VTT to Explore Use of Bio- and Waste-Based Oils for Ships, Power Plants

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In a three-year Business Finland BioFlex project, Finnish research services provider VTT and partners will assess how suitable fuel oils made from biomass and waste plastics are for ship diesel engines and power plants. 

As explained, the aim is to determine “the most ecologically and economically sustainable way to replace fossil fuels”.

The increase in wind and solar power requires load-following capacity to flexibly compensate for gaps in electricity production on windless and cloudy days, according to VTT.

Power plants that use fuels will continue to be part of energy systems, but there are differences in their flexibility. Conventional coal- or biomass-fired steam boilers are not capable of load changes that are as fast as those of natural gas-fired gas turbine power plants or the most flexible power plants of them all — internal-combustion engine power plants, VTT sa…

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March Imports at US Container Ports Hit Five-Year Low

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Imports at major U.S. retail container ports dropped to their lowest level in five years in March, data from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates shows.

The report indicates that imports are projected to remain significantly below normal levels through early summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“Even as factories in China have begun to get back to work, we are seeing far fewer imports coming into the United States than previously expected,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

“Many stores are closed, and consumer demand has been impacted with millions of Americans out of work. However, there are still many essential items that are badly needed and because of store closures cargo may sit longer than usual and cause other supply chain impacts.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is unraveling the economy nationally and g…

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German Gas Carrier Grounded due to Underdeveloped ECDIS

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A Germany-flagged liquefied gas carrier grounded off Indonesia in 2018 due to the not fully developed electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), a report by Germany’s Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) shows.

On July 9, 2018, the 60,000 cbm Pazifik grounded on a shallow between the islands of Komodo and Banda.

At the time of the incident, the ship was carrying a cargo of 18,000 tons of ammonia. However, no cargo escaped since only the forepeak and ballast water tanks were damaged.

Two days later, the 2005-built Pazifik could be refloated by exchanging cargo and ballast water. The vessel headed to a shipyard in Singapore under its own power and accompanied by a tug.

During the repair, about 50 meters of the double bottom was renewed and the rudder was repaired. The latter was damaged when the ship refloated from the rocks during a m…

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Workers at Haldia Port Suspend Dry Bulk Ops after COVID-19 Case

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Workers at India’s Haldia Port have suspended all dry bulk vessel operations at the port after learning a supervisor had tested positive for COVID-19.

It is understood that the workers stopped their activities on Friday, April 3 amid concerns that they might get infected.

The mechanical loading of thermal coal vessels is continuing without interruption, GAC informed.

The port authorities have sanitized the drive at Berth No.13 and adjoining areas including mooring ropes, jetty and MHC at Haldia Dock Complex on Saturday, April 4.

It has also been reported that safety protective gear – such as masks, gloves, and sanitizers – was also provided to the staff.

“It is understood that authorities have appealed to staff, unions, and stakeholders to return to work and resume operations which are essential to maintain supply lines. Even so, it is learnt that none were willing to return to work, …

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USCG Medevacs Crewman from Yang Ming Boxship

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An injured crew member of a Taiwan-flagged containership has been evacuated some six miles from the San Francisco Bay, the US Coast Guard (USCG) said.

As informed, the 32-year-old Taiwanese seafarer suffered a head injury caused by an accident on board the 8,626 TEU YM Unanimity in the evening hours of April 3.

The unfortunate man had fallen and struck his head on the ship’s radar mast creating a laceration on his forehead as the Post-Panamax boxship was making its way toward its next port call in Japan.

After receiving a report on the accident, USCG Sector San Francisco watchstanders launched a helicopter crew to medevac the crewmember.

Once on scene, the helicopter crew lowered the rescue swimmer to the containership to assess the man. The helicopter crew then lowered a rescue basket to hoist the crewmember into the helicopter and transported him to Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto.

The man was re…

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UAE to Ease Restrictions on Crew Changes

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to gradually lift the restrictions on crew changes enabling seafarers stuck in UAE to return to their homes.

The move is being announced in the wake of growing concerns for seafarers and their mental health as their transfer has been banned as part of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Industry bodies including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have joined calls to port authorities and governments to give seafarers the status of key personnel and allow them to move freely.

The Federal Transport Authority (FTA) said that priorities will be given to seafarers with resident visas who are stuck onboard their ships, crews of passenger ships currently laid up in UAE, crew members who are no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship and seafarers with urgent medical or humanitarian cases.

In order for the crew changes to be carried out, …

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Construction of World’s Largest LNG-Fueled RoRo Ship Begins

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China-based Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard has cut the first steel for a new LNG-powered roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel ordered by Swedish shipping company Wallenius SOL. 

The vessel, which will be the world’s first RoRo ship to be both LNG fueled and have an ice class 1A Super, is scheduled to be delivered in August 2021.

“The ship will form an extremely important part of our fleet,” Ragnar Johansson, Managing Director, Wallenius SOL, commented.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that construction has begun. We set the bar high in terms of reliable ocean freight with low environmental impact, and a ship with both the highest ice class and environmental performance shows how we live up to this,” Johansson added.

The newbuild will have a length of 242 meters, a beam of 35.2 meters and a capacity of 5,800 lane meters. It will have a top speed of 20 knots and a cruise speed of 16 knots.

It was designed by Wallenius…

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New Cluster of Coronavirus Cases Emerges at Keppel Shipyard

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A new cluster of coronavirus infected people has been identified at Singapore-based Keppel Shipyard, Singapore’s Ministry of Health informed.

At least three people with confirmed infections have been linked to the cluster.

According to the local media, about 100 shipyard employees who have had direct contact with the infected people have been placed on a 14-day leave of absence. It has also been reported that sections of the shipyard’s Tuas yard have been closed.

The company is yet to provide World Maritime News with a statement on the matter.

Responding to the growing number of infections, Singapore has introduced additional restrictive measures across the country suspending all business and social activities that cannot be conducted via telecommuting from home from April 7 until May 4, 2020.

Based on the latest data, over 1,000 people have tested positive for the virus in th…

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ECSA: Maritime-Specific Rescue and Recovery Plan Is Urgently Needed

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The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) has welcomed the work done by the EU so far to support the shipping industry in dealing with COVID-19 but stressed that more sector-specific actions are needed to save the industry.

For Europe to ensure the survival of its strategically important maritime industry, more concerted and targeted actions will be required, according to ECSA.

The trade association, therefore, called on all the European institutions to swiftly adopt a targeted rescue and recovery plan for the maritime sector.

Currently, the European shipping industry is working hard to ensure goods, supplies and medical equipment continue to come into Europe and flow out of Europe. Yet shipping companies are facing increasing obstacles staying afloat, due to liquidity issues, decreasing sources of financing, amongst others. With the largest part of the industry being small …

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Carnival to Put Majority of Its Ships in Prolonged Layups

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Carnival Corporation expects to put a vast majority of its ships in prolonged layups during the global pause of its cruise operations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

During the prolonged ship layups, the ships will be manned by a limited crew, costing approximately USD 1 million per month.

The cruise liner major said that some of its ships would be put in a warm layup and will be manned by a full crew.

The costs involving the warm layup are estimated to range between USD 2 million – USD 3 million per month.

“We will decide whether each vessel in our global fleet will be in a warm ship layup or a prolonged ship layup depending on the circumstances, including the length of the pause, which we expect to be extended and may be prolonged,” Carnival said.

The cruise shipping company expects to incur incremental COVID-related costs associated with sanitizing its ships an…

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