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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

US Coast Guard hacked; MP buys 1,000 vessels; Gyrostabilizers; Thor is coming!

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

It’s Good News Monday!

This Monday we talk about:

  1. U.S. Coast Guard Sets Up Elite Cyber Team to Hack Its Own Systems

  2. Gyrostabilisers: fresher crew, fuel economy and improved productivity

  3. ABS Grants SUSTAIN 1 Notation for Harvey Gulf OSV Pair

  4. Maritime Partners Buys More Than 1,000 Inland Vessels in One Deal

  5. AkzoNobel Makes Sizeable Marine Coatings Donation To Civilian Hospital Ship Africa Mercy At Drydocking

  6. RWE Wins Rights to Build Thor, Denmark's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

U.S. Coast Guard cybersecurity team at their computers

U.S. Coast Guard cybersecurity team. “File image courtesy USCG”. Image from The Maritime Executive.

In November, the United States Coast Guard was infiltrated by an elite group of hackers known as the Red Team - and they were happy about it. Red Team is the most recent addition to the Coast Guard’s cybersecurity defense, which works to breach their security in order to find holes that others could use to gain access to sensitive data. Digital break-ins cost $10.5 trillion worldwide each year exposing all types of information. The new Cyber Operational Assessments Branch of the Coast Guard consists of a Red Team and a Blue Team that secure their Enterprise Mission Platform. The Blue Team works more cooperative assessments and while the Red Team does assessments as well, they also attempt to gain access and keep digging as deep as they can into the system without being detected. The Red Team even expects to be DOD certified in 2022 to work with other federal agencies.

Offshore Surveyor on the water

“Guardian Offshore’s hydrographic multipurpose vessel Offshore Surveyor has twin VEEM gyrostabilisers (source: Guardian Offshore)”. Image from Riviera.

“Gyrostabilisers reduce crew fatigue and vessel energy consumption, improving task execution and allowing offshore operators to use smaller vessels and increase annual operating days, writes VEEM marine sales manager Dan Fisher”. Catamaran hulled crew transfer vessels (CTVs) helps to greatly reduce pitch at sea, and some of that design has made its way into mono-hull designs, but companies like VEEM are looking to gyrostabilizers to further improve stability. Questions have been raised as to whether these devices work at higher speeds, and VEEM has found roll reductions of over 60% at 19 knots. They also improve the performance of other systems on board like dynamic positioning. Reducing roll angles, along with yaw and sway keeps ships more stable, meaning less use of thrusters to correct vessel movements, saving fuel and wear. Walk-to-work (W2W) vessels are a perfect candidate for this technology as there is less compensation needed on the gangway and more comfort for personnel. Another application is offshore crane vessels that can be more precise and worry less about compensation while performing lifts and installs. They hope to quantify the efficiency of these systems in the near future.

Gyros offer a new level of refinement in vessel movement and station keeping. We at OneStep Power are very excited about this technology as it goes hand-in-hand with our technology that improves efficiency and reliability in dynamically positioned power systems.

Harvey Sub-Sea on the water near port

Harvey Sub-Sea vessel. “Credit: ABS”. Image from Offshore Engineer.

Harvey Gulf International Marine has been granted ABS SUSTAIN 1 Notation for two of its offshore support vessels, the Harvey Blue-Sea and the Harvey Sub-Sea, “recognizing how their design and operation are aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).” American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is evaluating 12 of Harvey’s vessels, with the remaining 10 still being considered for Sustain notations. The notations are adherence to UNSDGs for layout, design, and outfitting, showing a commitment to having a sustainable fleet.

Towboat on the water

Towboat on the water. “File image courtesy Maritime Partners LLC”. Image from The Maritime Executive.

Maritime Partners, a Louisiana-based tug and barge owner, bought J. Russell Flowers fleet of more than 1,000 vessels, becoming the largest non-operating owner of inland marine equipment in the country. The total fleet is now about 1,600 vessels with a value of $1.2 billion. Credit Suisse is the only debt financing company and lender involved. Maritime Partners is also expanding into other areas as they build the “world's first methanol-fueled, hydrogen fuel cell-powered towboat” in partnership with Elliot Bay Design Group, ABB, and E1 Marine. The tug is expected to have 550 miles of transit distance, or more than 4 days of normal operation.

Africa Mercy in dry dock

Africa Mercy in dry dock. Image from gCaptain.

While the Africa Mercy was in dry dock in the Canary Islands, it received 21,000 liters of coatings from AkzoNobel’s Marine and Protective Coatings business. They also provided technical service to the 4,150 dwt ship, which has 80 beds and five operating theatres on board.The interior and exterior coatings will ensure the vessel continues to do its great work of providing free medical treatment and transforming nation’s surgical systems. The vessel is owned by Mercy Ships UK and “operates in Africa, where its team of volunteer doctors, surgeons, nurses and specialists conduct medical operations to support the region’s poorest people.”

Map of planned Thor windfarm off the coast of Denmark

Map of planned Thor windfarm off the coast of Denmark. “Credit: DEA”. Image from Offshore Engineer.

Thor is coming! Consortium RWE AG, RWE Renewables GmbH, RWE Renewables Management UK Limited has won a lottery decided on December 1 to build Thor Wind Farm I/S in Denmark. Multiple bidders said they could build the farm for a minimum price of only 0.01 øre/kWh, which led to the lottery to decide the winner. According to the 2018 Energy Agreement, three wind farms will be built, with Thor being the largest. It will be between 800-1,000 MW and will provide power to about 1 million households. The investment for the structure is going to be around $2.36 billion, with about $426.2 million due to the Danish state a few years after construction. It is expected to be completed and connected to the grid by 2027.

Smile, it’s Good News Monday! :-)


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