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British yard Green Marine has folded with the loss of 46 jobs

British boatbuilder and carbon fibre specialist Green Marine has ceased trading after going into voluntary liquidation, leading to the loss of 46 jobs.

Speaking to the BBC, a spokesperson for the company explained that Green Marine had been hoping to secure an order to build the hull and superstructure of a superyacht, which did not materialise.

Parent company Vitters, who bought Green Marine in 2010 and moved the yard to a new high-tech facility at Hythe Marina, confirmed the news and promised to complete all uncompleted projects.

In a statement, the Dutch yard added: “The decision had to be taken due to the current uncertainty of future business and the changed business environment. For specialised companies, such as Green Marine, which depend on a low number of high value projects, it is very difficult to keep a constant level of people employed with fixed overheads. At the moment the future possibilities for a new business approach are being investigated.”

Founded in 1982, Green Marine contributed to more than 180 boating projects, including the hulls of Vitters sailing superyachts such Ribelle and Missy, as well as the Wallycento cruiser/racers Open Season and Galateia.

The yard was also highly influential in the racing world, having worked on Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup test boat T2, Alex Thomson’s IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss and Armel le Cleac’h’s Banque Populaire VIII, which won the 2016-17 Vendée Globe.

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Shipping sector not ready for IMO 2020 sulphur limit regulations reveals survey

Some 70% of shipping companies surveyed say they do not believe the industry is ready for IMO’s 2020 deadline, when a global limit of 0.5% sulphur will be imposed on marine fuel for vessels trading internationally. That was the headline finding of a new survey conducted by CE Delft on behalf of Exxonmobil.

The survey suggests that only 500 ships have been equipped with scrubbers. There has been something of a backlash against scrubber technology, most notably from Maersk and Klaveness, who have said they see the technology as being expensive and immature.

Lasse Kristoffersen, CEO at Torvald Klaveness, last year said scrubbers are a costly investment, costing between $2.0 and $4.0m, which can sometimes be greater than the value of the vessel itself.

Other respondents to the ExxonMobil survey said they were concerned that shipping companies would cheat and falsify the sulphur content of their marine fuel. Could this be a tacit admission that port states do not intend to or will not be able to enforce the 0.5% cap in their own waters?

Time is running out to solve these problems. A little over two years remains before the global cap is imposed and shipping companies have few options with which to comply with the new regulation.

Maersk has favoured using alternative fuels to installing scrubbers. It is likely that, rather than investing in abatement technologies, carriers will instead make an en-masse switch to 0.5% gasoil (or 0.5% fuel oil) come 2020. The International Energy Agency in 2015 estimated that around 2.2m bpd in maritime fuel demand would switch overnight to 0.5% gasoil. Separately, the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has estimated the figure at 4.0m bpd.

This poses its own problems: what mix of fuels will be available in 2020 and at what cost for each type? Refiners have not been so forthcoming with information about what new capacity they are adding to deal with the expected rise in demand. If ship operators do switch to gasoil, they will have to compete with truck drivers and SUV owners to buy the fuel, which could drive up prices and possibly lead to shortages in supply.

Meanwhile, there will be a loophole for shipowners in 2020: vessels will be permitted to sail without compliant fuel if none is available, even if they do not have scrubbers installed.

On the other hand, perhaps we’re being too pessimistic. It remains possible that early adopters of scrubbers will have recouped all their outlay by 2020 if the retrofitted vessels have traded extensively in emission control areas before the cap enters into force. And if the price of distillate fuels rises significantly over the next 26 months, there could still be time for early adopters to make their money back.

Any additional costs that are incurred by using ultra-low-sulphur marine fuel (because it certainly won’t be any cheaper than HFO) will need to be shouldered ultimately by the shipper. If significant or volatile price differentials open up between gasoil and crude oil and fuel oil and crude oil, it will be all the more important to use hedging and bunker adjustment factors (BAF) wisely. This will mean that existing freight contracts (like COAs) and new long-term contracts that go beyond 2020 will need to accommodate this.

Although just over two years remain before the sulphur cap deadline, there are no easy answers as to how best to comply but shipping companies should start planning for tomorrow today.

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Proposed plans to transform Cowes waterfront now open for consultation

Artist's impression of the redeveloped Cowes waterfront. Image credit: John Thompson & Partners

Artist’s impression of the redeveloped Cowes waterfront. Image credit: John Thompson & Partners

The consultation which could see the Cowes waterfront totally transformed under plans submitted by The Harrison Trust are now open for consultation.

The planning proposal is as follows:
Hybrid planning application for mixed-use re-development to provide up to 535 residential units and up to 18630 sqm of non-residential floor space and associated new public realm works, landscaping, re-construction of sea wall and new public slipway. Comprised of the following elements:Full planning permission for demolition of existing buildings and partial demolition of J Samuel White building; re-development of Phase 1 at northern end of site comprising construction of 3 building clusters (total of 9 buildings) to provide:1. Up to 256 residential units2. Up to 460 sqm of flexible retail, financial and professional services, food and drink floor space (A1-A4 uses)3. Up to 493 sqm of flexible restaurant or bar floor space (A3/A4 use)4. Up to 1238 sqm of office and flexible workspace (B1 use)5. Up to 689 sqm of flexible retail, financial and professional services, food and drink, office and community use floor space (A1-A4, B1 and D1 uses)6. Up to 242 basement car parking spaces7. Up to 287 cycle parking spacestogether with access, new public routes, piazza and associated landscaping treatment, re-construction of sea wall and refurbishment of former J Samuel White offices and Hammerhead Crane.Outline planning permission for development at the southern end of site to provide:1. Up to 279 residential units2. Up to 631 sqm of flexible retail, financial and professional services, food and drink floor space (A1-A4 uses)3. Up to 616 sqm community/museum use floor space (D1 use)4. Up to 447 sqm Marine Training accommodation (B1 use)5. Up to 14549 sqm of marine industrial space and storage (B2/B8 use)6. Up to 12288 sqm of basement floor space for associated car parking and plant area.together with access, new public routes and associated landscaping treatment, re-construction of sea wall and new public slipway(Revised plans showing changes to Phase 1 Block 2, widening of Admiralty Gate entrance, changes to Phase 2 building parameters plans; update information relating to the level of accommodation, visual montages, heritage assessment and confidential viability information; reduction of residential units from 256 to 253).

The consultation period on the proposed plans for Cowes waterfront formally closes on the 3 November 2017, after which the Isle of Wight will discuss the matter before reaching a decision.

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DNV GL commences roll out of electronic certification

Image credit: DNV GL

Image credit: DNV GL

In a significant move and historic first for the ship classification industry, DNV GL has commenced the roll out of IMO compliant electronic class and statutory certificates across its entire fleet. The widespread use of electronic certificates will result in significant efficiency gains for ship owners, charterers, regulators and crew, cutting down administrative burdens, processing time and document handling costs.

For the past few years, DNV GL has been working on pilot projects with several owners and flag administrations, to test and gain acceptance for the use of electronic certificates. This has resulted in more than 45 flag state administrations already having granted DNV GL the authority to issue electronic statutory certificates on their behalf, with more acceptances expected in the near future.

“The electronic certificate regime offered by DNV GL has provided us with a unique advantage in the contemporary market, where leverage from digitalized high-end efficient work processes plays an integral role,” says Morten Nygaard, Fleet Manager, Teekay Offshore, owners of one of the vessels used in the pilot projects. Teekay Offshore is also looking to move their fleet to electronic class and statutory certificates as soon as possible: “It is our intention to benefit from the new regime within the shortest possible time frames,” he added.

Certificates are published on DNV GL’s customer portal immediately after an onboard survey is completed, so that all relevant parties can access the latest certificates from anywhere in the world. The electronic certificates are secured with a digital signature and a unique tracking number (UTN) which can be checked online, assuring their validity and authenticity.

“Over the last several years we have been leveraging digitalization to improve the experience of our classification customers,” says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime. “The roll out of electronic certificates is a significant step forward in our pathway towards modernizing classification. Electronic certificates will smooth our customer’s interactions with class, allow stakeholders across the industry to capture value from digitalization, and give us a platform for future improvements.”

Customers can choose to share access to their certificates with stakeholders (charterers, ports, flag administrations, insurers) by using temporary access codes. With the temporary code the stakeholder can directly access the customer’s secure certificate folder, bringing the administrative burden on the ship owner down to the absolute minimum.

Electronic certificates will be rapidly rolled out across the DNV GL fleet, with newbuilding vessels receiving certificates upon delivery, and existing vessels at their next scheduled survey or audit. For more information, please visit the electronic certificate web page.

At the same time as electronic certificates will be deployed through DNV GL’s production system, customers will also be able to take advantage of the new Smart Survey Booking tool (SSB). SSB uses smart algorithms and machine learning to help customers find the best time and place to book a survey.

The algorithms identify when the maximum number of survey items can be combined, by assessing the initiation and expiration dates for class surveys, audits and conditions. An estimation of the required time the ship needs to be available for the survey/audit, with the associated travel and costs is also generated. SSB will even recommend a port of call based on all of these factors. Finally, after a customer makes the booking, SSB provides a set of survey preparation documents for the crew of the vessel, enabling them to prepare more effectively. Read more about Smart Survey Booking.

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Batteries set to replace generator on offshore vessel Viking Princess

Offshore supply vessel Viking Princess

Offshore supply vessel Viking Princess

A hybrid energy system has been installed on board Viking Princess making it the first offshore supply vessel where batteries have reduced the number of generators on board. Viking Princess completed sea trials and the system was handed over to Eidesvik Offshore on October 9, 2017.

She provides supplies to oil rigs in the North Sea and Barents Sea. The five-year old vessel runs on LNG-powered Wärtsilä engines. Depending on the ongoing task and weather conditions, the engine load varies between 90 percent and 20 percent.

With the Wärtsilä installed energy storage system on board, Viking Princess is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 percent in various operations and CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by up to approximately 13-18 percent per year, depending on operational conditions and requirements.

Additionally, the hybrid solution will provide a more optimal load on the engines, while the intervals between engine maintenance can be extended.

Viking Princess now runs on a combination of a battery pack for energy storage and three LNG-fuelled Wärtsilä engines. The new energy storage solution provides balancing energy to cover the demand peaks, resulting in a more stable load on the engines. The technology is similar to that used in hybrid vehicles: it prevents the engine load from dipping, and uses the surplus to re-energize the battery, which can be charged as needed. Wärtsilä’s remote monitoring and operational advisory services support the daily operation of the vessel.

“The success of this project will impact the future of the entire shipping industry,” says Sindre Utne, Manager Projects and Operations, Wärtsilä Norway.


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