2019 top news stories

6 January 2020 (Last Updated January 3rd, 2020 15:46)

Singapore unveils new initiatives to strengthen maritime industry and Valmet to service automation systems on four Celebrity Cruises vessels. Ship-technology.com wraps up the top news stories from 2019.

2019 top news stories
Valmet to service automation systems on four Celebrity Cruises vessels. Credit: Celebrity Cruises.

Singapore unveils new initiatives to strengthen maritime industry

The Government of Singapore unveiled two initiatives to further strengthen the country’s maritime industry.

Initiatives include the Singapore War Risks Insurance Conditions (SWRIC) and the creation of an interoperability structure for electronic trade documents for the maritime and trade industries.

Announcing the initiatives, Singapore Transport and Health Senior Minister of State Dr Lam Pin Min said: “The close partnership between the government, the industry and Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) is a unique competitive advantage for Singapore.”


Valmet to service automation systems on four Celebrity Cruises vessels

Valmet entered a service agreement with Celebrity Cruises to repair the company’s DNA integrated automation systems currently installed on four Celebrity Cruises vessels.

Vessels include Millennium-class ships currently deployed in the US such as Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Constellation.

As part of the four-year agreement, Valmet will boost the performance, safety and availability of the systems.


Teekay and Nautilus Labs to jointly improve gas vessel efficiency

Teekay LNG Partners signed a full fleet partnership to enhance the efficiency of its gas vessels using US-based startup Nautilus Labs’ software solution.

Nautilus Labs’ platform leverages machine learning to optimise the performance of its vessels and unifies all fleet data.

The partnership between Teekay LNG and Nautilus Labs started in February last year with a five-ship pilot.


Wärtsilä rolls out hybrid product to enhance dredging operations

Finland-based marine technology company Wärtsilä launched a product aimed at improving the efficiency and sustainability of dredging operations.

Called Wärtsilä HY for Dredger, the product was showcased at a Future Dredger Day event held at the company’s Hybrid Centre in Trieste, Italy.

Wärtsilä Marine sales and business intelligence director Giulio Tirelli said: “Real operational data from the field was analysed so as to understand exactly the challenges to be overcome, and the product was engineered accordingly.”


PortX and Helm partner to create AI-based vessel dispatch system

PortX and Helm Operations formed an artificial intelligence-based (AI) vessel dispatching tool, combining their services to improve harbour towing.

According to the agreement, PortX’s terminal dispatching system OptiPort, powered by AI, will be merged with the harbour dispatching and operations software Helm CONNECT.

As well as helping ship operators to save over $1m a port every year, OptiPort will signal annual savings of $200,000 for each tug by reducing fuel consumption, crew overtime and chartering of third-party tugs.


UK to only allow orders of zero-emission ships from 2025

The UK Government announced that new ships ordered from 2025 must have zero-emission technologies if they are to be used on British waters.

According to the plans to reduce maritime pollution that were set out in July, the government is aiming to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the first such commitment made by one of the G7 countries.

The clean maritime plan formed part of the Maritime 2050 government initiative, a long-term strategy setting out the future vision of the British maritime sector that was published in January.

A consultation will take place in 2020 to discuss how the transition to zero-emission shipping can be incentivised.


Sea Machines deploys industry’s first autonomous spill-response system

Sea Machines Robotics successfully deployed a remote-command spill-response system onboard a skimmer boat owned by Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC).

The company conducted a demonstration of the system at a marina in Portland, Maine, US.

Earlier in 2019, Sea Machines entered an agreement on the terms of the exercise with the US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD). They attended the demonstration along with other government and industry representatives.


MOL introduces AI-powered vessel image recognition system

Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and SenseTime Japan released a vessel image recognition and recording system to support automated ship monitoring.

Powered by AI technology, the system will be installed and tested onboard the cruise ship Nippon Maru, which is managed by Mitsui OSK Passenger Line.

The new system’s graphics recognition engine was developed using MOL’s AI deep learning technology.


Adani Ports to invest $6.9bn in Dhamra port in Odisha

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) announced it will invest approximately Rs489.33bn ($6.89bn) to increase the cargo handling capacity of Dhamra port in the Indian state of Odisha.

The investment will be transferred in two phases. It will increase the port’s cargo handling capacity to 314 million tonnes a year.

APSEZ already manages India’s largest private commercial port Mundra in Gujarat and is expecting to expand the Dhamra port to the same level.


ACL signs 15-year contract extension with Peel Ports

Atlantic Container Line (ACL) signed a 15-year contract extension agreement with the UK-based port operator Peel Ports Group for container and roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) operations at the Port of Liverpool.

Owned by Italian shipping company Grimaldi Group, ACL is a major ocean carrier at Liverpool’s Royal Seaforth Container Terminal (RSCT). It is also the port’s longest-serving container carrier.

The latest agreement is valid until 2035 and indicates ACL’s confidence in the growing volume of transatlantic trade between the UK and North America.