2017: The year’s biggest Ship Technology stories

3 January 2018 (Last Updated January 3rd, 2018 16:11)

Ferguson Marine Engineering launched the first of two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ferries at Port Glasgow in Scotland, while Maersk Line acquired Hamburg Süd for €3.7bn. Ship-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from 2017.

New LNG-powered ferry launched at Ferguson shipyard, UK

Clyde Blowers Capital unit Ferguson Marine Engineering (FMEL) launched the first of two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ferries at its shipyard at Port Glasgow in Scotland.

The environmentally friendly, vehicle passenger vessel is named MV Glen Sannox and is being designed and built in the UK.

It is set to be owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets (CMAL).


Maersk Line closes €3.7bn acquisition of Hamburg Süd

Danish shipping company Maersk Line completed the €3.7bn acquisition of German container line Hamburg Süd after receiving final regulatory approval.

The transaction was initially agreed in December 2016 and necessitated regulatory approval processes in 23 jurisdictions.

The process concluded with the receipt of approval for the acquisition by the Korea Fair Trade Commission.


Pirates abduct six personnel from German ship offshore Nigeria

Pirates kidnapped six crew members, including the captain, from a ship owned by German-based Peter Döhle Schiffahrts off the coast of southern Nigeria.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry and the Philippines’ department of labour told Reuters that one of the abducted individuals was Ukrainian, while four were Filipino nationals.

One Hungarian national was among the crew members kidnapped during the recent incident.


Rolls-Royce teams up with Google to further develop autonomous ship solutions

Rolls-Royce entered a deal with Google to further develop its intelligent awareness systems, which are able to help make existing vessels safer and assist in the development of autonomous ships.

The arrangement will see Rolls-Royce make use of Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to provide additional training to its artificial intelligence (AI) based object classification system, which is used to detect, identify and track objects a vessel can encounter at sea.

The Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine is designed to use the same neural, net-based machine intelligence software that powers many of Google products, including image and voice search.


Abu Dhabi Ports to receive $299m investment from China

UAE-based Abu Dhabi Ports entered an investment cooperation agreement with China’s Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company (JOCIC) to bring an investment worth AED1.1bn ($299m) into the Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (KPFTZ).

The new 50-year musataha agreement will see a new UAE-based company established by JOCIC known as China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation (Jiangsu) Construction Management occupy and develop around 23.7ft² of KPFTZ space for companies from the Chinese province of Jiangsu.

The proposed investment will require roughly 2.2% of the available free zone space in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi’s (Kizad) newly allotted KPFTZ area.


Trafigura places $1.35bn order for up to 32 new tankers

Global commodity trading company Trafigura Group disclosed its involvement in an order to purchase up to 32 new crude oil and product tankers, at a combined value of more than $1.35bn.

The order was placed by one of the company’s financial partners in Asia and the newbuilds are to be leased to Trafigura, with options to purchase at a later date if required.

Trafigura supported a firm order for 22 crude oil and product tankers with options for ten additional vessels, including Medium Range (MR) tankers, LR2s and Suezmax tankers.


Damen collaborates with industry partners to develop 3D-printed ship propeller

Damen Shipyards Group entered a cooperative consortium with Rotterdam Additive Manufacturing Lab (RAMLAB), Promarin, Autodesk and Bureau Veritas to develop a 3D-printed ship’s propeller.

The 1,300mm propeller is named WAAMpeller and is set to be world’s first class-approved, 3D-printed material of its kind.

It is being developed on the basis of a Promarin design, which is typically found on a Damen Stan Tug 1606.

Damen Research and Development department project engineer KeesCusters said: “Three students from Delft Technical University were investigating the potential of 3D printing for us.

“They brought us into contact with the other members of the consortium.”


Norway to build $315m ship tunnel to ensure safe navigation of vessels

The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) announced its plan to build the world’s first ship tunnel with an investment of around Nkr2.7bn ($315m).

The proposed tunnel will allow vessels to navigate more safely through the Stad Peninsula mountains.

It is set for development as part of the Norwegian National Transport Plan (NTP) for the period of 2018 to 2029.

Around Nkr1.5bn ($174m) of the total Nkr2.7bn sum has already been earmarked for use in the first phase of the NTP, which will run through 2018 to 2023.


FSDEA to invest $180m to build deepsea port in Angola

Angola’s sovereign wealth fund Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) unveiled plans to invest $180m for the development of a deepsea port in the region.

The proposed investment is part of the FSDEA’s $1.1bn infrastructure fund, and will facilitate construction of a 630m-long terminal linked to the shore via a 2km-long connection bridge as part of its first phrase.

The water depth of the terminal will be 14m, while the access channel will be 15m deep.


Wärtsilä tests wireless charging system on hybrid ferry

Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä tested its new automatic wireless induction charging system on-board a hybrid coastal ferry, MF Folgefonn, in Norway.

MF Folgefonn became the world’s first commercial ferry to charge its batteries with high-power wireless charging capability as a result of the initiative.

Owned by Norwegian ferry operator Norled, MF Folgefonn has a length of 85m and is powered by electric solutions.