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Austal Vietnam launches first vessel -94 metre catamaran ferry for Trinidad and Tobago

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Austal Vietnam launches first vessel -94 metre catamaran ferry for Trinidad and Tobago. Image: Austal
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Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal Vietnam has successfully launched Hull 397, a 94 metre high-speed catamaran for the National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCo) of Trinidad and Tobago, from the company’s shipyard in Vũng Tàu.

The vehicle-passenger ferry, to be known as APT James, is the first vessel to be constructed by Austal Vietnam, in just 20 months, following the official opening of the shipyard in November 2018.

The vessel is now in the final stages of fit out, prior to delivery to NIDCo in the 2nd half of CY2020.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the successful launch of the ‘Auto Express 94’ catamaran was a fantastic accomplishment for Austal Vietnam, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and welcome news for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of the 450-strong Austal Vietnam team, launching this impressive new vessel, their very first, at this challenging time in world history,” Mr Singleton said.

“To their great credit and like all of our shipbuilding teams around the world, the Austal Vietnam team have continued working diligently and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic to complete and launch APT James, while meeting all applicable Government Health and Safety guidelines.

“This highly anticipated and exciting new ship for NIDCo is going to have a very positive and immediate effect on Trinidad and Tobago’s ‘sea bridge’ by improving the overall performance, reliability and amenity of this essential inter-island ferry service,” he added.

The Austal Auto Express 94 is an all-new aluminium catamaran design, with capacity for 926 passengers and 250 cars, travelling at speeds up to 37.5 knots. The ship will feature the very latest in Austal’s ‘smart ship’ technology, including an advanced Motion Control System, to deliver a more comfortable and stable ride for passengers and crew.

The launch, which took place over 5 days, comprised the rolling out of the vessel on a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) from Austal Vietnam’s Vũng Tàu shipyard onto a barge, which was then towed up the Saigon River to Ho Chi Minh City, where the vessel was lowered into the water via floating dock. The vessel was then towed back to Vũng Tàu, where the vessel will be kept alongside for final internal fit out under scheduled delivery, in the second half of 2020.

Austal Vietnam has already commenced construction on the shipyard’s next project, a new 41 metre high speed catamaran ferry for SGTM of Mauritius, announced in January 2020.

Maritime

Shipping Company Groningen contracts Castor Marine to outfit 30 vessels with Global and EU 4G connectivity packages 

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Shipping Company Groningen contracts Castor Marine to outfit 30 vessels with Global and EU 4G connectivity packages. Image: Castor Marine
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Shipping Company Groningen (SCG) has contracted offshore internet services provider Castor Marine to install its Global 4G Connectivity package on all 30 of its vessels. With this, the coasters will have a fast, global 4G-LTE internet connection for its crews.

On its fleet, SCG offers its personnel a Crew Welfare Zone with free internet within the 12-mile (4G) zone. To realise this, SCG wanted a plug&play, cost-efficient system that is always operational and doesn’t interfere with the crew’s activities.

Seamless internet connection

To make this happen, a seamless transition between 4G and the Inmarsat Fleetbroadband (or Iridium Open Port L-Band satellite connection) outside that zone was needed. Castor Marine’s 4G Connectivity Package (incl. dedicated software installed on the Peplink routers) ensures a seamless failover of connectivity between the 4G and satellite connection. Hence, the crew doesn’t notice the transition and simply can get on with their work. Furthermore, the connection allows for real-time data insights from any device.

When Clemens Ros and Marc van Gemert from SCG’s IT department wanted advice about a 4G service for its crew, Castor Marine came up with a hybrid connectivity solution switching between 4G LTE and L-band.

Marc van Gemert, IT Manager at SCG, says: “We chose Castor Marine because of the pleasant cooperation, correct pricing and their responsive way of working which ensures that the technical solution we were looking for was customised to our fleet. Actually, some of our captains have already reported that they had 4G connectivity at 45 nautical miles from the coast. We are looking forward to see the system installed and then be able to forget about it!”

Things have to work…

Raymon Lubbers, sales director at Castor Marine says: “With our system, you’ll never have to check if an internet connection is still running when it shouldn’t. The services and equipment we deliver have to work, always. Both as crewmember and in the office, you don’t notice these things until it doesn’t work. We strive, on every vessel, to never reach that point. That is why we have tested and certified the 4G solution extensively. It is also the reason our Support Network Operating Centre is on call 24/7.”

User control

For those who are more technically inclined: no matter where the vessel is or with which network it is connected, the software ensures that a VPN tunnel continues to exist even when the IP addresses change when the vessel connects to another network.

With a mix of, amongst others, user rights, firewalls, SD-WAN and real-time monitoring tools for each individual data stream and access point, the user is in control.

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Maritime

ONE surpasses its previous record for highest vessel utilization with the help of Navis stowage planning solution 

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ONE surpasses its previous record for highest vessel utilization with the help of Navis stowage planning solution. Image: Navis
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Navis, the leading provider of maritime software solutions for efficient and compliant cargo, stowage planning and vessel performance, announced that Ocean Network Express recorded its highest lift for a 20,000 TEU class vessel – utilizing 97 percent of the MOL Tribute’s 20,100 TEU capacity.

ONE held the previous stowage record of more than 19,100 TEU, which it also achieved aboard the MOL Tribute, in February, 2019 at PSA Singapore. Behind the success of both records is Navis’ StowMan vessel stowage planning software, which ONE leveraged for faster planning and to maximize the vessel’s utilization.

One of the distinctive features of StowMan is its ability to check loadable weight, stability, stress and lashing results while stowage planning. StowMan, combined with the power of Navis’ MACS3 loading computer was central to ONE’s latest achievement.

The two systems, working in tandem, allowed for better performance as the vessel command and stowage planner were in sync. It further enabled ONE to take advantage of partnering with the terminal through the use of the Ship Viewer and MACS3 API services, guaranteeing smooth cargo operations during port calls. Prior to the arrival of MOL Tribute, the port of Singapore had early visibility into the vessel’s stability and lashing results, allowing the port to deliver better quality and quicker load plans that were promptly accepted by the vessel’s command as well as ONE’s central planner.

“Stowage planning for safety, efficiency gains and cost savings to maximize the profitability of a vessel’s voyage, are significant requirements in the maritime business,” said Ajay Bharadwaj, Sr. Director of Product Management for Navis Carrier and Vessel Solutions. “However, this is not always an easy task and it is therefore incredibly important to leverage the right operational tools to ensure success. We have continuously enhanced MACS3 and StowMan’s features and functionalities to enable smarter, more efficient, loading and stowage planning for planners and carriers. The recent success of ONE leveraging these solutions demonstrates their ability to realize material gains along the vessel journey.”

“The accurate visibility and advanced information exchange provided by StowMan, MACS3 loading computer, MACS3 API Services and Ship Viewer between the ports, MOL Tribute, and ONEenabled cargo operations to flow trouble-free despite the vessel’s record-breaking lift,” said Takashi Kase. Sr. Vice President of  Global Vessel Operations, “Consequently, ONE’s latest record demonstrates a compelling illustration of what can be achieved when the right operational solutions are combined at the right time, in the right place. We are confident that Navis will continue to innovate its portfolio of vessel and carrier solutions that will be critical to success as we continue to manage the growing volume of cargo needing to be transported efficiently.”

 

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Maritime

New Wärtsilä Compact Reliq adds flexibility to the growing LNG market

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New Wärtsilä Compact Reliq adds flexibility to the growing LNG market. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wärtsilä introduces its Compact Reliq reliquefaction plant. The system is designed to reliquefy boil-off gas onboard gas carriers and LNG bunker vessels, and for keeping the cargo cool under all operational conditions. Its compact design enables it to be installed on existing vessels without extensive modification work.

“Wärtsilä has been a pioneer in BOG reliquefaction and the Compact Reliq is a continuation of our strong development activities in this field. As the global market for LNG applications expands in response to increasing environmental regulations, greater flexibility in meeting these growing needs is required. The Compact Reliq is an important and innovative new piece towards completing the puzzle,” says Kjell Ove Ulstein, Director Sales & Marketing, Gas Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Systems.

As with previously delivered Wärtsilä reliquefaction systems, the Compact Reliq is based on well-proven Brayton technology. This allows a portion of the BOG to be utilised as fuel for the vessel, while the excess can be liquefied and sold with the LNG cargo. Liquefying the BOG instead of burning it in a Gas Combustion Unit also has a positive environmental effect, as no gases are released into the atmosphere.

The system is prepared in line with Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine approach to take advantage of the latest digital technologies to optimise efficiency. It is ready instrumented for remote monitoring and online operational support, and requires minimal maintenance between 5-year interval docking. The Compact Reliq is compatible with Wärtsilä’s Operational Performance Improvement and Monitoring protocol, and can be fully integrated with the ship’s Planned Maintenance System.

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