Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Danish Maritime Forum explores the future of the global maritime industry - 26/10/2016

Danish Maritime Forum explores the future of the global maritime industry

What will the future of the global maritime industry look like when the fundamentals are changing? This will be the key question when more than 200 of the most influential leaders from all parts of the global maritime value chain convene for the Danish Maritime Forum in Copenhagen over the next two days.

The Danish Maritime Forum takes place at a time when the future of the industry looks more uncertain and more unpredictable than ever. Fundamental shifts in the economy and technological advances are transforming the industry at an unprecedented pace.

There is no indication that this trend will be short-lived. We may be entering a phase of profound uncertainty in the evolution of the global economy. Regionalism is on the rise and an increasing number of state and non-state actors are jockeying for power, resources and other strategic gains. The rise of protectionism and isolationist sentiments are eroding the very basis for global collaboration. It is undermining the ability to address structural shifts in the global economy and to make the growth more inclusive. Governments are failing to coordinate monetary and fiscal policies and appear unwilling to forge new trade deals, hampering the business community’s ability to expand cross-national supply chains.

At the same time, the global system of production and distribution is undergoing a profound transformation. New technologies are emerging more quickly than we can imagine them. The digitization of everything coupled with the accessibility and affordability of even the most complex of technologies is spreading technological change farther and faster than ever before. Platform-based business models are challenging many traditionally asset-driven industries. This will have far-reaching societal and economic consequences.

At the Danish Maritime Forum key leaders will discuss the impact of these changes on global value chains and how the maritime industry can work together to manage the risks and reap the rewards of this transformation and increase long-term economic development and human wellbeing.

After 28 hours, all participants will come together for a so-called fishbowl – where all can, at any time, join the conversation – to present and share the results of the work they have done and discuss practical next steps to take these ideas forward.

Nor-Shipping looks to future with Parag Khanna and Nisha Pillai - 26/10/2016

Nor-Shipping looks to future with Parag Khanna and Nisha Pillai

Nor-Shipping has announced that renowned global strategist and intellectual Parag Khanna will be its star conference moderator in 2017, alongside award winning BBC presenter and journalist Nisha Pillai. The leading global maritime event week, taking place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 30 May to 2 June 2017, will charge the duo with taking the helm of its Opening Conference and Agenda Ocean series of events.

Khanna, named by Esquire magazine as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century, is the author of numerous books on future world order, including the acclaimed Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, focusing on how connected infrastructure supersedes traditional geographic and political barriers. He has also been an adviser to the U.S. National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program, and served in the foreign policy advisory group to the Barack Obama for President campaign. Pillai, meanwhile, has over 20 years of broadcast experience with the BBC, becoming a globally recognised face through her work anchoring rolling news on BBC World News. 

According to Nor-Shipping Director Birgit Liodden, the pair offer the perfect combination of authority and intellect to marshal a diverse programme of thought provoking, engaging and insight-rich debates and presentations.

“We are tailoring our conferences in 2017 to help the global shipping community tackle current challenges and exploit future potential,” she comments. “Those challenges are great, but so is the opportunity, and we’re expecting all our events to be fast paced, vibrant and visionary as they address crucial issues.

“As such we felt we needed world-class moderators, who are used to getting the very best out of high-level participants and delivering the most value for delegates. Parag and Nisha fit the bill perfectly. They are capable of facilitating energetic, memorable discussions, while helping audiences pinpoint, engage with, and really understand ‘big’ ideas, technologies and takeaways. We are delighted to have them on board.”

Nor-Shipping 2017 has committed itself to not only showcasing industry actors, services and innovations – across five themed halls and 45,000 m2 of exhibition space – but also providing a pro-active platform for future solutions. As such it has adopted an overall theme of Catalyst for Change, while dedicating exhibition Hall A to Disruptive Sustainability. Initiatives such as Problem to Profit, where shipping’s next generation seek to find solutions to this generation’s challenges, mirror its far-reaching ambition.

It’s a context that Parag Khanna will, Liodden explains, greatly complement.

“Parag is one of the great thinkers and presenters of our time,” she says. “From writing books that help us map successful and sustainable courses for the future, through to advising politicians and institutions on key areas of geostrategic importance, he is an individual that understands the potential of global connectivity and innovation, while inspiring audiences to reach for their own personal goals.

“The world doesn’t stand still and shipping can’t afford to. Our conferences will help navigate future paths that take in new ideas, talent and directions. Both Parag and Nisha will help us achieve that. In the meantime we’ll be working with the industry to fine-tune the content that they want to see – listening to, and provoking, debate to ensure we address key issues and business concerns.

“Remember, this is your event week, and that’s something we never lose sight of.”

Key themes and speakers for the Opening Conference and Agenda Ocean programmes will be announced in the coming weeks/months.

Nor-Shipping, which is held every two years, attracts around 35,000 visitors to Oslo and Lillestrøm, with almost 1,000 of the world’s leading maritime companies showcasing products and services to the industry, future talent and stakeholders through the shipping value chain.

Watch Parag Khanna discuss Connectography - 

Nor-Shipping 2017

Nor-Shipping 2017 takes place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 30 May to 2 June 2017.
The main exhibition features five themed halls –
Disruptive Sustainability in Hall A
IT & Navigation in Hall B
Safety & Rescue in Hall C
Shipbuilding & Repair in Hall D
Maritime Services & Logistics in Hall E
Propulsion & Machinery in Hall E

A full programme of events, initiatives and keynote speakers will be released on the Nor-Shipping website soon  


Parag Khanna is a widely cited global intellectual and strategist. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the National University of Singapore, and Managing Partner of Hybrid Reality, a boutique geostrategic advisory firm. His books include How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, the international bestseller The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, and Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.

Khanna has been an adviser to the U.S. National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program, and served in the foreign policy advisory group to the Barack Obama for President campaign. He provides executive briefings to government leaders and major corporations on global trends and scenarios, systemic risks and technological disruptions, and market entry strategies and economic master planning.

Amongst his many media appearances, Khanna is a regular CNN Global Contributor. He also spoke at TED in 2016, TED Global 2009 and was a guest host of TED Global 2012, and is a featured speaker at SXSW – the leading global tech event South by South West in Austin.

Nisha Pillai is a seasoned BBC presenter and journalist, known globally for bringing major breaking stories to audiences with style and composure. With more than two decades of broadcast experience, Pillai has reported on a series of defining events from recent years, including the first two hours of the 9/11 attacks in the US and the fall of Baghdad during the Iraq War.

Alongside her work on BBC World News, she has also presented Panorama, Money Programme and HARDtalk.

She now works worldwide as a successful conference host, motivational speaker and coach.

Liftboat launch in China - 26/10/2016

Liftboat launch in China

Mekers Offshore Ltd has successfully launched its first in a series of liftboats at Dajin Heavy Industries yard in Jiangsu, China.

Aqualis Offshore, part of Oslo-listed Aqualis ASA, was last year contracted by Mekers Offshore Ltd to supervise the construction of the Zhejiang-based company’s two new liftboats, of which the first was launched this week.

The event saw many government dignitaries as well as top officials from Mekers Offshore Ltd, and the Bestway Dajin shipyard, which also provided detailed engineering.

Aqualis Offshore is contracted as Mekers Offshore’s on-site team to monitor and supervise the construction of the liftboat, to ensure that all work was carried out in accordance with the contract, its specifications, the client’s expectations, flag and class requirements.

“We are very pleased with the launchng of this first liftboat, which was carried out safely, on schedule and in a professional manner by all parties. Aqualis Offshore has done a solid job in making the launching and construction project to date a success,” says Dr. Cang, Deputy General Manager at Mekers Offshore Ltd.

Mekers Offshore’s recently launched self-elevating liftboat is a four-legged, DP2, self propelled vessel with a working depth of 70 meters. It can house up to 250 people and is suitable for work over and well intervention with a large open deck area capable of carrying equipment and supplies for various offshore exploration, production and support activities. The unit is capable of rapid deployment to provide a stable platform in its elevated position for maintenance and construction work.  Various international companies have provided all main equipment, which comes with global warranty and service support.

“The cooperation with the yard and owners has run very smoothly. I am also very pleased with how our site supervision team is performing their tasks,” adds Reuben Segal, chief operating officer of Aqualis Offshore.

The first liftboat is expected to be delivered in Q1 2017 with the second unit to follow later the same year.

Aqualis Offshore is a specialised marine and offshore engineering consultancy focusing on the shallow and deep-water offshore segments of the offshore oil and gas industry. Its core services includes concept, FEED and basic design engineering for upgrades and conversions of jack-ups, rigs and other fixed offshore installations, rig moving, marine warranty, dynamic positioning and construction supervision services. The company also offers transportation and installation as well as due diligence services.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016



Thordon Bearings has successfully completed the oil to water-lubricated tailshaft bearing conversions of the first four of 15 Impala Terminals Colombia-operated tug/tow boats.

Impala Zambrano, the first of 15 triple-screw and twin-screw pusher boats scheduled for oil-to-water conversion, was retrofitted in July 2015 with a Thordon RiverTough bearing and TG100 shaft seal combination.

Three triple-screw and one twin-screw pusher vessels have since been converted and Thordon’s Colombian distributor Delta Marine and River Services will now work on the next vessels in the series. All 15 tug/towboats are scheduled for conversion by the end of 2017.

Axel Swanson, Thordon Bearings’ Business Development Manager, explained the reason behind Impala’s decision to convert to an open water tailshaft bearing system. “Impala’s boats operate on Colombia’s highly abrasive Magdalena River but its existing oil-lubricated tailshaft bearing system was problematic: water ingress through the aft seal was resulting in the complete seizure of the tailshaft bearing. And with El Niño approaching, the operator couldn’t risk further damage to the vessel in shallow silty rivers.”

The low level of water in Colombia's waterways, an effect of the drought caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, is a major concern for Latin American owners of workboats operating on the region’s rivers.

Jorge Luis Vélez, Manager, Delta Marine and River Services, said: “By far the biggest problem with the original oil-lubricated system was the small 4mm (0.157”) clearance between the propeller and Kort nozzles. When silt or sand lodged between them, it prevented the circulation of lubricating oil, resulting in increased friction and high bearing temperatures. Ultimately it was destroying the bronze bearing, potentially causing catastrophic damage to the shaft.

“Since the retrofit, the RiverTough bearings and TG100 seals have been operating very successfully. The vessel has been operating in rivers with very low water levels with high sand and silt content but the Thordon Bearings’ system has proven itself. We recently checked the bearing clearance as well as the whole system and all the components are in perfect working condition.”

Swanson added: “We completed the Zambrano conversion just prior to the El Niño climate cycle, but the vessel was able to operate at shallow draught without detriment to the RiverTough bearings and TG100 seals. It would have been very difficult for the vessel to operate an oil-lubricated bearing system in these harsh, low draught conditions without enduring substantial bearing wear, at the very least.”

The success of that first conversion resulted in Impala Terminals Colombia contracting Delta Marine and River Services for RiverTough/TG100 retrofits to a further fourteen Magdalena-operating vessels.  

“This is a substantial order for Thordon Bearings, covering 38 shaft lines in all,” said Vélez. “While the ability of the Thordon system to negate vessel downtime was a key factor, so too were the reduced life-cycle costs associated with a water-lubricated tailshaft bearing arrangement. Since no aft seal is required – the component of an oil-based system most prone to failure – emergency drydocking and repair costs have been removed, as has the need for lubricating oil.”

Andy Edwards, Commercial Director, Thordon Bearings, added:  “We hear operators with traditional oil-lubricated bearing systems having to replace them every two years or so due to excessive wear, which is completely unnecessary. Data from vessels operating Thordon’s RiverTough bearings show typical wear rates of 0.075mm to 0.100mm (0.003” to 0.004”) in 6000 to 7000 hours of annual use. They routinely outlast rubber bearings by a factor of two or more.”

Delta Marine has begun retrofitting RiverTough bearings and TG100 seals to the remaining vessels, each of which will require bearings and seals for shaft diameters ranging from 165mm (6.5”) 186mm (7.3").

Shortest delivery time ever - 25/10/2016

Shortest delivery time ever

Damen delivers stock CSD450 within 3 working days on site

On Monday the 19th of September, a Damen CSD450 started winning sand at the Frisian motorway project contractor Van der Lee is working on. The ink on the sales contract was not even dry yet – it being signed on Thursday only. The stock dredger was prepared for transport on Friday and towed to the north of the Netherlands over the weekend, so that it could make a flying start on the Monday.

The stationary dredger, type CSD450, is a standard Damen dredger. Various types of these standard dredgers are readily available from stock. They are prepared for customisation through standard options, and can leave Damen’s Nijkerk yard in a very short time span - as was the case in this flash of lightning action for contractor Van der Lee.

The Dutch contractor Van der Lee is currently working on the motorway fly-over project near Joure, in the north of the Netherlands. This Damen CSD450 is their first stationary dredger. It will mine sand at a dredging depth between -2 m and – 6m, pumping it over a max distance of 6.5 kms using 3 booster stations – all equipped with Damen dredge pumps.

The Damen Field service crew commissioned the CSD450 Monday on site, and the dredger has been producing plenty of sand since.



Today (25 October 2016), international subsurface and technology consultancy LEAP Energy announced it has partnered with Simmons Private Equity (“SPE”), an energy focused private equity fund. This investment by SPE lays the foundation for an accelerated growth strategy for LEAP.

Established in 2008, LEAP Energy delivers services through its operational offices in Malaysia, Australia and Europe, with representative offices in India, Indonesia and the Middle East.  LEAP Energy has established an international client base of over 80 clients, with 200 projects delivered by a team of 50 talented technical experts. Besides the core activities of reservoir studies and M&A advisory, LEAP Energy is a recognised technology innovator in mature field production optimisation and delivers predictive analytics for conventional and unconventional reservoirs. 

SPE is an energy focused fund managed by energy investment banking specialists, Simmons & Company International Ltd. This investment will add to its established portfolio of energy focused companies including Pryme Group, Seanamic, Safehouse Habitats, Glacier Energy Services, HCS and Flexlife.

The investment in LEAP Energy marks the first acquisition in what is to become a global upstream consulting group. The strategy is to create a portfolio of niche providers, profitable in their own right, which when combined, will drive Operator efficiency, safety and productivity.

The existing team of Managing Partners of LEAP Energy, Laurent Alessio, Arnout Everts and Chris Connell who will continue to lead company operations, has been strengthened by the appointment of Gerwyn Williams, formerly COO of Wood Group Kenny and GM of McDermott, as the new Group CEO. Williams, who will be based in the new UK Office, said “There are many Operators, particularly those small to medium in size, who want the services of a global consultancy with integrated capability in subsurface, drilling and facilities. We are driven to make our customers’ businesses safer, more efficient and more productive. Today’s announcement is our first significant step in this journey.”

Laurent Alessio, co-founder and Managing Partner at LEAP Energy, said: “We are excited to put strategic growth back on the agenda and be the founding partner to drive SPE’s ambition to create a global upstream consulting group. We are convinced this strategy will deliver superior solutions to our clients, increase our reach internationally and offer broader opportunities to our staff.”

Additional acquisitions have been identified across different service lines and markets in order to further diversify the group. Key areas of focus for acquisitions include geophysics, production optimisation, drilling and well management, concept development, project development and operations support.  Williams continued “We believe by putting a group together on these lines, we are addressing the fundamental requirement of industry to bring efficiency by project managing the interfaces of the various work-streams.  The new group’s focus will be on late life and brownfield projects where our customers want to get more value from their existing operations.”

Monday, 24 October 2016

ABB electrification of world’s largest emission-free ferries shortlisted for maritime award - 24/10/2016

ABB electrification of world’s largest emission-free ferries shortlisted for maritime award

ABB has been shortlisted for a prestigious maritime award for modernizing two vessels that will become the largest emission-free ferries in the world.  ABB received the nomination in ‘The Energy Efficiency Solution Award’ category of the 2016 Ship Efficiency Awards for its work on Tycho Brahe and Aurora.

ABB will supply the complete power and propulsion systems for the two HH Ferries Group vessels, which will become the world´s largest emission-free electric ferries. The modernizations utilize turnkey ABB solutions including batteries, an energy storage control system and Onboard DC Grid technology. At both ends of the route ABB will supply the first automated shore-side charging stations using an ABB industrial robot, to optimize the connection time and therefore maximize the charging period.

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Ship Efficiency Award.  We are providing innovative turnkey solutions that will help HH Ferries run its operations efficiently while at the same time cutting the environmental impact of the vessels,” said Marcus Högblom, Vice President of Global Sales, Passenger vessels and Azipod propulsion.

“We are very pleased that, together with ABB and in an innovative way, we have been able to create a new set up to retain our position as a highly efficient high capacity route,” says CEO Henrik Rørbæk, HH Ferries Group. “We invest responsibly in tomorrow’s technology solutions, leading towards a greener future to the benefit of our customers and the environment.”

Preparatory work has already begun on the two HH Ferries’ vessels whilst construction of the groundbreaking automated shore-side charging arm is also underway in Finland.

The two ferries will operate completely on battery power between Helsingør (Denmark) and Helsingborg (Sweden), a distance of approximately 4 km carrying more than 7.4 Million passengers and 1.8 million vehicles annually. The new battery solution will help lower total emissions across the fleet by more than 50 percent from the current four diesel operated vessels. The combined battery power of 8,320 kWh for the two ferries is the equivalent of 10,700 car batteries.

The SEK 300 million investment is co-financed with SEK 120 million by INEA, the EU’s executive agency for innovation and network.