• David Armes

bp's $20M investment in EVs, Digital Twins, Rokke moves into renewables - Good News Monday!

It’s Good News Monday!


This Monday, we talk about:

  1. bp’s $20M investment in EVs

  2. Digital Twins in maritime

  3. Billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke’s move into renewable energy

  4. Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society COVID-19 Response Fund


Bp’s $20 million investment in EV battery technology

Image Credit: bp


StoreDot is developing lithium-ion-based battery technology that charges an electric vehicle in five minutes. At the R&D centre in Herzliya, Israel, over 100 scientists work on the ultra-fast charging (UFC) Li-on battery. Optimizing battery performance means finding new materials and testing them. “Here, a PhD technologist synthesizes organic proprietary compounds that will be used as a coating for anode nano particles, a key component in the R&D process.”


Lithium-ion batteries are made with lithium and cobalt, both rare materials. A chief focus of StoreDot is identifying new materials that are more sustainable. The current crop of batteries is still using lithium-ion technology, but the anodes have been changed to nano-size metalloids instead of graphite in hopes of higher performance. The CEO of StoreDot, Dr Doron Myersdorf, believes they need to reduce the price per kWh of batteries about 33-41% to increase EV usage.


In alignment with the goal of achieving rapid adoption of electric vehicles, bp ventures invested $20 million in StoreDot in 2018.




Digital Twins for the Maritime Sector

Image Credit: The Maritime Executive


Decision making is done at all levels in all organizations, but sometimes decisions are too big to get wrong, or an idea too risky to implement with certainty. Enter the digital twin. A digital twin is a model of an environment in which ideas and interventions can be tested. It represents an object or system in detail, so that events can be modeled digitally before they happen.


A digital twin is not a traditional model or simulation. They use historical data and real-time data such as IoT to analyze outcomes as they would happen. With real-time data streams, these models improve over time and continue to refine themselves so they more accurately represent the physical world.


In the maritime industry, digital twinning can improve:

  • Fleet optimization: Sensitivity analysis can be performed on historical, current, and predictive business transactions. Many scenarios can be tested, enhancing decision-making even under atypical scenarios such as extreme weather conditions.

  • Port optimization: With continuous inbound and outbound traffic, a digital twin can again use past, present, and future predictions for strategic planning of port load and outlay. This information can help with planning for investments in infrastructure and expansion to maximize ROI. Synchronizing port operations and maximizing return can make more efficient use of space and capital, while decreasing unwanted effects like emissions.

  • End-to-end supply chain optimization: Enhanced visibility for transport and movement of goods. Even parallel linking of digital twins can produce positive effects as decisions ripple outward. Minimizing emissions and understanding the complex problems that are beyond the human scope are invaluable.

  • Key stakeholders’ situational awareness: Smart containers with IoT provide inputs for these models, increasing visibility further. Optimizing the mode of transport and their routes strengthen relationships with customers and suppliers.


Overall

Each area should include a specialist in the design of a digital twin. For example, a crane operator’s knowledge of that machinery needs to be standardized and programmed in. As digital twins grow more sophisticated, they will change the way the maritime industry operates, at a level we can’t imagine.




Norwegian Billionaire Reshapes Oil Empire for Renewable-Energy Future

Image Credit: gCaptain


Billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke is moving into renewable energy and reviving oil-service companies. Aker ASA is Rokke’s investment company that is combining Aker Solutions ASA and Kvaerner ASA while spinning off their carbon capture and offshore-wind businesses into two new companies to create a renewable energy hub. Aker CEO Oyvind Eriksen said, “At a time when renewables have developed from niche technologies to global industries, Aker’s ambitions exceed the announced spin-offs in Aker Solutions. We take an active role to position ourselves in a broader and rapidly growing renewable energy industry.”


Aker is looking at an acquisition of NBT AS, a wind developer valued at 3.1 billion kroner ($333 million). Aker Horizons, the new renewable group, will be led by Kristian Rokke, Kjell Inge’s son. It will include the carbon capture and offshore-wind businesses mentioned above.


Kjetel Digre will be Aker Solutions’ new CEO. The company is downsizing employee count and reducing expenses to lean out during the pandemic.




National Maritime Charity Launches £1M Covid Response Fund

Image Credit: The Maritime Executive


During Seafarers Awareness Week (July 6-12), the “National maritime charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, has established a £1M COVID-19 Response Fund to provide financial support to UK merchant seafarers and fishers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.” It adds to the society’s current grant expenditure of £1.4m that helps retired seafarers and those with health problems.


The charity uses investment income for its work but re-assessed need in the wake of the pandemic. Their goal is to help families keep food on the table and keep their bills paid. The society is 181 years old and has been helping seafarers for as long.


Their information is below as well as links to their website above below:


“The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society provides grants to seafarers with at least five years of sea service. For further information visit the Society’s website at https://shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/ or contact the charity’s Grants Team by emailing grants@shipwreckedmariners.org.uk or calling 01243 787761.


If you can help the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society support those from the seafaring community who are suffering during this challenging time, please visit https://www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/donate.”



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