Your favourite monthly maritime news collection about the industry and the PortXL community is back.

Rotterdam crowned best port during the pandemic

Commenting on coming out top in the pandemic poll, René de Vries, chief harbour master at the Port of Rotterdam, said: “Covid-19 have been difficult times for all of us. Despite the fact that we have announced and complied with strict precautions, we have always kept an eye on the impact on the seafarers of the ships visiting us. The human dimension is always our top priority in the port of Rotterdam. It is very nice and heartwarming that this is recognized by the readers of Splash. We thank them for the recognition and hope to welcome everyone back to our port soon without any restrictions.”

EPS announces investment in nine maritime start-ups

Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has committed to using a green and technology-driven approach to change the maritime industry. Doing this means sourcing, funding, and nurturing the next generation of maritime entrepreneurs whose vision and abilities can carry the industry forward. In 2019, EPS partnered with Techstars to create the Eastern Pacific Accelerator, a mentorship-based programme that has invested in 18 maritime startups to date. Last week, EPS announces it has invested in an additional seven startups through its partnership with Techstars and another two startups outside of the programme.

Among these are 2021 PortXL alumni Sealution, who became the 5th Belgian company to be accepted into Techstars, and i4sea, who received investment from EPS outside of its accelerator. Congratulations from the PortXL team!

HelioRec’s Hydrolock feature shrugs off storm Corrie

Storm Corrie his the Benelux region some two weeks ago, with winds up to 90 km/h. On the Belgian coast, the breakwaters in Oostende were closed as a precaution. The port of Oostende is where 2021 PortXL alumni HelioRec has their floating solar pilot. Despite being faced with an intense “stress test”, the hydrolock feature helped to keep the system stable and flexible connectors reduced mechanical stresses from wind and waves, ensuring the survival of the innovative floating solar power plant.

Innovation competition ZeroEmission@Berth kicks off in Germany

The large German seaports, represented by the respective port infrastructure companies, want to support the path of decarbonisation of shipping with the innovation competition ‘ZeroEmission@Berth’ so that ship operations at berth can be designed with as few emissions as possible. They are looking for innovative ideas, concepts and technology-neutral approaches that show energy supply approaches for ships at the berth as an alternative to stationary shore power systems. Solutions are also being sought that can also contribute to reducing emissions when driving.

Shell and GTT join forces to develop liquid hydrogen technologies

Energy giant Shell will cooperate with France’s GTT, a world leader in gas containment systems, to develop liquid hydrogen (LH2) transport technologies in a European riposte to Asia’s early lead in this new seaborne trade. The cooperation agreement is part of Shell’s strategy to develop a hydrogen energy supply chain by creating scalable and safe liquefied hydrogen shipping technologies. This includes the development by GTT of a preliminary LH2 carrier design as well as an LH2 cargo containment system for a mid-size LH2 carrier. “The ability to transport very large volumes of hydrogen in liquefied form, at -250°C, is one of the technological challenges that must be met in order to establish a reliable, efficient, and competitive hydrogen supply chain,” GTT explained.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi: Shipmanagement gets the hologram treatment

Business travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels for many years. One maritime company determined to stay in touch with its staff around the world is Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM), which has unveiled groundbreaking new hologram technology to innovate its training and business meetings, making famous scenes from movies such as Star Wars a reality. “The future is already here,” said CSM president and CEO Mark O’Neil, as he addressed an audience in Manila as a hologram beamed from the Limassol offices of OneLearn Global, 8,906 km away. O’Neil was able to appear as a life-size, 3D hologram, appearing in 4K resolution, talking to, seeing and hearing the people who were physically attending the event in Manila, even though he was six time zones away.

‘Honeycomb’ mooring system could reduce floating wind costs

TotalEnergies has teamed up with Semar in Norway to progress development of the latter’s ‘Honeymooring’ mooring solution for floating windfarms. The companies believes the Honeymooring concept can reduce floating wind costs and reduce the environmental footprint of moorings on the seabed. TotalEnergies said it believes that the innovative mooring system has the potential to reduce the cost of floating wind projects in which it participates.