Industry news

BIMCO expects to release autonomous ship contract next year

28 October | technology

BIMCO, an international shipping association, has adapted its currently used SHIPMAN 2009 agreement for use with autonomous ships and expects to publish the first version of AUTOSHIPMAN agreement next year.

Considering that there are no actual autonomous ships in operation right now, there needs to be ongoing adjustments as the shipping industry moves ahead with the autonomous vessel projects.

BIMCO said that for autonomous ships to operate within the industry’s current commercial framework, there is a need for standard contracts. To begin with, at least, these will not be charter parties, considering that autonomous ships are being constructed to serve on dedicated trades for their complete working life.

Furthermore, the companies ordering the first generation of autonomous vessels are, in most cases, users of shipping transportation services.

The first autonomous ships are expected to be operated by third party ship managers and they may serve not only as technical managers for the ship but also offer the remote control centre and the personnel to run the ship.

The association said: “BIMCO’s response is the development of a specially adapted version of its widely used SHIPMAN 2009 agreement. The ship management sector is already familiar with the ‘service-based’ structure of SHIPMAN and it has been a relatively easy task to add autonomous ship-related services and to build in provisions for the operation and manning of a remote control centre.”

According to the forecasts, by late 2021, the first generation of autonomous ships will begin operations within the territorial waters of some countries.

For the association, the challenge in establishing AUTOSHIPMAN is that there are no autonomous ships currently in operation, and several provisions of the new agreement are based on assumptions and expectations.

When creating AUTOSHIPMAN, BIMCO has received inputs from three ship management companies, which are working on autonomous ship projects – Wilhelmsen, Anglo Eastern, and NYK LNG Shipmanagement. Inputs on the insurance and liability aspects were drawn from ITIC and Gard and legal advice from HFW.

19 October | Environment

LNG and hydrogen fuel option to help shipping meet IMO targets

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen have been named as frontrunner fuels that could help the shipping industry meet IMO decarbonisation ambitions, a new survey by ABS suggests.

In the ABS Future Fuels LinkedIn Survey, 47% of the respondents mentioned LNG as the solution to the 2050 emissions target while 40% selected hydrogen.

Only 8% of the stakeholders opted for ammonia as the future fuel and 5% mentioned methanol.

For the 2030 industry targets, LNG was chosen by 64% of the respondents as the dominant fuel option.

Approximately 22% of the respondents said they believe hydrogen could be the option while 7% each considered ammonia and methanol.

The results demonstrate the challenges faced by the shipowners in developing fleets that meet and exceed IMO targets, ABS noted.

ABS chairman, president and CEO Christopher Wiernicki said: “Owners of internationally trading ships are facing increasingly complex investment decisions as they try to navigate the most efficient course to the low-carbon future, which is why ABS has moved to simplify the landscape by identifying three fuel pathways potentially open to shipping.”

The first pathway identified by ABS is called ‘Light Gas’. It uses generally light, small molecule fuels with high energy content but more demanding, mainly cryogenic fuel supply systems and storage.

The group includes a relatively mature methane solution, leading towards bio-derived or synthetic methane, and ultimately, to hydrogen as fuel.

LNG can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 20%. Bio-methane can be carbon neutral while hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel.

While Hydrogen is viewed as an optimal solution, it requires major technical advances to put it into practice. Wiernicki said it may even take a decade or more.

The second pathway is defined as ‘Heavy Gas’. It includes the use of generally heavier, more complex molecules but with less demanding fuel supply and storage requirements than the light gas pathway.

14 October | Cybersecurity

Three Carnival cruise brands affected by cyberattack

Carnival Corporation has revealed that the cyberattack that occurred in August affected three of its brands and casino operations.

The three affected brands are Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Seabourn .

In August, the company identified unauthorised third-party access in parts of its information technology systems.

The Information Security at Carnival Corporation worked to shut down the intrusion, restore operations, and avert further unauthorised access.

It also worked with a cybersecurity company to launch an investigation and informed the law enforcement and appropriate regulators.

During the investigation, it was found that the unauthorised third party accessed some of the personal information of some guests, employees, and crew of the three companies.

Along with the cybersecurity consultants, Carnival worked to recover the files and said that there is a low likelihood of misuse of data.

It is currently working to identify the affected guests, employees and crew.

In a statement, Carnival said: “The company expects to complete this process within the next 30 to 60 days and will then send notifications to potentially affected individuals whose current contact information is available to the company.

“Along with those individual notices, affected individuals will be offered complimentary credit monitoring as appropriate.”

Additionally, it has put up website notices and set up a call centre to answer queries. After the completion of the investigation, people may call to confirm if they were affected or not.

Last month, shipping and logistics group CMA CGM confirmed that it has been subject to cyberattacks, affecting its peripheral servers.

CMA CGM was the fourth shipping line to have been hit by a cyberattack. Previously, MSC, Cosco Shipping and Maersk were also affected.

In brief

Stena Line moves ferry terminal to new Stockholm Norvik Port

Ferry firm Stena Line has moved its Nynäshamn ferry terminal to the newly constructed Stockholm Norvik Port. The terminal opened with Stena Flavia vessel making the first arrival.

Concordia Damen Shipyard secures contract for 40 dual-fuel barges

Concordia Damen shipyard has secured a contract from the institutional investors for building 40 eco-friendly dual-fuel barges, which will be chartered by Shell and operated by VT Group/Marlow. The first vessel will be delivered in November 2021, following which, the yard will supply another vessel each month and complete the order by December 2024.

Austal delivers high-speed catamaran to Trinidad and Tobago’s NIDCO

Austal’s Vietnam unit has delivered APT James, the 94m all-aluminium, high-speed catamaran, to the National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCO) of Trinidad and Tobago. APT James is the first vessel to be fully constructed at the Vung Tau shipyard. The vehicle-passenger ferry, called Auto Express 94, was designed at Austal Australia.

Windward partners with shipping firms for digital transformation

Windward has partnered with several businesses in the maritime field, including four shipping companies, to drive digital transformation in the shipping industry. Windward is a predictive intelligence company, employing artificial intelligence (AI) to transform global maritime trade.

13 October | Cruise ship

Meyer Werft delivers Iona cruise ship to P&O Cruises

Meyer Werft has delivered new cruise ship Iona to the UK-based P&O Cruises on 9 October during an official handover ceremony.

The new cruise ship is 345m long and weighs 185,000t with 17 guest decks. It will be the first ship in the UK powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

It is the first of the two new cruise ships built for P&O Cruises.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.

“Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.”

The ship will feature a two-deck SkyDome, which measures approximately 970m2. It provides a tranquil pool environment during the day, as well as dining and entertainment in the night.

It also offers aerial entertainment shows under the stars.

Additionally, the guests on the ship can craft individual gins at the first gin distillery in the sea. The ship also provides destination-themed treatments at the Oasis spa.

The ship also offers eight speciality restaurants, other concepts that will be revealed later, as well as 13 entertainment venues, 16 whirlpools and four swimming pools, including an infinity pool at the ship’s aft.

Ludlow added: “Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021, Iona will not be sailing for the moment but we look forward to our guests experiencing this game-changing ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols.”