Thursday, 29 September 2016

Union Maritime secures industry’s first ‘pay as you clean’ emissions control deal - 29/09/2016

Union Maritime secures industry’s first ‘pay as you clean’ emissions control deal

Union Maritime Ltd (UML) – one of the UK’s largest independent ship owner/operators has secured an innovative deal to pay for an emissions control system through the cost savings it delivers.

This agreement is the very first of its kind and has been made with Pacific Green Technologies Marine Ltd (PGTM).

The arrangement involves PGTM fitting its ENVI-MarineTM emissions control system (scrubber) worth US$1,995,000 free of charge to Union Maritime’s 13,000dwt chemical tanker ‘Westminster’ in the first quarter of 2017.

The system will be fitted to the vessel’s main engine where it will remove sulphur dioxide from the exhaust gas emissions to a level that meets the Sulphur Emissions Control Areas (SECAs) requirements. Doing this allows the UML vessel to continue to burn the lower cost heavy fuel oil within the SECA (instead of switching to the higher cost low Sulphur fuel) to generate savings of around US$2,700 each day (when operating in a SECA).

Under the unique energy management agreement, UML guarantees to operate the vessel for a minimum of 145 days each year in SECAs for the duration of the agreement, thereby generating this daily saving.

UML will then pay the full cost savings that the system generates to PGTM until PGTM has received a total of US$1,995,000.

Assuming this arrangement is successful, UML has agreed to purchase up to a further ten systems from PGTM.

Laurent Cadji, Managing Director of Union Maritime Limited said;

“Union Maritime takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and we are determined to comply with all current and future controls on vessel emissions.

At UML, we are always seeking new and innovative ways of operating and this arrangement with PGTM offers a smart solution to complying with the requirements of operating within the SECA regions. We look forward to working closely with PGTM in the future.”

Neil Carmichael, Chief Executive of PGT and Chairman of Pacific Green Technologies Marine Ltd, commented: “We are delighted to be working with UML and this deal represents a substantial milestone for PGTM’s growth strategy. We are confident that we can deliver substantial long-term savings for the company.”

The SECA are various geographical locations around the world that limit the airborne sulphur emissions from ships. They currently include the Baltic Sea, North Sea, the North America ECA which includes most of the US and Canadian coastline and the US Caribbean. Any vessel operating in any of these waters must comply with these emissions restrictions.

A deceptively spacious private yacht - 29/09/2016

A deceptively spacious private yacht

The owner’s deck and everything above it remains completely private

You may need to use your motor yacht for business meetings and exclusive receptions. But, at the same time, you would like an intimate private space on board which can be accessed by only your nearest and dearest, and not just for leisure. This is often the case with superyacht owners who, for the most part, do not have public celebrity status, but still have elite taste and technical dreams. They call for mega yacht designs that create a strict separation, whether temporary or permanent, between a luxurious guest area with all the trimmings and the owner’s home. Most important though is that these designs should be generous. The 90-metre, purely private yacht from beiderbeck designs in Bremen, Germany achieves just that, spread out, as it is, over six levels.

“The desire for seclusion in the midst of a large yacht is something that more and more of our customers are reporting to us,” say Tim Ulrich and Immo Lüdeling, CEOs at beiderbeck designs. Both single owners and couples want to determine for themselves when and where to greet their guests, and whether they want to enjoy the trip together or leave them to their own devices. This trend can be seen in a number of projects carried out by the renowned Bremen-based design firm which, for the most part, focuses on mega yachts ranging from 100 metres in length and above.

Ever since the largest super yachts in the world began to push the 200-metre mark, the circle of private individuals and businesses involved in watersports rarely define themselves by just the length of their boats. Many also avoid like the plague the strict building constraints put forward by SOLAS (requirements for yachts for more than twelve guests). Instead, they prefer a true private yacht, which offers an atmosphere of wellbeing that focuses more clearly on the individual.

This standard very often ends with 50 or 60-metre-long yachts. This is the category in which wide side decks stretching all around the boat, as they did on old, classic yachts, offer only limited space in which to sit and take a stroll, let alone go for a jog. By contrast, the 90-metre-long beiderbeck solution has an easy-access helicopter landing pad on the foredeck as well as partly covered and partly open roofs above a total of four sun - or sunny - decks. In many areas, the standard deck height of just 2.10 metres is raised to a more pleasant and airy 2.80 metres.

What we sometimes call the “bd90” is in no way intended to be a mini cruise ship for as many passengers as can fit. It is meant to be a floating resort for a maximum of twelve select guests plus the owner. A captain and first officer in charge of the 24 crew members look after them and offer first class service around the clock. Although charter runs generally remain possible, the designers avoid the somewhat non-private atmosphere sometimes felt in hotel lobbies, by presenting, in the main, a classic yacht design, which is guaranteed to make you smile.

The “second upper level”, as the owner’s deck, is strictly reserved for private living. The client is able to decide whether everything above that level remains off limits or whether a lift can take passengers from below up to the observation deck. The owner’s family or handpicked friends can use the sky lounge, located in a celestial dome. This offers a generous space for sunbathing on the left hand side, a cosy, recessed sitting area to the right and a bar in the middle with a high-end sound system for excellent chilling.

The 14.20-metre width of the yacht incorporates the owner’s stylish or more dignified 150 square metre penthouse; naturally not including the huge terrace area with its private pools at both the front and back. Here, in your private area, you can even put a pizza in the oven whenever the mood strikes. And, instead of paintings by Monet or Manet, the walls are decorated with family photos. The continuous windows and transparent doors are shaded using special construction geometry.

The sleeping quarters located further aft are finished off with a concave home cinema wall where you can decide whether to watch James Bond, Formula One in Monte Carlo or the Champions League, all up close and in 3D. However, the cabin can be opened out all the way to the aft deck. Despite this, the bathroom, which comes with a whirlpool/tub, and the dressing room won’t induce feelings of claustrophobia. The office, bar and library are standard features of this class of mega yacht. The individually customised owner’s gym is an additional feature that will amaze most weightlifters.

The bridge deck below has been designated as a party area by the designers and is aimed at providing every guest with their own personal memories. The illuminated dance floor both inside and out, as well as the smaller pool and cocktail bar make this a hotspot. DJ Gary can pull out all the stops of an upmarket, exclusive club. There are two tables where you can play roulette, black jack or poker while sipping a Manhattan cocktail - all of which is completely legal providing you don’t bet any money of course…

Your honoured guests can opt for either formal or casual dining on the main deck, both outside or in, all the while receiving five star service. Further forward and behind the twin tender garage, there is a portside spa and wellness area that leave nothing to be desired. The on-board cinema is also located opposite. The beach club, which is spread out over two levels, can more than hold its own against any found on board a cruise liner but, unlike its counterparts on those ships, has far fewer people. The upper pool is big enough to swim against the counter current to keep up your fitness and is fittingly located almost at water level.

In fact, the transparent pool makes both levels feel like a thermal bath. Below, on the lower deck, where each of the VIP cabins measures no less than 25 square metres and is fitted with a comfort bathroom, the pool is located next to the guests’ gym and fitness room. In addition, the crew have their own small gym and bar on the lowest level, the tank deck, where the fridges, freezers and storage rooms are also found in addition to the laundry and even a medical room.

The bathing platform resembles a spa area with its round, fixed parasols and palm trees. Protected by large flaps, it opens out either to the aft or laterally, depending on which bay the 90-metre-long beiderbeck is moored in, having moved location at a speed of 21 knots.



The Care Quality Commission rating and recommendation to be put in to special measures comes as no surprise says GMB

GMB, the union for ambulance staff, responded to the finding of the Chief Inspector of Hospitals that South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is rated as inadequate and should be placed into special measures following a CQC inspection in May 2016. (See notes to editors for the Care Quality Commission press release dated 29th September)

CQC issued a warning notice identifying six main areas of concern including low staffing levels; NHS 111 calls not always responded to in timely and effective manner; processes to ensure equipment properly maintained inadequate; weak safeguarding arrangements; systems in place not operated safely and effectively; and, governance arrangements not operated effectively.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser, said: "The decision by the CQC comes as no surprise to GMB, we have been calling for investigations into the service for several years now. Maybe if they had engaged with GMB at the start then they would not be in this situation now.

No blame for the South East Coast Ambulance Service Trust being put into special measures can be laid at the feet of front line staff. In fact the Chief Inspector of Hospitals said "it is to the credit of the staff that they have continued to provide a vital service to the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It was apparent that the leadership had not been supporting staff to do their jobs effectively", that there was "a culture of harassment and bullying" and that "senior executives were not always pulling in the same direction"

GMB very much regrets the service going in to special measures and the trust members who caused it have to take full responsibility. The acting Chief Executive, Geraint Davies, has been part of the problem; he cannot be part of the solution.  Something has to change, he has to go.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Steven Kransse appointed convenor of the IEC’s Working Group tasked with drafting the first international BAM standards - 28/09/2016

Steven Kransse appointed convenor of the IEC’s Working Group tasked with drafting the first international BAM standards

Steven Kransse, RH Marine’s Senior Certification Consultant has been appointed convenor of the International Electro technical Commission’s Working Group tasked with the challenge of drafting the first international Bridge Alert Management (BAM) standards for navigation equipment.

Steven is a trained mariner, and as well as being Senior Certification Consultant he is also Consultant Compliance Officer for the application of the Marine Equipment Directive. He will chair the BAM Working Group ‘16’ for three years.

“I am privileged to play a role in creating these new standards, which will allow mariners to do a better job, which is the main focus of the IMO’s BAM Performance Standard. And as a former seafarer I hope I can add value by sharing my insight into the practical issues on board a ship. The BAM standards will bring ‘peace and quiet’ to the bridge - alerts will only attract attention in proportion to their level of importance. There will also be a harmonisation of alerts between equipment brands, making it easier for the operators.”

Given the deadline, whereby the new standards’ draft has to be ready by end-October 2017, Steven aims to push on. “My job is to ensure that the international test standard for BAM is in place on time. This is quite a challenge given that the test standard proved to be far more complex than originally anticipated!” Ultimately, the standard is scheduled for publication in the fourth quarter 2018.

He adds that even though these standards apply to bridge equipment at the moment, he fully expects them to be extended to other areas such as engine room automation.

Steven has been with RH Marine since 2000, where he also held the positions of Product Manager ECDIS and assistant Product Manager UniMACS® Digital Bridge Systems.

Global OSCC 2016 Award finalists revealed - 28/09/2016

Global OSCC 2016 Award finalists revealed

THE top three international employers and training providers shortlisted to compete to be crowned winners at the annual OPITO Safety and Competency Awards in Kuala Lumpur have been announced today (28th September, 2016).

Shell Nigeria, Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) and McDermott are shortlisted in the Employer of the Year category, while PT Sampson Tiara, Wild Geese and Grupo Stier have been named in the OPITO approved Training Provider of the Year section.

The winning companies in each category will be unveiled during the 2016 OPITO Safety & Competency Conference (OSCC), in partnership with PETRONAS, at The Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Wednesday 16th November.

The awards recognise oil and gas industry companies across the globe which best demonstrate their commitment to building a safe and competent workforce through OPITO standards, which are recognised as the best in the world.

Around 500 delegates from across the global oil and gas industry are expected at the OSCC 2016 event including government officials, regulatory bodies, and senior oil and gas company figures as well as training providers.

This is the first time in its seven year history that the conference and awards will be held in the capital of Malaysia. OSCC 2016 will take a closer look at the conventional thinking on the regulation, maintenance and delivery of safety training and competence standards and whether the industry is fit for the future in a continuing global lower oil price environment.

The awards’ criteria included showing the range of OPITO standards used, the number of staff in development programmes and to demonstrate how companies have ensured the future delivery of training to accommodate the changing industry operating climate.

OPITO group chief executive David Doig said: “The entries submitted for this year’s OSCC Awards have been particularly strong making the judging panel’s job somewhat of a challenging one.

“It has however, been very gratifying to see that despite the global downturn, companies have continued to invest in training their people and deploying robust workforce development frameworks to ensure the ongoing safety of the global workforce. It’s this can-do attitude that will ensure the work delivered around safety and competence will continue to be a high priority for today, tomorrow and the challenges of the future.

“Kudos also to the training provider businesses who continue to achieve OPITO approval status for the courses they deliver to the sector across the world.”

Shell is Nigeria’s oldest energy firm. As well as operating the country’s largest liquefied natural gas plant (LNG) plant which exports globally, its subsidiary companies also produce oil and gas from the land and swaps of the Niger Delta and from the deepwater reserves 120km offshore.

OSRL first gained OPITO approval in 2007 for its competency management system. The organisation has worked closely with OPITO to adapt its training programmes to meet the needs of a growing workforce across an extended geographical reach.

As an OPITO approved training centre, McDermott actively participates in OPITO development forums and training provider advisory groups.

Twelve years ago, Samson Tiara became the first OPITO approved safety training provider in Indonesia and has played a pivotal role in the growth and adoption of OPITO standards across the region.

Wild Geese Group (WGG) is a Malaysian owned, PETRONAS licensed and oil and gas industry endorsed emergency response site centre (ERSC). The company has integrated OPITO standards into its facility for over a decade. 

Grupo Stier’s training arm, Centro de Estudios Marítimos del Atlántico (CEMA), has developed and delivered training to more than 2,500 alumni from all over the world and in 2015, invested in the island’s first offshore survival training centre.

OSCC is the only global event focused on safety and competency in the oil and gas industry. The event was introduced to bring operators, contractors and the supply chain together with training organisations to provide a forum for improving standards of safety and competency that protect the workforce and the industry’s reputation.

Singtel completes one of the first installations of Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress in Asia with “K” Line Ship Management Singapore - 28/09/2016

Singtel completes one of the first installations of Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress in Asia with “K” Line Ship Management Singapore

Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), announced today that its partner Singtel has completed one of Asia’s first commercial installations of Fleet Xpress, its maritime-focused, secure high-speed broadband service. The installation was recently completed on “K” Line Ship Management Singapore’s (“K” Line) 9,600-twenty foot equivalent unit capacity container ship Houston Bridge.

Mr Lim Kian Soon, Head of Singtel Satellite said, “As the leading satellite communications services provider in the Asia Pacific region, we are pleased to help ‘K’ Line to increase their vessels’ efficiency with the Fleet Xpress service. The service’s high-speed broadband, which leverages our secure and reliable connectivity, allows maritime firms to introduce new business applications on-board their vessels that optimises and streamlines the management of their fleets.”

“K” Line is using Fleet Xpress to apply big data analysis for operational efficiencies by monitoring engine performance and fleet management. It is also using the service to provide ship-to-shore internet connectivity to support crew welfare.

“To keep abreast with new technology and stay transformational as one of the largest transportation companies, “K” Line Ship Management Singapore undertakes the advantages of a high throughput service like Fleet Xpress to optimise business efficiency, achieve cost savings and provide stronger crew welfare.  We are pleased to work with a trusted partner like Singtel to deliver this service for us,” said Capt. Shoji Fukuda, Managing Director, “K” Line Ship Management Singapore.

Singtel, one of Inmarsat’s largest Fleet Xpress partners, successfully managed the installation with its experienced installation team, who migrated the vessel’s Ku-band satellite internet service to Fleet Xpress’s Ka- and L-band services. The migration involved changing the vessel’s antenna hardware and reconfiguring its complex on-board network while ensuring that day-to-day operations were not affected.

“The launch of Fleet Xpress marks a new page in maritime communications with continuous connectivity and guaranteed performance across the world’s oceans. This is a milestone on the industry’s journey towards smart shipping and opens up a new era of crew connectivity and operational efficiency. Being scheduled as an Asia-US East Coast service, Houston Bridge is physical proof that mainstream shipping has started the transition to high speed continuous connectivity. We have a long standing relationship with Singtel, who are one of our leading partners in Asia, and we look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come,” said Mr Gerbrand Schalkwijk, Chief Sales Officer, Inmarsat Maritime.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

NaviTrans to Integrate INTTRA's Suite of Electronic Ocean Shipping Services into its Logistics Solutions - 27/09/2016

NaviTrans to Integrate INTTRA's Suite of Electronic Ocean Shipping Services into its Logistics Solutions

NTTRA, the world's ocean shipping electronic marketplace, and NaviTrans, a leading provider of software solutions for logistics firms operating on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform, today announced a partnership to integrate INTTRA’s full suite of ocean shipping services into NaviTrans software.  As a result, NaviTrans clients will have seamless access to INTTRA’s global network to make bookings, submit shipping instructions, easily track shipments anywhere in the world, and utilize other INTTRA solutions.

“Ocean shipping is a vital part of the supply chain, and offering shipping management services can be essential for logistics providers and their partners,” said Sherrie Orzechowski, Vice President, Business Development at INTTRA. “Our alliance with NaviTrans reflects our commitment to partnering with leading software providers to offer their customers access to our unparalleled ocean shipping products and network.”

“For the forwarding companies among our logistics customers, offering shipment management services is indeed a crucial part of their business,” said Stefan Dedrie, Managing Partner at NaviTrans and VP of International Business Development.  “Our alliance with INTTRA however is more than just a next logic step. It also emphasizes our continued commitment to the forwarding industry as one of the major logistic branches we focus on.”