Iranian tanker disaster probe ends in split verdict

Iranian tanker disaster probe ends in split verdict Middle East Monitor Full coverage

Source: Iranian tanker disaster probe ends in split verdict

May 6, 2018 at 12:20 pm

A committee investigating a collision between an Iranian tanker and a Chinese freighter has come to diverging conclusions over the causes of the worst oil ship disaster in decades, Iran’s state television reported on Saturday.

The Panama-registered Sanchi, run by Iran’s top oil shipping operator NITC, collided with the CF Crystal, registered in Hong Kong, off the coast of China near Shanghai and the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta on January 6.

The Sanchi sank on January 14 after burning for several days. The entire crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, are presumed dead.

“(Representatives of) China and Hong Kong believe that both vessels were to blame,” Iran’s state TV quoted Nader Pasandeh, the country’s representative on the investigating committee, as saying.

“But Iran, Panama and Bangladesh see the veering to the right by the Crystal as the cause of the disaster,” he added.

The Sanchi was carrying the equivalent of nearly 1 million barrels of ultra-light crude, plus its own fuel, to South Korea. According to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, the collision led to the worst tanker spill in 35 years.

Pasandeh did not say what the next step would be or how the conflict would be resolved.

The Value of Sustainability in the Shipping Industry Today

file photo credit: Diamantino Rosa

Source: The Value of Sustainability in the Shipping Industry Today

By Christine Mavromichalis 2018-05-06 20:11:30

For the past few weeks, we have been witnessing a series of debates and discussions over sustainability in shipping and the importance of cutting down CO2 emissions in order to protect the sea environment from increasing pollution. Last month in London, at a phenomenal four-day deliberation of the IMO delegates, an historic carbon dioxide reduction deal was reached, agreeing that emissions must be cut by 50 percent by 2050.

IMO’s delegates also decided there should be a 40 percent improvement in ship efficiency by 2030 (compared to 2008) and a 50-70 percent improvement by 2050. The meeting was attended by over 100 IMO Member States who agreed on IMO’s initial strategy which was adopted by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), during its 72nd session. Two countries only objected this deal: United States and Saudi Arabia.

The most important outcome from this emissions reduction deal is that for the first time in history, the global maritime industry committed to an effort battling climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement (2015) that targets greenhouse emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance as of 2020. On top of that, the IMO member states agreed to promote programs that will help developing countries to meet the requirements of the environmental regulation that is expected to surface, such as the “Capacity Building for Climate Mitigation in the Maritime Industry.”

But what are the parameters of this strategy?

According to IMO, there are levels of ambition set for the international shipping sector. More specifically: The Initial Strategy identifies levels of ambition for the international shipping sector noting that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition. Reviews should take into account updated emission estimates, emissions reduction options for international shipping, and the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Levels of ambition directing the Initial Strategy are as follows:

1. carbon intensity of the ship to decline through implementation of further phases of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) for new ships to review with the aim to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for ships with the percentage improvement for each phase to be determined for each ship type, as appropriate;

2. carbon intensity of international shipping to decline to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40 percent by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70 percent by 2050, compared to 2008; and

3. GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline to peak GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out as called for in the Vision as a point on a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals. (source:

What does this mean for shipowners?

Although the implementation of the limits in the shipping industry’s output of carbon dioxide emissions will not kick in before 2023 (which is the deadline set for the limits coming into force), shipowners looking to invest in new ship building with unit deliveries from/after 2020 should be well aware of the changes expected in naval architecture. Clearly, the sulfur cap and the ballast water management 2020 enforcement are the real headache for fleet owners at the moment. However, zero carbon fuels are expected to be developed in the near future, and soon.

Shipowners will be required to comply with new environmental regulations and policy measures that will be enforced globally. Some short-term suggestions such as slow steaming may temporarily contribute to the reduction of emissions but then again, that is not a sustainable solution for the long-run (until 2023). Notably, a mechanism calculating the carbon dioxide emissions’ output of ships is expected to be in place, which could mean fines or penalties imposed on shipping companies whose fleets’ estimated emissions output exceeds the carbon dioxide emissions limits.

So, perhaps this is the time for shipowners to re-evaluate their investment strategy and look for alternative cost-efficient solutions that will enable risk mitigation and a more environmental-friendly, sustainable shipping industry. One idea on the table that may prove a reality by 2030 is the ending of use of fossil fuels and the beginning of utilization of alternative carbon-free fuels in replacement of the heavy fuel oil which is the fossil fuel used in marine diesel engines.

Another sustainable alternative is the use of an innovative, ultra-low sulfur fuel such as Plaxx (which is being developed and tested in diesel engines), derived from the efficient recycling of mixed plastic waste and in compliance with the new emission rules.

According to the IMO, there may be a policy implemented that will require shipowners to pay sums for research funding in alternative fuels. Everything suggests it is quite likely for those fleet owners planning to order ships in the 2020s that they will have to drop fossil fuels and opt for non-fossils at some point in the life span of these vessels.

Another thing to keep in mind is that charterers and ship financiers are paying close attention to these drastic developments on the environmental, regulatory and technological front, and it will be interesting to see the reshuffling in the market players, the implications in the charter rates, the adjustments in the business plans of several private equity-backed companies and the approach of the P&I Clubs. Exciting times ahead for the global shipping industry indeed!

Christine Mavromichalis, LL.M., is Business Development & Marketing Officer at GMS (Dubai).


Fincantieri delivers new oceanographic ship icebreaker

Source: Fincantieri delivers new oceanographic ship icebreaker

Kronprins Haakon, the oceanographic icebreaker which will operate in in the polar waters and which was built by Fincantieri for theInstitute of Marine Research (IMR), the Norwegian governmental body for oceanographic research and fishing, was delivered in recent days in the Norwegian yard of Vard Langsten.

After the completion of the building process at Fincantieri’s Integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, the vessel sailed to Norway for the performance of the final tests and preparation for the delivery.

With a gross tonnage of 9,000 tons, more than 100 meters long, 21 wide and a speed up to 15 knots, she is able to move on independently through ice thick up to one meter. She is built according to criteria that ensure minimum environmental impact and reduced radiation of noise underwater, so as to allow studies on fish and marine mammals.

Furthermore, the vessel will be able to carry out oceanographic and hydrographic research activities in any area of operation.

The vessel is able to accommodate 55 people in 38 cabins – research personnel, students and crew – and is fitted out with the highest standards of comfort for passenger ships. At the bow, the hangar is able to accommodate two helicopters and is equipped with complex instrumentation able to investigate the morphology and geology of the seabed.

The sensors and the equipment represent the state-of-the-art technology and guarantee a very high flexibility in performing different scientific tasks, allowing the vessel to carry on also geology, geophysics, chemistry and seismology studies. The vessel will carry out missions on a global scale and will be used to study the modalities and consequences of climate change in the Arctic environment.

“Kronprins Haakon” represents an important technical result for Fincantieri, achieved thanks to the various specific know-how developed by the company in the different high-added-value sectors in which it operates, such as naval vessels, submarines, cruise ships and special vessels.

ECDIS Training: An overview

Source: ECDIS Training: An overview

The new STCW requirements, which came into force since 1st January 2017, consist the frame for the e-Navigation training standards which are supported and assisted by the industry practice and experience for further awareness.

From 1 January 2017 onwards, all masters and officers serving on ships fitted with ECDIS certificated under chapter II of the STCW Convention, should have undertaken appropriate Generic ECDIS training (which may be based upon IMO model course 1.27), meeting the competence requirements of the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention and ISM Code.

Additionally, regulation I/14, paragraph 1.5 of the STCW Convention, as well as sections 6.3 and 6.5 of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, requires companies to ensure seafarers are provided with familiarization or type specific training.

A ship safety management system should include familiarization with the ECDIS equipment fitted, including its backup arrangements, sensors and related peripherals.

What is the Generic Training

This training is a pre-requirement for executing the duties of Officer of the watch. The IMO Model course 1.27 is to ensure that navigators understand ECDIS in the context of navigation and can demonstrate all competencies contained in and implied by STCW.

The course is provided to ensure that the navigators learn to use ECDIS and can apply it in all aspects of navigation, including the knowledge, understanding and proficiency to transfer that skill to the particular ECDIS system(s) actually encountered on board, prior to taking over navigational duties. It is a five-day course which include simulator based training and evaluation also.

What is familiarization or type specific training?

Familiarization is the process required to become familiar with any onboard ECDIS (including backup) in order to assure and demonstrate competency onboard with any specific ship’s ECDIS installation, prior to taking charge of a navigational watch. This may be achieved through a training session from competent trainer (usually provided by ECDIS equipment manufacturer) and Company established familiarization procedure.

Some industry stakeholders (eg. some Major Oil Companies) require the officers assigned with bridge watch duties to be certified for ECDIS type specific course. There is no ‘official’ format of this training so far. As familiarization guidance Nautical Institute published the Industry Recommendations for ECDIS Training (2012) with extended checklists in order to check OOW familiarization with onboard installed system. This practice is commonly followed and has become an “industry standard”

All the above aim to verify that those going to use the ECDIS equipment are well prepared. As most ECDIS related incidents are caused by inadequate use of equipment and/or wrong setting parameters, the value of training and familiarization is of primary importance.

Robert Allan unveils ‘RAlly 1600-E’ all-electric pilot boat

Source: Robert Allan unveils ‘RAlly 1600-E’ all-electric pilot boat

A new all-electric pilot boat — called ‘RAlly 1600-E’ — has been recently unveiled by naval engineering firm Robert Allan which mainly manufactures boats for specialty use, such as tug and barge transportation.

Since pilot boats are used for the purpose of transporting maritime pilots from land to the inbound/outbound ships which they are piloting, Robert Allan’s new ‘RAlly 1600-E’ all-electric pilot boat will unfold an emission-free mode of transportation for ferrying pilots to their boats.

The electrification of pilot boats appears to be quite a viable option with the present state of batteries because the distances usually covered by these boats are fairly short, though they can vary.

According to the information shared by Robert Allan, the use of the ‘RAlly 1600-E’ electric boat will essentially be restricted to pilot transportation jobs in which a maximum distance of 5 nautical miles has to be covered. The firm elaborated that running the electric boat for short distances will ensure that the boat has a safe reserve of at least 30% of its battery capacity.

The new ‘RAlly 1600-E’ all-electric pilot boat is 16 meters in length; with its electric motors powered by a massive 815 kWh battery system comprising 70 modules of Spear SMAR-11N-224 units. The boat can accommodate 2 crew members and transport 4 pilots. It can achieve a top speed of 20 knots, thanks to its two 500 kW permanent magnet electric motors.

MPA signs Tuas Terminal Phase 2 contract, autonomous vessels MOU and more

Source: MPA signs Tuas Terminal Phase 2 contract, autonomous vessels MOU and more

SINGAPORE – The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced the signing of the Tuas Terminal Phase 2 contract at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC) on Wednesday (April 25).

The $1.46 billion contract was awarded to a consortium of Dutch dredging giant Boskalis , Penta Ocean Construction Company and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company.

The project will include the dredging of the Tuas basis, construction of wharf structures and reclamation of 387 hectares of land, which will be bounded by 9.1 km of cassion walls (excavation support structure).

Construction of Phase 2 will commence at a later date, but it is scheduled to be completed in the mid-2020s, said MPA.

MPA also said that more than 70 per cent of Phase 1 of Tuas Terminal has been completed as of now. When the entire Tuas Terminal is completed, it will have a total capacity of up to 65 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) annually.

At the SMTC, MPA also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) and Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) to jointly develop autonomous vessels.

These autonomous vessels will be used for harbour operations, such as channelling, berthing , mooring and towing operations. Keppel O&M will be using its remote vessel monitoring and analytics programme, VesselCare, as the base platform. The programme is able to perform data consolidation, condition based monitoring and maintenance, mining and analytics of vessels.

MPA also signed an MOU with Finnish tech group Wartsila to promote the development of maritime technologies, and renewed another MOU with the Research Council of Norway for maritime research and development, education and training. This marks the seventh term between the two organisations, and the term will last for three years till 2021.

MPA also signed a memorandum of intent with eight classification societies to develop the Singapore Maritime Data Hub, which will serve as a one-stop centralised data repository and collaborative platform for the maritime community.

It also awarded the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund to the consortium of ST Electronics and Norwegian maritime surveillance solutions provider Kongsberg Norcontrol for its next generational vessel traffic management system innovation programme (NGVTMS).

On the sidelines, NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of National University of Singapore (NUS) and a partner of MPA, also signed a MOU with Dutch maritime-only accelerator PortXL, to develop the maritime innovation ecosystem of Singapore.

A total of seven agreements were signed at SMTC on Wednesday, involving MPA, local and international partners.

Finnish Shipowners to reinforce One Sea

Source: Finnish Shipowners to reinforce One Sea

The Finnish Shipowners’ Association (FSA) has started an intensive cooperation with the international One Sea Ecosystem, striving to enable commercial autonomous maritime traffic by 2025. The aim is to create better conditions for significantly more energy-efficient and safer shipping. ‘We want to be part of the leading edge of digitalizing shipping with One Sea’, states CEO Tiina Tuurnala of the FSA.

‘We’re extremely satisfied to gain the competence of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association for our rapidly developing cooperation. The One Sea Ecosystem already presents the absolute top in developing international seafaring, but the FSA raises our cooperation to an even higher and robust level’, assesses the leader of the One Sea Ecosystem, Päivi Haikkola from DIMECC Ltd.

The now a hundred years old FSA represents 25 Finnish shipping companies and over a hundred ships. One Sea gathers together leading international companies from the top of their individual fields, leading the way towards enabling autonomous shipping by 2025. The ecosystem consists of cutting edge competence offered by its partners: ABB, Cargotec, Ericsson, Finferries, Finnpilot Pilotage, Meyer Turku, Rolls-Royce, Tieto and Wärtsilä, lead by DIMECC.

‘Our agreement with One Sea offers us a momentous possibility. Digitalization and automation are rapidly revolutionizing seafaring, and we want to be part of the leading edge of digitalizing shipping with One Sea’, reasons CEO Tiina Tuurnala the commencing intensive collaboration.

Energy efficiency and safety are the goals

‘The most important visions for us are the positive possibilities of digitalization and automation. We’re heading towards a future where seafaring is considerably more energy-efficient and more sustainable. Digitalization also means constantly improving safety. One Sea is a uniquely qualified ecosystem to which we’re now able to bring our own remarkable seafaring expertise and the perspective of shipowners. This is a win-win equation, if any’, CEO Tuurnala sums up.

In addition to safety and energy efficiency, shipowners pursue more efficiency and optimization as well as improved cost-effectiveness through digitalization and automation.

One Sea’s leader DIMECC is the most important innovation platform of Finnish Industry. The ecosystem is financed by Business Finland and the participating companies. The workings of the ecosystem are international.

‘Our goal is extremely ambitious: We aim to be the guiding star of international shipping. The possibilities are there, all the participants in the ecosystem are the best in their fields. The input of the shipowners to our joint developing is invaluable’, praises One Sea leader Päivi Haikkola.

The Finnish Shipowners’ Association (FSA) has started an intensive cooperation with the international One Sea Ecosystem, striving to enable commercial autonomous maritime traffic. Picture: Rolls-Royce.

Kongsberg To Develop Automating Technology For The Ferries Of Future

Source: Kongsberg To Develop Automating Technology For The Ferries Of Future

Kongsberg Maritime plans to develop a system for automating the crossing between Horten and Moss and for moving ferries to and from the quay. Bastø Fosen will provide a ferry and crew to assist with the development.

The system is due to be ready for testing by autumn 2018. The objective is to increase safety and improve passenger experience, in addition to reducing fuel consumption. Shipping company Bastø Fosen has concluded a cooperation agreement with Kongsberg Maritime for developing and testing new technology and functionality set to enable safer operation of vessels, reduced energy consumption and enhanced fleet management for the ferries of the future.

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The project will focus on developing and integrating a system that supports navigators with improved situational awareness and decision-making. The system is designed to automate arrival and departure movements in combination with close monitoring by the navigator, and will also ensure that the ferries follow the optimum route between Horten and Moss, based on traffic volumes and weather conditions.

Longer term, Bastø Fosen and Kongsberg plan to explore solutions for automatic interaction between vessels, the idea being that the system will allow the six ferries in the Bastø Fosen fleet to learn from each other.

“The collaboration with Kongsberg Maritime for developing new technology is a part of our commitment to delivering safe ferry services of the highest standard. More automated operations will contribute significantly to sustainable development of our offering by improving the service we provide to passengers. The safety and comfort of everyone on board is our main consideration and we are committed to exploring the potential of new technology in combination with the expertise of our dedicated and professional crew. Our employees are looking forward to exploring the new ways of working that our partnership with Kongsberg will introduce”, says Øyvind Lund, CEO at Bastø Fosen.

This April, Kongsberg Maritime is already installing sensors and logging equipment on board one of the newest Bastø Fosen ferries. Data from this equipment, combined with the crew’s experience, will form the basis for the functionality in the new system. The automated docking and sailing system is expected to be ready for testing later this year.

“At Kongsberg, we believe it is vital to have good dialogue with professional, forward-thinking shipping companies. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for Kongsberg. By collaborating with an active and engaged end user, we can gather elements from our established technology, put them together with developments from other on-going projects and create new solutions for the ferries of the future. Bastø Fosen is an experienced, innovative and customer-focused operator, and together we can test the solutions while they are being developed, thus ensuring quality and ease of use”, explains Morten Stanger, Vice President Subsea Sales at Kongsberg Maritime.

Press Release:

Fjords Takes Delivery Of Groundbreaking Zero Emission Vessel

Source: Fjords Takes Delivery Of Groundbreaking Zero Emission Vessel

Tourist ship owner and operator The Fjords has taken delivery of a vessel it believes sets new standards for environmentally responsible passenger transport. Future of The Fjords, a42m long carbon fibre 400 PAX all-electric catamaran, will begin operation in mid-May, making around 700 yearly round tripsalong the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage listed fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen. It is the first vessel of its kind to offer completely emission free transport through the beautiful, yet fragile, Western Norwegian landscape.

Future of The Fjords is the sister ship to Vision of The Fjords, a diesel electric hybrid launched to universal acclaim in 2016. Although both ships are designed and constructed by Norwegian shipyard Brødrene Aa, with hulls that mirror the zigzagging mountain paths they sail beside, they are very different once you scratch the surface, as The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik explains:

“It is our mission to safeguard the vulnerable environment we give access to, while providing the absolute optimal experience for our passengers,” he notes. “With Future of The Fjords it’s mission accomplished.

“Vision of The Fjords was an important development for us, but we had the ambition to take it one step further and replace the diesel electric propulsion with all-electric – thus eradicating all noise and emissions to air for the entire route. Future of The Fjords does just that, minimising its impact on the environment while maximising the experience of passengers who can now glide silently over the water and come closer to nature than ever before. Taking this delivery is a very proud day for us, and for our progressive owners Fjord1 and Flåm AS. The Future has arrived!”

The NOK 144 million vessel is propelled by two 450kW electric motors, enabling cruising speeds of 16 knotsalong the spectacular 90 minute each way voyage. In another first, The Fjords has, in partnership with Brødrene Aa, developed a unique charging solution called the Power Dock.

This 40m long, 5m wide floating glass fibre dock will sit in the water at Gudvangen, housing a 2.4 MWh battery pack. This charges steadily throughout the day via connection to the local grid network, which does not have the capacity to charge the Future of The Fjords directly. The innovative solution allows the vessel to stably, efficiently and cost effectively ‘refill’ in just 20 minutes.

What’s more, the dock also stores consumables, fuel for sister vessels, and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land. This makes Future of The Fjords the only passenger vesselnot to discharge sewage directly into the fjords.

“We can’t wait to welcome our first passengers on-board for the trip of a lifetime,” Sandvik concludes. “We now hope Future of the Fjords can become a benchmark for environmentally responsible vessel operators worldwide, ushering in a new breed of clean, green and spectacular passenger transport.”

The Fjords
The Fjords is dedicated to moving its passengers. Operating a fleet of seven tourism and transport vessels on the Western Norwegian fjords of Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord, Hjørundfjord Geirangerfjord and Lysefjord, the company aims to connect customers not just to their destinations, but also to the unique natural beauty that surrounds them. The Fjords is co-owned 50/50 by Fjord1, Norway’s largest ferry company, and Flåm AS, which works to promote Flåm’s world-class tourism opportunities.

The Fjord1 Group
The Fjord1 Group is one of the major transportation companies in Norway. The core operational area for the company is sea-based transport, by ferries- and passenger vessels. In addition, the company has operations in relation to catering, travel agency and property management. Fjord1 AS is owned by Havila AS and the County council of Sogn and Fjordane.

Future of the FjordsImage Credits:

Flåm AS
Flåm AS is a leading provider of tourist attractions in the fjords and mountains of western Norway and the global marketing and sales arm of the Flåm tourist business cluster including world class attractions such as the Flåmsbana railroad and The Fjords’ cruises in UNESCO world heritage fjords. Flåm AS is owned by SIVA (a Norwegian state business development company), Aurland municipality and Aurland Savings Bank.

Press Release: Fjord