Industry news


Texas port to promote LNG as cruise ship fuel


Energy provider Stabilis Solutions is set to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) as marine fuel thanks to a new deal with the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, in Texas.

The deal will see the port offer access and dock space for shore-to-ship fuelling operations, while Stabilis will support LNG fuelling operations by using its current fleet of mobile cryogenic assets, which include LNG transportation and distribution resources.

This new partnership has been formed with the goal of attracting more LNG-capable ships to the port while also promoting LNG power adaptations, as some vessels using the port are already LNG-compatible.

Port of Corpus Christi CEO Sean Strawbridge said: “The Port of Corpus Christi Authority sees LNG fuelling of marine vessels as an important step toward our broader commitment to decarbonisation and improved air quality.

“We have a strong commitment to protecting our air attainment status, so by offering LNG as an alternative to diesel as a marine fuel within our gateway, we are evolving our sustainability protocols by reducing mobile source emissions.”

Stabilis Solutions president and CEO Jim Reddinger said: “We are excited to partner with the Port of Corpus Christi on this opportunity. The use of LNG as a marine fuel is critical for marine operators to reduce their emissions profile, and Stabilis is uniquely positioned to provide this service to customers along the Gulf Coast and beyond.”


Forescout launches ship-shape cyber-crime tech

US-based Forescout Technologies has launched a commercial device visibility and control technology to enhance cybersecurity in the maritime industry.

The platform will help maritime operators comply with the precise Operational Technology (OT) security requirements for maritime cybersecurity set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

It is mandatory for maritime operators to follow the IMO’s cyber risk guidelines, which came into effect on 1 January.

The guidelines include IT and OT systems, as well as several tactical preparations and technical controls, such as assessing the impact of a cyber-attack and executing safeguards for bridge, propulsion and cargo handling.

Shipowners and operators may lose access to ports or even face vessel detentions if they fail to address cyber risks as per the IMO regulations.

Forescout chief product officer Kevin O’Leary said: “Modern ships are floating cities with navigation, propulsion, electric power generation, fuel dissemination and water treatment, as well as other networked systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, video surveillance and automated safety controls.

“With these expansive technologies, the damage a cyber incident can cause to critical systems can be far-reaching and difficult to contain due to poor visibility and control of all connected assets.

“Forescout has an established track record in maritime operations and now offers the power of complete Operational Technology network visibility and system integration with legacy and new bridge control systems.”


New charter for LNG carriers

Singapore’s ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has signed a charter agreement with mining company Rio Tinto for three liquefied LNG dual-fuel Newcastlemax bulk carriers.

The construction of the 210,000 DWT vessels will take place at New Times Shipbuilding in China, and the agreement includes an option for an additional three carriers.

EPS stated that it has been focusing on LNG-related developments as part of its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policy, and the delivery of the ships will commence from the second half of 2023.

Rio Tinto is making similar efforts to reduce its carbon footprint through the incorporation of LNG.

EPS CEO Cyril Ducau said: “This partnership between EPS and Rio Tinto is another important step forward for industry-wide decarbonisation. We need like-minded companies to come together and use transitional fuels, like LNG, to get there. 

“I am inspired by this partnership because it fulfils our sustainability ambitions and sends a clear signal that greener shipping is possible today.”

Last month, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore signed two agreements to advance decarbonisation efforts in the maritime industry, one of which included the launch of a $90m fund.

The port authority joined six shipping industry partners in a memorandum of cooperation to establish the fund, which will be used to construct a new maritime decarbonisation centre in Singapore.


New Gulf port set for green light

APM Terminals (APMT) has agreed to collaborate with Plaquemines Port, Louisiana, US, to develop the future design of the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD).

The agreement is part of a formal discussion stage, after which both APMT and PPHTD will carry out several studies before finalising any investment decision.

The facility is currently in the initial phases of development and will be designed as a deepwater, multi-modal, container terminal in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish.

Situated 80km from the Gulf of Mexico, the proposed terminal will provide multimodal routing options to exporters and importers.

With an area of 1,000 acres and 8,200ft of Mississippi River frontage, the terminal will utilise a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electricity for power supply.

To avoid wind damage and storm surge, the facility will be installed with contemporary infrastructure technology.

APMT stated that the first phase of construction is anticipated to continue for two years.

In brief

"LNG is king", Kongsberg says

Kongsberg Digital has formed a strategic digitalisation partnership with BW LNG and Alpha Ori Technologies to enable the acceleration for us by future-ready liquefied natural gas carriers (LNGCs).

The companies will develop digital capabilities to cut down the carbon footprint of LNGCs, starting with deploying a common data management platform and developing a maritime digital twin and digital processing models, which will promote operational efficiency.

Viking to sail the med

Viking announced that it will restart operations in the Mediterranean with new ocean voyages for vaccinated guests beginning this summer.

The Viking Venus and Viking Sea will homeport in Valletta and sail two different 11-day roundtrip itineraries in the Mediterranean, between July and early October.

Viking is actively working on developing additional Welcome Back itineraries in a variety of other destinations, with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings soon.

Taking on the Ritz

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has announced the launch of its Patron of the Arts Program, to invite artists, speakers and cultural contributors across all disciplines to entertain their guests.

Speakers in fields such as visual arts, performing arts, science, literature and gastronomy are being invited to apply to participate.

The programme will engage local communities, partnering to bring a range of cultural explorations to life throughout the luxury yacht.