World’s cleanest ship demonstrates how research is developing the waterborne transport of the future

March 1, 2008

The low-emission, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly barge m/v ‘Victoria’ is moored in the Port of Brussels for a special one-day event illustrating how clean shipping technology is revolutionizing the way goods are transported in Europe.

BP and the EU-financed research project “CREATING” have worked together to develop environmentally efficient inland navigation. This fully operational vessel demonstrates how EU research provides real solutions to real problems; in this case delivering safer, cleaner, and more competitive waterborne transport for the future. In addition to “CREATING”, the event, attended by key EU industry representatives, researchers and policy makers, showcases two complementary projects working on marine engine technology and the use of alternative fuels. On board the 1300 ton m/v “Victoria” Commissioner Potočnik said “Greening is an essential objective of European transport research, and inland navigation provides a particularly relevant, environmentally friendly and cost effective alternative to other forms of transport of heavy goods in Europe. This project is a perfect example of concrete scientific solutions, which EU research brings through collaboration in the European Research Area. CREATING is a unique partnership which brings together 27 companies and research organizations from nine European countries, including Wärtsilä, MAN Diesel, and BP which provides the working lube oil barge ‘Victoria’ as a demonstration vessel.

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Big Three lines unite on China – US West Coast service

March 1, 2008

Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, the world’s three largest container lines,  are reorganizing their services between China and the US West Coast with the launch of two joint services in April 2008.

The ‘Yang Tse’ serving Central and South China, and the ‘Bohai Rim’ serving Central and North China are the two new joint services. These two new services will deploy 10 8,000teu vessels (five on each loop) creating a weekly direct service between China and the US. Port rotation on Yang Tse will be : Hong Kong, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Qingdao, Los Angeles, Hong  Kong; and on Bohai Rim: Dalian, Tianjin Xingang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Long Beach, Oakland, Dalian. The companies say the initiative will allow them to rationalize existing services into a more powerful customer responsive service offering. These two new services will provide customers with extensive port coverage in China with twice weekly direct calls between China (Hong Kong, Yantian and Shanghai) and California ports, the international gateway to the US.  The development of the two new services comes as a replacement of existing capacity in the trade.

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Indian budget dismays owners

March 1, 2008

The budget for 2008-09 presented by finance minister P Chidambaram in the Indian parliament today has caused great disappointment among domestic shipowners and shipbuilders.

While shipbuilders had been hoping for revival of a 30% subsidy on ships being built in the country, shipowners were expecting withdrawal of income tax on tonnage tax reserves. The Finance Minister instead chose to present a populist budget in view of general elections in January 2009 or even earlier. Highlights of the pre-election budget included waiver of bank loans to poor and marginal farmers, income tax relief to the middle class and reduction of duty on small cars. However, while the finance minister announced income tax cuts, there will be no change in corporate tax rates. SS Kulkarni, Secretary General of the Indian National Shipowners association (INSA) told that his organization had highlighted four issues before the budget. “We were hoping that at least two, namely, corporate income tax on other income (interest earning on tonnage tax reserves) and minimum alternate tax on profit on sale of ships will be abolished. “However, first glance reveals that nothing has been given to the shipping industry. This is very disheartening.” He said.

 

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Sleek Design for Indonesian Tug

March 1, 2008

The team, composed of owner H. Darmansyah, naval architect Surjo Adji and yard manager Heri Nurcahyono, has built the Muji Rahayu Shipyard into a major player amongst Asian boat builders.

The yard is located near Samarinda in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. In mid-February they had more than 15 vessels nearing completion. However, more than tugs ware under construction. The steel framework for huge covered areas was being assembled so that work could proceed more easily in the rainy season. In other parts of the yard concrete abutments were being built for fitting out piers. A new office building had recently been built as well. This is clearly a yard that is looking to be around for the long term and it is well on the way to becoming an efficient tidy work area. The current crop of boats under construction will be delivering in the coming months. On 16 March 2008, the yard will begin cutting steel for a new batch of nine vessels with more to follow. These will include five tugs to a proven design by Adji for a 29.85 by 9-meter tug. The tugs will have a design draft of 3.6 meters on a 4-meter molded depth. Main engines will be a pair of Cummins KTA38-M2 diesels each delivering 1200 hp into Twin Disc MG5321 DC marine gears with 5.96:1 ratios. Delivery of all five tugs is anticipated for early 2009. Prices on each vessel will range under $2m.

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Tensions rise between fishing and oil industries

March 1, 2008

A feverish quest for new sources of oil, fuelled by high oil prices, is sparking territorial battles between Norwegian fishing interests and oil exploration firms searching for new reserves in the North and Norwegian seas.

Skirmishes have been taking place for months off the coast of Norway, as fishing vessels and seismic vessels try to work in the same areas. Last year, three fishing boats tried to prevent a seismic vessel from conducting oil exploration in the seas off Vesteralen. Offshore territorial battles have grotten so intense that oil service- and exploration firms have started paying anglers large sums to leave the area though not everyone is agreeing to do so. Many anglers claim the oil exploration firms are simply trying to bribe them to give up their livelihoods. They also complain that the seismic activity is scaring fish stocks away from formerly rich fields.

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