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Displaying items by tag: Shipping

A serious emerging problem which could affect essential food and other supplies is not being dealt with according to the biggest shipping companies in the world.

The International Chamber of Shipping has asked the United Nations to intervene after releasing a new estimate that as many as 400,000 seafarers are unable to leave ships worldwide because of Covid 19 travel restrictions in various countries.

Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, told the United Nations General Assembly that there would be "a humanitarian and world trade crisis." She said that seafarers are stranded on ships around the globe because crew changes have been made practically impossible by countries closing their borders and restricting travel of seafarers to and from ships.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has joined in the call for countries throughout the world to give seafarers "similar protections and rights to other essential workers."

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO Moller-Maersk, the container shipping giant, told the UN General Assembly. "Seafarers are vital to global supply chains, for food and all trade and especially medical supplies for #COVID19 response. I am worried that in respect of crew changes, little is going to change in most nations without action being taken at the very highest political level."

The United Nations has issued a reminder to all nations that they must observe the provisions in the code of its maritime agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to respect the rights of seafarers and their importance in maintaining world trade.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Cork based shipping company, Irish Mainport Holdings, has announced its entry into the Offshore Wind Sector with its investment in a 50-metre Survey and Research Ship, the Mainport Geo, and at the same time buying a share of Wicklow based offshore services company, Alpha Marine.

In Ireland, Mainport operates three tugs in the Shannon estuary, provides a dedicated supply vessel at the Kinsale Natural Gas Field, as well as ship agency and stevedoring operations in Cork and Limerick. Internationally, Mainport operates seismic support ships in worldwide trading and has significant interests in fast crew boats and anchor handler ship in Malaysia and Australia.

Mainport also purchased all the marine assets of SO.PRO.MAR which was the leading Italian company in providing marine services to the Mediterranean scientific research market. A new company Mainport Med, based in Rome, was set up during 2020 with local Italian partners.

The new ship, 2015 built Mainport Geo is 50 m LOA, has DP 2 system, quieter, and economic diesel-electric engines, FIFI 1 and SPS notation for 35 passengers. She is located in Ivory Coast at present and will be delivered to Cork shortly.

Alpha Marine has a long history of service to the offshore wind sector, both in Ireland and overseas. Since 2004, the company has provided tug and workboat charter, crew transfer vessels (CTVS), hydrographic survey, subsea repair and maintenance and most recently, Environmental & Geophysical survey to offshore wind in Ireland and the UK.

Tim Greenwood, Commercial Director of Alpha Marine said: “Alpha Marine is looking forward to a bright future for offshore wind in Ireland and we are naturally delighted to partner with Mainport. This strategic investment will increase our operational capability and enable us to deliver a strong Irish supply chain proposition to windfarm developers and tier 1 & 2 contractors. Over the last year or two, we have seen an uptake in enquiries for geophysical survey so the added capability that the Mainport Geo brings us is very exciting indeed.”

Dave Ronayne, Chief Executive of Mainport said, “We are delighted with this new ship, which will be very suitable for the offshore renewable sector in Ireland. We know there is over €5 Billion investment planned over next few years on the east coast of Ireland by many major existing offshore wind operators such as Innogy, Parkwind, ESB, Statkraft, Fred Olsen and SSE and all these new wind farms will require surveying services. This ship is also very suitable for the Italian scientific research markets.

We are very happy to join with Alpha Marine who is ideally located on the east coast of Ireland and who have a great track record on providing services to the offshore wind industry over the last decade. Our combined resources will allow us to provide a full marine and technical solution to all marine requirements.”

Published in Power From the Sea
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European merchant ships generate almost four per cent of total EU carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a new EU report states.

The European Commission’s report - the first of its kind on CO2 emissions from maritime transport - estimates that merchant ships added over 138 million tonnes to EU carbon emissions in 2018.

This amounts to some 3.7 per cent of the EU’s CO2 emissions – comparable to the emissions generated by the country of Belgium.

However, the “vast majority” of ships working in and out of European waters have cut their speed to save on energy and fuel and reduce emissions, the report says.

The data was drawn from reports filed for that year by 11,600 ships over 5,000 gross tonnes in size, representing some 38 per cent of the world merchant fleet.

The report shows that around two third of reported CO2 emissions related to voyages to or from a port outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Voyages inside the EEA represented only 32% of total CO2 emissions, and emissions from ships in EEA ports stood for 6% of total emissions, it says.

“When comparing CO2 emissions across different ship types, container ships represented the largest share of total emissions, with over 30%,”it says.

Some two-thirds of the ships monitored are non-EU flagged, and over half are owned by entities based in the EU, it states.

The report says that most of the monitored fleet “already meets” the global energy efficiency standards applied from 2020 to 2025.

It notes that the “vast majority of ships” have reduced their speed compared to 2008 by between 15 and 20%.

Cruising at lower speeds saves energy and fuel, and can significantly reduce CO2 emissions, it notes.

It says that the data and report will be published each year, to allow a better understanding of the characteristics, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency of the monitored fleet.

The EU has drawn up plans to cut emissions from shipping, which are projected to grow rapidly if unchecked in the next three decades.

An EU regulation was passed in 2018 on monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport.

It requires shipping companies to monitor their CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and other relevant information during navigation to or from ports in the EEA, when they transport cargo or passengers for commercial reasons.

The 11,600 ships monitored cover a large variety of ships from roll-on/roll-off passenger ships to bulk carriers, tankers and container ships, and are relatively young at an average of 11 years.

Ferry company Stena Line has recently reported that it is ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions.

It says it is currently involved in several projects with alternative fuels and propulsion, including the world’s first methanol powered vessel.

Stena Line's first electric Ferry, Eletkra, is planned for 2030Stena Line's first electric Ferry, Eletkra, is planned for 2030

It also plans to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030, according to Stena Line head of sustainability Erik Lewenhaupt.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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A cargo ship en route to Dublin Port was caught in this week's storms and lost at least 12 containers overboard.

The Maritime Bulletin reports that the ship 'Elbcarrier' lost the containers in the Celtic Sea on the afternoon of Sunday, December 8, while en route from Rotterdam to Dublin and being caught in rough seas.

The Bulletin's reporter is Erofey Schkvarkin, a Merchant Marine Captain, who also writes that 12 drifting containers were spotted at 2330 UTC in vicinity 51 40N 005 50W.

The ship reached Dublin in the afternoon Dec 9. More on this in the Maritime Bulletin here

Containers Blown Over

Separately, a reader has sent Afloat photo of containers blown over in Dublin Port in high winds this week.

Containers CapsizedShipping containers capsized in Dublin Port this week

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Lloyd’s Register (LR) announced today – during Singapore Maritime Week – a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ST Engineering Electronics Ltd. (STEE), a leading Information Communications Technologies (ICT) provider and co-creater of Smart City Solutions, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd (Mitsui), the second largest trading house in Japan.

The partners will collaborate on the ‘Development of Ocean-going Autonomous Navigation System on a Marine Asset’, the MoU forms the foundation of the MPA-funded ‘World’s Largest Ocean-Going Autonomous Vessel Programme’, which was also announced today.

“LR’s involvement in this project builds on the capability and experience already gained from our partnership in other industry-leading and world first autonomous projects,” said Andy McKeran, LR Commercial Director Marine & Offshore. “However, this project, a world first for the deployment of autonomous navigational technology to an ocean-going vessel for commercial operations, pushes the boundaries of autonomous technology and moves the industry towards deployment of autonomous navigation systems onboard vessels for enhanced performance and critically, safety.”

LR announces collaboration to develop industry first ocean going autonomous navigation system 1LR announces collaboration to develop industry first ocean-going autonomous navigation system

“Increasing interest in maritime autonomy and remote access/control technologies is a specific example of larger technological changes we are currently seeing in the maritime industry. Essential to the successful and safe adoption of these technologies is that robust use cases are established, for example to improve navigational safety, supply chain efficiency or operational costs of marine assets. Autonomous systems will also provide opportunities for skilled seafarers to focus on what they do best, and the safe and sustainable integration of autonomous systems relies on the appropriate engagement with seafaring professionals.”

He continued, “Working with STEE, who have already developed and proven this capability and are now looking to work to scale in the commercial marine market, is what sets this project apart; STEE provide world-class technical expertise, technology and advanced learnings on autonomous systems in the marine environment. We will support with expertise on assurance, certification and regulation for the application of autonomy in the maritime environment as well as approval of systems where appropriate.”

Published in Ports & Shipping
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The Russian vessel Seagrand hit a bridge in the South Korean city of Busan yesterday as depicted in this tweeted video below.

There were no casualties according to reports but there was 'severe' damage to the bridge.

Police detained Russian sailors onboard.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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ParcelHero’s David Jinks will tell a major world maritime conference in London. Shipping lines will be forced to either integrate with Amazon and Alibaba or be submerged by the digital revolution.

‘A change in global supply chains even greater than the introduction of containers in the 1950s is underway, and shipping lines that don’t adapt to the new e-commerce revolution will go under in the same way as the many long-established companies that failed to adapt to containerization.’

That’s the message that David Jinks MILT, Head of Consumer Research at the international delivery experts ParcelHero, and former Editor of Logistics & Transport Focus and Lloyds Shipping Index, will tell delegates at this month's prestigious Digital Ship CIO Conference, at the Waldorf Hotel on Thursday 28th February.

Says David: ‘The prime need for Amazon to entirely integrate its supply chain means it has already revolutionized its land and air operations – it now delivers 80% of its own parcels in the UK and flies over 40 Boeing 767 Amazon Air jet freighters. It now has the crucial supply chain from China to the West firmly in its sights. At the same time the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, whose volumes make Amazon look like a minnow, is fast integrating its own deliveries to the US and Europe.’

Warns David: ‘As freight forwarders and shipping agents become obsolete under the new digitized retail supply chains, shippers must either integrate with Fulfilment by Amazon and Alibaba’s One Touch booking programme, or be overwhelmed by the tsunami that is sweeping over the shipping industry.’

David will reveal that shipping lines must either adapt to survive - as Maersk is attempting by integrating with Alibaba and introducing its revolutionary Captain Peter App to track container loads - or face the prospect of Amazon launching its own rival fleet; it already has its own freight forwarding service.

Reveals David: ‘When the first container ship sailed in 1956 a longshore union boss said: ”‘I’d like to sink that son of a bitch”. He recognised the sea change that would follow. We can now see that this digital revolution will result in Internet of Things (IoT) connected machines placing orders automatically with Chinese manufacturers, and integrating with autonomous ships like the soon-to-be-launched Yara Birkeland. It’s sad but true that those shipping lines, freight forwarders and agents who still favour personal contact and the phone will be left all at sea as the pace of integration increases.’

Joining David at the conference will be speakers from IBM, Inmarsat, Hill Dickinson LLP and other leading maritime industry organisations.

For more information on the leading industry figures speaking at the Digital Ship CIO Conference and details of how to attend see here

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Mairéad Ní Cheóinín has been appointed to Seafarers UK as the charity’s new Corporate Fundraising Manager where her focus will be on engaging with the commercial maritime sector.

Mairéad brings a wealth of business development, marketing experience and industry knowledge to the position from her previous roles, working with Steamship Mutual P&I, TradeWinds, Informa PLC in London and the Irish Maritime Development Office in Dublin.

Mairéad joins the grant-giving, campaigning and fundraising charity at an exciting time, as it celebrates its Centenary and is looking ahead to the next phase of its future. Her role will be to raise awareness of Seafarers UK’s wider impact within the maritime charity sector.

Seafarers UK aims to increase financial support for its charitable work through encouraging participation in corporate donations, employee fundraising, challenge events and payroll giving, as well as funding support for specific projects.

Last year Seafarers UK awarded £2.57 million in funding to 69 organisations and projects, helping more than 185,000 people in the process. For more information about Seafarers UK’s work or any of its fundraising or donation initiatives please visit www.seafarers.uk

Commenting on her appointment Mairéad Ní Cheóinín said ‘I am honoured to join Seafarers UK at this juncture. It is vitally important to maintain awareness within the maritime and fishing sectors of the contribution Seafarers UK has made and continues to protect and provide for the welfare of past, present and future seafarers. I am looking forward to promoting all the great work and initiatives Seafarers UK supports to our existing and new corporate partners and donors.’

Nigel Shattock, Seafarers UK’s Director of Fundraising & Communications, said ‘I am very pleased to be able to announce Mairéad’s appointment. The Seafarers UK team is looking forward to working with Mairéad in her role of reaching out to the wider maritime sector and asking firms and their staff to get to know our unique charity better, and to work with us in achieving our goals of helping seafarers in need, supporting maritime youth and in raising awareness of the opportunities that this fantastic sector has to offer.’

Published in Jobs

#Shipping - Five people were found in a shipping container in Wexford at the weekend, as BreakingNews.ie reports.

The three men, a woman and a young girl, all believed to be Kurdish, were discovered at a haulage yard in New Ross on Sunday evening (16 October) in a container thought to have come in on a ferry from Cherbourg to Rosslare Europort.

Gardaí said the five, who were in good health, are being detained under immigration law — and are claiming asylum due to persecution in their home region.

According to TheJournal.ie, New Ross is also where nine Kurdish refugees were found in the back of a truck after stowing away on a ferry from France to Rosslare this past February.

Published in Ports & Shipping

In the shipping and tanker business, it can be hard to predict far in advance which port will be called to next and even when in port, it can be complicated and expensive to deliver items to vessels as they are not alongside the quay. Drone technology offers a solution to this and Maersk Group have been trialling it at sea.

Drones could cut time and costs for deliveries and inspections – but shipping lines say they must be reliable and absolutely safe. Maersk Tankers is testing delivery to vessels on drones that have been certified for explosive environments.

Costs for a barge are on average USD 1,000 and can be higher. That means, drone use could with the current payload bring potential savings of USD 3,000-9,000 per vessel per year, Maersk Tankers estimates.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

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