France-based Neoline has selected Neopolina shipyard to construct its first two sail-powered roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, which will operate between France and the US as early as 2021. Neoline was established in 2015 with the intention of the becoming the world’s first shipowner specializing in modern sailing cargo ships. The company has partnered with French automaker Renault to develop the ships, which will be 136-meter long and equipped with 4,200 square meters of sail area. The ships will initially operate on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, France with the U.S. East Coast and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.
Hurtigruten’s cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen is the worlds first battery powered cruise ship, due to set sail on its maiden voyage from Norway to the arctic early next week. The Roald Amundsen is a hybrid expedition cruise ship, can take 500 passengers and is designed to sail in harsh climate waters. While the engines run mainly on marine gasoil, the ship’s battery pack enables it to run solely on batteries for around 45 to 60 minutes under ideal conditions. The company estimates that the battery pack will reduce fuel consumption and save about 20% in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to if the ship was operating on marine gasoil alone.
The IMO has approved an initial set of guidelines for the conduct of autonomous ship trials. The guidelines state that trials should be conducted in a manner that provides at least the same degree of safety, security and protection of the environment as provided by the relevant instruments. Risks associated with the trials should be appropriately identified and measures to reduce the risks should be put in place. Additionally, the guidelines specify that onboard or remote operators of MASS should be appropriately qualified for operating MASS subject to the trial.
Caroline Yang, the CEO of Hong Lam Marine, has been elected president of the Singapore Shipping Association. Yang succeeds ICS chairman Esben Poulsson, who has led the 460-member association since July 2015. She will be the association’s first female president. Yang started her career with Hong Lam Marine as in-house counsel in 1991 and was appointed executive director in 2002.
Cruise operator Hurtigruten has agreed a long-term LNG supply deal for its ships with Gasnor, part of Royal Dutch Shell. Gasnor will supply the company’s ships along the Norwegian coast with LNG until 2030. Hurtigruten is scheduled to start upgrading six of its vessels from this winter to run on a combination of LNG, battery packs and liquid biogas.
Europe’s first inland-waterway LNG bunker vessel has officially begun its bunkering operations in Rotterdam with the LNG-powered Containerships Polar and Containerships Nord. The LNG London, which is owned by LNG Shipping, is on long-term charter to Shell and will be used for LNG bunkering in the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp. The vessel measures 110 meters long and 15 meters wide, with a cargo capacity of 3,000 cubic meters of LNG.
Maersk is launching a new product, Maersk Spot which will see penalties to shippers for failing to produce containers associated with the slots they book, while Maersk would pay a penalty if it fails to load cargo booked through its online platform. Maersk Spot is currently offered globally on all global trades except those regulated by the US Federal Maritime Commission, but they are hoping to get regulatory approval I the US later this year. The product is currently being offered through a beta website but will roll out to the wider Maersk.com website in August.
Moroccan port TangerMed and Danish shipping major A.P. Moller-Maersk celebrated the opening the first automated container terminal in Africa. The terminal has a capacity of 5 million TEU and is expected to be one of the most important transshipment locations in the world. APM Terminals MedPort Tangier investment of USD 800 million will raise the port’s annual throughput capacity to 9 million TEU with its ability to handle ultra large container vessels.
K Line’s car carrier Diamond Highway has caught fire off the coast of the Philippines. The 25 member crew was rescued by Thailand-bound bulk carrier Canupos Leader. The vessel was on route to Batangas when the fire broke out. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Owned by Diamond Car Carriers, the 19,100 dwt Diamond Highway was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2004. A patrol vessel has been deployed to put out the fire.
Maersk will be piloting a new carbon neutral biofuel with select customers. The biofuel is a blend of used cooking oil and heavy which was been tested and validated by the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition and Shell earlier this year. Retailer H&M Group is the first company to trial it as part of the shift towards carbon-neutral transportation.
Hapag-Lloyd’s 8,700 teu containership Nagoya Express briefly grounded and damaged a $5M gantry crane at the Hai Phong terminal in Vietnam hile outbound. The harbour pilot who navigated the ship has been suspended as authorities are investigating the accident. The Hai Phong terminal, which opened in May last year with a ceremony welcoming the Nagoya Express, is the first deep-water port in Vietnam’s northern key economic region. The Nagoya Express is one of the large vessels operated by THE ALLIANCE of Hapag Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming Line on Trans-pacific route with regular call at HICT, which provides direct service from the North of Vietnam to West coast of the USA and Canada.
The Panama Canal has released a proposal to modify its current tolls structure. The release marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019. For dry bulk vessels, the proposal offers matching the tolls charged to Neopanamax vessels carrying iron ore with the tolls assessed for grains and other dry bulk cargoes, as well as a tariff increase for Neopanamax dry bulkers transiting in ballast. For containerships, the proposal offers more attractive rates for customers who benefit from the Panama Canal Loyalty Program by adding new levels with reduced rates in the capacity charge for shipping lines deploying between 2 million to 3 million TEUs, and additional reductions for lines deploying an incremental over 3 million TEUs.
Two oil tankers were attacked and left adrift on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and leading to fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the US. The crew of the Norwegian-owned Front Altair abandoned ship in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after a blast that set the ship was ablaze. The vessel was carrying 75,000 tonnes of petrochemical feedstock naphtha. The second ship, Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous, was hit twice over a three-hour period. Its crew were also picked up safely. Iranian search and rescue teams picked up 44 sailors from the two damaged tankers and took them to the Iranian port of Jask. There were no immediate statements apportioning blame nor any claims of responsibility.
In February, the Ocean Cooper 2 capsized and sunk off the coast of Singapore. MPA Singapore has since the incident completed a hydrographic survey of the wreck site and determined that the wreck will not affect vessel traffic. The wreck is located 41 meters below the sea surface, significantly deeper than the deepest draught of transiting vessels, which is 22 meters below the sea surface. MPA Singapore will update its nautical charts to indicate the location of the wreck and issue a Notice to Mariners to keep the maritime community updated.
Vard has secured a contract for the design and construction of another passenger ship for Australia’s Coral Expeditions to be named Coral Geographer. The vessel will be the fifth expedition cruise ship in the company’s fleet. The vessel will be developed by Vard Design and delivered by the end of 2020. Along with its sister vessel, Coral Adventurer, Coral Geographer will be designed to meet the growing demand for coral expeditions in the Australian cruise market. Featuring a gross tonnage of 5,599 tons, each of the ships has a capacity for 120 passengers and 48 crew members.
The biggest LNG terminal in the Nordics opened in Röyttä Harbour, Tornio, Finland, earlier this week. The Tornio terminal is equipped with bunkering stations for LNG vessels, regasification equipment for liquefied natural gas, as well as a storage unit that is 50,000 m3 in volume. The new facility will strengthen LNG’s security of supply for shipments to Northern Finland and Sweden.