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Added: 19 Jun 2017
The EU funded EfficienSea2 project, which aims to implement innovative and smart solutions to increase efficient, safe and sustainable traffic at sea, has finished a full-scale simulation of a wide variety of e-Navigation solutions. This was reported by the Danish Maritime Authority on 16 June.

It is understood that the simulations, which involved eight navigators and took a total of four days, were conducted at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and focused on the human factors in e-Navigation.

Multiple services, ranging from a digitalised form of navigational warnings to an interactive VTS-reporting system, were tested by the mariners on a full-bridge simulator while wearing eye-trackers and devices to detect users’ emotional changes.

Such simulations will ensure that the new services are optimised to guarantee fewer burdens for navigators when exploiting digital tools for navigation, explained Mads Friis Sørensen, Project Manager for EfficienSea2 and Senior Adviser at the Danish Maritime Authority who said: ‘We have what appear to be endless possibilities with modern technology, but there is a danger of overcomplicating things for the navigator. The solutions we develop must relieve pressure – not add complexity – so navigators can focus on performing their primary duty, which is to sail the ship safely. We ensure this by conducting these simulations focusing on the human factors when using digital tools.’

Human factors testing is an integral part of the EfficienSea2 project and the 32 partners involved all work to develop solutions with an eye towards the impact on the mariners. The project also includes Force Technology and Chalmers University of Technology, both leading in the field of human element and human-machine interfaces.

Solutions available online
In addition to developing a wide range of digitalised services, the EfficienSea2 project has built the web-based platform BalticWeb, which was used during the simulation to present the new services to seafarers.

They were first asked to plan their route using tools from the BalticWeb and then to use different services when conducting the full-bridge simulation.

Sørensen explained: ‘BalticWeb is an essential demonstrator for e-Navigation solutions and it reveals the possibilities of the solutions developed in the EfficienSea2 project. It is an easy to use map-based platform for navigators, and for the industry it is easy to adapt many of the underlying digital services displayed on BalticWeb so they can be presented on other maritime platforms.’

In order to exploit the different services developed by EfficienSea2 and presented on BalticWeb the user needs an account in the Maritime Cloud, which is the innovation centrepiece of the project and where services can be found in a standardised format. Furthermore, it will be possible for private developers and authorities to register individual services.

Readers are invited to learn more about the many aspects of EfficienSea2 at the website: www.efficiensea2.org

Photo reproduced by kind courtesy of Efficiensea2©.
Added: 16 Jun 2017
This year, once again, 25 June will mark the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS).

DotS was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised STCW Convention. Its stated purpose is to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.

The resolution: ‘…encourages Governments, shipping organizations, companies, shipowners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully’.

This year IMO’s theme is Seafarers Matter.

For 2017, IMO wants to particularly engage ports and seafarer centres to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them. The idea is for ports and seafarer centres to share and showcase best practices in seafarer support and welfare.

Furthermore, IMO wants ports and seafarer centres to organize special activities for seafarers on the Day, for example: (a) a social event organised in port to celebrate seafarers; (b) a public open day at seafarer centres and (c) the provision of free wi-fi in port for a day.

In order to see IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim’s video message for Day of the Seafarer readers are invited to take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVppbLS1rno
Added: 06 Jun 2017
Frontex, EFCA and EMSA
Creation of a European Coast Guard

At a closing workshop in Lisbon on 2 June the pilot project Creation of a European Coast Guard Function brought together more than 110 participants from various European and national entities at the premises of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

During the event the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the
European Fisheries’ Control Agency (EFCA) and EMSA jointly presented the project results.

This 18 months’ pilot project was launched in January 2016 in order to provide the test bed for the co-operation mechanism proposed by the Commission within the framework of the European border and coast guard package.

It was reported that the project aimed to raise cross-sectorial awareness of Frontex, EMSA’s and EFCA’s activities between the three agencies and amongst pilot project stakeholders and to create operational and technical synergies between different coast guard functions at EU level.

In the framework of the project the three Agencies explored and tested ways to further enhance their cooperation in four areas:

• The sharing of information generated by fusing and analysing vessel movement and earth observation data.

• Provision of surveillance and communication services based on state-of-the-art technology.

• Capacity building.

• Capacity sharing including multipurpose operations and the sharing of assets and capabilities across sectors and borders.

Furthermore, it was reported that the enhanced cooperation among EMSA, EFCA and Frontex will enable them to support in an effective and cost-efficient way the activities of more than 300 civilian and military authorities in the EU Member States responsible for carrying out coast guard functions in a wide range of areas such as maritime safety, security, search and rescue, border control, fisheries control, customs control, general law enforcement and environmental protection.
Added: 03 Jun 2017
A leading manufacturer of oceanographic, hydrographic and hydrometric instrumentation Valeport stated on 1 June that sales of tide gauge equipment had risen 22% over the same half-year period in 2016. The company confirms that sales across the portfolio of tide gauge instrumentation including TideMasters, radar sensors and the TideStation are significantly ahead of forecast.

Valeport’s tidal observation hub, TideStation, optimizes performance of instrumentation and is designed to be flexible in its configuration and has the Valeport’s tide gauge system at its core. The compact and robust TideStation unit offers pressure, radar and hybrid tidal observation techniques coupled with interfaces to other meteorological, telemetry and third party systems, it is understood.

The Valeport TideMaster provides an accurate, versatile and easily deployed tide gauge for use in short or long term survey operations. TideMaster is compatible with a wide range of hydrographic software and tools, it is understood. A control/display panel, Bluetooth, SD card memory and an optional weather sensor provide what is claimed as unrivalled functionality.

Low power consumption and a user selectable sampling regime allow for up to a year of autonomous operation, while optional telemetry packages extend the capabilities for real time operations.

Radar sensors developed by Valeport such as the VRS-20, which is a pulsed K-band radar level sensor, are designed to work seamlessly with the TideMaster tide logger and to operate standalone with optional integrated General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) telemetry or interface to a third party data logger.

Valeport indicate that the VRS-20 addresses a number of the issues traditionally associated with water level measurement. The non-contact technology removes the installation, corrosion and fouling issues of submerged sensors, while simplifying datum control. Accuracy and performance are unaffected by changes in water density and atmospheric conditions, it is claimed.

Kevin Edwards, Valeport sales and marketing manager, commented: ‘We are at the half way mark in our financial year and we are delighted to see such an acceleration in sales. We are ahead of target and production is extremely busy. Not only are we seeing our tide gauge products being popular at the moment, with us working at full capacity to meet deliveries, we have also seen a significant step change in sales to the oil and gas sector – with SVX2s, IPS and Altimeters reporting strong sales.’

Valeport designs and manufactures instrumentation for the oceanographic, hydrographic and hydrometric communities with a worldwide customer base that includes: defence, environmental, oil and gas, renewable energy, construction, dredging and civil engineering sectors.

This company has supplied equipment to the subsea sector since 1969. It is an independent, family-owned business based in Totnes, Devon, employing more than 80 people with a global network of agents.

For more information on Valeport, manufacturer of oceanographic, hydrographic and hydrometric instrumentation, readers are invited to visit: www.valeport.co.uk
Added: 02 Jun 2017
The European project EfficienSea2 has joined forces with Royal Arctic Line to complete the first-ever test of how space weather in the Arctic region influences the full range of a vessel’s communication channels.

When shipping companies deliver cargoes across the world, they depend on a broad range of communications equipment to ensure safe passage and reliable links at sea. The scope of these systems is certain to grow in the future and increase safety in the maritime world.

It does, however, pose a risk with regard to the phenomena of space weather, explained Jean-Jacques Valette, Space Systems Engineer at Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), a partner in the EU funded EfficienSea2 project running a test to measure the impact of space weather.

He said: ‘A full understanding of how space events affect our communication methods is essential. The more dependent we become on satellite communications, the more crucial it becomes to prepare for the effects of an outburst of disruptive energy and ejected particles from the sun. A full understanding of how space events affect our communication methods is essential, and we hope to help with that in EfficienSea2.’

Valette continued: ‘We are very appreciative about Royal Arctic Line being willing to assist us with our campaign. Only few large ships regularly sail in the Arctic Waters and the chance to install our equipment aboard a ship, rather than testing the equipment from shore, will greatly improve the validity of our results.’

CLS will monitor the influence of space weather on board the vessel Mary Arctica for a total of three months in the Arctic region. Despite the solar cycle not currently reaching its maximum, solar events and Earth magnetic events should impact terrestrial systems in the polar region during this period.

At the end of the campaign, scientists will analyse how the most popular maritime communication tools, AIS, Argos, Inmarsat, Iridium and GPS, may be affected when exposed to space weather.

First test of its kind

Engineers have installed nine antennas covering all systems included in the test as well as a data recording system aboard Mary Arctica, which sails from the port of Aalborg in Denmark to different ports in Greenland.

It is the first time that such a campaign has been launched to investigate how space events influence a full range of communication technologies aboard a ship, and CLS expects to learn more about both communication and positioning technologies.

In conclusion Valette said: ‘Experience from major space events tells us that both positioning and communications may be perturbed and in the worst cases interrupted, but we know very little about how it differs between the different systems aboard. This campaign is a rare opportunity to study the vulnerabilities of the different systems as experienced by mariners going through an area affected by space weather.’

This campaign is run within the EU funded project EfficienSea2, which aims to support the development of a space weather forecast service capable of warning mariners in case of potential impacts on maritime communications and positioning.

Photograph kindly provided by www.efficiensea2.org ©
Added: 31 May 2017
Japan’s largest cruise organisation will construct a unique advanced concept cruise vessel in a Finnish yard.

It was reported from Oslo on 30 May that Peace Boat, Japan’s largest cruise organisation, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Finnish shipbuilding company Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc to construct the Ecoship, the world’s greenest cruise ship (see photograph of ship model showing the vessel’s lines).

Peace Boat director and founder Yoshioka Tatsuya, Esko Mustamaki, CEO from Arctech and Jon Rysst, Regional Manager North Europe, from Classification Society DNV GL, announced the agreement during Nor-Shipping, the biggest maritime trade fair in Scandinavia.

Tatsuya said: ‘We have agreed with Arctech to build the Ecoship, the most innovative and ecologically friendly cruise vessel ever. We believe this ship will be a game-changer for the shipping industry and will contribute to the protection of the environment. It will be a flagship for climate change. We are very happy to work together with a Finnish shipyard, and look forward to exploring clean and sustainable technologies with partners throughout this region, which is known for its environmental leadership.’

Mustamaki, from Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, added: ‘We are very excited to work with Peace Boat in the construction of this very special vessel. Arctech has a long experience in design and construction of special products. Ecoship will combine Arctech’s know-how in technically advanced and environmentally friendly vessels with the well-established expertise of the Finnish shipbuilding network in designing and building of high-class cruise vessels and other special products. Arctech is a forerunner in developing and applying technological innovations, including LNG propulsion.’

Before the event, the CEO DNV GL – Maritime, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, commented: ‘It is really nice to see this innovative and exciting project proceed, this is a very positive development for Peace Boat. For us at DNV GL, it is always wonderful when such impressive projects using environmentally friendly technology take one step further towards being realized and we will continue to support this project.’

A final contract for the 2,000-passenger and 750-cabin 60,000 gt vessel is expected to be signed shortly. The new ship is scheduled for delivery in spring 2020.
Ecoship, with its nature-inspired architectural design by Spanish company Oliver Design, will be the platform for Peace Boat’s round-the-world cruise carrying 6,000 people per year; hosting exhibitions on green technology in up to 100 ports per year and serve as a floating sustainability laboratory contributing to research on the ocean, climate and green marine technology.

It is understood that the new vessel will create awareness and encourage active engagement with the challenges embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About Peace Boat
Peace Boat, Japan’s largest cruise organisation, is a social business that combines the four pillars of Education, Business, Advocacy and Travel.

Peace Boat’s world cruises offer a unique programme of activities centred on the experience of learning and intercultural communication. Peace Boat began operating in 1983, and today sails for 80-100 day global voyages three times each year, carrying approximately 1000 passengers per voyage. Peace Boat is an NGO with Special Consultative Status with the United Nations and was nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

About Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc
This shipbuilder specializes in the building of special vessels for demanding conditions and routes. The yard was established in 1865 and since then more than 500 ships have been built here. The yard has delivered the majority of the icebreakers in operation around the world and is part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation group.
Added: 30 May 2017
A new research centre focussed on the role of the Southern Hemisphere oceans in the global climate was opened on 22 May in Hobart, bringing AUS$20 million dollars of funding over five years.

Tasmania’s Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research (CSHOR) is a collaboration between CSIRO, China’s Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM), with support from the University of Tasmania and the University of New South Wales.

Appearing at the launch via video, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos said the centre would play a vital role in climate science in the future.

Minsister Sinodinos reflected: ‘The Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research represents a significant commitment to improving our understanding of the current and future role of southern hemisphere oceans in the climate of Australia, China, and the world.’

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said CSHOR would study the oceans from the tropics to Antarctica, and would tackle fundamental questions about the future climate of Australia, China and the rest of the world.

Marshall added: ‘The oceans in the Southern Hemisphere play a crucial role in the climate system, absorbing more heat and carbon dioxide than any other region in the world. Improving our understanding of the complex science at play in this system, will help us better manage the impacts of climate variability and change at a regional and global scale. CSHOR will complement climate research within CSIRO and will sit within our recently announced Climate Science Centre.’

He concluded by saying: ‘It is also an exciting opportunity to work with China’s leading marine science and technology organisation, and cultivate our close research relationship with China, which has been going strong for more than 40 years. Often in answering some of science’s biggest questions, you need to take a global approach, and that is why as part of our Strategy 2020, CSIRO is working towards becoming a hub for more global collaboration like this.’

CSHOR will be based at CSIRO’s Marine Laboratories in Hobart and will support seven new research positions, primarily based in Hobart.

Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology Director Professor Lixin Wu said China, just like Australia, was exposed to risks from the changing climate, including future sea level rise.

Professor Lixin stated: ‘Although China and Australia are not close geographically, many of the southern oceans processes that influence Australia’s climate, also influence China’s climate. Importantly, CSHOR will also look at the impact that melting Antarctic ice shelves will have on global sea level rise. Since climate change is a great challenge to the whole world, we have to rise to it hand in hand in collaboration.

Finally, Professor Lixin said: ‘QNLM is committed to bringing benefits to our community and people through advancing science and has been focused on its strategy of strengthening coordination and cooperation with scientists around the globe. Since both QNLM and CSIRO are two of the worldís leading climate research agencies, QNLM expects to work together with CSIRO, in helping China, Australia and the rest of the world to better tackle and adjust to climate changes.’

CSHOR will also investigate climate phenomena such as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which have a strong influence on the climate of both Australia and China.

Picture caption
The oceans in the Southern Hemisphere play a crucial role in the climate system, absorbing more heat and carbon dioxide than any other region in the world.
Photo: Stuart Wilde.CSIRO©.
Added: 29 May 2017
Grupo Lindley has completed another emblematic project in Malta, with the collaboration of its local partner, Boat Maintenance Malta.

At the end of last year (2016) Almarin delivered 20 buoys to various ports in Malta. Now their Portuguese partner, Lindley, has carried out the supply and installation of a pontoon for the berthing of Armed Forces of Malta patrol boats, at the Maritime Base at Haywharf, near Valletta, the island’s capital. This was achieved through a public procurement issued by Transport Malta, the local public authority which regulates Malta’s maritime activities.

The floating pontoon with dimensions of 30m x 5m and freeboard of 1m, has been positioned perpendicular to the existing jetty, allowing the berthing of a vessel on each side to improve and extend naval base capabilities.

It is understood that this asset was custom designed, with a modular galvanized and painted metal structure and GRP mesh deck supported by concrete floats. Complying with the tender specifications, the pontoon is prepared to withstand a live load of 15 tonnes or 500kg/m2 at any point and to receive a vehicle of up to 2.5 tonnes.

Additionally, the pontoon is equipped with emergency pedestals, emergency ladders, bollards and fenders.

About Grupo LINDLEY
Lindley and Almarin specialize in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of floating equipment for marinas and docks, as well as buoys and beacons as aids to navigation.

Based in Cascais, Portugal, they form part of the Lindley Group, a holding company with more than 85 years of experience in the maritime sector.
Added: 26 May 2017
AAPA encouraged by Administration’s call to support $1 trillion in infrastructure investment

In reviewing the details announced on 23 May in President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the recognized and unified voice of America’s seaports – reported that it saw declines for most federally funded, port-related programs. However, AAPA is encouraged by the Administration’s recently announced major infrastructure initiative to support $1 trillion in infrastructure over ten years, of which $200 billion would be in direct spending. Of that $200 billion, $5 billion is proposed for spending next year.

AAPA president and CEO Kurt Nagle stated: ‘AAPA applauds President Trump’s call to invest $1 trillion into America’s infrastructure over the next decade. The port industry has identified a need of $66 billion in federal investments to port-related infrastructure over that time. Ports and their private sector partners plan to invest $155 billion over the next five years alone in port facility infrastructure, and it is vital that supporting federal investments be made, primarily to improve the waterside and landside connections to our nation’s ports.’

He added: ‘While encouraged by the prospect of a sizable infrastructure investment program being considered, we are concerned about the significant reductions proposed for fiscal 2018 in many of the programs critically important to ports, such as TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grants, HMTF (Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund) outlays, port security grants, and assistance in reducing diesel emissions.’

Over the next decade, AAPA is calling for $66 billion in federal funds for port-related infrastructure to ensure US job creation, economic growth, safe and secure ports and tax fairness. On the waterside, AAPA recommends investing $33.8 billion to maintain and modernize deep-draft shipping channels, and $32.03 billion to build vital road and rail connections to ports and improve port facility infrastructure.

Nagle noted that activities at US seaports account for more than a quarter of the nation’s economy, support over 23 million American jobs and generate more than $321 billion a year in federal, state and local tax revenue.

Among the budget proposals for next year is eliminating the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) TIGER grants program, which last year awarded US ports $61.8 million in multimodal infrastructure grants such as dock, rail and road improvements.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), which Congress last funded at $100 million and which provided 35 port security-related grants in fiscal 2017, would see funding reduced to $47.8 million, a 52% cut.

President Trump has also proposed cutting the overall Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by 31%, while the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants would see an 83% reduction. These grants have helped ports to make investments in clean diesel equipment and reduction strategies at the ports themselves, and they have used them to help businesses buy newer, cleaner-burning trucks, locomotives and vessels. Authorized at $100 million, DERA grants are currently funded at $60 million, while the President’s fiscal 2018 budget calls for $10 million in funding.

While the Administration’s budget request calls for increasing the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) funding by $400 million over the previous administration’s request of $4.6 billion, the request still represents a 16% decrease in the Corps budget when compared to the funds provided in the fiscal 2017 Omnibus. While details for the fiscal 2018 Corps’ Coastal Navigation program were not available at the time of writing, the President’s budget estimates fiscal 2017 HMTF expenditures will be $1.252 billion, and it targets fiscal 2018 funding at $965 million, a 23% reduction.

The Coastal Navigation program funds improvements and maintenance in America’s harbors and deep-draft shipping channels. The Harbor Maintenance Tax, which is levied on the value of imports and domestic, port-to-port shipments, was established in 1986 to pay for 100% of maintaining America’s deep-draft harbors and channels.

‘International trade through ports is vital to our economy,’ said Nagle.

He added: ‘To help the public and policymakers fully recognize the value and contributions to the economy related to our ports, AAPA has created the America: Keep It Moving campaign, which highlights the needs and benefits of investing in seaport infrastructure.’
Added: 25 May 2017
Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have now merged, it was reported on 24 May. The merger between the two liner shipping companies was completed on that day in Hamburg. With 230 vessels and a shared fleet capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world. Hapag-Lloyd will remain a publicly traded company registered in Germany with its headquarters in Hamburg.

In the words of Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Hapag-Lloyd: ‘This is an important strategic milestone and a big step forward for Hapag-Lloyd. We now not only have a very strong market position in Latin America and the Atlantic, but also in the Middle East, where we will become one of the leading carriers. Our priority now is a smooth and fast integration of UASC and Hapag-Lloyd.’

The business combination agreement (BCA) had already been signed in Hamburg in July 2016. Since then roughly a dozen competition authorities across the world had to grant their approval. In addition, changes in the corporate legal structure were made and the consent of several banks was obtained.

At the centre of the integration is the combination of 118 Hapag-Lloyd services with the 45 services making up UASC’s network. This process will start in roughly eight weeks and will take until the end of the third quarter, once the new employees from UASC have been trained to use the Hapag-Lloyd systems. After that UASC’s present transport volume will be handled on Hapag-Lloyd’s IT platform. The combined entity will thereby carry an estimated annual transport volume in excess of 10 million TEU.

UASC’s 58 vessels will be integrated into the fleet of Hapag-Lloyd. The combined fleet will then include a total of 230 vessels and be one of the youngest in the industry, with an average ship age of only 7.2 years. The average size of the vessels in Hapag-Lloyd’s new fleet will be some 6,840 TEU/vessel, approximately 30% larger than the average of the top 15 in the industry (5,280 TEU/vessel).

Hapag-Lloyd plans to achieve annual synergies of US$435 million as a result of the merger.

A significant portion of these savings should be realized in the course of 2018, while the full amount is expected to first be reached in 2019. In addition to the synergies it is understood that it will not be necessary to make sizeable investments in newbuildings over the next few years.

Hapag-Lloyd will establish a new regional headquarters for the Region Middle East. This will add a fifth Region to the existing Regions of North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

Jansen added: ‘Hapag-Lloyd has long-term and extensive know-how when it comes to acquisitions. By merging with the Canadian shipping company CP Ships in 2005 and, more recently, with CSAV in 2014, we have demonstrated that we are able to combine businesses and integrate them quickly, efficiently and profitably. We are optimistic that we will be able to complete the integration of UASC by the end of this year.’

The two majority shareholders of UASC, Qatar Investment Authority, through its subsidiary Qatar Holding LLC, and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF), will become new key shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd. The other UASC shareholders are the Kuwait Investment Authority on behalf of the state of Kuwait, the Iraqi Fund for External Development (IFED), the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which will be reflected with a combined 3.6% of the shares of Hapag-Lloyd as free float shares.

Photo caption

An example of a UASC A7 - Class vessel.

Photo: www.uasc.net ©
Added: 23 May 2017
The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), the international charity focussed on preventing loss of life in the world’s waters, announced on 22 May that Theresa Crossley will be its new Chief Executive.

Theresa will join IMRF in October this year, when she steps down from her role as Executive Director of The United Kingdom Major Ports Group (UKMPG).

Udo Fox, Chairman and Trustee of the IMRF said: ‘We are delighted to appoint Theresa as CEO of the IMRF. She brings a wealth of expertise to the organisation with her extensive maritime industry knowledge and her experience covering the marine environment, shipping safety and search and rescue around the UK. We are all looking forward to working with her.’

The IMRF brings together maritime rescue coordination centres, coast guards, volunteer response organisations, government and non-government search and rescue organisations to develop and improve maritime SAR planning and response. The IMRF’s work is global, bringing together members and other organisations through meetings, conferences, forums and a series of international targeted projects.

Fox added: ‘We have been very fortunate to have secured Theresa for the CEO role. The range of skills she brings to the role will be of enormous benefit to the organisation at its current stage of development. She will be able to take the IMRF to the next level while still ensuring that it continues to provide the sector representation and advocacy it is uniquely placed to deliver.’

He continued: ‘At the same time, we are grateful to our outgoing CEO Bruce Reid, who has made a dramatic difference to the IMRF, building it into an organisation with 103 members in 49 countries with a growing active regional network, regularly providing international leadership on the full remit of search and rescue issues. Theresa will help us to build on this success, increasing the reach and positive impact of the organisation even further.’

Theresa said, ‘I am looking forward to taking up my new position at the IMRF and to the exciting new challenge this offers, working with the world’s maritime search and rescue organisations to improve coordination and response, so that many more people in distress on the sea or on inland waters can be saved. It has been a privilege to represent the UKís major ports, which play such a vital role facilitating the nationís trade. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with colleagues across the industry, in Government and in the EU, to raise the profile of the sector and the economic contribution it makes.’

Theresa has led UKMPG, which represents most of the larger commercial ports accounting for more than 70% of the total tonnage handled in UK ports, since January 2015.

About IMRF
The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) brings the world’s maritime search and rescue organisations together in one global and growing family. IMRFís member organisations share their lifesaving ideas, technologies and experiences and freely cooperate with one another to achieve their common humanitarian aim: Preventing loss of life in the world’s waters.

The International Maritime Rescue Federation was founded (as the International Lifeboat Federation) in 1924. In 1985 it was granted non-governmental consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in recognition of the good work being undertaken and the growing need for an organisation to act as a global focal point for maritime search and rescue.

In 2003 it was registered as an independent charity and in 2007 the organisation was renamed the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), reflecting the broader scope of modern maritime search and rescue activity.
See also www.international-maritime-rescue.org
Added: 15 May 2017
In less than two months, the Day of the Seafarer 2017 will be celebrated across the globe with a special focus on ports and seafarer centres. Under this year’s theme Seafarers Matter, the campaign aims to engage the people working in ports and seafarer centres to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them.

IMO has also launching a new Day of the Seafarer logo. The Day of the Seafarer logo seeks to celebrate those people working in the industry, making it clear that seafaring is inclusive and a career at sea is suitable for both men and women. Alongside the logo’s new look, the Secretary-General’s video message is also being published online and is available to watch on IMO’s YouTube channel to be found at:https://www.youtube.com/user/IMOHQ

To encourage people to participate, IMO will launch an interactive world map which will feature the best port and seafarer centres from around the world, giving a chance to highlight best practices in seafarer support and welfare from around the world. IMO’s famous quiz will also be back this year, with some new questions, together with the organization’s virtual photowall (an earlier version is here: http://dayoftheseafarer2015.imo.org/ ).

See also:

Added: 06 May 2017
Danish key issues on, inter alia, enforcement of the sulphur regulations and the Polar Code have been included in a Ministerial Declaration signed by 29 countries and reported by the Danish Maritime Administration on 5 May.

The 29 countries from the Paris MoU and the Tokyo MoU have signed a new Ministerial Declaration on Port State Control (PSC). This declaration, which has been under preparation for three years, stipulates new goals for PSC and for cooperation on it.

Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Andreas Nordseth, commented: ‘Port State Control is an important part of ensuring compliance with international regulation. That is why it is gratifying to see that Danish key issues on enforcement of the sulphur regulations and the Polar Code have been included in the declaration. It is important to Denmark that environmental considerations are taken worldwide.’

Mrs Birgit Sølling Olsen (illustrated), from The Danish Maritime Authority, represented Denmark at the Ministerial Conference held in Vancouver, Canada on 3 / 4 May. In addition to the 29 countries, the IMO Secretary General as well as a representative of the ILO attended the conference. Furthermore, inter alia the ISF, ITF and IACS* were present.

In addition to the sulphur regulations and the Polar Code, the declaration focuses on a number of other areas, such as the acceptance of electronic certificates, more transparency and reductions of the burdens imposed on the industry in connection with PSC inspections. Furthermore, the inspection regime must continuously be developed in order to optimise the use of the resources available.

Port State Control secures a level playing field
PSC inspections have proven to be an effective instrument for ensuring ships’ compliance with international regulations and, thus, a level playing field for the benefit of safety, the environment and the seafarers.

In conclusion PSC inspections have also resulted in marked results as regards the number of defects and non-conformities, which have been reduced. Furthermore, the number of detentions has stabilised at around 3.5% annually as more countries are now in compliance with the conditions for being included on the White List**.

* ISF, ITF and IACS: International Shipping Federation; International Transport Workers’ Federation and the International Association of Classification Societies.

** The White List represents quality flags with a consistently low detention record.
From Valetta to Tallinn:  ESPOís statement to mark the Maritime Year of the European UnionFrom Valetta to Tallinn: ESPOís statement to mark the Maritime Year of the European Union
Added: 05 May 2017
On 3 May the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) issued a statement to contribute to the Commission’s Maritime Year and to follow up on the Valletta Declaration, the ministerial declaration on maritime transport, adopted on 28 March focusing on competitiveness, digitalisation and decarbonisation.

In the words of ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost: ‘We welcome the Valletta Declaration as a first milestone of the Maritime Year. We hope that the Maritime Year will reinforce the support for modern, sustainable and well-connected European ports, will pave the way for maritime trade facilitation and simplification and, last but not least, will embrace the sustainable agenda of European ports’.

ESPO’s Chairman Eamonn O’Reilly said:‘We look forward to working further with the Commission and with the Maltese and Estonian Presidencies to make this Maritime Year a success in strengthening the European maritime and ports sectors.

In essence, ESPO’s statement reiterates the importance of well-connected and modern ports. Ports in Europe are facing several challenges that have a major impact on the requirements for infrastructure investment needs. For European ports it is important that Europe continues to increase its investments in the port sector. CEF grants* are and must remain the critical component of the funding mix. ESPO calls on European and national policymakers to consider ports as strategic assets. Investments in essential and/or critical European port infrastructure should be assessed from that perspective.

In view of facilitating maritime trade, European ports plead for administrative simplification and removal of customs obstacles to EU goods transported between European ports. The focus should lay on simplification (reduction of formalities) and harmonisation. The most innovative digitalisation technologies should be fully considered when developing a single window environment. Moreover, interfaces and platforms can only function if they have a governance dimension: they must receive the competences and responsibilities needed to pass the right information to the different authorities. If not, the single window will not result in trade facilitation and simplification, but will just shift the burden from the ship side to the competent authorities.

ESPO and its members express their concern about possible new trade barriers and their impact on the free flow of goods and just-in-time logistics. If new trade barriers are being introduced, these should be tackled in the most effective way. Every effort should be made to ensure that European ports can remain efficient and seamless entry and exit points for trade.

Last but not least, ESPO and its members put a strong emphasis on their sustainable agenda. As an essential part of the logistic chain, main gates to the world, nodes of energy and industry clusters, European ports must contribute to the global, European and national climate and decarbonisation agenda. In that respect, ESPO strongly believes that IMO would be by far the optimum forum in which to introduce CO2 target and measures to reduce emissions from shipping in line with the Paris Agreement. However, 2023 must be seen as a milestone. A six year period is sufficient time for the IMO to discuss and agree on the necessary target and measures.

Moreover, as nodes of energy and increasingly important clusters of industry and blue economy, ports in Europe are developing a low carbon strategy. The first aim is to cut emissions and improve energy efficiency. But, ports should also turn the path towards decarbonisation into a successful business case. Finally, ports in Europe will have to adapt the port infrastructure to the effects of the warming. They are at immediate risk as sea levels rise and extreme weather conditions occur.

The decarbonisation of the shipping industry as well as the overall greening of the shipping sector, imply additional investments and facilities in ports. Some of these investments will not be bankable in the short run. Additional grants and other financial instruments are essential for decarbonising the ports, for making ports more resilient to the consequences of climate change and for helping ports to contribute to decarbonising the economy.

As regards air quality, ESPO very much welcomes the decision of IMO to introduce a global 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020. This decision is expected to bring enormous environmental and public health benefits.

Finally, regarding the forthcoming review of the waste reception facilities directive, European ports are of the opinion that the current directive has been successful in substantially decreasing ship waste discharged at sea. ESPO supports the alignment of the directive with MARPOL. The review should however safeguard the flexibility of the different fee systems while addressing the problem of delivery of an unreasonable amount of waste in a given port.

For footnoted * and pic caption / credit please see next sheet

*Connecting Europe Facility. Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), €26.25 billion will be made available from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Of this amount, €11.305 billion will be available only for projects in Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund. (See: www.europa.eu/transport )

Photo caption:

ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

Photo © www.espo.be
Added: 04 May 2017
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has spoken about the importance of exploiting the full potential of electronic information and digital resources in continuing global efforts to improve the safety of maritime navigation and protect the marine environment. Addressing the Preparatory Diplomatic Conference of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in Paris, France (18 April) Lim praised IALA’s contribution to IMO’s work, including the development of e-navigation.

‘E-Navigation’, Mr. Lim said: ‘is the future. But it has been ‘the future’ for a long time. The challenge now is to turn ‘the future’ into ‘the present’ so that all the benefits and advantages of e-navigation can be fully realized.’

To help achieve this aim, IMO, IALA and other stakeholders are working under the e-navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP), approved at IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee in 2014. The Plan contains tasks to be conducted to address five prioritized e-navigation solutions, including for improved, harmonized and user-friendly bridge design, and means for standardized and automated reporting.

As part of his visit to France Secretary General Lim discussed protection of the marine environment with HE Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. He also spoke about climate change with French Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Jean-Marc Ayrault, and flew over the English Channel in a French Navy helicopter – accompanied by HE Nicole Taillefer, Permanent Representative of France to IMO.
International Maritime University of Panama to host regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Latin AmericaInternational Maritime University of Panama to host regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Latin America
Added: 03 May 2017
It was announced at the end of April that the IMO had announced selection of the International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) to host the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region, under an ambitious project, funded by the European Union and implemented by IMO, to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, UMIP will host MTCC-Latin America. The selection of UMIP followed a competitive international tendering process.

UMIP joins MTCCs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In February, IMO announced that Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) near Nairobi, Kenya will host MTCC-Africa. In December 2016, IMO announced that Shanghai Maritime University in China will host MTCC-Asia, while the University of Trinidad and Tobago will host MTCC-Caribbean.

One further MTCC will be established in the Pacific, to form a global network of five centres.

Regional MTCCs will deliver the agreed project milestones over a three-year period, making a significant contribution to IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.

Furthermore, MTCCs will receive allocations from the €10 million European Union funding for the project. They will be established and resourced to become regional centres of excellence, providing leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.

Aims of the GMN project
Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are expected to increase but developing countries, which play a significant role in international shipping, often lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors. This project, formally entitled Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry will enable developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, in the target regions to effectively implement energy-efficiency measures through technical assistance, capacity building and promoting technical cooperation.

The project will be implemented through the network of MTCCs which, once operational, will act as focal point for:

• Improving capability in the region – by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, other relevant government departments and related shipping stakeholders to facilitate compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships.

• Promoting the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through pilot projects.

• Raising awareness about policies, strategies and measures for the reduction of greenhouse gases and other emissions from the maritime transport sector

• Demonstrating a pilot-scale system for collecting data and reporting on ships’ fuel consumption to improve shipowners’ and maritime administrations’ understanding in this regard, and

• Developing and implementing strategies to sustain the impact of MTCC results and activities beyond the project timeline.

International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP)
UMIP is a public university funded by the Panamanian Government and, by law, is the official higher education institution specializing in maritime education and training of the Republic of Panama. The university’s scope involves all areas related to the maritime sector, including all aspects of shipping, maritime infrastructure and services, coastal, marine, and environmental protection.

UMIP has developed specialized training programmes for the maritime industry, including short courses, bachelor degrees, graduate studies and master’s degrees. The institute has also been involved in research together with national and international organizations, such as the Panama Canal Authority, the Japan International Co-operation Agency and the Central American Superior Council of Universities.

MTCC-Latin America will be located at UMIP. It will use the office space, equipment, IT infrastructure and staff of the University, which is strategically located close to the Port of the city of Panama.

Picture caption
The International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) has been selected to host the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region. MTCC-Latin America joins MTCCs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, funded by the European Union and implemented by IMO.

Photo courtesy of IMO©.
Added: 27 Apr 2017
The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside (illustrated) has been elected as the new Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA).

This is one of the decisions reached at the third conference of the association with the theme Sustainable Use of Africa’s Oceans and Seas attended by 34 African countries held from 19-21April in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Bashir Jamoh, who addressed a media conference shortly after the event, said that the NIMASA - DG would pilot affairs of AAMA for a period of a one year tenure, as Egypt would host the next conference while South Africa retains the secretariat.

Meanwhile Namibia and Seychelles are jostling for the 2019 hosting right, it is understood, as the chosen host could not be confirmed at the time this report was filed.

AAMA, a body of 34 African countries including Nigeria, unanimously elected Peterside at the conference jointly organised by NIMASA and the IMO which drew attendance from maritime countries within the African continent and across the globe.

Peterside, takes over from Sobantu Tilayi, the acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA), who has been the acting Chair of the association since 2013.

His election comes barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new NIMASA brand with a renewed interest by the government to grow the countryís economy through her maritime resources.

At a well-attended closing session, Tilayi, the outgoing Chairman described Peterside as a committed and dedicated technocrat who will, without doubt, take maritime administration to a higher level.

Many other participants expressed optimism in Peterside’s leadership ability to improve on the fortunes of the continent through concerted maritime collaboration that will attract the interest of African states through their various Maritime Administrations (MARADs).

Within the last year, Peterside has been able to improve on inter-agency and inter-governmental cooperation in the fight against piracy resulting in a reduction in incidences of piracy and sea robberies.

NIMASA under Peterside’s term of office has broadened the scope of maritime administration in Nigeria with approval gained for regional headquarters to be sited in strategic maritime locations in the country including Port Harcourt.
Added: 25 Apr 2017
In a bid to ensure safe and secure shipping in Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has warned all owners of abandoned vessels to urgently remove them from Nigerian territorial waters on or before 28 April or risk sanctions ranging from forfeiture or removal by the Agency at the owner’s expense.

Director General of the Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside stated this recently in Lagos and stressed that it is instructive to ensure that Nigeria’s waters remain safe for navigation in order to advance the country’s maritime interests.

He went on to warn that all abandoned ships would be declared as wrecks and the Agency would ensure that nothing impedes safe navigation in Nigeria’s waters.

In his words: ‘In line with our mandate on the protection of the marine environment and safety of navigation within Nigerian waters and our powers as the receiver of wreck; owners of all abandoned ships, vessels and derelicts are sternly warned to seek removal plan permits from the Agency and ensure the removal of these wrecks and derelicts from our waters on or before 28 April, 2017 failure of which would attract appropriate sanction’.

NIMASA’s DG spelled out these sanctions stating that the Agency is empowered to do so in line with the powers vested in it by the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 and other enabling Acts and IMO instruments.

It will be recalled that Nigeria is party to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (Nairobi Convention 2007). The Convention is a treaty of the IMO with the purpose of prompt and effective removal of wreck located in the Parties’ territorial waters including its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that may be hazardous to navigation or environment. The convention gives States’ Authority to remove wrecks and in Nigeria’s case NIMASA is the receiver of wreck.

All abandoned vessels littering the waterways and the shoreline of the country are affected by this directive.

Management of NIMASA has constantly expressed the Agency’s commitment to ensuring safer waterways for Nigerian maritime stakeholders to conduct their business.

Photo: www.nimasa.gov.ng ©.
Added: 24 Apr 2017
On 21 April the Danish Government received recommendations from its Maritime Strategy Team on how to maintain the Danish stronghold as a maritime nation towards 2025.

In an announcement the Maritime Strategy Team, headed by Chairman Jesper Lok, presented its recommendations to the Danish government. The recommendations represent the maritime industry’s input on maintaining and strengthening the industry’s international competitiveness and making Denmark a global maritime power hub.

The maritime industry, otherwise known as Blue Denmark, represents 25 % of Danish exports, making it the largest Danish exporting industry. This industry, however, faces tough global competition. Therefore, a Maritime Strategy Team has studied possible solutions to specific challenges as well as the general framework conditions. This has resulted in a thorough list of recommendations – ranging from the designation of test areas for new areas of blue business to the enforcement of global maritime rules and digitized public services.

In the words of Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen: ‘On behalf of the Danish Government I would like to thank the Maritime Strategy Team for their thorough and specific recommendations. They present some very useful input on how to further growth and strengthen the Blue Denmark.’

Chairman of the Maritime Strategy Team Jesper Lok is very satisfied with the recommendations delivered to the Danish Government and commented: ‘Denmark is one of the world’s leading maritime nations, and with activities all over the world, the maritime sector plays a vital role in securing the economic growth and employment in this country. It is our vision that Denmark becomes a global maritime power hub.

‘If we are to keep our leading position, it is vital that we maintain and adjust the framework conditions that apply to the maritime industry. But the Danish maritime industry also needs to embrace change and be one step ahead when it comes to digital and technological developments that will change the entire global maritime sector’.

The Danish Government will now devise a strategy for the Blue Denmark, in order to further strengthen the international competitiveness of the Danish maritime sector.
Mikkelsen added: ‘The recommendations from the Maritime Strategy Team is a great starting point for our work with a new maritime growth plan - a plan that will help to maintain and develop the international competitiveness of maritime industry. This is important for the creation of jobs and economic growth in Denmark.’

The Maritime Strategy Team’s recommendations are to be found here: http://www.dma.dk/documents/publikationer/uk-faktaark%20-%20vækstteamet%20for%20det%20blå%20danmarks%20anbefalinger.pdf

Recommendation #1 refers to: A framework should be created for testing autonomous ships, virtual buoys and other virtual aids to navigation.

Recommendation #10 concerns ports.
Added: 20 Apr 2017
On 18 April the MR* tanker Stena Imagination was named in the Port Rashid Terminal in the heart of Dubai. Some 100 guests attended the solemn ceremony and godmother Lourdes Torgersen who, as tradition dictates, wished the vessel, her captain and his crew fortune and prosperity on the seven seas. All the guests were also given the opportunity, led by Captain Alexander Vasko, to inspect the vessel from her engine room to the bridge. The vessel is due to leave on 23 April for East Africa with a cargo of diesel oil.

In the words of Erik Hånell, President & CEO of Stena Bulk and CEO of Stena Weco: ‘Naming the Stena Imagination in Dubai is very much a strategic choice. Stena Bulk recently opened an office here together with Stena Weco and Golden Stena Weco. We already had a presence in the market in the region but wanted to get even closer to our customers. The naming ceremony gives us the opportunity to further reinforce our image and forge more contacts with customers, partners and suppliers in the region’.

Dubai is an important meeting-place for the oil industry in the Middle East. Stena’s tanker business already has a presence in the area with contacts in the neighbouring region. For Stena Bulk and Stena Weco which, with their IMOIIMAX fleet, are focusing increasingly on trade in chemicals, Dubai is an important hub. Here, the oil industry is building several refineries closer to the oil wells in the region.

Stena Weco is now wholly owned by Stena Bulk while Golden Stena Weco is a joint venture between Stena Weco and Golden Agri Resources (GAR). With its new office in Dubai, Stena Bulk now does business in six countries. In addition to Dubai, it has offices in Houston, Copenhagen, Singapore and Shanghai while its head office is located in Gothenburg.

Stena Imagination was built at the Chinese shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International) as with all the thirteen IMOIIMAX tankers ordered by Stena Bulk – each delivered and under construction. The new vessel is jointly owned on a 50-50 basis by Stena Bulk and Indonesian Golden Agri Resources (GAR).

Stena Imagination is operated by Stena Weco and sails in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs more than 60 vessels.

The IMOIIMAX concept
Stena Imagination, a chemical and product tanker, is of 183 metres loa, with a beam of 32 metres and is of 50,000 dwt.

IMOIIMAX is a further development of an already well-established concept and the innovative technical design was developed by Stena Teknik together with the Chinese shipyard GSI. It offers several advantages such as extra large cargo flexibility, a high level of safety and economical fuel consumption of the order of 10-20% lower than that of equivalent vessels when sailing at service speed, it is understood.

About Stena Bulk AB
With offices in six countries, Stena Bulk is one of the world’s leading tanker shipping companies. The company controls a combined fleet of around 100 vessels. Stena Bulk is part of the Stena Sphere, which has more than 20,000 employees and sales of SEK 60 billion (£5.226 billion).

* Medium Range. The vessels are all equipped with 12 cargo tanks of max 4,500 m³ capacity and can carry crude oil, products and chemicals.

Picture caption
Photo: Stena Bulk AB ©.
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