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ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
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Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
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SHIP TRAIN

September 1, 2009

Ship trains for the Arctic?

Could the Arctic Ocean one day be sailed by 1.8 kilometer long ship trains?

That's the solution this year's students in a DNV summer program came up with when set the assignment "Sustainable adaption to climate change-- Arctic opportunities and threats."

In the space of six weeks this summer, the students worked on a concept. They chose the year 2050, by which time the Arctic Ocean will be free of ice all summer. And if ice forms in winter, it will be first-year ice that is easy to break. They call their solution AMV Njord-- Arctic Modular Vessel.

This is a ship that is designed like a train and consists of several modules, each of which is 200 m long. The ship's maximum length is 1.8 kilometres. Since the ship-train is to sail right across the Arctic Ocean, there is very little need for detailed navigation and the navigation is otherwise based on advanced satellite technology. A sail attached to each ship-train module efficiently catches the wind at a height of 300 m.

The students have designed a bow that rotates so that it can change from a normal bow for use in open seas into an ice-breaking bow. At each end, there is a 200-metre-long propulsion unit with an engine and submersible propeller thrusters. In addition to wind power, the ship is also run by hydrogen fuel cells.

Experienced DNV staff have been able to do calculations regarding the concept and have been unable to find any "faults" in the students' work. On the contrary, many of them have been full of enthusiasm and admiration for the innovative concept.

The five young women and eight young men, all from Scandinavia, have varied backgrounds ranging from biology and energy to IT, logistics and naval architecture.

When the concept was presented at DNV's head office, representatives of three Norwegian ministries had asked to be allowed to attend and shipping companies, equipment suppliers and others in the maritime industry were represented. There was also a great deal of interest within DNV. The students had to give their presentation twice so that everyone could see it.

"I'm proud to be responsible for this," says Gustav Lybaek Heiberg, the DNV executive overseeing the project. "Our intention with this student project is to attract the most clever people and get them to look at our problems with fresh eyes. And of course we hope that they'll go back to their universities as ambassadors for DNV," he adds.

The Wilh. Wilhelmsen and Maersk shipping companies watched the presentation with great interest. "Ships are getting bigger and bigger. We're pushing boundaries all the time. This concept is a continuation of this trend," says Wilhelm Mohr, the sales director of Maersk Line Norway.


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