First remote-controlled ferry could be launched by 2020, says Rolls-Royce official

Rolls-Royce Marine Innovation vice-president Oskar Levander predicted that the first remote-controlled ferry demonstrator could be launched within the next four to five years.

The future advancement in the maritime industry was announced by Levander ahead of the 40th annual Interferry conference themed ‘technical innovations’, to be held in October in Copenhagen.

In a statement, Levander was quoted by media sources as saying: "Today there is a lot of research and development focus on unmanned airplanes and driverless land-based vehicles and society is becoming more prepared to accept these game-changing solutions."

Genting Hong Kong to acquire 70% stake in German shipbuilder Lloyd Werft


Genting Hong Kong (GHK), parent company of Crystal Cruises, has signed an agreement to acquire Lloyd Werft, a shipbuilder in Bremerhaven, Germany for a sum of €17.5m.

Under the terms of the deal, GHK will acquire 70% of the new shipbuilding business and a 50% ownership of the shipyard’s land.

In March this year, GHK, a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), acquired Crystal Cruises from Japan’s NYK for $550m in cash.

Seaspan signs $1bn container agreement with Export-Import Bank of China

Hong Kong-based container ship owner and operator Seaspan Corporation entered into an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM) for credit facilities up to $1bn.

Under the framework cooperation agreement, Seaspan will avail the CEXIM credit facilities for the purchase and construction of vessels from shipyards across China for the next three years.

Seaspan Corporation CEO, co-chairman and co-founder Gerry Wang said: "We appreciate the strong support Seaspan continues to receive from leading banks around the world."

EBRD acquires stake in Turkey’s Global Ports Holding


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Turkish port operator Global Ports Holding (GPH).

Under the terms of the agreement, EBRD will nominate a member for the board of GPH that operates eight ports in Montenegro, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Turkey, reported IHS.

ERBD is expected to enhance the company’s corporate governance in addition to consolidating its position and making it more competitive in Turkey and internationally.

Japan’s Mitsui tests new horseshoe-shaped windshield on its boxship


Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) commenced testing of a new horseshoe-shaped design energy efficient windshield device.

Installed on the bow of the MOL operated containership, MOL Marvel, the new windshield is expected to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2% average on an annual basis.

The device is mounted on the 6,700TEU containership that is plying the North Pacific Ocean route at a speed of 17k.

Incat Tasmania wins contract to build six ferries for Sydney Harbour


Australian Shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has secured a contract to build six new ferries for Sydney Harbour, following a tender process.

Under terms of the contract, Incat will take the concept design to detailed construction drawings and vessel models.

NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the additions to the existing Sydney Harbour fleet were a major step forward in the NSW Government’s plans to modernise and expand the ferry network.

Aerial survey begins for Nicaragua Canal project

Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment (HKND Group) announced that the aerial survey has started for the proposed Nicaragua canal route connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Australia-based CSA Global will provide the technical assistance required for the survey that will cover the 276km canal corridor along with 2km-wide circumference of Lake Nicaragua.

HKND Group senior advisor John Murray said: "The survey is a major step in the construction development process and supports pre-works planning, design and engineering for the canal and infrastructure."

IMB calls for standardisation of global reporting to curb maritime crimes

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) called for the standardisation of global reporting to curb maritime crimes and protect seafarers.

The suggestion was discussed at an IMB international meeting on global piracy, armed robbery and maritime security in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.

The gathering addressed the key challenges faced by the shipping industry such as piracy and mass illegal migrations.

AMELS introduces new 57.7m-long superyacht


Dutch luxury yacht builder AMELS added a superyacht, AMELS 188, to its fleet of six 55m to 83m-long Limited Editions range.

The new 57.70m-long AMELS 188 superyacht is the first in the Limited Editions range to be equipped with a hybrid power system and combines advanced solutions.

Additionally, the yacht also features heat recovery, which will facilitate the reuse of energy already on board minimising the carbon footprint while also reducing the operational expenses.

New safety study of Panama Canal locks commissioned

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) selected Brazil-based Fundacao Homem de Mar (FHM) to assess the feasibility of maritime operations in the Panama Canal locks.

Under the deal, FHM will construct a mathematical model to analyse the manoeuvrability considerations for the safe transit of the locks.

In addition, the canal’s operative draft has been temporarily reduced by the low level of Gatun Lake even before the installation of a fourth set of locks to serve bigger ships carrying 20,000 containers.