Fortnightly maritime news for the industry and PortXL community

ESAIL’s first map of global shipping

The ESAIL microsatellite for tracking ships at sea has captured 57 000 messages in its first 24 hours of operation, using advanced on-board processing algorithms. The high-performance satellite was developed as a Partnership Project to help European and Canadian space companies succeed in the competitive global telecommunications market. The satellite makes the seas safer by enabling industry, maritime authorities and governments to monitor fisheries, manage fleets, protect the environment and monitor security. It tracks ships worldwide by detecting messages that ships radio-broadcast with their automatic identification systems, enabling them to be identified even when away from coastal-based monitoring stations.

Iron Powder Passes First Industrial Test as Renewable, Carbon Dioxide-Free Fuel

Iron has an energy density of about 11.3 kWh/L, which is better than gasoline. Although its specific energy is a relatively poor 1.4 kWh/kg, meaning that for a given amount of energy, iron powder will take up a little bit less space than gasoline but it’ll be almost ten times heavier. It might not be suitable for powering your car, in other words. It probably won’t heat your house either. But it could be ideal for industry, which is where it’s being tested right now.

Vestas launches venture investment programme

Vestas is launching a new venture investment programme to accelerate the deployment of sustainable energy, the electrification of societies and unlock new growth opportunities. Vestas Ventures will invest in early-stage start-ups within sustainable energy. It will partner as a lead or follow-investor with start-up companies globally with promising technologies and solutions.

EU readies massive offshore wind plans

The European Union has unveiled on November 19th a massive offshore wind construction committment, designed to take the bloc’s existing 12 gigawatt capacity to 300 gigawatts by 2050. The $940bn planned investment would push Europe to the top of the ranks in terms of installed offshore wind capacity with some of the money coming from the union’s planned post-Covid green recovery stimulus.


Plug Power raises $1bn to accelerate hydrogen network plans

Plug Power has raised approximately $1bn of new capital to execute and accelerate its green hydrogen strategy and pursue other strategic growth initiatives. One of the largest bought equity deal transactions in the broader clean-tech sector, the capital raising comes not long after Plug Power announced plans to build five regional green hydrogen facilities in the US.

IMO moves to ban HFO use in the Arctic

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has moved to ban the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and its carriage for use by ships in Arctic waters after 1 July 2024. However the move has been criticised by environmental groups as lacking real regulatory control, as the legislation contains loopholes and exemptions in addition to the enforcement period which extends well into the 2020s. One provision exempts ships with oil fuel tanks inside their double hull, while another gives countries in Arctic waters the right to issue waivers from the HFO ban for vessels flying their respective flags in the Arctic until 1 July 2029.

DEME Bags Its Largest Ever Dredging Deal

The Belgian dredging and offshore installation firm DEME said Friday it had secured its largest ever dredging and land reclamation contract. The contract is for work for the Abu Qir port project in Egypt. The project will see the deployment of DEME’s giant new cutter suction dredger ‘Spartacus’. While it said the contract was a “large” one, and its largest ever in the dredging and reclamation space, DEME did not provide the exact figure. However, it did say that a “large” contract refers to a contract with a value of more than EUR 300 million.