January’s top stories: Cemfjord ship debris found, Eurotunnel sells MyFerryLink

Russia focuses on commercial shipbuilding, Norway promotes green coastal shipping, and Carnival and CMG partner to support the Chinese cruise industry. Ship-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from January 2015.


Wind&Gas

Sunken cargo ship Cemfjord's debris found on seabed

cemfjord

Debris from the sunken cargo ship Cemfjord was found on the seabed off Scotland by a sonar-mounted search vessel.

Remains of the cement carrier were found along with an unused liferaft on Monday; however, there was no sign of the seven Polish seafarers and one Filipino mariner who were on the ship when it sunk.

Cyprus-flagged Cemfjord was transporting 2,000t of cement from Aalborg in Denmark to the UK port of Runcorn, when it capsized and sunk in the Pentland Firth on the Friday.

The coastguard suspended the search for the missing crew on the Sunday evening.

Russia focuses on promoting its commercial shipbuilding industry

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed various industry ministries to analyse the country's commercial shipbuilding prospects up to 2030, setting a clear agenda for competitive opportunity in the sector.

As part of this initiative, the Russian Energy Ministry will study the requirements in dedicated fleet and marine solutions for exploration, drilling and transportation of crude oil, gas and gas condensate by 2030.

The study will be carried out in collaboration with stakeholders, including OAO Rosneft, OAO Gazprom, Lukoil and JSC Novatek.

Norway to promote green coastal shipping

The Norwegian Government joined key players in the coastal shipping industry to ensure the country has the world's most environmentally friendly fleet of coastal vessels.

As part of the initiative, Norwegian State Secretary for Climate and Environment Lars Andreas Lunde and Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland signed a declaration of cooperation with the shipping companies in the country.

This green coastal shipping programme is aimed at implementing the government's new maritime strategy and also helping reduce air pollution in order to attain both national and international climate goals.

Groupe Eurotunnel to sell its MyFerryLink business

France-based Groupe Eurotunnel decided to sell its subsidiary MyFerryLink, an English Channel passenger and freight ferry company, following a UK Court's decision to block its operation between Dover and Calais.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) prohibited Groupe Eurotunnel from entering the Dover-Calais ferry market, saying that its acquisition of SeaFrance in 2012 allowed the company to hold a dominant share of the cross-channel market.

After this purchase, Groupe Eurotunnel subcontracted the operation of the ferries Rodin, Berlioz and Nord-Pas-de-Calais to an independent company, the SCOP SeaFrance.

Around 400 migrants reach Italy on abandoned vessel Ezadeen

A merchant ship carrying 400 migrants headed towards the Italian coast after being abandoned by the crew, the Italian coastguard said.

According to reports, the vessel called Ezadeen lost power in rough seas off the south-east of Italy while it was attempting to reach the Italian coast, BBC News reported.

The 73m-long Ezadeen, a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel, was assisted by an Icelandic coastguard vessel and an Italian air force helicopter, which was been sent to lower rescuers on to the vessel.

Norwegian engineer develops wind and gas-powered freighter

Norway

Norwegian engineer Terje Lade developed a new wind and gas-powered cargo vessel that integrates software made by Fraunhofer researchers.

Lade, who is also the managing director of the company Lade, used the proprietary Vindskip technology to design the cargo ship. The software enables optimum use of the accessible wind energy by the ship whenever required.

With the hull serving as a wing sail, the vessel features LNG-powered propulsion machinery that assists with manoeuvring on the open sea and in maintaining a constant speed in low-wind passages.

Panama Canal and Port of Lake Charles sign cooperation agreement

Panama

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) signed a cooperation agreement with the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana, US, in a bid to attract new customers from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

This agreement will help both the canal and the port to cooperate in marketing activities, information exchange, market research, training and technology, along with other mutually beneficial initiatives.

As the present canal will not allow the transit of LNG vessels due to their beam dimensions, the new development builds upon the benefits of future expanded canal.

BC ferry terminal project continues amid Canada's Buy American dispute

Alaska proceeded with the reconstruction of a British Columbia ferry terminal despite the Canadian Government's decision to block Buy America requirements, a state official has said.

The $15m project to demolish and rebuild the Prince Rupert ferry terminal resulted in a trade dispute with the US, after Canada signed an order against the Buy America rule, Reuters reported.

The provision ensures that transportation infrastructure projects in the country are built with American-made materials such as steel and iron.

Carnival and CMG sign MoU to boost cruise industry in China

Carnival

Cruise operator Carnival Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Merchants Group (CMG) to explore the potential for two joint ventures (JV) aimed at accelerating development and growth of the cruise industry in China.

The first JV will own and operate its own cruise ships as part of the first-ever domestic Chinese cruise line.

The second JV intends develop turnaround and transit ports within and around China, including a flagship port currently being developed by CMG called Prince Bay Cruise Terminal in Shekou, Shenzhen, China.

Stranded Hoegh Osaka cargo ship successfully refloated

The Hoegh Osaka cargo ship was refloated and towed to holding position, after it became stranded in the Solent since 3 January when it beached on a sandbank.

A short-term exclusion zone of 300m was placed around the vessel to eliminate the risk to leisure users of the Solent.

International maritime expert Svitzer joined with UK Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), Hoegh and the Environment Agency to discuss the future of the 51,000t car carrier, which is currently at rest off Spitbank.