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MPA and NUS Enterprise: Twelve Start-ups from PIER71’s Smart Port Challenge awarded S$600,000 to bring innovative solutions to maritime market

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MPA and NUS Enterprise: Twelve Start-ups from PIER71’s Smart Port Challenge awarded S$600,000 to bring innovative solutions to maritime market. Image: MPA/ A virtual environment based on a digital twin of a crude oil tanker developed by Kanda to simulate a Lock Out Tag Out safety procedure
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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), announced that 12 start-ups from Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71)’s Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2019 have each been awarded S$50,000 in grant funding from MPA. The funding will enable the start-ups to conduct prototype development and test-bed their near market-ready solutions.

Over the next 12 months, the start-ups will be working on pilot projects in collaboration with PIER71’s maritime corporate partners, who will provide subject matter expertise, test data, as well as a platform to test-bed their solutions. Their grant applications were assessed based on the viability of their solutions in addressing maritime challenges. Focusing on technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality (V/AR), blockchain, robotics and wearables, these start-ups are:
  • ABEJA
  • ASA Development
  • C-LOG
  • Cerekon
  • Dravam
  • Kanda
  • KoiReader Technologies
  • Marified
  • Megapixel
  • Newton Services Research (local entity of Delvify)
  • Performance Rotors
  • Tropical Renewable Energy Engineering (TREE)

Upon the successful completion of the projects, the maritime corporates will be adopting the final products/solutions. Mr Ron Fong, Regional IT Manager of Teekay said, “The use of Kanda’s VR solution to simulate a safety procedure known as Lock Out Tag Out, will allow our crew to undergo training in a virtual tanker which is essentially a digital twin of the one they work on, without endangering their lives or damaging any equipment. We’re also working with Cerekon to explore a remote support system, that will enable our onboard engineers to use voice-activated head-mounted wearables to safely and more efficiently conduct equipment maintenance.”

Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “Although the global COVID-19 situation has caused widespread disruption, we push ahead with innovation in the maritime sector. Singapore continues to support the use of emerging technologies to transform the maritime industry, uplift the way companies do their business and strengthen our resilience as a maritime nation. These grants represent MPA’s commitment to supporting innovation as part of Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, and we are heartened by the results we’ve seen to date from previous grant recipients.”

Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said, “Start-ups addressing innovation opportunities created through Smart Port Challenge are bringing solutions to real problems faced by the maritime industry. By leveraging the extensive pool of talent from the university, the global network of resources from NUS Enterprise, as well as industry partnerships through MPA, PIER71 is playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between innovation and market needs.”

Eight out of 13 of the previous grant recipients from Smart Port Challenge 2018 have completed their pilot projects, with the remaining five nearing completion. Ship Supplies Direct, a start-up focusing on improving marine logistics and supply chain, has reported up to 30% reduction in delivery costs and up to three hours less waiting time per delivery through their pilot project with PSA International. Aeras Medical, a start-up with experience in the healthcare industry, also completed a three-month onboard trial with OMC Shipping. Their vital signs monitoring solution was used to monitor and manage crew health remotely, and achieved high adherence rate among the crew.

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LogiPoint reinforcing Jeddah as the Regional Logistics Hub of choice

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LogiPoint reinforcing Jeddah as the Regional Logistics Hub of choice. Image: LogiPoint
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LogiPoint at Jeddah Islamic Port established the first bonded corridor connecting the Bonded and Re-Export Zone at Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdulaziz International Airport to facilitate the multimodal movement of cargo. 

The trial conducted on a shipment that arrived by sea freight to LogiPoint Bonded and Re-Export Zone at Jeddah Islamic Port then shipped onward to its final destination in the Netherlands by airfreight through King Abdulaziz International airport. 

With the support of the Saudi Customs and Jeddah Islamic Port and in line with vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NDLIP), the success of this shipment increases the competitiveness of the region. It creates an efficient and cost-effective sea-air and air-sea link to establish Jeddah as a preferred multimodal transshipment hub.

LogiPoint CEO Farooq Shaikh said, “The bonded corridor facilitates trade for customers by providing a multimodal bonded access to regional target markets combining sea, land and air freight. It also gives Jeddah a significant advantage to compete in the transshipment cargo segment”

LogiPoint is always making dynamic efforts to introduce international concepts and solutions towards enhancing logistics efficiency to attract foreign investors. Its strategic location and the world-class facilities have which strengthen the position of Jeddah Islamic Port a major logistics hub.

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5000 tons of wheat donated by India arrives through Chabahar Port

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5000 tons of wheat donated by India arrives through Chabahar Port. Image: MRUD Ports and Maritime Organization
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Negar Ship carrying 203 20-foot Containers as the first part of the 75000 tons shipment of humanitarian aids and the tenth shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan arrived at the Port of Shahid Beheshti in Chabahar.

This freight is 5000 tons of wheat which has been donated to Afghanistan by India. The unloading process is running quickly in order to be transited to Afghanistan through Milak Border.

Abdolghafour Lival, Afghanistan Ambassador in Iran, visited Shahid Beheshti Port simultaneous with his attendance to observe the unloading process and stated that this is the first 5000-tons freight of wheat as part of 75000 tons wheat shipment which is to be transited to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

Abdolghafour Lival appreciated cooperation of two friendly nations in transiting wheat in current critical situations which the region and the world are suffering from the outbreak of Covid-19. He expressed hope over fast transit of this freight to Afghanistan.

He also appreciated Iran’s officials especially Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) as well as Chabahar Port’s authorities who are speeding up the loading and unloading process.

Behrooz Aghaie, the head of Sistan and Baluchistan’s PMO pointed to the high capacity of Chabahar Port that operates with the most modern and up-to-date loading and unloading equipments and plays a significant role in the transport and unloading of freight.

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ABB and Metsä Fibre sign agreement to supply electrification and drive technology for new Finnish bioproduct mill

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ABB and Metsä Fibre sign agreement to supply electrification and drive technology for new Finnish bioproduct mill. Image: ABB
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ABB and Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, have signed a preliminary, binding agreement according to which ABB Finland will deliver electrification and drive technology solutions for Metsä Fibre’s planned bioproduct mill in Kemi, northern Finland.

The agreement is subject to Metsä Group’s final investment decision, which will be made earliest in autumn 2020. The order is worth approximately EUR 40 million. Production at the new mill could start in 2023. The production capacity is 1.5 million tonnes of pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts.

“We are extremely pleased that our expertise and products will be part of this planned investment, which if realized will be the largest ever investment in the forest industry in Finland. Our deliveries for the project would contribute to ensuring the high availability of the mill as well as reliable and efficient production and efficient use of energy. ABB Finland has more than 30 years of experience in demanding pulp and paper industry electrification and overall delivery projects, both in Finland and globally,” said ABB Finland’s Managing Director Pekka Tiitinen.

“ABB represents the values we require from our partners: a commitment to safety, on time delivery and quality delivery. A high degree of domestic content is also essential. We are moving towards the common goal of building a fossil-free bioproduct mill in Kemi, which is the most efficient wood processing plant in its field. We have all the prerequisites to implement a successful major project together with a competent partner,” said Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre.

According to the preliminary agreement, over 1,000 electric motors for the planned Kemi bioproduct mill will be manufactured in Finland at ABB’s factories in Vaasa and Helsinki. The mill’s protective relays and safety switches would be supplied by ABB’s factories in Vaasa, and over 600 drives would be supplied by the world’s largest drive factory in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. Furthermore, ABB Power Grids Finland is responsible for the transformer deliveries for the Kemi project. The main transformers for the mill would be manufactured at the ABB Power Grids transformer factory in Vaasa.

The planned mill would make comprehensive use of ABB’s newest and extremely reliable energy-efficient electrification and operations technology. The electric motors for the mill would be controlled by ABB’s latest intelligent motor control system. To save energy, ABB’s new range of drives would control half of the mill’s electric motor power. The mill is planned to use ABB’s latest generation of high-efficiency motors as standard. The mill’s electrical system and drive technology would be integrated into ABB’s Ability™ condition monitoring and remote support system.

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