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Rolls-Royce and Robert Allan Ltd. present the world’s first LNG-powered shallow-water push boat

Robert Allan Ltd. and Rolls-Royce have developed what is believed to be the world’s first shallow-water push boat powered by LNG natural gas engines.



Rolls-Royce and Robert Allan Ltd. present the world’s first LNG-powered shallow-water push boat
Rolls-Royce and Robert Allan Ltd. present the world’s first LNG-powered shallow-water push boat. Image: Robert Allan

Robert Allan Ltd. and Rolls-Royce have developed what is believed to be the world’s first shallow-water push boat powered by LNG natural gas engines. At the International Workboat Show in New Orleans, Classification Society DNV GL gave its “Approval in Principle” to the new design. Powered by two MTU 8V 4000 M55RN natural gas engines from Rolls-Royce and designed for use on inland waterways, the push boat is more cost-effective to operate, and produces less pollutants and climate-unfriendly exhaust gases than vessels with conventional propulsion systems.

Robert Allan Ltd. and Rolls-Royce collaborated to design the gas-powered shallow-water push boat based on the proven Robert Allan Ltd. RApide 2800-Z2 design which is already used on some diesel-powered vessels on the Amazon river. The vessel design was specially modified for LNG to accommodate the two 746 kW engines (complete with IMO Tier III emission control systems) and the entire LNG supply system – also provided by Rolls-Royce – as well as the gas control and safety systems and the overall vessel control system.

The hull – externally unchanged from the RApide design – was internally redesigned to accommodate the 70 m3 gas tank as well as the usual engine accoutrements, and to provide the crew with a pleasant working environment. The lower deck crew cabins, salon and galley were moved up one level and the deckhouse was enlarged.

The Approval in Principle from DNV GL certifies that the design complies in principle with the Classification Society’s rules for classification of maritime vessels and the international safety regulations for vessels using gas or other low-flashpoint fuels. It is an independent evaluation of the design concept within a given framework and states that the design is fundamentally feasible and there are no fundamental implementation concerns.

LNG (liquefied natural gas) is a fuel now gaining traction in maritime circles, enabling operators to reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment and to the climate. LNG engines produce no particulate whatsoever, emitting significantly less NOx than diesel engines, and are more climate-friendly overall. DNV GL expects natural gas to cover 40% to 80% of all vessel propulsion power requirements by 2050. In addition, gas, where available, offers lower running costs.

Stefan Müller, who heads up the Marine and Naval Application Center at Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit, sees the use of high-speed, pure gas engines like the MTU Series 4000 as offering great potential in ports, coastal applications and inland transportation. To unlock this potential, a reliable fuel supply infrastructure will be required.

“The interest of the market regarding the design study of Robert Allan Ltd. and Rolls-Royce confirms that the decision was right to develop a lean-burn MTU gas engine. We have found operators across the globe who have seen the benefits of operational costs in addition to the reduction of environmental impact,“ says Christof von Bank, Director of Sales, Marine and Offshore Americas at Rolls-Royce.

“The use of LNG as a fuel for use on the worlds navigable rivers is logical and a natural alternative to more traditional fuels. Robert Allan Ltd is pleased to have worked with Rolls-Royce to develop this design and we look forward to seeing this vessel and its unique propulsion system put in service.“ says Mike Fitzpatrick, CEO of Robert Allan Ltd.

Technical data for the RApide 2800-G shallow-water push boat is as follows:

  • Engines: 2 x MTU 8V 4000 M55RN, IMO Tier III
  • Power output: 746 kW each
  • Length overall: 28 m
  • Beam: 10.05 m
  • Topsides: 3.2 m
  • Draught: 2.5 m
  • LNG tank capacity: 70 m³

Rolls-Royce will soon deliver its first MTU 8V 4000 M55N gas engines to municipal works company Stadtwerke Konstanz in southern Germany. These will be used to power the first LNG-powered car ferry on Lake Constance.

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Container Shipping Lines

Yang Ming delivers Taiwan guavas to US



Yang Ming delivers Taiwan guavas to US. Image: Pixabay
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On the last day of 2019, YM MANDATE, a container vessel operated by Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., carried Taiwan’s famous guava fruit from Kaohsiung to the other coast of the Pacific, the United States.

The vessel arrived at Los Angeles on January 14th. It’s the very first container of Taiwan guava shipped to the U.S. and passed inspection since the import ban was lifted by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in October 2019.

Taiwan guava is well received for its crispy taste and beautiful flavor. Since guava requires tropical environment to grow, Taiwan guava is particularly anticipated by North Americans.

However, it was difficult for Taiwan guava to enter the U.S. market, because Taiwan is an endemic area of oriental fruit fly, melon fruit fly and fruit pumpkin fly. Now, as all the quarantine standards and requirements are met, fresh Taiwan guava can be delivered to the U.S. and the local consumers can enjoy this high-quality tropical fruit from Taiwan.

To ensure Taiwan guava can enter the U.S. market, Yang Ming has strengthened communication with its client. Its salesforce worked together with ship crews to closely monitor and properly control the temperature.

Insecticidal cold treatment was applied to these fresh guavas and the temperature in the center of pulp was maintained at below 1°C in Yang Ming’s reefer container for 17 consecutive days during the transportation. After the arrival, Yang Ming appointed a team to assist the consignee and make sure the inspection procedure was completed smoothly and the batch of fresh Taiwan guava was successfully delivered to its U.S. importer.

Assistant Vice President Tan Wang of Yang Ming’s Commercial Reefer Department said “Cold treatment inspection to ensure extremely high standards are fulfilled throughout the transportation. The client – Top Quality Produce, Inc. is very satisfied with the success and impressed with Yang Ming team’s efficiency and capability.”

Yang Ming is always committed to upgrading its refrigerated transportation services. Together with cold treatment (CT), the company also adopted the new Active CA (Controlled Atmosphere) device for reefer containers to overcome technical difficulties.

This successful experience is a result of team efforts and marks an important milestone in Yang Ming’s refrigerated delivery service. The company will have greater capability to ship perishable commodities in the future. Considering the growing demand of the global cold chain market, the company seizes every opportunity to meet customers’ needs. Yang Ming will continue to optimize its professional reefer services and deliver fresh products around the world.

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Heavy Lift

Blue Water opens in Italy



Blue Water opens in Italy. Image: Blue Water Shipping Alessandro Crocitto (left) is heading the new Blue Water office in Milan, and Thomas Bek, Global Director of Blue Water’s Energy & Project Division is looking forward to the cooperation - and to further development in Italy.
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Blue Water Shipping has been involved in providing logistical solutions to Italian clients for many years. To support and develop this business further Blue Water has established an office in Milan. The office will initially focus on serving clients in the oil and gas, power generation, renewables and infrastructure sectors. The ambition is to add other activities within other business areas later on.

“It is a natural part of our development in the Energy and Project sector to have our own set-up in Italy. The industry is large, and we see good opportunities to strengthen our services to our current clients and also to expand the client base”, states Thomas Bek, Global Director for Blue Water’s Energy & Project Division.

To develop the Italian market, Blue Water has employed Mr. Alessandro Crocitto, who comes with more than 34 years of experience form the logistic industry and more than 21 years of dedication to project logistics.

“Blue Water has a strong global track record when it comes to  energy and projects. I am confident that we can develop positively in Italy, as the market demands experienced logistics partner to these types of transport.  And Blue Water has a strong set-up with in-house experts to handle both operation and management of complex transport assignments”, states Alessandro Crocitto.

The opening of the Milan office is, according to Thomas Bek, in line with Blue Water’s strategy to expand its activities in the Energy and Projects sector. Blue Water has seen a positive development in the Energy and Projects activities over the past years. This includes the successful execution of the TCO FGP project with a value  in excess of USD 1.3 billion as well as winning the HLPFI award as Project Logistic provider of the year (2019).

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Kalmar’s proven, flexible T2 terminal tractor to help Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company address growing demand




Kalmar’s proven, flexible T2 terminal tractor to help Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company address growing demand. Image: Kalmar
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Kalmar, part of Cargotec, and Global Ports Group have made a contract for the supply of Kalmar T2 Terminal Tractors. The purchase of the new equipment is part of the capacity upgrade program of the Global Ports’ Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company (VSC). The order for six Kalmar T2 Terminal Tractors was booked in Cargotec’s 2019 Q4 order intake. Delivery of the new equipment to VSC is scheduled for Q3 of 2020.

Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company is part of the container terminals chain of the Global Ports Group, a leading operator of sea container terminals in Russia. VSC operates in Vostochny Port and is among the largest container terminals in the Russian Far East. The terminal’s annual capacity is 650,000 TEUs.

VSC’s current equipment fleet includes a wide range of Kalmar solutions, including terminal  tractors, reachstackers , empty container handlers, forklifts and straddle carriers.

The Kalmar T2 Terminal Tractor is a highly flexible platform. The tractors that will be supplied to VSC are capable of handling heavy 20, 40, 45-foot containers. The lift frame of these tractors is a structure made of high-strength steel with solid cast elements, which is exceptionally strong and stable even when the load is big. The engineering advantages of the tractors also include their ability to easily maneuver in cramped space, withstand high temperatures during summer, and ability to operate in a salt air environment.

These tractors have enhanced safety features which include emergency steering and additional sound alarm in cabin activated every time when the parking brake is engaged or the brake pedal is stuck. This signal will be a trigger for the tallyman to start inspection. All cabins meet the European standards and FOPS and ROPS safety requirements.

Alexey Pavlenko, Managing Director of LLC VSC: “We are happy to continue our cooperation with Kalmar. The Kalmar equipment is reliable, easy to maintain and has a high availability ratio which allows the terminal to increase the speed of cargo handling and predictability of the operating process. An important advantage of Kalmar is also a prompt response of its personnel to warranty and additional service requests, for example, a request to set up a consignment warehouse in the terminal”.

Valerian Sand, Vice President Market Area North, Kalmar: “The order from VSC demonstrates the trust customers place in our reliable and flexible T2 terminal tractor platform, which has seen steady sales growth in recent years. We are delighted to be able to strengthen our cooperation with VSC and support their business goals as they seek to increase capacity at the terminal.”

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