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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

Wärtsilä SOV, carbon neutral ships, 3D-printed parts, Sea Turtle rescue

It’s Good News Monday!

This Monday we talk about:

  1. Wärtsilä brings Jones Act SOV to market

  2. Maersk Plans to Debut First Carbon Neutral Ship in 2023

  3. Polar Tankers Trials 3D-Printed Parts on U.S.-Flagged Vessel

  4. Michelin Commits to Shipping Tires on Sail-Powered Cargo Ships

  5. Growing offshore wind pipeline will add to US mariners’ incomes

  6. Texans and US Coast Guard Rescue Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

Jones Act SOV render. Image Credit: Riviera

As offshore business booms, companies are looking for future proof service operation vessels, or SOVs. Longer charter agreements of around 15 years mean a greater need for flexibility while complying with more stringent regulations. Wärtsilä’s new hybrid SOV was designed with close input from DNV GL and ABS. The propulsion system was designed in tandem with the vessel, instead of the standard practice of adding propulsion to the finished design. It includes shore charging and battery-on-board energy storage and space was even made for future power plants and hydrogen fuel cells. The ship can accommodate up to 60 crew members. A specific launch date was not mentioned.

Maersk Line container ship. Image Credit: gCaptain.

Maersk is accelerating plans to decarbonize shipping with the release of a new carbon-neutral fuel vessel in 2023, seven years ahead of schedule. 80% of global trade is done via shipping, and the industry planned to have zero carbon emissions ships and fuels ready by 2030. “‘Our ambition to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when we announced it in 2018,’ Chief Executive Soren Skou said. ‘Today we see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach.’” They are starting with a feeder vessel that can carry 2,000 containers and will be powered by methanol, with fossil fuel back up if needed. “In addition to methanol produced from plant waste, Maersk said it [is] experimenting with ammonia, normally used for fertilizer, and other alternatives.” All new ships will be dual-fuel ready.

Image Credit: The Maritime Executive/ABS.

“In partnership with ABS, Sembcorp and 3D Metalforge, shipowner ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers has installed working 3D-printed mechanical parts aboard the U.S.-flagged oil tanker Polar Endeavor.” Instead of traditional casting or forging, these new parts were made with additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. This includes a gear set, a nozzle, and a flexible coupling, as seen above. ABS testing showed the products to be of higher quality than conventional parts. Additive manufacturing techniques build up the material layer by layer, can be done with many metals, and can even be done locally or on board a vessel, cutting times for short runs or intricate parts. The U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has also started using 3D-printed metal parts with 182 in the database and over 600 under review.

Sail-powered cargo ship. Image Credit: gCaptain and Michelin/Neoline.

French shipping company Neoline will be providing two sail-powered ships to Michelin for transporting tires. Tires will be shipped via container from Nova Scotia to France, starting after the arrival of the first ship in 2023. Michelin has committed to zero carbon emissions by 2050. Neoline started in 2015 with the goal of providing modern cargo ships powered by sail for main propulsion. The new ships will be 136 meters long with room for 500 cars and 280 containers. They are expected to achieve speeds of at least 11 knots.

Offshore wind project pipeline. Image Credit: Riviera.

The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) has compiled a study concluding that mariners will have the option to supplement their income with work in offshore wind during all phases of project development. The northeastern US offshore wind projects will support 2,600 job years of work, and with the skills fishermen and mariners already have, minimal training is needed to assist on wind projects. New York and other northeastern states will build 23.3 GW of offshore wind power by 2035. Most jobs employ entire vessels, keeping captains and crew together during projects.

Some of the nearly 3,000 turtles rescued from Texas waters (U.S. Coast Guard District 8 photo). Image Credit: The Maritime Executive.

With the recent cold weather from Storm Uri, animal rescue, volunteers, and the Coast Guard have been jumping into the cold water to save stranded and endangered animals. Since turtles are cold-blooded, water temperatures of mid 30’s Fahrenheit can send them into shock, leaving them floating on the surface, unable to move. Sea Turtles Inc., a Texas nonprofit rescue organization has retrieved almost 3,000 turtles from the frigid waters in the Gulf. Rescue swimmers for the U.S. Coast Guard in Corpus Christi even used their survival training to help get the turtles out of the water and into a rehabilitation center. After Sea Turtles ran out of space, South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau opened their doors to house additional turtles. On Wednesday, a large generator arrived from SpaceX to power the facility and keep all the shells warm. When water temperatures rise, the unharmed turtles will be released back into the Gulf of Mexico.

Smile, it’s Good News Monday! :-)


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