• David Armes

World’s largest NGO hospital ship, Autonomous refueling barge, first 100% battery-powered tankers

It’s Good News Monday!


This Monday we talk about:

  1. Mercy Ships Announces 'Global Mercy' World’s Largest NGO Hospital Ship

  2. CMA CGM hires driver of digitization strategy

  3. Sea Machines to Develop Autonomous Refueling Barge for U.S. Military

  4. Forties at 50 by bp

  5. LR grants AiP for 23,000-TEU ammonia-fueled box ship design

  6. Construction Contracts Signed for First Battery-Powered Tankers

  7. ‘This is me’


Mercy Ships Announces 'Global Mercy' World’s Largest NGO Hospital Ship

Image Credit: The Maritime Executive


Mercy Ships is looking at constructing “the world’s largest NGO hospital ship which plans to sail to Africa in late 2021 under the name of Global Mercy.” Mercy Ships has been providing surgical services free of charge for over 40 years, backed by charitable donations and volunteers. The new ship will be completely custom-built for Mercy with a modern hospital on board.


“According to the Lancet Global Surgery 2030 Report, an estimated number of 16.9 million people die yearly due to lack of access to surgical care. Over 93 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to safe and timely surgery. As COVID-19 threatens the stability of already fragile healthcare systems globally, the need to provide basic life-saving care is greater than ever, especially in low-to-middle income countries. The Global Mercy will deliver a safe and clean environment to various African nations, providing help and resources from some of the most well-trained physicians in the world. Over the vessel’s 50 year expected lifespan, it is estimated that more than 150,000 lives will be changed onboard through surgery alone.”


The ship will have high tech training facilities and a simulation lab with augmented reality capabilities. Trainers can recreate local conditions to teach best practices to those with low resources. The ship will hold 600 volunteers and include a pool, auditorium, gymnasium, and a library, with the ability to hold up to 950 crew when docked.




CMA CGM hires driver of digitization strategy

Image Credit: Freight Waves


CMA CGM has hired Nicolas Sekkaki to lead their digitization and technology strategy. From 2015 on, he was chairman and CEO of IBM France, and will now serve as executive vice president of IT, digital and transformation for CMA CGM.


In an announcement, the company said: “In order to accelerate the industry’s digital transformation, the CMA CGM Group is recruiting the world’s best experts in the sector.” They’ve also hired a new Chief Digital Officer for the group, Padmaraja Dipankar. He is currently at Accenture as the vice president of intelligent operations and innovation.

CMA CGM reported a ransomware attack on Monday, but is “doing everything possible to assess its potential volume and nature.”


“Sekkaki joined IBM in 1991 and his career took him to New York, London and France, where he was appointed general manager of global technology services in 2006. He left IBM in 2010 to serve as SAP’s managing director in France and North Africa but returned in 2012 as vice president of the system and technology group. He was promoted to CEO of IBM France in 2015.


Dipankar joined WNS Global Services as its head of digital transformation and business process excellence in 2006. In 2012, he became vice president of intelligent operations and innovation for Accenture in Barcelona, Spain.”




Sea Machines to Develop Autonomous Refueling Barge for U.S. Military

Image Credit: gCaptain


Sea Machines has been awarded a Department of Defense contract for an autonomous barge to refuel military aircraft. “The goal is to produce a prototype that will enable commercial ocean-service barges as autonomous Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) units for an Amphibious Maritime Projection Platform (AMPP).” The deck barge will be commanded remotely, with room to land helicopters and provide refueling for surface vessels and shore replenishment.


Sea Machines will be engineering ready-to-deploy kits to ensure self-propelled, autonomous operation. “The kits will include Sea Machines’ SM300 autonomous-command and control systems, barge propulsion, sensing, positioning, communications and refueling equipment, as well as items required for global deployment. Each modular kit will meet U.S. Navy criteria and will be in compliance with classifications and regulations from the DOD’s aviation bodies.”


Sea Machines is also developing an autonomous response boat for the U.S. Coast Guard and an autonomous oil skimming vessel. This opportunity may lead to more areas in which they can lend their expertise, such as tug boat technology.




Forties at 50

Image Credit: bp


bp released an interesting look back at the Forties oil field, first developed in the early 1970s. The technological advancements and effort that went into starting the flow of oil there was a spirit that lives on in bp today. This included developing the Clair field that was discovered in 1977 and didn’t produce oil until 2005. It’s an interesting story that we don’t want to try to recreate here, but definitely a great look at how British Petroleum became bp, and their plans for the future.




LR grants AiP for 23,000-TEU ammonia-fuelled box ship design

Image Credit: Riviera


“Lloyd’s Register has granted South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) an approval in principle (AiP) on a joint project with MAN Energy Solutions for an ammonia-powered 23,000-TEU ultra-large container ship design.”


DSME is generating an ammonia-based propulsion system with MAN working on specs for the dual-fuel ammonia engine. In a second phase, additional design and demand for commercial viability will be examined. Due to the fuel and safety equipment, the design is more complex than a standard ship. DSME vice-president and chief technical officer Odin Kwon said, “The successful results from the joint AiP can easily be applied to other type of vessels such as tankers, bulk carriers and gas carriers. We now just await the delivery of the ammonia-fuelled engine from MAN Energy Solutions.”


The ship should be commercialized by 2025.




Construction Contracts Signed for First Battery-Powered Tankers

Image Credit: gCaptain


Asahi Tanker Co., a Tokyo-based company, placed a world’s first order for electric-power tankers. They were ordered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries and will be the first tankers to be 100% powered by lithium-ion batteries. After their expected launch in March, 2022, they will act as bunker supply vessels in Tokyo Bay.


“The two tankers will achieve zero emissions of CO2, NOx, SOx, and particulates thanks to their all-electric core energy system, dramatically reducing their environmental impact. In addition, their reduced noise and vibration will create a more comfortable work environment for the crewmembers and limit noise pollution in the bay and its surroundings,” Asahi said in a statement.


“The design of the tankers has been developed by the “e5” consortium, which was launched in May by group of seven Japanese companies with the mission of developing zero-emission battery-powered ships. e5 Lab Inc. is the entity that manages the consortium.”




‘This is me’

Image Credit: bp


World Health Day 2020 was October 10, and bp employees are sharing some of their stories from around the globe. The most important message is everyone has mental health, and that can fluctuate along a scale, not acting in absolutes. COVID-19 has been particularly hard in this area as people didn’t realize how difficult social distancing would be. You can check out the abridged version of the video at the link above. Be sure to check on someone you care about, listen, and help as you can.



Smile, it’s Good News Monday! :-)

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