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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

Offshore vessel charging; Wärtsilä methanol engines for WTIV; First autonomous containership test

It’s Good News Monday!

This Monday we talk about:

  1. Maersk Supply Service and Ørsted to test world-first offshore vessel charging solution

  2. Wärtsilä Marks First Newbuild Methanol Engine Order with Van Oord WTIV

  3. SailPlan Helps Harvey Gulf Cut Offshore Vessel Emissions

  4. Maersk to Share Ocean Weather Observation Data to Help Aid Climate Science

  5. ‘World First’ Autonomous Containership Tested in Japan

Offshore charging station with a ship in the background

“The Stillstrom charging buoy will be large enough to charge a battery pack on an SOV or hybrid-electric vessel (source: Maersk)”. Image from Riviera.

Maersk Supply Service launched Stillstrom, a venture to demonstrate an offshore vessel charging station for use at offshore wind farms. Ørsted will participate in the demonstration scheduled for Q3 2022 where it will provide power overnight to one of their service operations vessels, or SOVs. Ørsted will also be integrating the charging buoy into the grid, which will be large enough to charge a hybrid-electric vessel battery. This new breakthrough will allow vessels on wind farms to turn off their engines at idle and reduce emissions. Ørsted plans to make intellectual property from the buoy integration available to the public.

Van Oord Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV) at a wind farm

“Illustration credit: Wärtsilä/Van Oord”. Image from gCaptain.

Wärtsilä has its first newbuild engine order for an engine powered by methanol. Five Wärtsilä 32 engines will be installed in the Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV) being built for Van Oord at Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard. Wärtsilä has more than 5 years of experience in methanol and will deliver the equipment in early 2023. According to gCaptain, “Wärtsilä recently signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese shipyard Yantai CIMC Raffles aimed at the design and development of future-proof solutions for newbuild vessels, including the use of future carbon-free fuels and other integrated technology solutions.” The WTIV was ordered in October 2021 and is expected to be delivered in 2024.

Harvey Gulf Harvey Power and another Harvey PSV next to it in port

“Credit: SailPlan”. Image from Offshore Engineer.

Harvey Gulf International Marine signed an agreement with SailPlan to reduce ship emissions. SailPlan is a maritime cleantech company with an emissions monitoring and optimization platform combining data from real-time sources on board along with external data like weather mapping to optimize and report fleet emissions. The company says Harvey Gulf has already seen measurable improvements in emissions starting with the platform supply vessel (PSV) Harvey Power. The vessel is built to run on LNG, battery-electric power, and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

Maersk container ship on the sea full of containers

“Image courtesy Maersk”. Image from gCaptain.

A.P. Moller-Maersk is releasing weather observations to the public domain for use by scientists around the world. Maersk vessel data from 2012 to current and future will be provided, covering areas that are hard to measure with satellites and current instrumentation. Over 9 million observations will be added to the public ocean weather data, increasing the resources by 28 percent. Future data will come in at over 7,000 observations per day from their vessels around the planet, and shared via the Global Ocean Observing System. GOOS is run by UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and “collects ocean weather observations for climate science and provides input to weather forecasts.” Maersk also installed research-grade instruments called Automated Weather Stations on some of its vessels, in collaboration with the National Meteorological Service of Germany.

Imoto Lines autonomous container ship at port

“Photo courtesy MOL”. Image from gCaptain.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), a Japanese shipping company, says they have conducted the first sea trial of an autonomous, unmanned containership. The trial was with the containership M/V Mikage on January 24-25, making a few hundred mile journey from Tsuruga Port to Sakai Port. Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding used their autonomous ship operation control system that uses many variables in navigation such as tides, current, wind, and regulations. The vessel is equipped with a Furuno Electric autonomous surrounding information integration system as well which monitors other ships and debris using radar, AIS, and cameras. It even berthed and unberthed using the autonomous system and mooring was automated via a drone that brought the heaving line to the pier.

Smile, it’s Good News Monday! :-)


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