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Autonomous shipping, Covid-19 impact, security and fuel safety in spotlight

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Autonomous shipping, Covid-19 impact, security and fuel safety in spotlight. Image: Pexels
Autonomous shipping, Covid-19 impact, security and fuel safety in spotlight. Image: Pexels
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The foundations for the future development of a regulatory framework for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) will be laid at the 103rd session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), held in remote session from 5 to14 May 2021.  The Committee will consider the outcome of a regulatory scoping exercise on MASS carried out over the last couple of years and identify priorities for further work. In addition to discussing the most appropriate ways of addressing MASS operations from the regulatory perspective, meeting attendees will also consider submissions relating to MASS trials.

MSC 103 will also explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on shipping and seafarers. The Committee is expected to discuss a number of submissions, including a proposal for adoption of a resolution on prioritising seafarers for COVID-19 vaccination.

Another important item on the agenda is maritime security, including cyber security, piracy and armed robbery. The Committee is expected to discuss in particular the ongoing piracy problems in the Gulf of Guinea.

Fuel safety is also high on the agenda, with the Committee expected to establish a working group to examine issues including fuel flashpoint, blended fuels and fuel sampling and testing.

In response to the growing need for safer operation of domestic ferries, the Committee will be considering a set of draft model regulations on domestic ferry safety that can be incorporated into national law.

 The MSC will also consider a number of proposals for future work, including how to address the problem of containers lost at sea. The Committee will adopt a number of amendments to SOLAS and other instruments. The session will also approve various sets of guidance and guidelines developed by the sub-committees.

The meeting was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (download opening remarks here).

Ms. Mayte Medina (United States) was elected Chair at the start of the session, following the resignation of the long-serving previous Chair, Mr. Brad Groves (Australia) at the end of last year. Mr. Theofilos Mozas (Greece) was elected as Vice Chair for 2021.

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Maritime

Damen made a milestone in the construction of the RSD-E Tug 2513

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Damen made a milestone in the construction of the RSD-E Tug 2513. Image: Damen
Damen made a milestone in the construction of the RSD-E Tug 2513. Image: Damen
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Damen Shipyards Group has reached a major milestone in the construction of its first fully-electric Reversed Stern Drive tug. The shipbuilder is constructing the RSD-E Tug 2513, named Sparky, for New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland. Recently, Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam installed the tug’s batteries.

This involved the installation of some 2,240 batteries, totalling 2,784 kWh. With this, Sparky will carry out two or more berthing/unberthing operations with up to 70 tonnes bollard pull on a single charge. Following, it will take just two hours for the tug to recharge to its full capacity.

For redundancy purposes, the batteries are arranged in strings. If one battery in a string were to fail, the others would simply carry on the work.

Ports of Auckland placed the order with Damen in August, 2019. The ports’ intention is to be fully zero emissions by 2040. To achieve this, they needed a zero emissions tug.

Work continues on Sparky and Damen anticipates delivery to be end of this year.

Damen, with its goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder, was keen to take on the challenge. The shipyards group already has extensive experience in the construction of fully electric vessels. Damen has delivered seven fully-electric Ferries 2306 E3 for the City of Copenhagen in Denmark, and a fully-electric Cutter Suction Dredger 650 for an Australian client.

The shipbuilder is also constructing fully electric ferries for Ontario, Canada; a Road Ferry 6819 E3 & Road Ferry 9819 E3, as well as six hybrid Road Ferries 8117 E3 for BC Ferries, British Columbia, Canada. The hybrid vessels are being prepared for future conversion to full electric. Additionally, Damen is constructing nine waterbuses for Blue Amigo to operate in the Netherlands. Three of the vessels will be fully electric, while the remaining hybrid waterbuses will be prepared for future conversion to full electric. Damen has delivered electric vessels with a total of 20 mW of battery power to date.

The E3 certification is Damen’s in-house developed sustainability accreditation for its vessels. It stands for environmentally friendly, efficient in operation and economically viable.

Damen’s strategy is to further develop its existing ship types into electric versions, drawing on proven solutions and combining them with innovation for increased efficiency and sustainability. In addition to the RSD Tug 2513, Damen is also able to electrify its ASD Tug 2813.

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DNV launches new digital EEXI Calculator

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DNV launches new digital EEXI Calculator. Image: DNV
DNV launches new digital EEXI Calculator. Image: DNV
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DNV has launched the EEXI Calculator – a digital tool to support customers in ensuring their compliance with the upcoming Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI). The regulation is expected to be adopted at this week’s 76th meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76). If so, the regulation will take effect in January 2023..

The EEXI regulation is a medium-term component of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) roadmap towards reducing global shipping’s carbon intensity by 40 percent over the next decade, using 2008 as a baseline. The aim of the EEXI is to assess the energy efficiency of existing ships, focusing solely on their design. It determines the standardized CO2 emissions related to a vessel’s installed engine power, transport capacity, speed, and degree of energy efficiency. The regulation will be applicable for all cargo, ro-pax and cruise vessels above 400 GT, depending on their propulsion type and whether they trade internationally. DNV estimates that currently, up to 30,000 vessels need to take action to comply with the upcoming EEXI regulation.

“The EEXI is putting a great deal of pressure on ship owners to take immediate action in order to analyse the energy efficiency of their fleet and make any necessary adjustments to ensure compliance,“ said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime. “At DNV, we understand the difficulties the industry faces in meeting this regulatory deadline. This is why we have tailored our new EEXI Calculator to meet this need.”

To help customers ensure they are prepared for EEXI compliance, DNV has developed two pathways.

The EEXI Calculator is purpose made for high volume ship segments such as tankers, bulkers and containers. Customers can access this newly launched tool via the Veracity portal under ‘Fleet Status’. The calculator can produce an EEXI calculation and the technical file based on the data uploaded by the customer.

For more complex cases, and when the customer wants to save time and effort, DNV’s advisory experts can work with customers to map out a pathway to compliance, identify the correct parameters for the calculation, and assist in preparing the required documentation.  “These two pathways are designed to help everyone tackle their EEXI challenges in time to reach compliance,” said Fabian Kock, Head of Section Environmental Certification, DNV Maritime. “For companies with a younger fleet, this may not require major adjustments, they can easily access and prepare the required documentation through our EEXI calculator. And for those who need more support, there is the opportunity to tap into DNV’s extensive expertise as they prepare to make more involved decisions around how their vessels can meet the regulatory requirements and secure EEXI compliance when the regulation comes into force.”

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Maritime

Kalmar accelerates its product development with cutting-edge 5G private network

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Kalmar accelerates its product development with cutting-edge 5G private network. Image: Kalmar
Kalmar accelerates its product development with cutting-edge 5G private network. Image: Kalmar
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Kalmar, part of Cargotec, together with Telia and Telia’s partners Digita and Nokia, has implemented a new stand-alone 5G network for its Technology and Competence Centre in Tampere, Finland.

In Tampere, Kalmar has the industry’s largest port automation test field and world-class facilities and laboratories for prototyping, simulation, testing, monitoring and optimisation. Thanks to the private network, Kalmar is now able to develop new integrated solutions for the product development of communication and cargo handling technologies.

“As a pioneer in terminal automation and energy-efficient cargo handling, we want to be at the forefront of utilising the latest technology in our product development. The reliable wireless 5G connectivity will help us develop even more efficient and safer container handling solutions for terminal operations,” says Antti Kaunonen, President, Kalmar Automation Solutions.

The stand-alone 5G network implemented in Tampere represents the latest 5G development and it is one of the first most extensive implementations in the world. The stand-alone network enables utilising all of the latest 5G features, such as private networks, network slicing and highly uniform automation implementations.

Kalmar’s example shows that industrial 5G is now evolving to deliver on the promises that have been placed on the technology. It is great to see that Finnish companies are at the forefront of the world in demonstrating how 5G brings real business benefits through increased efficiency and security,” says Janne Koistinen, Director of Telia’s 5G Programme.

“The state-of-the-art private network is always adapted to the customer’s needs, in Kalmar’s case it means delivering and building the latest network technologies to promote product development,” says Henri Viljasjärvi, Business Development Director at Digita.

A key element in the mobile technology project’s joint research efforts is the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) solution. The Nokia DAC is an industrial-grade digitisation platform that provides a reliable, secure and high-performance private wireless network with industrial connectors and edge computing capabilities on a cloud-based monitoring system. Nokia Industrial 5G devices are used as a part of the end-to-end solution.

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