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Milestone for first LPG conversion with Isle of Man design acceptance



Milestone for first LPG conversion with Isle of Man design acceptance. Image: DNV GL
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BW LPG, the Isle of Man Ship Registry, Wärtsilä Gas Solutions, MAN Energy Solutions, and DNV GL, the world’s leading classification society, celebrated the first flag acceptance of a conversion to LPG as fuel for a VLGC. With the successful acceptance BW LPG will begin the conversion of 12 vessels to dual fuel LPG engines. The conversions will be the first of a VLGC to run on LPG. After the conversion the vessels will also receive the newly developed DNV GL class notation “GF LPG”.

BW LPG first announced the project to convert some of the LPG carriers to a LPG fuelled propulsion system in August 2018. The flag state acceptance of the design by the Isle of Man means that the project has been demonstrated to have an equivalent level of safety to methane as a ship fuel under the IGC Code 2016.

“We are very pleased that BW LPG has recognized our expertise in this field and chosen DNV GL as the classification partner for this project,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime. “This acceptance is the result of all of the partners bringing their exceptional competence and experience to come up with a safe and feasible solution for this innovative project. In addition, the knowledge we have gained from working on the project has resulted in us being able to release a new dedicated LPG notation, which we hope will spur the further interest and uptake of LPG as a ship fuel.”

“The Board and Management at BW LPG continue to emphasize a deep corporate commitment to sustainable development,” said Anders Onarheim, CEO of BW LPG. “For us, as the world’s largest owner and operator of VLGCs, this means that we invest significant resources and expertise to pioneer technology that can be used to push our industry towards decarbonization without the need for dedicated newbuilding orders. We thank our industry partners who have worked in close collaboration with us to ensure that this pioneering technology is safe and reliable for implementation.”

“In the age of constant change, technological advances and forward thinking the Isle of Man Ship Registry and the Ship Registry’s global client base of ship owners and operators, are very keen to put their collective experience to good use, working collaboratively and embracing innovation within the maritime industry,” said Cameron Mitchell, Director, Isle of Man Ship Registry. “The safety of seafarers, ships and the environment are key objectives of the Ship Registry and being closely involved in the conceptual challenges presented, helps us to assess and ultimately achieve those objectives. We are proud to have our team confirm first flag acceptance of a VLGC LPG conversion, and thankful to all stakeholders for their co-operation throughout the project.”

The vessels will be fitted with two additional LPG cargo/fuel deck tanks in cargo area, so as not to compromise the cargo capacity onboard and a high-pressure liquid fuel system for the modified MAN Energy Solutions two stroke engines. Using LPG as a ship fuel results in substantial lower emissions to air, virtually eliminating sulphur emissions, and dramatically reducing particulate matter and black carbon emissions. Used with a two-stroke engine, LPG can also significantly cut NOx emissions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions., Retrofitting has the added benefit of extending the lifespan of the vessel, significantly reducing the overall carbon footprint compared to a newbuilding.

BW LPG plans to begin the conversions of the first two vessels, “BW Leo” and “BW Gemini”, this summer with completion scheduled for late summer 2020. The other vessels are targeted for conversion at their next drydocking period.


Valenciaport traffic reflects the slowdown in the economy during the months of confinement due to the Covid-19 crisis



Valenciaport traffic reflects the slowdown in the economy during the months of confinement due to the Covid-19 crisis. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
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The paralysis of economic activity due to the effects generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the months of confinement derived from it is reflected in the slowdown of operations carried out in the ports of Valencia, Sagunto and Gandía, which in the first five months of the year have managed 2,120,911 containers and a volume of goods in excess of 31 million tonnes, representing a decrease of 8.78% and 7.91% with respect to the same period in 2019.

The document of port activity reflect the adjustment in industrial and commercial production during the Covid-19 crisis, especially in April and May. Specifically, in the latter month there was a 19.68% drop in containers, with a figure close to 400,000 compared to 420,000 in April.

A crisis that affects the countries with which Valencian ports maintain commercial relations and which was foreseeable according to the main Spanish economic indicators and those of different international institutions, as the Port Authority of Valencia advanced when the previous month’s report was presented, which already reflected the paralysis of economic activity due to the closure of companies and businesses.

Thus, Valenciaport as the main import/export platform of the Spanish economy reflects this trend, with a decrease in full containers of 20.76%. Specifically, in May there was a decrease of 26.27% in export containers, imports fell by 29.28%, transit containers showed a decrease of 15.64%, while empty containers fell by 16.12%. In the year as a whole (January-May), these figures are reflected in decreases of 10.04% in loaded containers, 9.92% in unloaded containers and 4.36% in transit containers. The management of empty containers in the first five months of the year showed a fall of 15.43%.

Goods traffic

The overall volume of goods managed through Valenciaport in the first five months of the year exceeded 31 million tonnes, 7.92% less than in 2019. With respect to May, the total number of tons was more than six million, 18.77% less than in May 2019.

Thus, for example, the agri-food sector was the most dynamic in import/export in the first five months of the year, highlighting the increase in foreign sales of canned goods by 21% or 20% of other food products. As far as imports are concerned, fruit, vegetables and legumes increased by 27% or wine, beverages and derivatives grew by 54%. The automobile sector and its parts showed a decrease of 34% in exports and 28% in imports.

By country, the maintenance of commercial relations with the USA stands out from the total traffic of goods, which is consolidated as the main commercial partner with Valenciaport, with a decrease of 3.36%, while countries such as China descends by 11.68% and Italy by -13.75%.

With regard to exports in these first five months of the year, the dynamism of Turkey and Morocco stands out with an increase of 16.79% and 4.11% respectively. In relation to full containers (import/export), the presence of the USA as the main partner continues to stand out, with the same movement as in 2019, while China has fallen by 10.74%.

With regard to geographical areas, of the more than 31 tonnes that have circulated through Valenciaport, Mediterranean/Black Sea, Spain, Far East and East Africa continue to occupy the top positions, with an average decrease in traffic of 10%. On the other hand, during January and May, the areas of Canada-USA (Great Lakes) +38% and Central-South America (Pacific) +21% were particularly dynamic.

Passenger and ro-ro traffic

The Covid-19 crisis has been particularly noticeable in April and May due to the confinement and paralysis of tourist activity. The total number of passengers on regular lines with the Balearic Islands in May was 20,981, 51.65% less than last year, while like the previous month, there were no cruise ship arrivals in May.

As for the ro-ro traffic, in May has decreased by 66%, as 22,000 units were managed compared to 65,000 thousand in May 2019.

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Kongsberg Digital in new partnership with Lloyd’s List Intelligence 



Kongsberg Digital in new partnership with Lloyd’s List Intelligence. Image: Pexels
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Lloyd’s List Intelligence will provide KONGSBERG’s open platform, Kognifai Ecosystem, with online vessel tracking abilities and Lloyd’s List news and market commentary.

Lloyd’s List Intelligence is one of several well-known tech and data businesses collaborating on the platform which presents a wide variety of live and static maritime information.

This will give our maritime customers easy cloud enabled access to the best maritime intelligence reporting in the market. Whether customers are using Vessel Insight or not, are onboard or on shore, the reports can be collected and analysed, combined with own data or read as standalone reports for greater insights into what is going on in the maritime markets, says Vigleik Takle, SVP of Maritime Digital Solutions at Kongsberg Digital.

Kongsberg Digital’s partnership with Lloyd’s List Intelligence will provide Kognifai users with greater capabilities for combining maritime intelligence and insight from a multitude of complementary sources.

In return, Lloyd’s List Intelligence’s appearance on Kognifai will allow us to raise awareness of our services to their expanding audience, says Tom Richmond, Senior Key Account Manager, Lloyds Intelligence

Lloyd’s List Intelligence services will be available in the Kognifai Marketplace within July 2020.

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First remote marine survey conducted for harbour tug in Singapore



First remote marine survey conducted for harbour tug in Singapore. Image: Pixabay
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Bureau Veritas Marine Singapore, in collaboration with PSA Marine Ltd, has successfully completed a remote marine survey for ‘PSA Aspen’, an LNG dual fuel PSA Marine harbour tug.

Supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the project marks the first time a harbour tug registered under the Singapore Registry of Ships has undergone a fully accredited annual survey conducted remotely, without a surveyor physically present onboard the vessel. 

Marine services provider and vessel owner, PSA Marine, has been working with leading classification society, Bureau Veritas, to innovate and develop new approaches for digital and remote marine surveys based on BV’s well-developed expertise in this field. 

With the aid of smart mobile devices and an optimised live-streaming application, the crew onboard ‘PSA Aspen’ and a surveyor in BV’s Singapore office, were able to communicate effectively and seamlessly to conduct the annual marine survey of classification and statutory requirements. The BV surveyor conveyed instructions live, seeing and recording relevant images and real-time video, while archiving material capability for the electronic survey report. 

With physical distancing measures and travel restrictions arising from COVID-19, being able to confidently rely on robust remote surveys has become increasingly important. This pilot project has demonstrated how the capability works in practice to set a template for future delivery. 

“We are delighted to partner with BV in piloting the first remote annual marine survey for harbour tug in Singapore. The innovative technologies used in the remote survey have enabled PSA Marine to complete our surveys on schedule despite COVID-19, while ensuring our harbour tugs continue serving our customers without delay or disruptions. Our staff have embraced these changes and technologies with agility and resilience. They are fully supportive of PSA Marine’s continuing efforts to build a smarter, safer and more efficient fleet of the future,” said Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine. 

David Barrow, Vice-President, Bureau Veritas, Marine & Offshore explains that remote survey delivery was already an important and successful feature of the Paris-headquartered class society’s digitalization drive: “We were ready to deliver remotely and had started developing a world-wide network of remote survey centers. We can see that the pandemic has accelerated an understanding of the potential of digitally delivered services. Our work with PSA Marine, focused on delivering pragmatic digital services, is helping to ensure operational continuity while building trust and supporting innovation and Singapore’s digital transformation roadmap.” 

With the ability to adapt and change being key success factors in the future of the maritime industry, BV and PSA Marine are optimistic that process automation and digital technology such as remote surveys, will increasingly be accepted and adopted as the new normal in a post-COVID world. 

“Remote surveying technique not only helps us to manage the COVID-19 situation, but also enhances standards of efficiency, safety and sustainability in the ship survey process. Since the onset of COVID-19, MPA has been conducting remote surveys on Singapore-registered ships. We are encouraged to see this first remote survey for PSA Marine harbour tug and will regularly review technologies as they mature for ship inspections to be carried out in a transparent and reliable manner,” said Goh Chung Hun, Director of Shipping/Marine of MPA. 

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