Fortnightly maritime news for the industry and PortXL community.

Port of Antwerp to launch world’s first Hydrogen Tug

A hybrid tug powered by hydrogen and diesel has been ordered by the Port of Antwerp, which is working on a strategy to become carbon neutral. Built by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), the ‘Hydrotug’ will comply with EU Stage V emissions regulations and will feature a particulate filter and catalyser to complement its dual-fuel system. It is due to be delivered within two years.

Constant change is the new normal

Often hard to define but generally seen as a marker of positive progress, ‘change’ in shipping has dominated the headlines in recent years. Innovation seems ceaseless, with the industry on the cusp of realising the exciting benefits of digitalisation, operational efficiency and sustainability. Change is everywhere, as it impacts everything from procurement planning to the technical detail of engine room operations.

Shipping is cleaning up its act

The United Nations warned in 2018 that the world had 12 years to stem catastrophic levels of global warming, piling the pressure on international shipping to clean up its act. Ships are incredibly polluting, belching out millions of tons of greenhouse gases every year. They emit sulfur dioxide, a pollutant linked to respiratory illnesses, as well as carbon dioxide and methane, gases which cause global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere.

The onshore future of marine energy

Ocean energy is expected to have a role in cutting global carbon emissions over the next few decades. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) sees marine and other niche technologies making up about 4% of the world’s future energy mix by 2050—around 881 gigawatts. But by the end of 2018 there was just 500 megawatts (MW) of total installed capacity.

Future Arctic navigation and Northwestern Atlantic Ports

The looming prospect of trans-Arctic ship navigation has prompted China’s ship industry to develop container ships capable of seasonally sailing through the Russian side of the Arctic, ferrying containers between Eastern Chinese ports and Western European ports.

Wärtsilä & Norsepower Team Up on Wind Propulsion Services for Shipping

Since being launched in 2014, Norsepower Rotor Sails have been installed on three vessels, resulting in a reduction of their CO2 output by an estimated 5,000 tons. A fourth installation is already planned for 2020 when Scandlines’ hybrid passenger ferry Copenhagen will get the Norsepower’s technology.

Singapore setting up research centre into autonomous ships

The new centre aims to drive research and technology innovation required for the safe and efficient operations of autonomously and remotely operated vessels, as well as vessels equipped with smart maritime systems and solutions, in complex operating environments.

The Caribbean shows the way to a renewable future

In the span of just a few years, the focus at the annual Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation conference has shifted from issues around producing electricity from thermal capacity — usually oil — to what blend of renewable options constitutes the best path forward.

Startup-built ethical supply chains for large corporates

Multinationals face mounting pressure to better understand their supply chains and to eradicate their roots in armed conflict, slavery or child labour. This has led to major companies like IBM rolling out blockchain-based, supply-chain pilots, counting Nestle, Vodafone and Volkswagen among its partner-firms.