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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

Commercial space to maritime, Eneti acquires Seajacks, robots offshore, first CO2 capture on ship

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

It’s Good News Monday!

This Monday we talk about:

  1. From Sail to Steam to … the Stars? How Innovation in the Commercial Space Industry is Impacting the Maritime Sector and Coast Guard

  2. UPDATED: Eneti to acquire Seajacks, become leading owner of turbine installation vessels

  3. Fincantieri to Study Use of Green Hydrogen in Ports and Shipping

  4. ROBOTICS: Meet Your New Offshore Robotic Co-workers; Charles, Eddie, ANYMal & Spot

  5. World’s first shipboard carbon capture plant installed on K-Line ship

Falcon 9 rocket launch trail in the sky

“The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket launched by SpaceX, on a cargo resupply service mission to the International Space Station, lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida January 10, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Audette”. Image from gCaptain.

Innovation in the space industry is impacting the maritime industry as seen with SpaceX’s new autonomous drone ship and other launch and recovery platforms. Commercial and space tourism are bringing more technology to an industry with a high focus on safety that is traditionally more conservative with new technology. Space activities also create more work for the U.S. Coast Guard as they provide support and rescue services to launches and landings. Overall, the increase in space activity brings some unique challenges and opportunities for the maritime industry. Regulations, new ships, and more frequent launches are shaking up the status quo. We highly recommend checking out the original article that goes into much more detail on the regulations, strains, and possibilities between space and maritime.

Eneti jack-up wind turbine installation vessel installing a blade on an offshore turbine.

“Eneti has a GustoMSC NG-16000X installation vessel on order that is due to be delivered in 2024 (source: GustoMSC)”. Image from Riviera.

An Eneti subsidiary is acquiring in whole Atlantis Investorco Limited, the parent of Seajacks International Limited. “Eneti’s acquisition takes the form of approximately 8.13 million shares, US$299M of assumed net debt, US$74M of newly-issued redeemable notes and US$12M cash.” Seajacks has installed 2.2GW of wind power and has five jack-up vessels. They are also working with Dominion on the only Jones Act newbuild under construction. Eneti looks to become a major competitor to Fred Olsen Windcarrier, subsidiary of Cadeler, OHT, and Bonheur.

Fuel tank storage on the shore with wind turbines in the background

“File Photo: Port of Rotterdam/Eric Bakker”. Image from gCaptain.

Fincantieri is working with Enel, Europe’s biggest utility to use green hydrogen in ports and long-range transport. They will look into storage systems and supplying hydrogen to “naval, submarine and surface vessels and industrial users in port areas”, starting with a test site in Italy. Hydrogen is viewed as the most promising renewable fuel for maritime transport as electric propulsion is not yet an option for large and long-range vessels. Fincantieri is also working with MSC, a Swiss shipping company to build the first hydrogen powered cruise ship.

Taurob track-driven inspection robot on offshore platform with two workers

“Two Taurob Inspectors, Charles and Eddie, are on a 12-month trial at Shetland Gas Plant in Scotland. Photos from TotalEnergies.” Image from Offshore Engineer.

Over the last year, multiple robots moving on legs and tracks have been deployed on offshore facilities around the world. Total Netherlands sent ATEX on an offshore autonomous mission for inspection in August 2020. ANYBotix ANYmal C quadruped robot went to the Petronas Dulang B facility in September 2020 for inspection, imaging, audio, and charging operations. Perhaps best known of the bunch, the popular Boston Dynamics Spot was deployed October through December of 2020 for bp in the Gulf of Mexico on the Mad Dog platform, looking for anomalies. Spot has also made appearances at Aker BP’s Skarv FPSO and Woodside onshore facilities. Use of robots like these are scaling up fast as they can operate in harsh, dangerous, or even impossible conditions for humans. TotalEnergies hopes that robots could support unattended facilities for a year at a time, backed up by remote operators. There is much more information that we can cover here in the original article if you’re interested in the fascinating field of offshore robotics.

Carbon capture system on K-Line vessel

“A small carbon capture plant being installed on Corona Utility as part of a demonstration project to test shipboard CCS (source: K-Line)”. Image from Riviera.

“In a world first, a small-scale shipboard carbon capture plant has been installed on a K-Line coal carrier in an effort to test, demonstrate and, eventually, commercialise the technology”. Coal carrier Corona Utility has received a CO2 capture plant, already verified for safety. The technology is similar to land-based carbon capture systems and captures a portion of emissions from the vessel. The hope is to verify the efficacy of capturing and storing carbon emissions at sea. Mitsubishi Shipbuilding staff will accompany the crew on the first voyage, after which the crew will evaluate operations until the end of 2021. Carbon capture could help current vessels get greener until the eventual transition to renewable energy.

Smile, it’s Good News Monday! :-)


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