July's top stories: Piracy in Gulf of Guinea, 11 die as hijacked ship sinks
Eleven dead after hijacked Malaysian cargo vessel sinks, kidnappings at sea and hijackings by armed pirates in the Gulf of Guinea have increased during first half of year. Ship-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from July 2013.
Four crew members and seven pirates have died after the hijacked Malaysian-flagged cargo vessel MV Albedo sunk off the Somalian coast on Sunday.
MV Albedo was hijacked by Somali pirates in November 2010 and has been held for ransom close to the Somali Coast since then.
The vessel was attacked 900 miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia, in the Indian Ocean, while it was sailing from the United Arab Emirates to Kenya.
Kidnappings at sea and hijackings by armed pirates in the Gulf of Guinea have increased in the first half of 2013.
A wider range of ship types are being targeted, according to a global piracy report by the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
So far this year around 31 incidents have been recorded, including four hijackings and 56 sailors taken hostage.
Shipping can cut down its impact on the environment through the adoption of new propulsion technologies, according to a report by the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering.
However, the report found that no single solution would comply with the requirements of all vessels and suggested adapting current technologies, while carrying out research to develop new systems specific to maritime propulsion.
According to the report, options including liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, battery power, alternative fuels and nuclear power could help improve fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability.
South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has won a tender to build up to 16 Arc7 ice-class tankers to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced at the Yamal LNG project in Russia.
Under the agreement signed between Yamal LNG and DSME, the South Korean shipbuilder will build, launch, equip, complete and deliver the ice-class LNG carriers.
The agreement also finalises the preliminary prices of the tankers and the timing of their launch and delivery.
DSME will also be responsible for optimising the hull design of the vessels and conducting model tests to enhance the overall performance of the tankers.
Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) has announced that it will build 40 new vessels to meet growth in the offshore oil and gas support sector in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic and Brazil.
The company has started a new-build programme, comprising of 17 new generation, clean design, diesel-electric platform supply vessels (PSV).
The new-build programme also includes an option for an additional 20 units of the same PSV.
Norway-based firm Seadrill has entered into contracts with two South Korean shipbuilders for construction of four new ultra-deepwater drillships.
Two vessels will be built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard, and the other two will be built at yards of Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).
Each of the drillship is expected to cost less than $600m, including project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalised interest and operations preparations.
The four drillships are scheduled to be delivered in the second half 2015, and Seadrill has received fixed priced options for the delivery of two additional vessels in the first half of 2016.
Scorpio Bulkers has signed agreements with three Chinese shipyards for the construction of a minimum of 11 and up to 14 ultramax vessels.
The vessels will range from 61,000dwt to 64,000dwt and will be designed for the transportation of dry bulk commodities.
The ships, most of which are scheduled to be delivered throughout 2015, are priced at around $27m each.
The vessels will be built at ChengXi Shipyard (ChengXi), Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering (DACKS) and Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS).
Subsea 7 has secured three contracts worth a total of $1.6bn from Petrobras for the construction and operation of three new-build flexible pipe-lay support vessels (PLSVs).
IHC Merwede shipyard in the Netherlands will be responsible for the construction of the new vessels, which will be similar to Subsea 7's 550t pipe-laying vessel, Seven Waves.
The three new PLSVs are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2016, the fourth quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017 respectively.