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Rajant and Velodyne Lidar support portwide autonomy for DGWorld’s ITVs at DP World’s largest port

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Rajant and Velodyne Lidar support portwide autonomy for DGWorld’s ITVs at DP World’s largest port. Image: Rajant Corporation
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Rajant Corporation, the provider of Kinetic Mesh® wireless networks, and Velodyne Lidar, Inc., a market leader in lidar technology, together are playing a vital role behind the agreement between DP World, UAE Region and the autonomous vehicle, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) specialist DGWorld. The contract will equip DP World’s Jebel Ali Port, the world’s ninth busiest seaport, with a fleet of DGWorld’s Autonomous Internal Terminal Vehicles (AITVs), including integration into the existing operational processes and infrastructures. This deployment supports DP World’s visionary strategy for future-proofed, seaport digitalization setting a new global standard for port operations, supply chains, and trade.

Rajant’s fully mobile M2M Kinetic Mesh BreadCrumb® wireless nodes, along with Velodyne’s Puck 3D lidar sensors, are vital to enable DGWorld to deliver and integrate their autonomous technology into the existing ITV fleet in multiple phases. DGWorld’s goal is to further increase the operational efficiency of the terminal and reduce the overall size of the currently used fleet.

Velodyne Puck sensors will provide rich computer perception data to help determine the safest way to navigate and direct AITVs in the complex, busy DP World, UAE Region seaport. The Rajant wireless mesh network provides a continuous communications infrastructure to ensure the AITVs are always interconnected and working together.

According to Matthias Krause, General Manager at DGWorld, “We trialled other wireless technologies, including the latest 5G, before discovering Rajant. They all had the same physical limitation, which is that wireless cannot go through large, metal container stacks. Rajant‘s Kinetic Mesh M2M technology allows the vehicles to talk to each other, which is critical to communicate fleet directions between container stacks. Velodyne Lidar has proven that their sensors are delivering unmatched data and can handle even harsh environments without problems, so it was an obvious choice. Both Velodyne and Rajant provided local support to ensure the project was a success. We have been impressed with their professionalism and extra support over the last several years.”

“Velodyne is honored to be selected to help fully automate terminal vehicle transport at Jebel Ali Port, the premier port in the Middle East. This exciting initiative will enable port terminal vehicles to work fully autonomously without drivers in a hectic, crowded environment,” said Erich Smidt, Executive Director Europe, Velodyne Lidar. “We want to thank our valued partner DGWorld for their vision in how Velodyne’s 3D lidar sensors can power automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that provide a quantum leap in port terminal automation in the region and beyond.”

“Selecting Rajant Kinetic Mesh to serve as the backbone for DGWorld and DP World Jebel Ali Port really highlights the difference between Rajant M2M InstaMesh technology and Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G,” said Geoff Smith, Rajant’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We are pleased to be chosen to make this AITV fleet deployment possible. Rajant is the only industrial wireless network for mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, which is also capable of overcoming RF signal blockages of large metal containers and signal interference from ships, radar, and neighboring ports.”

Maritime

Jan De Nul signs contract with Dogger Bank Wind Farm

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Jan De Nul signs contract with Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Image: Jan De Nul
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Dogger Bank Wind Farm and Jan De Nul Group announce the signing of the final contract for the transport and installation of the GE Haliade-X offshore wind turbines at Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, 130 km off the Yorkshire coast, starting in 2023. Turbine delivery and installation at the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the first assignment for the world’s largest Offshore Jack-Up Installation Vessel owned by Jan De Nul Group, the Voltaire.

The 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being delivered in the North Sea in three 1.2GW phases, is set to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete and is a joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor.

When complete, Dogger Bank will generate enough energy to power over 4.5 million homes every year – around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm secured 3.6 GW of offshore wind contracts in the UK Government’s 2019 contracts for difference auctions. Record low prices were awarded for the three projects making up Dogger Bank Wind Farm: Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B are now moving towards final investment decision, expected by the end of 2020. SSE Renewables is leading the development and construction phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm and Equinor will lead on operations for its lifetime of at least 25 years, creating around 200 jobs in the North East.

Steve Wilson, Dogger Bank Wind Farm’s Project Director at SSE Renewables: “We’re very pleased to have signed the final contract with industry leader Jan De Nul Group to transport and install the turbines for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B. Jan De Nul has a proven track record of transporting and installing new generation offshore wind turbines at scale and its state-of-the-art Voltaire vessel will be the largest and ultra-clean jack up vessel ever seen in the industry when operational. This contract further demonstrates the industry-leading status of Dogger Bank Wind Farm and the innovative supply chain partners such as Jan De Nul that are delivering the project.”

Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor: “Dogger Bank is a record-breaking project, leading the way in terms of technology and scale. We are so pleased to have secured the Voltaire vessel for this project, not only is it the largest of its kind, but also the first Ultra-Low Emission jack-up vessel, which is truly pioneering. Innovation across all levels of the supply chain has enabled offshore wind projects to grow in size whilst reducing costs, and this has been a large factor in the growing success of offshore wind.”

Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group: “We are delighted to have signed the first contract for our new generation jack-up vessel Voltaire and to work together with industry leaders SSE Renewables and Equinor. When taking the decision to build this exciting vessel we had exactly the type of project in mind like Dogger Bank Wind Farm in terms of scale and characteristics of the offshore sites and the turbines. We are proud to contribute to the worldwide transition to renewable energies by installing the offshore wind turbines at Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B in the most efficient and clean manner possible.”

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Maritime

North Carolina Ports records year-over-year increases in fiscal year 2020

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North Carolina Ports records year-over-year increases in fiscal year 2020. Image: North Carolina Ports
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The North Carolina State Ports Authority recorded year-over-year increases in volumes through the Port of Wilmington and Port of Morehead City in Fiscal Year 2020, which ended June 30, 2020.

North Carolina Ports container volume through the Port of Wilmington in FY20 increased by 4 percent over FY19. NC Ports set a record for refrigerated containers, moving 12,839 boxes, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. In total, refrigerated container volume has increased 267 percent between FY15 and FY20.

Additionally, the Port of Wilmington recorded 36 percent year-over-year growth for general cargo operations, moving a total of 2.8 million tons of bulk and breakbulk cargo in FY20. The Port of Morehead City also saw year-over-year increases in general cargo. A total of 1.1 million tons of bulk and breakbulk cargo moved through Morehead City, an increase of 2 percent over FY19.

“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, North Carolina Ports was able to report year-over-year growth in both container and general cargo business which is a testament to the ongoing hard work of our employees,” said Paul J. Cozza, Executive Director, North Carolina Ports. “We were on pace for a record year in terms of volume before an influx of blank sailings due to COVID-19. Regardless, we are pleased NC Ports was able to push through this uncertainty and record a positive performance in FY20.”

“The fact that North Carolina Ports was able to record year-over-year increases despite COVID-19 is evidence that more customers are looking to NC Ports due to our ability to offer more supply chain and value delivery options,” added Hans C.E. Bean, Chief Commercial Officer, North Carolina Ports.

Building on the positive momentum, NC Ports reached several key milestones in its more than $200 million capital improvements plan in FY20.

  • Record financial performance with earnings at an all-time high.
  • Completed an air draft improvement project over the Cape Fear River.
  • Opened 2,600 contiguous feet of container berth space at the Port of Wilmington.
  • Completed Phase 2 of its turning basin expansion project.
  • Welcomed the largest vessel to the Port of Wilmington, the 13,100 TEU MV Hyundai Hope.
  • Opened a new refrigerated container yard at the Port of Wilmington.
  • Welcomed a new rail-mounted gantry crane at the Port of Morehead City.

In addition to improvements at the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina Ports also completed construction upgrades at Charlotte Inland Port. The improvements doubled the container capacity of the inland facility by enabling the grounding of loaded and empty containers while improving cargo velocity and enhancing trucker experience with improved traffic flow. These upgrades coupled with NC Ports’ enhanced next-day intermodal rail service, the Queen City Express, enabled the Ports Authority to double rail volume moving between the Port of Wilmington and Charlotte, North Carolina.

“FY20 was an exciting year for North Carolina Ports in terms of infrastructure development. These critical infrastructure improvements enable us to tailor our growth to meet customers’ needs and better facilitate long-term plans and business projections,” said Brian E. Clark, Chief Operating Officer, North Carolina Ports. “What’s even more exciting is we have several projects that will come online in our new Fiscal Year all designed to further enhance port capabilities and global connectivity.”

Moving into Fiscal Year 2021

As North Carolina Ports moves into Fiscal Year 2021, the agency is continuing with its capital improvements plan. Other improvements in development include the container terminal master plan which will increase the Port of Wilmington’s annual throughput capacity to more than one million TEUs as well as the building of a new container truck gate complex. Together, these projects will enable NC Ports to meet the demand of increased volume on container moves at the Port of Wilmington.

The Ports Authority will also continue to press forward with long-term navigational improvements to the Wilmington Navigational Harbor. Shortly before the end of FY20, the Ports Authority received authorization from the United States Army Corp of Engineers for the Wilmington Navigational Harbor Improvement Project  aimed at deepening and widening the shipping channel. The project now sits with the United States Congress. WNHIP must receive Congressional approval before any formal construction can begin.

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Environment

World’s first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles

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World's first zero-emission top handles performing well at Port of Los Angeles. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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The world’s first zero-emissions top handlers, unveiled last fall as part of a pre-commercial demonstration project at the Port of Los Angeles, are now being used in daily operations at the Everport Container Terminal.

“We are pleased with performance results that we are receiving from drivers, mechanics and Everport management as the equipment is tested daily in real-world conditions,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.  “We are doing everything possible to advance commercially feasible solutions to meet our goal of transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.”

The two battery-electric top handlers were designed and built in the U.S. by Taylor Machine Works, Inc. a leading heavy-duty equipment manufacturer and the largest supplier of top handlers in service at the Port. Also known as top picks, top handlers are off-road vehicles with an overhead boom for loading containers weighing up to 100,000 pounds onto trucks and trains, unloading them, and stacking them on terminals between pickups and deliveries.

The top handlers run on a one-megawatt battery designed to operate for up to 18 hours between charges. Each top handler has a data logger for tracking hours of operation, charging frequency, energy usage and other performance indicators. Additionally, drivers and mechanics are providing input on the maneuverability, noise level and safety of the equipment.

The battery-electric top handlers are a key component of the Port’s $7.7 million Everport Advanced Cargo-Handling Demonstration Project. The California Energy Commission is supporting the large-scale zero-emissions technology project with a $4.5 million sustainability grant.

The Everport demonstration is one of 16 projects in which the Port is either the lead agency or a participant working with multiple partners to test near-zero emissions and zero-emissions engines, emissions control technology, and alternative fueling and charging stations. In addition to the battery-electric top handlers, the projects include testing ultra-low NOx renewable natural gas equipment and fully battery-electric fuel cell heavy-duty trucks; battery-electric forklifts, yard tractors, and rubber-tired gantry cranes; and emissions control equipment on large ships and harbor craft.

Eliminating tailpipe emissions from cargo-handling equipment is essential to achieving the Port’s larger goal of reducing greenhouse gases from all port-related sources. Port targets call for reducing GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

 

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