Increased Cable-Laying Speed With Wärtsilä’s Solution

By MarEx 2015-09-10 16:20:50

In 2014, the Prysmian Group selected Wärtsilä to supply the equipment needed to convert the Group’s Cable Enterprise barge into an independently operating cable-laying vessel, meaning that the barge would operate without the need of tugs. Wärtsilä’s equipment delivery included additional engines and 8 MW of power generation for six new thrusters, a switchboard, and power management systems for dynamic positioning capabilities.

“We preferred a single supplier and selected Wärtsilä for this project, because their complete solution contained exactly what we required. Due to their proven capability and expertise in this area, Wärtsilä was able to tailor a highly competitive solution”, says Raul Gil Boronat, Chief Operating Officer Submarine at Prysmian Group

The Prysmian Group wanted to enhance its offering of turnkey submarine power cable installation services and decided to convert the Cable Enterprise tugged barge into an independently operating cable vessel. Wärtsilä was selected as the successful bidder for this project due to the company’s proven solutions and ability to understand the requirements of the Prysmian Group. Following the conversion, the Cable Enterprise will start operation on an EXXON field off the west coast of the USA in early summer 2015. This area has very strict environmental regulations and the production fields need to have a shore power connection in order to reduce the NOX and CO2 emissions from the production fields.

The challenge for Wärtsilä in this project was to convert the barge for independent operation, i.e. operation without any assistance from tugs. Moreover, the converted barge must be able to use its own propulsion for steady positioning and still fulfil strict environmental requirements.

The conversion took place at the Victor Lenac yard in Croatia. Wärtsilä delivered two Wärtsilä 26 main engines, two diesel generators, two bow thrusters and drive motors, two retractable thrusters, and integrated electrical and automation control systems. Furthermore, as part of the scope of delivery all the engines had to be connected to Wärtsilä Silencers and a NOX reactor, which would ensure that the vessel can operate with emissions well below IMO Tier III standards.

In a project of this magnitude, with many different stakeholders involved and tight deadlines, the schedule is always a challenge. But in this project, all the parties worked as a team to achieve a common success, says John Chester, General Manager, Services Sales, Wärtsilä UK.


The entire vessel was upgraded during the conversion project. This work included new accommodation and operations decks as well as a new cable tank for future HVDC projects. The ship’s ability to operate in shallow waters remains.

After the conversion of the barge into a ship with DP2 capabilities, the vessel will no longer need tugs during cable-laying. In the future, positioning will be managed with the help of the thrusters delivered by Wärtsilä.

This conversion will allow the Prysmian Group to enhance its offering of turnkey products and services with the ability to offer cable-laying services at a speed which is 10 times faster than a conventional barge, concludes Raul Gil Boronat.

“10 times faster than a conventional barge.”





Converting the barge to operate independently under its own propulsion

Fulfilling the requirements of

IMO Tier III standards

Installation of two main engines, propelling a Voith propulsor, two diesel generators for driving the bow thrusters and retractable thrusters, two bow thrusters and drive motors, as well as two retractable thrusters

Connecting all engines to Wärtsilä Silencers and a NOX reactor, ensuring operation in accordance with

IMO Tier III Design, supply and commissioning of an integrated electrical and automation system consisting of switchboards, variable frequency drives, transformers, soft starters and power management systems

10 times faster cable-laying operation than before the conversion

Cable-laying without assistance from tugs

Steady positioning thanks to the DP2 system

ABS/ US Coastguard compliant systems for DP2 operations

Ability to operate in areas covered by IMO Tier III standards


First Fully Electrical Ferry Wins Efficiency Award

By MarEx 2015-09-10 16:05:44

The first purely battery-driven car and passenger ferry Ampere has won the Ship Efficiency Award in the Environmental Technology category. The award recognizes innovative solutions which have contributed to reducing the environmental impact of shipping operations.
The 80 meter-long DNV GL classed vessel is one of three ferries operated by the Norwegian shipping company Norled between Lavik and Oppedal and is able to carry 120 cars and 360 passengers. “Ampere is trading in Sognefjord with 100 per cent regularity and consumes 50 per cent less energy compared with a traditional diesel ferry on the same route. It has proven to be a huge success for Norled,” said Claes Skat-Rørdam of award sponsor Hempel on behalf of the judges.
Tord Helland, Finance Director at Norled, accepted the award in London yesterday. “The Ship Efficiency Award is not only recognition for the hard work we have done with our project partners, but it also confirms our efforts and contribution to the global climate goals by reducing air pollution,” Helland said. “An electrical ferry that can save up to one million litres of fuel annually, thereby preventing 2,640 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, can make a strong statement in this regard.” Ampere runs 34 times a day with a crossing time of 20 minutes. Between the trips the 1MWh lithium-polymer battery pack on board can be charged in only ten minutes.
“We are honoured that Ampere has received this internationally coveted award,” said Stephen Bligh, Head of Shipping Advisory UK at DNV GL. “As a classification society, together with the shipyard Fjellstrand and the various technology providers, we have helped to make the vision of operator Norled happen and demonstrated that new clean technologies don’t compromise market competitiveness.”
Ampere has been awarded the DNV GL class notation 1A1 LC R4 (nor) Car Ferry C Battery Power. The notation is mandatory for vessels that use batteries as one of their main sources – or the sole source – of energy for propulsion. DNV GL has also developed several services to promote battery and hybrid technology in shipping, such as a guideline for large maritime battery systems, a new tool for qualifying battery-related systems, a battery ready service (technical, economic and environmental performance analyses), battery sizing and optimization tools and an introduction course to maritime battery systems.


Greenpeace Nabs Pirate Fishing Vessel

By MarEx 2015-09-10 15:54:32

Activists from Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior boarded a Taiwanese tuna fishing vessel outside of Papua New Guinea believed to be part of a pirate shipping operation.

Greenpeace discovered the Shuen De Ching No. 888on Wednesday, September 9 and alleges several irregularities with its logbook. The vessel documented only three shark carcasses in its logbook but was found with about 75kg of shark fins, which suggests it caught at least 42 sharks.

Taiwanese law and Pacific shipping rules dictate that shark fins may not exceed five percent of the weight of a catch, and with only three carcasses reported, the Shuen De Ching appears to be in violation.

Greenpeace New Zealand has reported the case to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCFPC) and to neighboring Pacific Island countries. Greenpeace has also blacklisted the vessel and retailers are being urged not to purchase fish from the ship.

“We demand that the Taiwanese Government order this illegal vessel to stop fishing and return to port immediately for a full and transparent investigation,” Greenpeace said in a statement. “There is a Taiwanese patrol boat in the region and this is exactly the sort of illegal activity they should be tackling.”


Maersk Box Ship Spills Oil in Mediterranean

By MarEx 2015-09-10 15:20:34

Cleanup is underway after the Maersk Line containership M/V Nele Maersk reported a spill 80 miles off Barcelona in the Mediterranean Sea. The spill occurred during routine bunkering operations on Tuesday, September 8.

Nele Maersk was enroute to Genoa from Algeciras with 21 crewmembers aboard when the spill occurred. Spain’s Salvamento Maritimo deployed a helicopter, a surveillance aircraft and anti-pollution vessels soon after the incident was reported. The quantity of oil spilled is unknown.

Nele Maersk is a 30,000-DWT vessel


Seaspan Appoints Three Senior Leaders

By MarEx 2015-09-10 14:53:31

Seaspan today named three new senior leaders to its Corporate Executive Team, announcing the appointments of Paul Thomas as Vice President, Engineering – Vancouver Shipyards; Matt Boydston as Vice President, Finance – Seaspan Shipyards; and Billy Garton as General Counsel for Seaspan ULC.

As Vice President, Engineering, Paul is primarily responsible for engineering and design on new ship construction, in addition to the development and maintenance of engineering standards and engineering governance for Vancouver Shipyards (VSY). Prior to joining VSY as Director of Ship Construction in 2013, he spent the majority of his career at BAE Systems in Melbourne, Australia, where he held various executive management roles. He has 20 years of experience in the shipbuilding and heavy project construction industries, and has worked on a number of major shipbuilding programs including the ANZAC Frigate, Air Warfare Destroyer and Landing Helicopter Dock Programs for the Australian Navy, as well as Project Protector for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

As Vice President, Finance, Matt is responsible for strategic financial oversight of the shipyard division and for driving profitability and financial performance of all three shipyards. Additionally, Matt is accountable for the financial controls and efficient processes needed to support both government and commercial business. As a key advisor to the President – Seaspan Shipyards and its senior management team, he is responsible for ensuring that information and metrics are available to inform value-added business decisions. Matt has been serving as Controller at Seaspan Shipyards since 2006, during which time he has been closely involved in supporting other Federal Government initiatives, including the Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) and Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) projects, as well as the Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat (MLB) construction program.

Matt Boydston, Vice President, Finance

Matt brings over 20 years of financial leadership in industrial manufacturing settings to his new role.

Effective October 1, Billy will assume the role of General Counsel for Seaspan ULC (Seaspan) and be responsible for providing leadership and direction for commercial contracting across Seaspan’s business units, including Government Contracting, Supply Chain, Operations, Commercial, Insurance and Claims.

Over the past 25 years, Billy has worked at Seaspan’s legal partner, Bull Housser on a number of important Seaspan projects, including playing a key role in the Company’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) contracting efforts. Throughout his legal career, Billy has worked with many of the largest companies in B.C.’s forestry, mining and manufacturing businesses on mergers and acquisitions and regulatory compliance, and has represented industry and governments regarding First Nations benefit agreements and consultation matters.

Billy Garton, General Counsel

The Best Lawyers in Canada publication recently recognized Billy as the 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” for Natural Resources Law in Vancouver.

“Seaspan’s senior leadership group represents the best-of-the-best in the marine transportation, shipbuilding and ship repair industries, and I am delighted to congratulate Paul, Matt and Billy on their new roles within our world-class team,” said Jonathan Whitworth, CEO, Seaspan. “With these appointments, we have bolstered our senior leadership team with a wealth of extensive and diverse experience as Seaspan continues to drive Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industrial base.”


Long Beach Reports Consecutive Record Months

By MarEx 2015-09-10 14:30:28

Traffic at the Port of Long Beach continues to surge as container volumes set records in July and August at the 104-year-old port. Overall cargo volume grew by nearly 23 percent in August and 18 percent in July compared to the same months last year.

Cargo volume in August, measured by the number of containers moving through the port, reached 703,652 TEUs. The amount bested July’s total and showed that shippers are responding to recent improvements at the port. A combined 1,393,896 TEUs moved through the port in July and August.

Long Beach appears poised to overtake Los Angeles as the nation’s number one gateway for container traffic. In the first eight months of the year, volumes are up more than five percent compared to 2014. Meanwhile, traffic at the Port of Los Angeles has lagged in the past four months after enjoying near record volumes in March.

“As consumer confidence grows, the dollar strengthens and retailers stock shelves, the Port of Long Beach’s strategic partnerships continue to yield positive results,” the port said in a statement.


Nigeria Lifts Ban on 113 Tankers

By MarEx 2015-09-10 14:23:47

Nigeria has lifted a two-month ban on 113 tankers from operating in its sovereign waters.

In a statement, the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) said: “The President has graciously approved the consideration of all incoming vessels into the Nigerian territorial waters subject to receipt of a Letter of Comfort from all terminal operators and off-takers of Nigerian oil and gas as a guarantee that nominated ships are free and will not be utilized for any illegal activity whatsoever.”

The NNPC imposed the ban on July 15 to curb alleged illegal shipping of crude out of the country. The tankers were prohibited from entering oil facilities and territorial waters.

Despite NNPC’s lifting the ban, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) continues to advise its members against taking any vessel on Nigeria’s list of banned tankers either into Nigeria or its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.

In a statement, INTERTANKO said: “While some are interpreting this latest letter as a lifting of the ban, we continue to advise against trading to Nigeria any ship on the banned list. The penalties for any alleged contraventions of Nigerian law by these ships are draconian, including forfeiture of the ship and life imprisonment of the crew.”

INTERTANKO also added:

“This latest NNPC letter does represent something of a changeand may even suggest that all ships are now welcome in Nigeria provided a ‘letter of comfort’ is received. However, the language of the letter is vague and we do not believe it can be relied on by owners to clear the vessels on the banned list for trade to Nigeria.”


DryShips to wind down

DryShips has confirmed plans to sell its remaining fleet, with vessels yet again shifting to founder George Economou’s private account.
The NASDAQ-listed company has agreed to sell 17 of its 39 bulkers and their charter agreements to Economou for USD377 million, including assumption of USD236.7

US box imports continue to climb

Container business at America’s major box terminals continued a steady growth trend that began earlier in the year as US retailers head into the peak shipping season.
Overall import volume is expected to increase 1.2% to 1.61 million teu in September compared with September 2014, according to the

London Among Top Maritime Service Centers

By MarEx 2015-09-10 12:06:52

London has finished atop a listing of the of the world’s top maritime service centers in a report published by the Baltic Exchange and Xinhua, China’s news agency. Singapore ranked first overall list for its combined port and maritime services offering.

The International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCD) covers 46 of the world’s largest ports and cities and is designed to bring clarity to investors and governments on the relative performance of shipping centres around the world.

London makes second place on the overall index, closely followed by Hong Kong. All three cities have large port facilities and support comprehensive maritime business service sectors. Shanghai has moved up to sixth place, overtaking Dubai. Tokyo has dropped out of the top ten with Athens taking its place at number ten.

Of the top ten global shipping centres, four are in Asia, four in Europe, one in the Middle East and one in the USA.

The report also provides a supplementary ranking, grading cities based solely on the breadth and depth of their maritime services sector. London tops this ranking, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Athens.

Commenting on the report’s findings during London International Shipping Week, Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Jeremy Penn said:

“Singapore and London have continued to thrive for many reasons not least because of their locations, experience, strong legal frameworks, tax frameworks and the ease of doing business. As an international shipping organisation with members all around the world, the Baltic finds this report useful for demonstrating to governments the important role that a successful shipping centre plays for any country. Ports and the professional maritime services sector are big employers bringing international revenues to national economies.”

The index is based on evaluations of the following criteria:

1) Maritime Services: Brokerage, Maritime Legal Services, Arbitration, Shipping Finance, Ship Management, Maritime Insurance, Ship Engineering, Ship Repairs.

2) Business Environment: Economic Freedom, Tariffs, Logistics Efficiency and Developed Infrastructure, Official Corruption / Transparency, National IT and Communications Development.

3) Port Conditions: Container and Commodity Cargo Volume, Port Depth, Container Berths, Number of Quay Cranes.

Click here for the full report.