The Cool Pool

By MarEx 2015-08-18 12:01:28

Three LNG tanker operators have agreed to pool LNG tankers to reduce operating costs. “The Cool Pool” consists of U.S. traded Golar LNG (NASDAQ-GLNG), Gaslog (NYSE-GLOG) and Monaco based Dynagas, will jointly market 14 Tri Fuel Diesel Electric propulsion vessels on a charter basis of twelve months or less.

Dynagas made history in 2012, when the company’s LNG carrier OB RIVER became the world’s first LNG Carrier to transit and carry a cargo through the Northern Sea Route. The company performed all logistics, approval process and risk analysis for this effort.

Golar will supply eight vessels and both Gaslog and Dynagas will pool three vessels. But the operators will continue to handle crews and technical management.

The flood of LNG newbuilds from Asian shipyards has driven down charter rates to $30,000 per day from $130,000 per day just two years ago. A spokesperson of The Cool Pool said the consortium will allow the owners to optimize marketing of the vessels, improved scheduling ability and increase cost efficiencies.

Spot and short-term LNG trading has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2014, there were 78 LNG spot fixtures in the market compared to 97 this year. Spot and short-term LNG trades are defined by the International Group of LNG Importers ( as agreements lasting no longer than four years. Spot market fixtures accounted for 16 percent 2006 charters and rose to 29 percent in 2014.


LNG carriers form spot pool

US-listed Dynagas Partners, GasLog and Golar LNG have created an innovative pooling arrangement amid a depressed spot-rate environment.
The arrangement, called The Cool Pool, will debut next month with 14 vessels: three each from Dynagas and GasLog plus eight from Golar. The pool will be run by

US Coast Guard Receives New Vice Commandant

By MarEx 2015-08-18 10:11:56

U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles Michel formally assumed the role of vice commandant of the Coast Guard during a ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Monday.

As vice commandant, Michel will oversee the Coast Guard’s operations, strategic development, organizational governance and management of the service’s more than 58,000 employees and 30,000 volunteers.

“I am humbled and honored to be given this important opportunity to further serve the American people and the men and women of the United States Coast Guard,” said Michel. “I look forward to assisting the commandant in meeting the many challenges facing our nation and our service.”

Michel became the 30th vice commandant of the Coast Guard after serving as the service’s deputy commandant for operations, responsible for establishing and providing operational strategy, policy, guidance and resources as needed to meet national priorities for Coast Guard missions, programs and services.

His previous flag officer assignments include deputy commander of U. S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area; director of Joint Interagency Task Force South; military advisor to the secretary of homeland security; and the director for the Coast Guard’s governmental and public affairs directorate.

Tours of duty afloat included serving as commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutters Resolute and Cape Current, executive officer of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, and as deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Decisive. Michel also served as chief of the office of maritime and international law in Washington, D.C.; staff attorney at the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans; head of the operations division for the office of maritime and international law in Washington, D.C.; and as legislative counsel for the office of congressional and governmental affairs in Washington, D.C.

A native of Brandon, Florida, he graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in 1985. In 1992, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law.

Michel has received numerous military awards during his career, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Coast Guard Letter of Commendation Ribbon and the Distinguished Service Medal of the Colombian Navy. Michel was the American Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year for the Coast Guard in 1995, the Judge Advocate’s Association Career Armed Services Attorney of the Year for the Coast Guard in 2000 and is currently a member of the Florida Bar.


Green Shipping Needs An Efficient Power System

By MarEx 2015-08-18 09:33:38

Grid stability is a growing issue today. This is because peak power is increasing and the variation in consumption is getting larger and larger. And these grid stability issues experienced on land are the same as those onboard ships that crisscross the seas.

The typical peak time starts early in the morning when people are waking up and starting to become active. From 5 to 6 am until around 11 am to noon, the requirements for power increases steadily as people start off on their day. Then the need for power reduces slightly until about 2 to 3 pm. The peak starts again from about 3 pm onwards as people rush home, make dinner and prepare for bed. Only after about 8 or 9 pm in the evening does the requirement for power start to go down again.

The problem with this uneven power requirement is the need for ramp-up power.

Another power variation is caused by short-term variations. In this case, there is a sudden unbalance of power production and consumption can create wide swings in the network frequency or voltage.

To support the grid during such variations, some countries require power plants to have a certain reserve for use. This reserve is normally about 10-20% of the nominal power.

Frequency variation affects a larger area. It can be nationwide or as wide as the power pool. Therefore, every nation aims to keep the frequency within set limits. If the variation is more than the limit, the national grid company must have an alternative solution that can kick in.

Shaft PM Generator

Shaft PM Generator

If the frequency is higher than the limit, power production must be reduced. And in case a fast reaction is needed, energy storage can act as a buffer. If the frequency hits a lower limit, the grid must be supported by increased power production. Again, energy storage is the solution for a fast reaction.

Locally, voltage levels can also experience variations. When production is too high compared with consumption, the voltage will increase. Likewise when production is too low, this will cause the voltage to drop below the set variation.

Energy storage solutions based on semiconductors are the best from a response point of view. The energy behind a power converter can be used within tens of milliseconds. Energy can be stored in compressed air, a flywheel or battery.

With a vessel power grid, the scale can be similar to that of a single city. A ship’s grid has all kinds of loads and more than one power source. For fast variations, the combusting engine control may be slow to maintain the balance. Also the optimum point of operation is not so easy to reach.

If variable speed generation is in place, control is easy. A shaft generator based on permanent magnet (PM) technology and an electronic-based power converter makes the production control easy and the reaction time fast to handle the demand variations. PM technology also enables high efficiency when compared with other types of generators, especially with partial loads, where ships normally operate most of their time.

That’s why green shipping requires exceptional efficiency from the power system. And shaft generators are one good solution to achieve this efficiency. A shaft generator can optimize the operation point of the main propulsion engine and even allow additional gensets to be turned off during sailing.

From an economical point of view, fuel consumption per kWh can be reduced significantly and savings increase. Also additional savings can be gained because the fuel cost for the main propulsion is typically 1.5 times lower than that of gensets.