Anthony Veder and Shell have signed a contract to modify the 7,833gt/2009 built LNG carrier Coral Methane into an LNG bunker vessel. The modification is the first of its kind and will entail integration of specific LNG bunker equipment into the vessel. The 7,500m3 ship currently operates as a multipurpose vessel for Shell. The adaptation will help meet the maritime industry’s growing demand for LNG with work due to start in early 2018. The Coral Methane will then cover LNG bunkering demands across Europe, operating primarily in the southern part of the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The Rotterdam based shipping company Anthony Veder was established in 1937, acquired its first gas tanker in 1969 and now operates a fleet of 30 gas tankers of which seven are fuelled by LNG.

Associated British Port’s Port of Ipswich has reported on 18th October a handling record 12,000 tonne shipment of beans for its customer Glencore Agriculture UK. Marking the largest ever shipment of animal feed beans to be exported by ABP in East Anglia, the product will be transported to Bari in Italy. The field beans, which are used as a protein source in cattle, pig and poultry diets, were shipped aboard the 9,514gt/2010 built Zealand Beatrix. In July this year the Port of Ipswich reported handling 40% of UK barley exports, with 46,173 tonnes out of a total UK export tonnage of 113,000 tonnes passing through its facilities. Ipswich’s status as the UK’s number one export port for agricultural products was also recently confirmed by the 2016 GB Port Freight statistics released by the Department for Transport (DfT) in September, a record it has now held since 2005.

On 2nd November a Vehicle Export Terminal, part of a £50m investment by ABP in the Port of Southampton, was officially opened by the Minister of State for International Trade, the Rt. Hon. Greg Hands MP. The Port of Southampton is the UK hub for automotive with nine lines undertaking 110 calls to 52 ports in 40 countries every month, making it a huge asset for the UK. The Port of Southampton is key to the UK’s exporting success, meeting global demand for UK goods with £40 billion of British-made products shipped out each year for destinations across the world. ABP has already invested more than £32m over the past five years to support the growth in vehicle exports and Southampton is also the UK’s number one port for exports to non EU countries, handling £36 billion worth of goods destined for customers outside the continental bloc. The new terminal is to be known as the Pacific Terminal and was completed ahead of schedule and delivers 3,400 additional car spaces.

COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation (CSET) is investing in 14 new tankers with four 32,000dwt newbuilds and three 160,000dwt cruide oil tankers being awarded to Dalian Shipbuilding. CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering (Group) Company Limited (COMEC), formerly Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Limited (GSI), is entrusted with the construction of five 110,000 dwt oil tankers whilst China Shipbuilding International Trading will build two 65,000 dwt oil tankers. The contracts had not been confirmed at the time of writing and delivery dates have not yet been disclosed. CSET is also to acquire a 50% stake in four LNG vessels intended for the Yamal LNG Project from Japanese Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).

PhotoTransport

Erik Thun AB’s new 2,990gt/5,000dwt coastal mini-bulker Snow Crystal (Nb.445) was launched on 21st October at the Westerbroek Yard of Ferus Smit. The ship is the first in a series of two from a new design that was developed for Erik Thun AB of Lidkoping, Sweden. It is planned to replace the existing Snowstar and Icestar. Nb. 446 will follow her sister, although she will be lengthened by 15.6m. Both ships have a crew of 8, are built to ice class 1A and have 2 cargo holds. Their design is dedicated to some specific trades in the Baltic region. The beam of the ships is restricted to 13.35m to enable them to be able to fit into the locks of the Trollhattan Canal. A characteristic of these new vessels is their extremely high deadweight of 5,680/6,550 tons. Propulsion is provided by a 1950kW Wartsila main engine running on MDO fuel, and driving a nozzled CP propeller.

ESL Shipping’s new large LNG-fuelled dry cargo vessel, the 18,912gt Haaga, was launched on 20th October at the CSC Jinling Shipyard in Jiangsu, China, and was moved to the outfitting quay. The 25,600dwt, 160m-long ship is designed to be extremely energy efficient. Sister vessel, the Viikki, was launched in August 2017 and both vessels are due to start operating in the Baltic Sea during the first half of 2018.

MOL & Tokyo Gas named their new LNG Carrier the Energy Liberty on 16th October. The 299.9m long/48.9m beam & 165,000m3 capacity vessel will transport shale gas from the Cove Point Project in the U.S.A to Tokyo Gas. The ceremony was held at the Tsu Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation and the wife of the Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. President, Michiaki Hirose, released the bottle to smash against the hull to christen the ship.

Port of Tyne received a record breaking 62,000 tonnes of wood pellets from Vancouver, Canada, destined for Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire. Arriving aboard the 23,322gt/2011 built bulk cargo vessel St. Dimitrious, the cargo took five days to unload. The 229m long vessel sailed almost 8,846 nautical miles over 44 days from Canada, before arriving on the Tyne. A new Tyne trade was set to finally commence in mid-November when the new Panamax bulker Florentine Oetker, owned by the famous German Oetker shipowning family (former owners of Hamburg Sud) was scheduled to discharge her cargo of biomass, also from Vancouver. This is the first cargo for the Lynemouth Power Station in Northumberland, previously burning coal for Alcan but now output goes to the National Grid. The brand new 199m long and 32m beam ship was on her maiden voyage after completion in the Far East, and sailed from Vancouver on 27th June 2017 for the Tyne, arriving on 4th August. However, Lynemouth was not ready for the biomass cargo when the ship docked and, incredibly, she had remained on the Tyne Riverside Quay for three months! The Port of Tyne expected to begin unloading her in mid-November after a colossal demurrage bill and crew costs during the layover.

Royal Dutch Shell’s shipping business is celebrating 125 years of trading by naming its latest 113,000gt and 173,000cbm capacity LNG carrier in honour of the company’s first ever oil tanker, the Murex. Shell International Trading and Shipping Co. announced that the new Murex had joined Shell’s managed fleet during the week commencing 30th October. The ship is one of five new LNG carriers that Shell will welcome by mid-2018 from Teekay LNG Partners, which owns the vessels. The five vessels are powered by M-type, electronically controlled, gas injection engines, aka MEGI engines. MEGI engines are more fuel efficient and produce fewer emissions than other engine types used in LNG shipping. Sistership Macoma is also in service. The original coal-powered Murex was launched in 1892 and was the first oil tanker to pass through the Suez Canal. She was named after a seashell, a practice that remains for Shell vessels to this day. The Murex and her four sister vessels joining Shell’s LNG fleet are technically managed by Shell International Trading and Shipping Co. Ltd. and are on time-charter to Shell Tankers (Singapore) Private Ltd.

Shipwrecked Mariners Xmas

Wärtsila, through its joint venture company CSSC Wärtsilä Engine (Shanghai) Co. (CWEC), has been contracted to deliver 16 engines for four new LNG carrier vessels being built at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in China. Each of the four 174,000m3 capacity vessels will be fitted with four Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel generating sets running primarily on LNG fuel to provide the ships with auxiliary power. Their total power output will be 56 MW. Among the reasons given for the Wärtsilä 34DF engine being chosen for these ships were its proven reliability, efficiency, and economic fuel consumption. Delivery of the engines to the yard will commence in the second half of 2018. The vessels are scheduled to be delivered from 2019. The Wärtsilä 34DF engine is used for both main engine and generating set applications and is manufactured in configurations from 6L to 16V, giving 500 kW per cylinder and a total maximum mechanical output of 8000kW. The engine speed is 720/750 rpm. Based on the well proven and reliable Wärtsilä 32 diesel engine introduced in the mid-1990s, the engine’s fuel flexibility means that it can be optimised for constant speed generating sets, as well as for variable speed mechanical drives in main engine applications. The Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine was upgraded in 2013 with a higher MCR (maximum continuous rating) and better efficiency than its earlier version, the first of which was delivered in 2010.

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