Ulstein Group’s X-STERN has won the Next Generation Ship Award at the opening of the Nor-Shipping conference in Norway today.
With a focus on innovation, the Next Generation Ship Award honours the most promising design for ships that will be at sea in the coming decade.
The jury was instructed to look for a project demonstrating the greatest advances and innovation in design. All aspects of the ship were examined, including energy efficiency, innovation, suitability and flexibility, use of technology, safety and security, and environmental sustainability.
Eligible projects were those that were contracted but not delivered or were likely to be contracted and built within the next 10 years.
The jury considered 29 entries for the award. These were narrowed to a shortlist from which the winner was chosen.
The jury paid tribute to the strength of the entries, saying this had made it a difficult decision to choose X-STERN as the award winner.
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Gunvor Ulstein, CEO of Ulstein Group, said, “Innovation is at the core of what we do, and we are truly delighted to receive this recognition. The offshore industry is experiencing a downturn and eventually oil and gas supplies will come to an end. We do not know what we will be living on 50 years from now, but we do know we will be delivering smarter and sustainable solutions for the future.”
Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO and head of market and innovation,added, “Thinking outside the box and challenging accepted ideas is at the heart of innovation. When we introduced the X-BOW 10 years ago, many people commented on the unusual look of the bow and questioned its improved seakeeping characteristics. 100 X-BOWs later, the scepticism has turned into acceptance and several ship designers have presented their own bow designs.”
The first two vessels featuring the X-STERN will be SX175-design offshore wind service vessels to be built by Ulstein Verft for Bernhard Schulte.
The X-STERN, used on dynamic positioning-equipped vessels, increases operability by having a positive impact on station-keeping and wave response in harsh conditions. It has a sloping, higher stern, allowing for a sharp stern shape in which the transom plate is replaced by a pointed aft end.
With the X-STERN, a vessel can stay positioned with the stern facing towards the weather.
Michael Jones, technical and engineering analyst with IHS Maritime & Trade, was one of the jury members representing the technical shipping press.