Crew Mirror Digest 03-2023

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The Significance Of Container Transshipment Terminal India Is Set To Build In Great Nicobar

15 Jan 2023
An Expression of Interest (EoI) for the country’s first mega container transhipment port at Galathea Bay in Great Nicobar Islands is expected to be floated by January-end, a senior official said.

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There is no large container transhipment port in India and all international container cargo has to go to Colombo, Singapore and Port Klang in Malaysia.

With 75 per cent of the country’s transshipment cargo being handled at international ports, it makes Indian industries vulnerable to increase in costs, potential inefficiencies, and congestion issues and creates long-term risks for India’s trade competitiveness.

Out of the nearly 75 per cent of India’s transshipped containers that are handled at ports outside India, Colombo, Singapore and Port Klang handle more than 85 per cent of it. Colombo alone handling about 2.5 million TEUs.

Experts have long maintained that a strong economic case exists for enabling a transshipment hub in Southern India that can attract Indian and regional transshipment traffic from the current hubs, save significant revenue loss, reduce logistics inefficiencies for Indian trade, reduce risks to the country’s export competitiveness and create an opportunity for India to become a large hub for Asia-Africa, Asia-US/Europe container traffic trade.

The transhipment port would enable big ships to anchor and raise India’s share in maritime trade, create new job opportunities and save a lot of forex, officials stated. Reference

Why shipbuilders are reaching for the nuclear option

15 Jan 2023
Nuclear-powered ships have long been the sole preserve of navies and state agencies like Rosatom, the Russian nuclear agency. Concerns over safety and available engineering expertise have largely kept nuclear power plants out of civilian hands.

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Yet that might be about to change, according to the world’s largest shipbuilder. South Korea’s HD Hyundai is looking at building nuclear-powered cargo vessels as the industry seeks to end its dependence on polluting heavy fuel oil.

HD Hyundai is considering the shift to nuclear ahead of green regulations that will apply to global shipping from 2025. It is not alone.

The vast majority of global cargo vessels still use bunker fuel oil – little changes since the Second World War, even if engines burning it are somewhat more cleanly nowadays.

However, the pace of change is picking up. Shipping lines such as AP Moller-Maersk and CMA CGM are already placing contracts with Hyundai for vessels powered by alternative fuels. Environmental concerns and regulation are pushing to move global maritime trade away from traditional fossil fuel oil propulsion and in search of alternative energy sources. The European Union is also planning to introduce carbon cap-and-trade measures for the shipping industry beginning in 2025, which will increase the cost of operating polluting vessels.

Building nuclear-powered ships is just one piece of the puzzle: these vessels then need to be crewed by specially trained and experienced sailors. Compared with the well-remunerated and stable life of a nuclear engineer ashore, going to sea can be a much less attractive prospect. Reference

India: The world’s longest river cruise will sail in Ganga river

14 Jan 2023
A luxury ship makes history by embarking from the Indian spiritual city of Varanasi on Friday on a voyage that will help usher in a new age of tourism on the subcontinent. This cruise is one of the centerpieces of central government’s major program of infrastructure initiatives,

Image Source: CNN

The MV Ganga Vilas is set to travel 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles) of waterway in India and Bangladesh, making it the world’s longest river cruise, according to organizers.

From there, the ship will travel along the Ganga, India’s holiest river, and other waterways through five states in India, then into neighboring Bangladesh, visiting national parks, UNESCO World Heritage sites and big cities along the way. The MV Ganga Vilas will carry 36 passengers in 18 suites, according to Antara, the company that owns and operates the cruise ship, plus about 48 crew members.

The MV Ganga Vilas’ 51 days on the water include stops in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, the Sundarbans mangrove forest (which is shared by the two countries) and India’s Kaziranga National Park, which is home to one-horned rhinoceroses.

The ship’s interiors were inspired by the work of 20th-century German painter Josef Albers.

Plans are underway to increase the opportunities for river cruise tourism in India, with 10 passenger ship terminals being built along National Waterway-2, an 891 kilometer section of the Brahmaputra River. Reference

India: Maritime Skill Development Centre Inaugurated In Guwahati

14 Jan 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 13 January, inaugurated the Maritime Skill Development Centre in Guwahati virtually.

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The PM, in his address, emphasized the need for training a skilled workforce and said that the new centre would help hone the rich talent pool in the North Eastern region, along with providing a better opportunity for employment in the burgeoning logistics industry.

“Be it a cruise ship or a cargo ship, they not only give a boost to transport and tourism, but the entire industry associated with their service also creates new opportunities,” said PM Modi. Reference

South Korea’s First Smart, Electric Ship Begins Service

14 Jan 2023
Hyundai Heavy Industries recently commissioned South Korea’s first large next-generation electric propulsion ship which incorporates smart technology. The unique vessel is dual-powered with the ability to operate either fully from its battery or an LNG-fueled engine or a hybrid mode with the battery supplementing the engines. The vessel will operate as a demonstration ship and undertake tourist voyages from the city of Ulsan along the Korean coast.

Image source: The Maritime Executive

Construction on the 1,400 gross ton vessel began in October 2021 at the Hyundai Mipo Shipyard. Named Ulsan Taehwa, the vessel features an electric propulsion system that includes an energy storage system that enables selective operation of the DC Grid-based LNG and marine diesel oil power plant. The dual-fuel engine is capable of driving the vessel which is 292 feet long with a beam of 42 feet at speeds up to 16 knots. It has a capacity of 300 passengers.

During sea trials conducted in August and October, the vessel reduced CO2 emissions by 40 percent compared to conventional marine diesel engines. Hyundai also reports that fuel efficiency was improved by six percent through optimal engine controls. The technology permits the power generation to be adjusted in 1/1000 of a second, which Hyundai reports is about 100 times faster than existing engines. Among the other smart ship functions is a maintenance operation that self-diagnoses the operating equipment.

The Ulsan Taehwa was built as part of electric propulsion smart ship construction and demonstration project designed to support the advancement of battery-powered shipping. The vessel cost approximately $34 million to build. Reference

India to send human being 6000 meter below sea level

13 Jan 2023
As a part of Samudrayaan Mission, undertaken by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, India aims to send human being 6000 meters below sea level.

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Sharing the details, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred to Deep Sea Mission in his Independence Day address. The mission, said the Minister, heralds India’s ushering into an era of “Blue Economy” which is going to play a major part in building India’s overall economy during the years to come.

Dr Jitendra Singh further elaborated that a vehicle called MATSYA will carry three persons to a depth of 6000 meters for exploration of deep-sea resources like minerals. This mission, he said, is expected to be realized in the next three years.

The Minister said that MATSYA 6000 has an endurance of 12 hours under normal operation and 96 hours in case of emergency for human safety. The design of the vehicle is completed and realization of various components of the vehicle is in progress.

The Minister added that apart from the scientific research and technological empowerment as the benefits, this mission has immediate spin-offs in the form of underwater engineering innovations in asset inspection, tourism and promotion of ocean literacy. Reference

Su-Nav committed to having cadets on every ship

13 Jan 2023
Su-Nav is a relatively new name to the world of third-party ship management but has a strong commitment to training for the future including having cadets on board all vessels it manages.

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Founded in 2019 Su-Nav is headquartered in Chennai, India with another office in Singapore, and new office opening in Dubai. Su-Nav CEO is Sachit Sahoonja. The company’s name SuNav reflects this back-to-basics approach and means “good ship” in Sanskrit.

Sahoonja explains that all the ships under its management have two cadets onboard equating to around 60 – 70 trainees at one time. To date 75 have completed their training and nine who are now officers on board its ships and over the next two years the manager will have 60 more junior officers. 

Su-Nav has been able to convince owners that in three years time they will have officers for their ships, and be paying first year wages, rather than second or third year wages if sourcing crew from the market. In the longer-term he believes these officers will stay with the company becoming chief officers and captains.

Sahoonja says that seafarers will be the people who allow them to continue expanding the company in the future so are most important building block at this time. Reference

World’s Largest Sail Cruise Ship to be Launched by Orient Express

13 Jan 2023
French hospitality company Accor Group is the latest hotel company to announce plans to enter the cruise business. Accor signed a LOI with Chanteirs de l’Atlantique for the construction of two of the world’s largest sailing ships which it intends to use as cruise ships for its Orient Express luxury brand. Accor will hold a minority stake in the project.

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The concept is for a luxury hybrid powered cruise ship combining the shipyard’s SolidSail concept along with a dual-fuel engine that will run on liquified natural gas and be capable of converting to green hydrogen in the future. The sails in the right conditions will be able to propel the ship while according to the company, they will overall “contribute significantly to the hybrid propulsion of the ship.”

The cruise ships will be 22,300 tons with an overall length of 721 feet. The system will consist of three rigid sails that hang from masts each standing more than 328 feet. The sails fold when not in use and are unfurled without the use of spars.

A unique part of the sail system is the balestron rig on which the masts are mounting. It can rotate 360 degrees and can tilt up to 70 degrees to create clearance for the vessel when the sails are not in use. The Neoliner concept for a wind-powered Ro-Ro also incorporates Chantiers’ SolidSail design.

The first cruise ship, named Orient Express Silenseas, would be delivered in March 2026. Each of the ships will feature 54 suites. Passenger amenities will include both a swimming pool and a lap pool, a spa, two restaurants, a bar, a theater, and a recording studio. Reference

Adani Group Completes $1.15B Purchase of Haifa Port Company

12 Jan 2023
Israel completed the sale of the Haifa Port Company to a partnership led by India’s Adani Ports along with an Israeli chemical and logistics company Gadot Group.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The privatization of the Haifa Port Company was one of the largest infrastructural and financial projects of the last decade managed by the State of Israel. They reported that it attracted broad international interest after the bidding process was announced in January 2020. A total of 18 companies partnered to form five bidding groups. DP World had expressed interest early in the process, but in the last round, according to media reports, it came down to the Adani partnership, a group being led by Israel Shipyards, and another from the British Lomar Shipping.

The Ministry of Finance announced the winning bid valued at $1.15 billion in July 2022. In recent months, the group, in cooperation with the state authorities, received the approvals required to complete the transaction. This included approval of the competition commissioner for the selling of the state’s shares in the Haifa Port Company, which becomes a subsidiary of Adani. The Indian company owns 70 percent of the company while its Israeli partner holds the remaining 30 percent.

The privatization of the Haifa Port Company is part of an overall reform of Israel’s seaports that began in 2003. The aim is to increase competition in the seaports, and the privatizations are expected to improve the efficiency of the ports through significant investments in the port. Reference

Global Maritime Security Incidents at Lowest Levels in 40 Years

12 Jan 2023ata suggests that globally recorded maritime security incidents are at their lowest levels in 40 years.

That’s according to Dryad Global’s latest Maritime Security Threat Advisory (MSTA), which noted that incidents of offshore piracy across both the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea regions have shown “considerable declines from previously high rates”.

Dryad’s latest MSTA, which was released on January 9, showed that there have been zero maritime security incidents across West Africa and the Indian Ocean this year. Two incidents were recorded in South East Asia, according to the MSTA, which highlighted that this was 50 percent down on year ago levels.

The company’s previous MSTA, which was released on December 12, outlined that total maritime security incidents dropped 36 percent year on year in West Africa and five percent year on year in the Indian Ocean. Incidents had risen 21 percent year on year in South East Asia, however, that MSTA revealed.

Dryad’s latest MSTA also noted that, despite the decline in incidents of piracy, maritime crime has persisted globally with high volumes of incidents within Southeast Asian waters and many littoral regions.

According to the Maritime Information Cooperation & Awareness Center’s (MICA) latest annual maritime security report, piracy and robbery incidents dropped from 375 in 2020, to 318 in 2021, and 300 in 2022. Reference

Encrypting Vessel ID Data Can Thwart Maritime Piracy

12 Jan 2023
The regulations the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued in the wake of 9/11 regarding ship location and identification reporting have made it easier to track vessels–but not only for the good guys. Since the monitoring and reporting information is broadcast on open channels, anyone can listen in, including pirates and cyber attackers.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

While the overall number of piracy incidents decreased in 2022, even a smaller number of attacks can be highly dangerous. In fact, 96 percent of the attacks that happened in the first half of the year included vessels being boarded, with more than 20 crew members taken hostage. Meanwhile, cybersecurity attacks on ships continue to rise.

Encrypting vessel ID, location data streams, and other information is an effective way to mitigate these threats. By encrypting the data and making it accessible only to authorized officials, ships can securely transmit information pertaining to their locations, identities, cargo, and more. This information can therefore be kept from potential attackers, allowing ships, crew, and cargo to navigate risky waters safely without having to turn off their tracking devices.

AIS is great for traffic routing, collision avoidance and to continually keep tabs on vessels, but since these communications are transmitted over open frequencies the transmissions themselves can effectively serve as homing beacons for pirates.

It does not have to be a binary choice. Vessels can continue to transmit critical information and make that information available to those who need it while still protecting their locations and identities. This can be done by securing the actual data that is sent to shore, rather than just securing the communications method used to transmit the data. This approach is based on an existing technology called the Trusted Data Format (TDF). 

Encrypting data is a much better option. By placing a security wrapper around the data, crews can leave their communications open and remain secure in the knowledge that their information is being protected, regardless of how it’s transmitted. Reference

IMO World Maritime theme for 2023 highlights environmental efforts

11 Jan 2023
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) World Maritime Theme for 2023 is ‘MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on’.

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The theme reflects the organisation’s history of protecting the environment from the impact of shipping and emphasises its ongoing commitment to the work.

The aim of the theme is to promote discussion about the next phase of IMO’s work to protect the planet and the oceans and is linked to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It also aims to spotlight the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), a convention which covers the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. Reference

Seafarers desperately need training to handle explosive lithium-ion batteries

11 Jan 2023
Transporting potentially explosive lithium-ion batteries on vessels is a dangerous business, as incidents in recent years have shown. An investigation by the United States Coast Guard into a freight container that caught fire on a US highway in 2021 attributed the blaze to a batch of lithium-ion batteries. The cargo ignited while enroute to the Port of Virginia, where it was to be shipped to China aboard a container vessel.

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The dangers of carrying lithium-ion batteries on ships has been highlighted in an Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality report, which ranks fire and explosion as the number one cause of marine insurance losses by value from 2017 to 2021. The research, issued in November 2022, also reveals the growing threat of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries that are not stored, handled or transported correctly.

In damaged lithium-ion batteries, individual cells are prone to overheating, expelling flammable and toxic gases, and affecting surrounding cells as part of an explosive chain reaction called thermal runaway. While such perils have been widely reported, there is little talk in the maritime industry about the inconsistent training methods for dealing with fires caused by lithium-ion batteries onboard vessels.

The lack of consensus on how such fires should be dealt with means that few, if any, STCW firefighting training programmes cover lithium-ion batteries. That creates a gap in expertise, making it incredibly difficult to know what type of training seafarers should receive.

It also puts the lives of crewmembers – many of whom have limited knowledge about thermal runaway and the warning signs before an electric vehicle battery explodes or ignites – at risk. Without training, seafarers cannot be expected to attempt to prevent damaged lithium-ion cells from creating a thermal runaway chain reaction, which could spark an electric vehicle fire so powerful that it would need 150,000 litres of water to extinguish.

In the near-term, modules that address the dangers of lithium-ion batteries should be added to existing STCW firefighting courses. We then need specific training programmes set up globally and run by experts who can teach seafarers how to deal with this potentially life-threatening hazard. Reference

Checks A Marine Engineer Should Make In A Lab Analysis Report Of Fuel Oil

11 Jan 2023
Every seafarer is familiar with the term bunkering and has either participated in or at least seen the operation of bunkering whilst he or she is on board. They may have also seen samples collected from the bunker manifold through drip sampling. Taking four samples is the norm, 1 for the supplier, 1 for MARPOL, 1 for the ship and 1 for lab analysis.

Image Source: Marine Insight

Shipping companies have a tie-up with bunker sample analysing labs, and the labs provide ships with a sampling kit. Using the kit, samples are collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. Most of the time, only heavy fuel oil samples are sent to shore for analysis, but I have also seen on a couple of ships where we were sending MGO samples. The sample analysis is sent back to the ship in about 3-4 days.

Given below are 10 points marine engineers must check in the fuel oil testing report:

Density, Viscosity, Water %, Carbon residue, Sulphur content, Vanadium and Sodium %, Aluminium and silicon%, Flash point, Pour point, CCAI

The above are the major points to be considered before using the newly bunkered fuel oil. In addition to this, labs may also conduct further additional tests such as total sediment, or for lead, phosphorous, calcium and zinc, which are indicators of the presence of waste lubricating oil, which sometimes may be added to the fuel.

A laboratory analysis is an excellent tool to give us an indication of the quality of fuel bunkered. Proper handling and treatment of fuel oil is not only good for the engine but also gives us peace of mind during a voyage. Reference

Exercise: the key to improving crew welfare in 2023

11 Jan 2023
For most of us, January is the month we take a long hard look at ourselves and decide what we need to improve on to achieve a more productive year than the one before. The restrictive and high-pressured environment that seafarers are confined to whilst working can take a significant toll on both their physical health and mental wellbeing. However, incorporating regular exercise during a busy season or long yard period can improve fitness, while alleviating stress and tension.


There is a rising trend on ships incorporating dedicated crew gyms as owners and managers recognise the positive impact exercise has on crew welfare, morale, and turnover. 

Of course, not all crew are lucky enough to work on ships with dedicated crew gyms on board, but this doesn’t mean their ability to exercise should be impeded – with the right equipment and motivation, some form of crew exercise space can be designed to fit around the workings of any ship. Reference

India: Circular issued by DGS covers use of e-BDNs

10 Jan 2023
A circular issued earlier this month by India’s Directorate of General Shipping (DGS) covers the collection of vessels’ fuel consumption data for the purposes of the newly implemented Energy Efficiency of Existing Ships (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulations, and also requires bunker suppliers to generate and submit electronic bunker delivery notes.

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The circular requests that Indian shipowners and managers should access and register with the Swachh Sagar portal in order submit the fuel consumption data for their vessels on a monthly basis.

Also, in a move which would appear to be one of the first obligations for a bunker supplier to use e-BDNs, the DGS requests that: ‘All registered and licensed bunker suppliers are required to access Swachh Sagar Portal digitally and complete the data related to bunker supply, generate an electronic Bunker Delivery Note on the online platform and issue to the bunker receiver.’

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), which undertakes the verification for bunker licence certification, is tasked with verifying that suppliers have issued e-BDNs for all stems supplied. In cases of non-compliance, the IRS will notify the DGS of the discrepancy and could recommend that a bunker licence certificate should not be supplied. Reference

SA: More women venture into the maritime sector

09 Jan 2023
Rigging in the maritime sector is no longer just a man’s world, according to Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT).

This comes after a former security guard at the vessel construction company, Ntombovuyo Madyaliti, in 2022 became one of four women in the country with an Occupational Certificate in Rigging.

Madyaliti is also currently the only female rigger at DSCT, which builds steel hull vessels for harbours around the world.

According to the company, she was part of the first cohort of 27 apprentices (23 men and four women) that received their rigging qualifications as part of the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Centre of Specialisation programme at False Bay TVET College’s Swartklip Campus.

DSCT says Madyaliti applied for the programme in 2019 and then started her training at the vessel construction company in the same year.

Madyaliti says when she started, she did not listen to the people who told her the job was solely for men. “I told myself that I can’t limit myself because I am a woman, and that if a man can do it, I can also.” Reference

Note: All above news items compiled in this digest should be considered as news in brief. For detailed news, please refer to reference link, mentioned with each item.

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