Fortnigthly maritime news for the industry and the PortXL community.

‘We will make zero-CO2 hydrogen from natural gas so cheaply we could give it away for free’

US start-up H Quest says its emissions-free microwave plasma pyrolysis technology will turn methane into H2 and high-value solid carbon or petrochemicals — with these “co-products” alone making projects profitable.

The tricky transition from oil

All technologies currently available for the generation of energy come with a price and with an estimated global energy consumption of 446bn kWh per day it’s a big price! Today oil provides around 100m barrels per day towards that energy appetite and the rest of the burden is duly met from coal, nuclear, wind, solar and hydro but with such mind-boggling numbers it has of course become apparent that there is no single fix.

Dutch police arrest activists after protest at Shell refinery in Rotterdam

Twenty-one Greenpeace activists have been arrested by the Rotterdam police in the Netherlands while protesting at the entrance to Shell’s Pernis refinery in Rotterdam port. The protestors were calling for a new law to ban fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship in the EU.

Russia anticipates all-year Arctic transits by as early as 2022

Further signs of just how much the Arctic Ocean is thawing came via Russian state television where the country’s deputy prime minister, Yuri Trutnev, said that year-round shipping via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) ought to be possible next year or by 2023 at the latest. “We are planning to start the transition to year-round navigation in 2022-2023,” Trutnev told the Rossiya 24 television channel. The shipping season has extended to around nine months over the past decade as the seas in the far north have warmed at a faster rate than the rest of the world.

Quartet of LNG newbuilds sings praises of energy efficiency

LNG carrier newbuilds combine two-stroke, low-pressure, dual-fuel technology, Hi-FIN, Hi-Rudder and air-lubrication systems to maximise energy efficiency. Fuel savings and lower emissions are of paramount importance in the design of a quartet of X-DF-propelled LNG carrier newbuildings for European owners. All four entered into long-term charters for worldwide trading over the last three months.

MAN and HHLA present autonomous Hamburg TruckPilot findings at ITS World Congress

MAN Truck & Bus and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) have successfully completed the joint project Hamburg TruckPilot. The objective of the three-year project, which was also part of the strategic mobility partnership between the City of Hamburg and Volkswagen AG, included the development and practical testing of an autonomous truck in container handling at the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA).

New Lubricants Will Be Key to the Renewable-Fuel Transition

Ship operators must work alongside the companies they charge with maintaining engine condition in order to ensure a smooth transition to using alternative fuels. That is the challenge laid down by Lubrizol’s Technical Manager for Marine Engine Oils, Ian Bown, as the company explores how it must adapt lubricants to protect ship engines burning alternative fuels.