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The keel of Wasaline’s new ferry was laid at Rauma shipyard

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The keel of Wasaline’s new ferry was laid at Rauma shipyard. Image: Rauma Marine Constructions
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A traditional ceremony was held to celebrate the keel laying of Rauma Marine Constructions’ newbuilding, NB6002 for Wasaline, on Thursday February 13 at the Rauma shipyard. The vessel, which will be named Aurora Botnia, will be delivered to the operator, Wasaline, in spring 2021. The new ferry will operate between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden. The construction of the vessel will have a substantial effect on employment, totalling around 800 person-years.

The first keel-block of the new vessel was laid into Rauma shipyard’s dry dock today. The block weights approximately 210 tonnes. Laying down the keel is an important milestone in shipbuilding, and it’s often considered as the birth of the ship. Traditionally, lucky coins are placed under the keel. This time, the lucky coins were Swedish crowns and Finnish euros.

The new car and passenger ferry was ordered by Kvarken Link, a company owned by the city of Vaasa and the municipality of Umeå (Umeå Kommunföretag AB). The ferry will accommodate 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for cargo. The ferry will replace Wasa Express, which now operates between Vaasa and Umeå.

The construction of the ship started in September 2019, and the next milestone will be the launching of the ship in the autumn this year. The completed vessel will be delivered to its Owner in spring 2021, with the shipbuilding project being worth around 120 million Euro in total.

The most environmentally friendly vessel in its category

The new ferry will be the first ever RoPax ferry with a Clean Design class notation. The vessel will have a hybrid power generation system, as well as an electric propulsion system rarely used in car and passenger ferries. The ferry can be considered as the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry under construction at the moment.

The four main engines, supplied by Wärtsilä, will run on both liquified natural gas and liquefied biogas. Thanks to this technology, emissions in the Kvarken region of the Gulf of Bothnia will decrease compared to the emissions from the vessel currently operating there. The ferry can make use of biogas from a plant in Vaasa, which produces gas from recycled materials. When the ferry is approaching the harbour or departing she can operate utilising electrical power from a rather large battery pack.

“RMC wants to be a forerunner in producing holistic solutions with cutting-edge technology. The Clean Design class notation is one example of this. Moreover, we have partnered with Aalto University and agreed on joint research and development efforts,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.

“I’m very proud that we have reached this milestone. Laying the keel is an event that we have been looking forward to for some time. Now, we can see years of planning become a reality. This vessel is the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry in the world, its degree of domestic origin is more than 80%, and it employs the most cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology,” says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.

“Being involved in this unique project has been an extraordinary experience. Our ferry is a showcase for the whole shipbuilding cluster across the world and a prime example of what can be achieved through collaboration,” Ståhlberg says.

Environment

A.P. Moller – Maersk links new $5.0bn revolving credit facility to its CO2 performance

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A.P. Moller - Maersk links new $5.0bn revolving credit facility to its CO2 performance. Image: Pixabay
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A.P. Moller – Maersk secures a new sustainability-linked revolving credit facility of $5.0bn through a syndicate of 26 selected banks. This is the first bank refinancing arranged by Maersk after its transformation from a diversified conglomerate to a global container logistics company.

The facility refinances the undrawn $5.1bn facility maturing in 2021 and has a tenor of five years which may be extended by up to two years. It will be part of the company’s liquidity reserve.

“We have received strong support from our global relationship banks. The facility was substantially oversubscribed, and we are pleased with the terms and conditions of the new facility. With the new facility we have extended the maturity profile of our finance commitments, while aligning with our sustainability ones,” highlights Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands.

The credit margin under the facility will be adjusted based on Maersk’s progress to meet its target of reducing CO2 emissions per cargo moved by 60% by 2030, which is significantly more ambitious than the IMO target of 40% by 2030 (all 2008 baseline).

In 2018 Maersk announced its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The new finance facility affirms Maersk’s efforts to drive sustainability into its operations and supply chains.

“We are determined to reach our ultimate target of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050, and this agreement serves as another enabler for us to deliver on that ambition. Given the lifespan of our fleet, we need to find new and sustainable solutions to propel our vessels within the next 10 years. To realize this ambitious commitment, we are partnering with researchers, regulators, technology developers, customers, energy providers – and now banks,” explains Henriette.

Banco Santander S.A., London Branch, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Designated Activity Company, Barclays Bank Plc, BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A. London, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Danske Bank A/S, Deutsche Bank, Handelsbanken, HSBC France, MUFG, Nordea, SEB and Standard Chartered Bank, joined as mandated lead arrangers.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., London branch, DNB Bank ASA, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) S.A., Brussels branch, ING Bank, J.P. Morgan Securities Plc, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited, Natwest Markets Plc, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale and the Standard Bank South Africa Limited, Isle of Man branch, joined as lead arrangers.

Crédit Agricole and SEB acted as Sustainability Coordinators. MUFG acted as Documentation Agent and BNP Paribas as Facility Agent.

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Gazprom Neft increases production of low-sulphur marine fuels

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Gazprom Neft increases production of low-sulphur marine fuels. Image: Gazprom Neft
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Gazprom Neft is expanding its production and sale of MARPOL-compliant environmentally-friendly marine fuels — the company’s Omsk Refinery having been producing a new 0.5 percent low-sulphur fuel since January 2020.

RME-180 M-grade marine fuel is a Gazprom Neft proprietary product. The transition to producing environmentally-friendly marine fuel has been made possible thanks to the ongoing development programme at the company’s Omsk Refinery, under implementation since 2008. Three and a half kilometres of pipelines to transport marine-fuel components to the mixing and shipment facility were installed at the Omsk Refinery in preparing for production of this new offering. On-stream analysers installed at the mixing facility monitor product quality, in real time.

Sales of environmentally-friendly marine fuels are undertaken by Gazpromneft-Marine Bunker, operator of the Gazprom Neft bunkering business. The first consignment of this environmentally-friendly fuel was undertaken onboard the Italian Ice Point tanker by a Gazpromneft-Omsk bunkering vessel.

Gazprom Neft is gradually implementing a comprehensive, integrated programme on the technological development of its refineries, targeted at increasing the production of ultra-environmentally-friendly oil products, and increasing refining depth. Modernisation projects mean the company can respond to changes in the market quickly, respond to industry challenges successfully, and increase efficiency, throughout the entire value chain. Implementing the refinery modernisation programme and improving Gazprom Neft’s bunkering and logistics infrastructure means we can supply our clients with environmentally-friendly marine fuels meeting the latest international standards.

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Wärtsilä to supply customized Hybrid Scrubber solution to two Norwegian Cruise Line ships

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Wärtsilä to supply customized Hybrid Scrubber solution to two Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wärtsilä will supply Hybrid Scrubber system packages, specially customized to meet the specific needs of two cruise vessels. The ships are owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).

The 325 metres long ‘Norwegian Breakaway’ and ‘Norwegian Getaway’ vessels will be fitted with Wärtsilä scrubber systems, enabling them to be in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) sulphur restriction legislation while operating on heavy fuel oil (HFO). The legislation became effective in January 2020. Customization of the system was required in order to meet the ships’ restricted space availability.

“Wärtsilä’s technical and engineering capabilities are once again emphasised with this tailor-made exhaust gas cleaning solution. Obviously not all installations are the same and there is no single system that fits all applications. Having the flexibility to adjust the design to meet the customer’s specific needs is an important value-adding feature of our offering,” says Sigurd Jenssen, Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning, Wärtsilä Marine.

“We previously worked with Wärtsilä and are familiar with the quality and reliability of the group’s solutions,” said Giovanni Canu, VP, Special Projects and Operational Support at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “We were confident, therefore, that the team there could design and engineer a sulphur emissions abatement system that could be successfully integrated into our two vessels. The VSOx scrubbers are the right choice for this project, being both efficient and the right technical solution. They will allow us to serve our customers, the environment, and society in general by meeting and exceeding the strict regulatory and environmental targets.”

The Wärtsilä hybrid solution allows flexibility in the cleaning of sulphur from the exhaust gases. When operating in closed-loop mode, the wash water circulates from the scrubber unit to a process tank, with seawater being used as make-up replenishment water as needed.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2020. For the past seven years, Wärtsilä has had an engine maintenance agreement with NCL, and four new NCL cruise ships, currently under construction, will be fitted with Wärtsilä engines and scrubber systems.

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