March’s top news stories

3 April 2018 (Last Updated April 5th, 2018 12:07)

A total of 13 European Union (EU) member states, led by Denmark, urged the Commission to eliminate the administrative burdens on maritime carriers. DNV GL opened a new LNG test centre in Groningen, the Netherlands. Ship-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March 2018.

EU member states urge to end reporting burdens on ships

A total of 13 European Union (EU) member states, led by Denmark, urged the Commission to eliminate the administrative burdens on maritime carriers.

The member states requested to present an ambitious proposal to amend the existing Reporting Formalities Directive.

The directive includes a concept of National Single Windows as a way to harmonise reporting obligations from ships to a single electronic system in each member state.


ABS to upgrade SEACOR Marine’s offshore support vessel

SEACOR Marine selected American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to upgrade one of its existing offshore support vessels (OSV) that will use hybrid power to operate in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

As part of the arrangement, ABS will provide the BATTERY-Li notation for the Maya OSV, which is currently being modified to use lithium battery power as propulsion.

The upgrade is scheduled to be completed by May.


DNV GL opens new LNG test centre in Netherlands

DNV GL opened a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) test centre in Groningen, the Netherlands, in order to enable safer use of the gas in various sectors, including shipping.

Situated at the company’s existing renewable energy technology and gas laboratory site in the Netherlands, the centre has the capacity to handle up to 250kg of LNG and features a heat exchanger to allow the temperature of the LNG and its boil-off to be precisely regulated.

Capable of addressing large variations in the properties, density and calorific values among LNG sources worldwide, the facility is also expected to support various stakeholders across the value chain.


Saipem acquires Lewek Constellation vessel for $275m

Italian oil and gas contractor Saipem agreed to purchase ultra-deepwater, heavy-lift and construction vessel Lewek Constellation for $275m.

The 3000t vessel, which was built in 2013, was previously owned by bankrupt EMAS Chiyoda Subsea.

Saipem said that the vessel is ready to be promoted for commercial opportunities.


ABB to equip two new AET shuttle tankers

ABB secured an order from Samsung Heavy Industries to equip two new shuttle tankers, which were ordered by global petroleum and chemical tanker owner and operator AET, with future-proof solutions.

The company will provide its power and automation solutions such as the Onboard DC Grid power distribution system, which has been customised to meet the needs of next-generation vessels.

Using integrated power and automation solutions is expected to help the tankers save up to 1,000t of fuels annually.


Wärtsilä to acquire marine navigation company Transas for €210m

Wärtsilä is set to purchase UK-based marine navigation solutions provider Transas for €210m, in order to help accelerate the former’s Smart Marine Ecosystem vision.

Scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of this year, the proposed deal is expected to allow Wärtsilä to establish an ecosystem that is digitally connected across the entire supply chain through secure, smart and Cloud-based applications.

Transas was formed in 1990 to provide a range of marine navigation solutions, including complete bridge systems, digital products and electronic charts.


Seabourn’s new ultra-luxury ship completes sea trials

Seabourn completed the final leg of sea trials of its fifth ultra-luxury vessel, Seabourn Ovation, in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy.

The trial began with Seabourn Ovation’s departure from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy on 14 March.

During the ship’s four-day journey at sea, a team of officers and engineers tested the vessels’ technical and mechanical systems.


NieuweWaterweg in Netherlands secures permission for deepening

Officials of the Netherlands granted permission for the deepening of the NieuweWaterweg and the Botlekport.

The project, which is approved by Rijkswaterstaat and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, will ensure that sea-going vessels, with a draught of 15m, can also reach the Botlek port.

Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and is responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands.


Rolls-Royce’s new MTU marine engines complete IMO Tier III tests

Rolls-Royce’s latest generation of MTU Series 4000 marine engines successfully completed International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Tier III certification tests.

These latest engine variants are equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.

The test was carried out using a 20-cylinder version of the engine. It was conducted by representatives of various classification societies, including the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), DNVGL, and Lloyd’s Register (LR).


New study says a quarter of seafarers suffer from depression

A study conducted by international maritime charity Sailors’ Society and the UK’s Yale University revealed that more than a quarter of seafarers show signs of depression, while many are reluctant to ask for help.

The study focused on the mental health of seafarers and found that around 26% of the respondents felt ‘down, depressed or hopeless’ on several days over the previous two weeks.

According to the seafarers, the quality and amount of food on-board coupled with isolation from families and the span of their contracts can have a huge impact on their mental health.