 106 ft ConRO has a draft of 31 ft, deadweight of 21,132.5 metric tons, with nine decks. It has a stern ramp capacity of 350 metric tons. The ship has a service speed of 21.5 knots.

The vessel’s design incorporates the highest level of operating efficiencies as well as reduced environmental impacts. The sister vessel, Jean Anne, was Pasha Hawaii’s first Jones Act vessel and has been serving the Hawaii/Mainland trade since March 2005. The Marjorie C entered into service this past May.

The ship is named in honor of Pasha Hawaii’s President and CEO George Pasha, IV’s grandmother, Marjorie Catherine Ryan.

“After more than three and a half years of planning and construction, we are pleased to unveil a ship that has been designed to not only accommodate the varying needs of our customers, but a vessel that minimizes our carbon footprint through extensive fuel consumption efficiencies and other green technologies,” said Pasha Hawaii’s President and CEO, George Pasha, IV. “With the addition of the Marjorie C we can now offer customers increased service and capacity between the West Coast and Hawaii trade lane on vessels providing superior reliability and cargo protection.”

This past Halloween, the first-of-class oceanographic research vessel R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) set sail from Dakota Creek Industries, Anacortes, WA, to San Francisco, CA, on its inaugural voyage. As we went to press, the Neil Armstong was waiting its turn to pass through the Panama Canal on its way north to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, MA. The ship will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under a charter party agreement with Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Armstrong AerialsC00069.16Designed by Guido Perla & Associates, Inc., Seattle, WA and owned by the U.S. Navy, Neil Armstrong is 238 ft x 50 ft with a depth of 22 ft and draft of 15 ft. The first of two research vessels, the Neil Armstrong has four main 1,400 kW diesel generators, two 876 kW propulsion motors, and two controllable pitch propellers. The ship has a sustained speed of 12 knots and maximum speed of 12.8 knots.

The ship was classed by ABS Under 90 meter rules A1, Circle E, AMS, ACCU, NIBS, Ice Class D0, UWILD, 46 CFR Subchapter U, SOLAS (Oceanographic Vessels), MARPOL.

The Neil Armstrong’s sister vessel, the R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28), is also under construction at Dakota Creek Industries.

During acceptance trials, Mike Kosar, Program Manager for the Support Ships, Boats and Craft office within the Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships, says, “The results of these tests and the outstanding fit, finish and quality of the vessel, stand as a testament to the preparation and effort of our entire shipbuilding team. It reflects the exceptionalism of AGOR 27’s namesake, Neil Armstrong.”

Neil Armstrong Class AGORS incorporate the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world. These ships will provide scientists with the tools and capabilities to support ongoing research including in the Atlantic, western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions across a wide variety of missions.

The lab areas include the main lab of 1,023 ft2, the wet area of 398 ft2, computer area of 311 ft2, and staging area bay of 303 ft2.

Neil Armstrong will be capable of assisting with integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. The vessel will operate with a crew of 20 with accommodations for 24 scientists.



Recently named in a ceremony at shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries’ Mokpo, South Korea, shipyard, Barzan is the first in a series of six 18,800 TEU containerships ordered by Dubai headquartered United Arab Shipping Company (UASC). It is the first vessel to receive classification society DNV GL’s new GAS READY notation. Her five sister ships and eleven 15,000 TEU vessels of UASC’s newest eco-ship generation, will also receive the notation.

Barzan 3The ships have been designed and constructed to enable a quick and cost efficient retrofit to LNG fueling at a later stage. The GAS READY notation, with nominators (D, S, MEc, AEi) demonstrates that the vessel is in compliance with the gas fueled notation rules, that structural reinforcements to support the fuel containment system (LNG tank) have been verified (S), that the main engines installed can be converted to dual fuel (MEc ) and that the auxiliary engines installed can be operated on gas (AEi).

“We believe that this vessel, as well as the rest of the vessels in our new building program, demonstrates our commitment to technical innovation and eco-effectiveness,” says Jørn Hinge, President and CEO of UASC. “For UASC, achieving optimum efficiency levels is not a single initiative or project, it is a strategy and an ongoing commitment, and we will continue to work with DNV GL on the remaining newbuild vessels that have the lowest levels of CO2 output in their class.”

As well as being LNG ready, Barzan and her sister vessels incorporate several innovative energy saving methods, including a Siemens’ Siship SGM environmentally friendly drive and power generation system.

The Waste Heat Recovery System (WHRS) converts thermal energy from the exhaust gas from the main engines into electrical power to maximize the efficiency of the system.

The Barzan was expected to have an EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) value that is close to 50 per cent less than the 2025 limit set by IMO, with a CO2 output per TEU that is more than 60 per cent lower than a 13,500 TEU vessel delivered just three years ago.

Barzan has been constructed to DNV GL class rules with the notations: 1A1 Container Carrier DG-P Shore Power E0 NAUT-OC HMON (A1,C1,G4) CLEAN BWM-T BIS TMON NAUTICUS (Newbuilding) GAS READY (D, S, MEc, AEi).



Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, Vancouver, WA, recently took delivery of the Crown Point, the first in a series of three 102 ft x 38 ft towboats being built at Vigor Industrial in Portland, OR.

CrownPointThe three towboats are the first new vessels to be built for the Tidewater fleet in 30 years, and are critical for the company to meet the anticipated rising customer demand on the Columbia-Snake River system. “The launching of the Crown Point, and the forthcoming Granite Point and Ryan Point vessels, marks an important step for Tidewater,” says Marc Schwartz, Maintenance & Engineering Manager at Tidewater. The vessels will strengthen our fleet, as well as reinforce Tidewater’s commitment to our customers, community, and environment.”

Tidewater operates the largest barge transportation and terminal network on the Columbia-Snake River system. The Crown Point joins the company’s current fleet of 16 vessels and 160 barges. Tidewater transports a wide range of cargo among a network of ports, terminals and grain elevators throughout the entire Columbia-Snake River system, which stretches some 465 miles of waterways. We also operate five strategically located terminals and five pipelines with key intermodal connections to railroads, highways and other pipelines.

Designed by CT Marine, Naval Architects and Marine Engineers of Edgecomb, ME, the Crown Point is an environmentally friendly tug with EPA Tier 3 compliant diesel engines that reduce air emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Main propulsion is supplied by two Caterpillar 3516C EPA Tier 3 certified diesel engines producing 2,240 bhp, each at 1,600 rev/min. The engines drive two 92 in. x 100 in. fixed pitch, stainless steel propellers through CT28 Kort Nozzles capable of a service speed of 8 knots. Operating in the Columbia River Gorge high winds, extreme currents and swells can be considered normal piloting conditions. That’s why the Crown Pount abd her sister towboats are fitted with an enhanced steering system using four steering and four flanking rudders was designed. The towboat has a wheelhouse with exceptional all-round visibility through full height windows, leading edge navigation and communications equipment, and enhanced accommodations for the captain and crew.

“During the last year and a half, a great deal of effort went into designing, engineering and building a towboat that would meet or exceed performance parameters,” explains Bruce Reed, Tidewater COO and Vice President. “With crew endurance being a priority, we employed Noise Control Engineers, Billerica, MA to develop a sound and vibration control package for the vessel. By incorporating Christie and Grey vibration control mounts and comprehensive acoustic insulation, noise levels register at less than 60 decibels in the accommodations during vessel operation.”

Other equipment onboard the Crown Point includes two C7.1, Tier 3 generators, rated at 480v, 200 kW at 1,800 rev/min.  The generators are controlled through an automatic transfer system that ensures the vessel will recover from a generator power loss in less than 30 seconds. Deck machinery includes seven Patterson WWP 65E-7.5, 65-ton electric deck winches, with pilothouse remote operation and local push button control stations on the main deck. Each winch has Samson 1 3/8” Turbo 75 Synthetic Line.
In order to use the newest technology and minimize power usage, variable frequency drives were used in all major rotating machinery applications and LED lighting was employed in both interior and exterior lighting applications. The vessel is fitted with a Kidde NOVEC 1230 fire suppression system. Centralized fire detection and alarms cover both the machinery spaces and accommodations.



This past year, Netherlands-based towage and salvage specialist Multraship took delivery of Multratug 28, a Damen ASD 2810 Hybrid tug built at Damen Shipyards Galaţi, in Romania, as part of a fleet expansion program.

ASD Tug 2810 Multratug 28Classed by Lloyd’s Register, the hybrid Multratug 28 is 28.67m x 10.43m, with a maximum draft of 4.9m. The propulsion system includes two MTU 16V4000M63R diesel engines with one MTU 12V 2000 M41B propulsion genset of 800 kvA, 440V-60Hz. The battery pack are two 120 kWh. Two Rolls Royce US205 azimuth thrusters provide propulsion. The tug has a bollard pull of 62 tons, diesel direct speed of 13 knots, diesel electric speed of 8 knots, and battery pack speed of 4 knots.

The ASD 2810 HYBRID is developed to save fuel by 30% and to reduce emissions by 50%. To achieve this the vessel is provided with a propulsion system that can operate diesel-direct, diesel-electric or fully-electric. Fully-electric sailing on the batteries, with zero emissions and extremely low noise levels, is possible for time periods of up to one hour at a speed of 4 knots.

In June 2014, the first Damen ASD 2810 Hybrid was delivered to Iskes Towage & Salvage. Being green does not mean sacrificing power, the Bernardus still has a bollard pull of 60 tonnes. The Bernardus operates in the Port of IJmuiden near Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

“This hybrid tug is a unique concept,” says Dinu Berariu, Project Manager at Damen Shipyards Galaţi. “It features a diesel-direct, diesel-electric and battery powered propulsion system. This hybrid configuration will enable Multraship to lower fuel costs by up to 30 percent and emissions by up to 60 percent.”

Headquartered in the harbor city of Terneuzen, Multraship operates in the ports around the Scheldt estuary, in Zeeland seaports and the Belgian ports of Ghent and Antwerp, as well as the Bulgarian port of Burgas on the Black Sea.

Multraship’s fleet expansion program stems from its increasing customer base in the offshore sectors as well as growing demand for harbor towage services.

As we went to press, the world’s third largest containership company, CMA CGM Group, Marseilles, France, was closing in on the acquisition of Singapore-based NOL, the world’s fourth largest. It successful, privately held CMA CGM would leapfrog over MSC to become number two in the world.

CMACGM Vasco de GamaA big part of CMA CGM’s success is its investments in larger, more energy efficient tonnage to improve pricing and economies of scale. An excellent example is the CMA CGM Vasco De Gama delivered this summer to CMA CGM by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).

With a length of 399 m and breadth of 54 m, the 18,000 TEU vessel is the largest containership in the CMA CGM Group and is the first 18,000 TEU containership to be built by a Chinese shipyard. CSSC is also building two more of the giant box ships, the CMA CGM Zheng He and CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin.

Flying the U.K. flag, CMA CGM Vasco De Gama is equipped with the latest environmental technologies including a latest generation main engine, a twisted leading edge rudder with bulb from Germany’s Becker Marine Systems and an optimized hull design. These innovations decrease the vessel’s CO2 emissions by 10% compared to the previous vessel generation. With an estimated emission of 37g of CO2/km for each container carried, the giant containership provides one of the world’s greenest goods transportation options.

The ship’s environmental footprint meets the 2025 energy efficiency regulations.

CMA CGM Vasco De Gama calls at 11 different countries on CMA CGM Group’s French Asia Line (FAL) service between Europe and Asia.

CMA CGM is also building three 20,600 TEU containerships—the largest yet built—at Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries. Those three ships will each have full spade twisted rudders (TLKSR) from Becker Marine Systems and Becker Twisted Fins. Both Becker products will make a significant contribution to the vessel’s efficiency improvement.



As of September this past year, Denmark’s ESVAGT had new owners; 3i Infrastructure and AMP Capital acquired the shares of A.P. Møller-Maersk Group and ESE-Holding. While ESVAGT’s primary market will continue to be oil and gas support and standby rescue in the North Sea, the company is broadening its portfolio with a push into the offshore wind energy market.

EsvagtFroude243This past summer, ESVAGT entered the offshore wind industry with the christening of the world’s first purpose-built Service Operation Vessels at Siemens AG in Rostock and Hamburg, Germany.

The Service Operation Vessels (SOV), Esvagt Froude and Esvagt Faraday are each 83.7m x 17.6m, with a draft of 6.5m. Both of the Danish-flag SOVs were built in Norway by Havyard Ship Technology and are based on a Havyard 832 SOV design. The SOVs both have diesel-electric propulsion and DC power systems, enabling optimized fuel and energy efficiency and crew comfort. The service speed is 14 knots.

The SOVs are essentially “service stations at sea,” offering technicians a safe, efficient platform for wind turbine maintenance. Using the ship’s DP system, the ship can connect to wind turbines via its Ampelmann A-type Walk-to-work hydraulic gangway system offering a stable, safe platform to connect to the wind turbine.

Each offers accommodations for 60 people. The vessels are designed to reduce the level of vibration and increase the level of comfort for everyone onboard.

“As a supplement to the “Walk-to-Work” gangway, we have equipped the Service Operation Vessels with the newly developed ESVAGT Safe Transfer Boats (STB 7 and STB 12),” says Søren Nørgaard Thomsen, Managing Director for ESVAGT. “They are designed in-house based on more than 20 years of experience in boat development and more than 100,000 boat transfers. These boats will in a safe manner provide the industry with additional efficiencies and cost reductions.”

Each of the ships carry ESVAGT STB 7B Safe Transfer Boat, ESVAGT STB 12A Safe Transport Boat, ESVAGT FRB 15C Fast Rescue Boat.

A third ESVAGT SOV is on order and under construction at Havyard for delivery in 2016. The third ESVAGT SOV will service the 400 MW Dudgeon Wind Farm off the East Coast of England in the fall of 2016.

  • News

The Best Passenger Ships of 2015


1. Veteran, 80m Ice Class Ferry, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Damen Galati
The Veteran is part of a large “lifeline” vessel replacement program being undertaken by the Provincial Government to modernize its fleet.

2. Sally Fox, 105 ft Fast Ferry, King County, All American Marine
Sally Fox is the first U.S. Coast Guard Sub-chapter “K” inspected passenger vessel built and delivered under new fire safety guidelines.

3. Baynes Sound Connector, Longest Cable Ferry, BC Ferries, Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards
BC Ferries’ cable ferry, the 150-passenger, 50-vehicle Baynes Sound Connector is the longest cable ferry in operation today.

4. Texelstroom, CNG Hybrid Ferry, TESO, LaNaval
The ferry will operate mainly on natural gas stored in two batteries of compressed natural gas (CNG) bottles installed on the top deck.

5. Ampere, Electric Ferry, Norled, Fjellstrand
Norled’s Ampere is the world’s first battery powered electric car and passenger ferry.

6. Mein Schiff 4, 99,500 grt Cruise Ship, TUI Cruises, Meyer Turku
Designed for the German premium-class cruise market, the 99,500 gt Mein Schiff 4 is 294 m long and 36 m wide and has a total of 1,253 cabins.

7. Samish, 144-Car Ferry, Washington State Ferries, Vigor Industrial
Designed by Seattle-based Guido Perla & Associates, Inc., the Samish is the second in the Olympic Class vessels being built for WSF. The 362 ft ferries have a capacity of 144 cars and 1,500 passengers.

8. F.A. Gauthier, First LNG Ferry for North America, STQ, Fincantieri
The ship’s integrated diesel electric propulsion system has four Wärtsilä 12V34DF dual-fuel generating sets. that can run on either LNG or MDO Gas – LNG) or marine diesel oil (MDO).

9. Viking Star, 48,000 grt Cruise Ship, Viking Ocean Cruises, Fincanitieri
The Viking Star is the first of the three 48,000 grt, 930 passenger cruise ships on order for the line at Fincantieri’s Marghera, Italy, shipyard.

10. Oscar B., 115 ft Ferry, Wakiakum County, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders
Designed by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Design Group the steel-hulled, aluminum superstructured vessel has been built for Wahkiakum County, Washington State as a replacement for the ferry Wahkiakum.




  • News

LNG fuel tanks installed in first Crowley ConRo

Another important milestone was marked last week, with the installation of three LNG fuel tanks in the first ship.

The double-walled, stainless steel tanks – which are 110 feet in length and 20.6 feet in diameter – weigh 225 metric tons and will hold more than enough LNG fuel for two round-trip voyages between the vessel’s future ports of call, Jacksonville, FL, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“While we are all excitedly watching these ships take shape, we are particularly proud of the role we, as a company, are playing to bring the most modern, technologically advanced and environmentally friendly ConRo ships in the world to the Jones Act market of Puerto Rico,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “There are no other ships of their kind being built anywhere else in the world today, and they are being constructed right here at home – in the United States of America. Having that shipbuilding capability here is essential to our national defense and an important reason we as a country need the Jones Act to be maintained and strengthened.”

Crowley’s two Jones Act ConRo ships, which will be named El Coquí (ko-kee) and Taíno (tahy-noh), are are scheduled for delivery second and fourth quarter 2017 respectively.

“It’s very impressive to see these new state-of-the-art Commitment Class ships take shape,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico services. “Seeing those LNG tanks being placed into El Coquí really resonates with me because we are setting a new standard for environmentally responsible shipping.”

The Commitment Class ships have been designed to maximize the carriage of 53-foot, 102-inch-wide containers, which offer the most cubic cargo capacity in the trade.

The ships will be 219.5 meters long, 32.3 meters wide , have a deep draft of 10 meters, and an approximate deadweight capacity of 26,500 metric tonnes. Cargo capacity will be approximately 2,400 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent-units), with additional space for nearly 400 vehicles in an enclosed Ro/Ro garage.

Each ship will be powered by an MAN B&W 8S70ME-GI8.2 main engine and three MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines, all fueled by LNG .

The ship design is provided by Wartsila Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime.

ceowleyLNG vert

  • News

BV classes world’s first ethane fueled ship

The Dragon vessels were originally designed as dual-fuel LNG/diesel powered vessels, with two 1,000 cu m LNG tanks on deck powering two Wärtsilä 6L20 DF main engines with a total output of 2,112 kW and two shaft generators with a total  output of 3,600 kW power. As we reported in May (see earlier story), as the vessels will initially transport ethane from the U.S, to the U.K. Ineos refineries, the ability to also burn ethane was added to allow use of the cargo gas as fuel. 

“The ability to burn ethane as well as LNG to power these unique vessels is a major step forward in the use of clean fuels. It means the vessels can use cargo gas during transits to provide a clean and clear commercial and environmental advantage,” says Bureau Veritas Business Development Manager Martial Claudepierre. “We have worked with Evergas and the Danish Maritime Authority to verify and ensure that the use of ethane is at least as safe as required by the IGC and will not impair the engine compliance with MARPOL Annex VI.”  

According to Mr. Claudepierre, using ethane required extra engine room ventilation and additional gas detection, plus modifications to the main engines including a lower compression ratio, different turbocharger nozzles and de-rating of the engine to cope with the lower knocking resistance of ethane. “But,” he says, “the gains in not carrying an additional fuel and in environmental performance from being able to burn clean fuel throughout the voyage are significant.”

  • News

First two-stroke low-pressure DF engine passes key test

JUNE 23, 2015 — The first Wärtsilä low-speed two-stroke dual-fuel (DF) engine destined for a commercial application has successfully completed Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) at Chinese licensee Yuchai Marine Power Co., Ltd.

  • News

Incat Tasmania export ferry heads to Japan

APRIL 3, 2015 — Though Japan is more into exporting vessels than importing them, Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania is making its third delivery to a Japanese owner. The 85 m high speed

  • News

LNG fueled ferry now world’s fastest ship

JUNE 19, 2013 — Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania says that its hull 069 is now the world’s fastest ship as well as the world’s first high speed dual-fuel vehicle and passenger ferry.