First Battery Retrofit for OSV

By Wendy Laursen 2015-05-14 19:27:08

Norwegian offshore support vessel operator Eidesvik is installing a batter system on board its supply vessel Viking Queen. This will be the first offshore vessel to get such system installed as a retrofit solution and demonstrates that it is possible to achieve significant reduction in emissions for existing vessels.

The LNG fuelled Viking Queen is a 6,000 ton vessel built in 2008. Its new energy storage system will have a capacity of 650kWH and can supply up to 1600kW. The solution gives a fuel saving of approximately 18 percent for the vessel. Further, NOx and CO2 emission levels will be reduced by approximately 25 percent.

The project is the result of cooperation between Lundin Norway who has the vessel on hire, ZEM as supplier of the system and Eidesvik. Commercialization of the technology has been made possible largely because Eidesvik participated in the research and development project FellowSHIP that has worked with battery technology for five years.

“We are very happy now to further develop the cooperation with Lundin Norway – a company that once again is willing to commit to solutions that are more environmentally friendly.” says CEO of Eidesvik, Jan Fredrik Meling. “In a time where our line of business is facing significant challenges, we are also happy to see that together we are able to find solutions giving cost reductions and profitability to all parties involved, and also significant environmental gains.”

Viking Lady

Eidesvik pioneered battery technology with its offshore supply vessel Viking Lady. The vessel’s fuel cell, battery hybrid installation gives a 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption, 25 per cent reduction in NOx emissions and 30 per cent reduction in GHG emissions.

These reductions can be realized in practice, especially for dynamic positioning operations. The Viking Lady uses a conventional diesel-electric propulsion system, comprising four dual-fuel engines driving five thrusters for propulsion and maneuvering and dynamic positioning. The vessel’s lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 450 kWh – enabling the vessel to use hybrid-electric propulsion. The battery acts as an energy buffer that is able to cover the intense load variations that can occur, especially in dynamic positioning and standby operations.

This system results from a FellowSHIP research and development project between DNV GL, Eidesvik and Wärtsilä, co-funded by the Research Council of Norway.


Pre-Combustion Scrubber Attracts Industry Veteran

By Wendy Laursen 2015-05-14 18:48:27

After working at Royal Caribbean Line (RCL) for 24 years, Anders Aasen made a decision to join Triton Emission Solutions as its CEO. This well-respected industry veteran left the rest of the industry wondering why. Why would he decide to take such a risk, leaving the security of the one of the world’s most preeminent cruise lines to head a small technology startup?

When asked, Aasen cited the founder of Triton Emission Solutions, Rasmus Norling, saying: “Rasmus and I had worked together for over 10 years at RCL. He was always very innovative and an outside-of-the-box thinker. When he approached me with this opportunity, I was not looking to make a move and was skeptical as well. After so many years with an owner, for me it was “show me the numbers.” When you look at the early test results, it is obvious that this technology will be a game-changer in emissions reductions. So the decision to join was clear for me and I am excited about what is to come.”

As the newly appointed CEO of Triton Emission Solutions, he is bringing to market what he believes is the best option for meeting SOx emissions requirements. The DSOX-20 is a scrubber, but not the conventional exhaust gas scrubber. It is a fuel scrubber. The Triton fuel scrubber removes the sulfur prior to its entry into a ship’s engines and is truly revolutionary, says Aasen.

“At RCL my efforts were focused on onboard operation, newbuilds and technical service. Over those 24 years the industry’s focus on emission control and abatement technologies grew exponentially. My team was pivotal in RCL’s research and development, selection and adoption of emission technologies, so having that hands-on, real-world experience exposed me to the universe of technology offerings and provided first-hand knowledge of what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t.”

Aasen was and still is a true pioneer in this field because of his passion and devotion to finding a true solution for the environmental challenges the industry is faced with today. Back in 2009 his research and development team embarked on a scrubber project, and by 2010 RCL became one of the first cruise lines to install a scrubber. He has been closely involved with all the advancements with this technology over the years, making him a true subject matter expert.

Aasen’s experience is not limited to scrubbers although it was his focus, during his time at RCL. He led a team of 32 industry specialists in electrical systems, HVAC, power plant, azipods, piping and water production systems, galley systems and recreational water facilities. Additionally, he was responsible for the company’s ship maintenance team consisting of 430 global personnel.

System Testing

Now that pioneering spirit is being applied to Triton’s DSOX-20 system and the company’s first shipboard installation.

“We are very pleased with the global interest in our technology. We have completed our first shipboard installation and are currently commissioning the system as we speak. It is a bit premature to discuss results from that installation, but I can share with you a test that we conducted in our lab, which was witnessed by the classification society DNV GL. The test demonstrated that our technology was able to take fuel with 2.7 percent sulfur down to 0.27 percent sulfur. So we are very excited and confident in our technology, I am really looking forward to updating the public with new data points in the near future.”

The DSOX Solution

Triton’s DSOX-20 system is a patent-pending, pre-combustion de-sulfurization technology designed to remove alkali metals such as sulfur and sodium from heavy marine fuel. It is suitable for a wide range of vessels including cruise, cargo and tanker ships.

“Our system provides a low-cost alternative to using high cost, low-sulfur fuels. The DSOX-20 system also incorporates our bio-scrubber technology, removing alkali metals from existing fuels, decreasing maintenance costs and increasing the useful life of existing engines,” says Aasen.

DSOX-20 can be installed on a ship without disruption to its operations as a completely independent fuel treatment system with its own fuel oil separators and fuel quality-monitoring system.

The system does not reduce CO2 or NOx. “For that we have a small scrubber, NJORD. The difference between traditional fuel emulsion technologies and DSOX-20 is that we use the emulsion as one of our processes to break up the sulfur. The water is then separated out from the fuel before it goes back into a storage tank.” That means the emulsion does not reach the engine.

Meeting SOx requirements

As Aasen sees it, there are three strategies for meeting the emission requirements within ECAs:

1) Do nothing and resign yourself to utilizing expensive distillate fuel, which historically costs 25-50 percent more than traditional heavy fuel oil.

2) Install an exhaust gas scrubber to capture the sulfur in the exhaust stack, an effective but costly alternative that requires lots of valuable real estate on board.

3) Shore power (cold ironing), which is limited to port operations and only available in a small number of ports globally.

Triton is now offering a new strategy, claimed to be a much more cost-effective solution, which requires a small amount of space and can work with their scrubber, NJORD, or with any pre-installed scrubber. Triton’s goal is to completely eliminate the need for the exhaust scrubber. Based on the latest results, Triton is confident that this is an attainable goal.

“We are optimistic that our pre-combustion DSOX-20 fuel scrubber, on its own, can remove the sulfur to the current and future levels required by the IMO,” he says. “However, if we find that we are not able to remove all of the sulfur pre-combustion, our exhaust gas scrubber NJORD is available. NJORD is much smaller than competitor scrubbers and can be installed in-service due to the fact that we have removed most of the sulfur prior to combustion.

“Addressing the financial challenges that shipowners are faced with for selecting and fitting an emission abatement technology was my focus over the last six years at RCL, so I am knowledgeable in regards to the questions and concerns of our customers as I have asked them all myself. I was part of growing the RCL fleet from six ships to 43.

“So you can say I grew with the fleet as well, personally and professionally. I cared for those ships like they were my own. When I was weighing this opportunity with Triton, it came down to one question: Would I put this system on my fleet? Based on my new position, I imagine you can guess the answer to that question,” he said.

Aasen started in his new position in March, and his main focus for this year is to continue to perfect the DSOX-20 and NJORD systems.

A Shared Legacy

The founder of Triton Emission Solutions, Rasmus Norling, is considered one of, if not the brightest mind in the exhaust gas scrubber sector, says Aasen. Norling spent 11 years at Royal Caribbean and worked closely with Aasen for the last two years he was there.

“I was actually Rasmus’ boss. His strengths are in technology development, and he is brilliant in this area. However, after he started Triton he found himself spending far too much of his time on organizational, administrative and regulatory tasks rather than doing what he loves, which is developing technology and problem-solving.”

Interacting with customers, classification societies, the EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard, plus as a publicly traded company, there were tremendous amounts of additional requirements for filings and reporting that was taking up far too much of Rasmus’ time. “Rasmus recognized that, to get this company to the next level, he had to have someone come in and take over this part of the business. That’s when he invited me to join as the CEO, and he became the Chief Technology Officer.

“In the short time since I have been CEO we have made huge progress, not just because of me but because we now have a tremendous global team assembled. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have the right people in the right positions.”

Aasen continues, “The respect and collaboration Rasmus and I have today is the same we had just a few years ago. We both know each other very well and the trust was built in, so the transition into the company has been flawless. I couldn’t be happier.”

The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.


3,600 Migrants Rescued in Past Two Days

By MarEx 2015-05-14 17:18:43

Almost 3,600 migrants have been rescued from overcrowded boats sailing from Africa to Europe over the past 48 hours, Italy said on Thursday, with sea conditions seen as perfect for attempting the crossing.

As more than 600 migrants were brought ashore at the port of Catania in Sicily, rescuers plucked another 2,500 from rickety boats off the coast of Libya, the coast guard said.

Most of those who arrived in Catania had been picked up by the British warship HMS Bulwark and were Somali and Nigerian, port officials said.

With Libya engulfed in strife, people smugglers are increasingly free to pack migrants onto unsafe boats, and they are expected to push total arrivals in Italy for 2015 to 200,000, an increase of 30,000 on last year, according to an Interior Ministry projection.

Sandra Dike, a heavily pregnant 20-year-old Nigerian woman, said she left her home country because of the danger of attacks by the armed Islamist group Boko Haram.

“It’s not safe to go to a public place, like a church, the market. They (Boko Haram) might bomb the place at any time,” she said. “The war in Libya is worse. That’s why we decided to come to Italy.”

Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in its attempt to carve out an Islamist state, has suffered major setbacks this year following a coordinated military offensive by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

A German ship, Italian navy vessels, a merchant ship, and Italy’s finance police and coast guard all conducted rescue operations on Thursday, a coast guard official stated.

The 40-metre Phoenix, based in Malta and run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and Doctors Without Borders, rescued 561 people, including 136 women and 60 children, mostly from Eritrea. The ship picked up 188 people on Wednesday.

The surge in rescues comes just a day after the European Union announced a plan to distribute asylum-seekers more fairly around its member states and take in 20,000 more refugees.

At the beginning of the month when the weather also was favorable, about 6,800 people were rescued over three days, while dozens were said to have drowned.

Alarming Statistics for 2014

According to the International Organization for Migration 2014 saw the death of almost 5,000 migrants. The majority of these deaths, around 70 percent, occurred in the Mediterranean Sea; this number is four-times higher than it was in 2014. The organization has similarly estimated that over 22,000 migrants have died over the past 15 trying to reach Europe.

This year is already looking to be on par with or exceed the numbers for 2014. Already 2015 has seen the deaths of close to 2,000 migrants at sea, with over 800 dying in a single accident last month. The EU has reinforced its Triton sea mission in order to help Italy carry out rescues and mitigate the loss of life in the Mediterranean.


Norwegian Shipowner Indicted for Environmental Crimes

By MarEx 2015-05-14 16:10:18

A U.S. federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a Norwegian-based shipping company and four employees on charges of obstruction of justice and environmental crimes.

According to a Mobile, Alabama court, DSD Shipping and four engineering officers used a bypass pipe- also known as a magic pipe- to circumvent pollution prevention equipment aboard the oil tanker M/T Stavanger Blossom back in 2014. Additionally, they are accused of concealing the discharge of oil and oil-contaminated waste water from the vessel into the sea and of discarding the oil-filled plastic bags overboard. International and U.S. law requires that vessels use pollution prevention equipment to preclude the discharge of oil and chemicals.

Prior to an inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard, Xiaobing Chen one of the engineers onboard ordered crew members to remove the bypass pipe and hide all evidence of illegal waste discharge. DSD shipping also maintained a fictitious oil record book that failed to report any records of oil disposal and which also contained false entries stating that pollution prevention equipment had been used when it had not been. This type of log is regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard to check for overboard discharges.

DSD Shipping faces fines of up to 500,000 for each of the seven counts listed in the indictment, and the engineering officers implicated in the crimes may each face sentences up to 20 year in prison.


A Deeper Mississippi River on The Horizon

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-14 14:36:59

The U.S. government is taking steps to allow for larger post-Panamex sized vessels along the lower Mississippi River as the date for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal draws closer.

On Wednesday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its plans to draft a supplemental environmental impact report looking into expanding an area of the Mississippi River Ship Canal between Baton Rouge and the Gulf of Mexico. The plan will deepen the section section of the river from 45 feet up to a maximum of 50 feet in order to accommodate larger vessels destined for the Panama Canal. The Army Corp expressed interest in the project by stating that, “there may be economic justification in expanding port projects to accommodate post-Panamax vessels.”

The plan has been under consideration since the 1980s, when an environmental impact study originally recommended deepening the navigational channel between Baton Rouge and the Gulf of Mexico to a depth 55 feet. However, with the completion of the Panama Canal set for next year, the government is again focusing attention on assuring Mississippi River ports can accommodate these vessels. In December 2014 House Majority Whip Steve Scalise emphasized ‘critical nature’ of deepening the river in order to keep the United States as trade leader both domestically and internationally.

Shipments on the Mississippi River are made up largely of grain supplies heading from the U.S. heartland to foreign markets. The World Trade Center of New Orleans and groups representing maritime interests released a report in December which showed that a group of five ports in Louisiana handle around 75% of the U.S.’s grain exports. China in particular is a huge importer of U.S. rice as rice prices in China are held high to protect domestic farmers. According to the Army Corp of Engineers “The ports located along the lower Mississippi River, being the dominant ports for the export of grains from the U.S., will likely play a key role in meeting these future needs if they are ready with a post-Panamax sized channel.”

Fortune Magazine released an article earlier this month detailing the river’s proposed expansion in which it highlighted strong economic benefits of commerce down the river. The article noted that barge shipping down the Mississippi is extremely costs effective, with river shipments costing about half the amount as transportation by train. Additionally, since the cargos are largely carried by river currents and don’t require more than a few towboats, they are more environmentally friendly than other alternatives.

For the new report the Army Corps of Engineers will look at trades figures and population trends to identify the best expansion depth for the project between the current 45 feet and high-estimate of 50 feet.

The Army Corps will be holding three public scoping meetings between May 26 and 28 in Belle Chasse and New Orleans. Any immediate progress on expanding the Mississippi, however, may still be a few years out as a draft of the completed report is not expected to be release to the public until late 2016.


Crane Collapses at Bremerhaven Port Killing Operator

By Kathryn Stone 2015-05-14 11:21:23

A crane operator has died today after plunging around 50 meters (164 feet) into the hold of the container vessel, Maersk Karachi.

The accident occurred shortly after midnight on Thursday morning as a 52-year old crane operator was loading and unloading cargo at the Port of Bremerhaven. According to local police, the container crane boom collapsed dropping the crane cabin and its operator onto the ship below.

Authorities were initially unsure if the man had died in the accident, but after several hours of delicate efforts they recovered the body of the 52-year old. The recovery efforts took much of the morning and required heightened caution due to the ship’s instability. Some portions of the vessels and a container bridge are still at risk of collapse.

German news sources are reporting that a floating crane will support debris removal and stabilization efforts. The extent of damage to the vessel is still unknown, but some estimates say the total could be in the millions.

The waterway has been shut down and operations have been suspended to allow for structural engineers to evaluate the salvage efforts.

The port of Bremerhaven is the fourth-largest container port in Europe, handling over around 5.8 million TEU of cargo according to 2014 figures.

In February 2014 the Maersk Laberinto allided with the docked Maersk Missouri in an area at the port of Bremerhaven in close proximity to the accident reported today. Both vessels only sustained minor damage, but a container bridge was left at a high risk of collapsing.