May 23, 2012—Salvors continue to work to remove containers, pieces of hatch covers and debris from the bow section of the containership M/V Rena, which struck Astrolabe Reef off of Tauranga, New Zealand, on October 5, 2011. The containership split in two this past January.
The number of containers recovered from the stricken Rena on Mount Mauganui’s Astrolabe Reef has risen above the 800 mark, reports Braemar Howells. A total of 815 of the 1,368 containers have now been brought to port.
Braemar Howells’ operations manager Neil Lloyd confirmed numbers were boosted this week with 21 containers landed on May 21, and a further eight on May 22.
The good weather and calm sea conditions had enabled the good progress, and also favoured continuing shoreline debris recovery operations. Two tonnes of debris, comprising small pieces of timber, were removed from Matakana Island yesterday. With most of the bigger debris removed from Coromandel and Bay of Plenty shorelines the cleanup operations were now focused mainly on bead recovery.
Braemar Howells has teams stationed on Matakana Island in the Bay of Plenty and at Matapaua Bay, north of Tairua, in the Coromandel this week working on bead recovery.
Meanwhile, the Braemar / Unimar team is continuing sonar operations this week, with identified seabed targets being investigated to ascertain whether they are containers.
MAY 18, 2012—With Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner Franco Gabrielli in attendance, Costa Crociere S.p.A. and Italo-American consortium Titan-Micoperi, the winner of the tender tasked with performing the work, presented their plan to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia from the coast of Giglio Island.
Following a conference convened by the commissioner May 15, during which the relevant authorities provided the necessary permits, the work will begin in a few days and is expected to last about 12 months.
Titan Salvage , Fort Lauderdale, FL, part of the Crowley Group, is an American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company and is a world leader in its field. Micoperi is a well-known Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering.
The plan to refloat the hull in one piece gives top priority to minimizing environmental impact, protecting Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and maximizing safety.
Environmental protection will have top priority throughout the monumental salvage operation, the likes of which has not been attempted before anywhere in the world. Once removal is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.
The plan also includes measures to safeguard Isola del Giglio’s tourism industry and wider economy. Salvage workers’ presence will not have a significant impact on the availability of hotel accommodations for the island’s summer season. The operating base will be located on the mainland near Piombino, where equipment and materials will be stored, avoiding impact on the island’s port activities.
Operations will be divided into four basic stages:
- After stabilizing the ship, a subsea platform will be built and caissons that can be filled with water will be fixed to the side of the ship that is out of the water
- Two cranes fixed to the platform will pull the ship upright, helped by the caissons, which will be filled with water
- When the ship is upright, caissons will also be fixed to the other side of the hull
- The caissons on both sides will then be emptied, after treating and purifying the water to protect the marine environment, and filled with air.
Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of Italian authorities.
The plan was selected by an evaluation team with specialist representatives from Costa Crociere, Carnival Corporation & plc, London Offshore Consultants and Standard P&I Club, with the collaboration of RINA and Fincantieri, because it best fulfills the main objectives of the operation — removal of the wreck in one piece, minimal risk, minimal environmental impact, protection of Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and maximum safety.
“From the early stages of the accident, Costa Crociere has fully committed its resources, professional expertise and organization to minimizing the impact of the shipwreck on the environment and on Isola del Giglio in particular,” said Gianni Onorato, Costa Crociere S.p.A. president. “As was the case with the fuel-removal operation, we have always worked to find the best possible and safest solution to protect the island, its marine environment and its tourism industry. We are now launching a salvage operation with characteristics and technical complexities that have never been faced before. There will inevitably be some unknowns in a project of this scope, but we are sure we have made the right decision and will continue to work to our best ability and on schedule.”
“We are very pleased to have been chosen to perform this incredible operation to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia,” said Richard Habib, managing director of Titan Salvage. “Our quality engineering and the experience we have gained in this area allowed us to present a project that met expectations. From now on we will work with the aim of preserving the environment and the natural habitat.”
“We were confident from the outset that the professionalism of our company and our proven experience in underwater rescue and recovery operations could be of service to this salvage operation,” said Silvio Bertolotti, general manager of Micoperi. “Being chosen is also a powerful demonstration of the quality and capability of Italian companies to manage such delicate and unprecedented projects.”
JUNE 15, 2012 — Norwegian shipbuilder Fjellstrand has broken into the wind farm support vessel market with an innovative trimaran SWATH design, the WindServer. Ejsberg, Denmark, based World Maritime Offshore A/S has ordered six of the vessels for delivery in 2013 — and has optioned "several" more.
"With the fast growing offshore wind market, we see an increasing demand for high quality support vessels, that will be able to operate in higher waves at the wind farms, while ensuring higher performance in a safer way," says World Maritime Offshore managing director Peter Lykke-Kjeldsen. "The Fjellstrand WindServer is matching our requirements to a state of the art multifunctional vessel. The flexibility of these vessels enables us to operate with various tasks offshore i.e. crew transfer, cargo transfer, search and rescue, survey, diving operations, so we are confident that this major investment in a safe, modern and efficient fleet will contribute to the further development of World Marine Offshore as a leading company providing safety and support offshore."
Developed with the support of the U.K. based Carbon Trust, the Windserver draws on Fjellstrand's more than 30 years expertise with aluminum fast ferries, advanced motion dampening systems and offshore special vessels (OSV).
The aluminum hulls will be delivered in two sizes, 25 m and 30 m in length, carrying 12 and 24 service personnel respectively, with a service speed of 25 knots. Four engine installations powering two controllable pitch propellers ensure redundancy and flexibility to the operation.
The vessels will be equipped with ballasting systems to shift between rough weather SWATH mode and light weight transit mode. This, in combination with an integrated stabilizing foil, ensures a robust hull with low maintenance costs.
"The foil will have no moving parts", says naval architect Olav Kjetil Opheim who has been managing the WindServer project from its conception. He notes that by minimizing the number of complex installations, the investment and maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.
"Extensive model tank testing proves that this innovative hull ensures exceptional sea-keeping at both zero and high speeds," he says.
The offshore wind industry is looking to maximize operability and safety as wind farms move further offshore; into rougher waves and stronger winds. Designed to meet these needs, the WindServer was one of 13 concepts (from a total of 450 entries) shortlisted last year in the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) access competition. The competition aimed to identify and develop new access systems to dramatically improve the availability of turbines and the safety of people during the transfer to turbines.
The Carbon Trust, a non-profit funded mainly by the British Government, endeavors to accelerate the commercialization of innovative concepts that reduce carbon emissions and save energy. The OWA is a collaboration between the Carbon Trust and eight international energy companies (SSE Renewables, Statoil, DONG Energy, RWE Innogy, Scottish Power Renewables, Statkraft, Mainstream Renewable Power and E.ON) with licenses for 60 percent of the UK's offshore wind capacity.
Fjellstrand says the combination of the Carbon Trust support and the significant operational experience from the team at World Marine Offshore has given it a unique insight into the challenges faced by vessel operators.
It says that the WindServer order, along with the on-going construction of two large offshore vessels and four aluminum constructions for offshore projects, will secure continuous high activity for the shipyard through 2013.
AUGUST 6, 2012 — Bollinger Shipyards has released video showing sea trials of the first of four Ocean class tugs under construction for Crowley.
The Ocean class towing vessel is a new design that is a combined effort from Bollinger's engineering department, Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime Consultants and Crowley's Vessel Management Services.
With a length of 146 ft (44.4m), breadth of 46 ft (14m) and depth of 26 ft (7.92m), the Ocean class vessels feature dynamic positioning (DP-1) and are powered by twin Caterpillar C-280-12 Tier II engines, developing 10,880 BHP and with ability to be upgraded to Tier III or IV, to meet future environmental standards.
The vessels are outfitted with twin-screw, controllable-pitch propellers in nozzles and high lift rudders for a combination of performance and fuel economy for towing and anchor handling. All tanks containing liquids are inboard of the side shell. The vessels are classed Maltese Cross A-1, Towing and AMS, USCG, SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Fi-Fi 1 firefighting standards, Green Passport, International Load Line Certificate.
The design also features ergonomic accommodations and comforts proven to minimize fatigue and reduce injuries of the crew.
AUGUST 5, 2012—In a ground-breaking move, Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), Tacoma, WA, plans to convert its two ORCA Class Roll-On/Roll-Off ships to burn Liquefied Natural Gas, after receiving a permit from the U.S. Coast Guard providing a conditional waiver from the Emissions Control Area (ECA) fuel sulfur content requirements of MARPOL Annex VI regulation 14.4.
According to the company magazine, the engineering, design and installation of the engine kits and construction of the LNG plant to convert the two ships could cost $84 million and take up to five years.
“We have a conversion plan that will essentially overhaul the engines with no impacts to our service schedule. Most of the work will be done underway—it’s going to be amazing to see,” TOTE President John Parrot is quoted as saying.
Artist's conception shown at top left from the company magazine shows the LNG fuel tanks on the ship's deck.
The permit was issued by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) under authority provided in Regulation 3 of Annex VI.
The North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) became enforceable on August 1. Ships that are subject to MARPOL operating in the ECA, which extends 200 nautical miles off of most of the continental U.S. and Canada, must burn low sulfur fuel oil (not exceeding 1.00% or10,000 ppm) or install and use an equivalent means of compliance approved by its flag State. This could mean installing Exhaust Gas Scrubbers or SCRs. Another method is to burn LNG, an extremely clean burning fuel, eliminating almost all SOx, 85 to 90 percent of NOx, with no particulate matter.
“When the Orca class vessels were delivered in 2003, they were purpose-built to serve the Alaska market and exceeded all regulatory and environmental standards. Post LNG conversion, the Orca vessels will again set a new standard for environmental responsibility. These changes will provide benefits to the residents of Alaska well into the 21st century,” says Parrott.
Operating between Tacoma, WA, and Anchorage, AK, the 839 ft x 118 ft Midnight Sun and North Star were built by NASSCO, San Diego, and delivered in 2003. The diesel-electric vessels have the capacity to carry 600 Forty-Foot Equivalent (FEU) Containers and 220 vehicles.
TOTE believes that these will be the first conversion in the world of vessels of this type. TOTE says that the shore side LNG infrastructure that that will be built to support its operations could also help other transportation industries in Puget Sound follow TOTE in converting to LNG.
TOTE is working with local organizations to develop LNG fuel and distribution systems, including Puget Sound Energy.
Among those known to be exploring conversion to LNG in the marine sector is Washington State Ferries, which has released an RFP for converting six of its ferries to burn LNG.
“This is the first permit issued under the Annex VI, Regulation 3 program, and it is tangible evidence that when committed organizations join together, innovative solutions can result,” says Phil Morrell, Vice President of Marine and Terminal Operations at TOTE.
The comprehensive project will also lead to the establishment of long-term supplies of LNG for use by other sectors of the transportation industry in the Puget Sound region. The project will extend environmental benefits throughout the region by breaking through supply barriers that have constrained the growth of LNG in the transportation industries.
“We are very pleased that the EPA and Coast Guard share our vision for LNG use aboard our vessels, and were willing to work with us to make it a reality. I would like to particularly recognize the diligent and professional staff of the EPA and USCG for their hard work on this project,” says Parrott.
Besides the environmental benefit, TOTE believes the conversion to LNG assures long-term access to lower-cost sources of energy, enabling the company to provide economical service to Alaska for many years to come.
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