At a shipping efficiency seminar in Singapore, shipowners said they were actively seeking ways to mitigate rising bunker fuel costs and guard against the likelihood of stricter environmental legislation of the industry.
“Three-quarters of the cost of running a tanker is going towards bunker fuel, so of course we take it seriously,” said a senior executive at a large southeast Asian tanker owner, who did not wish to be named.
He said his company had a Samsung Heavy Industries-designed very large crude carrier on charter that was already saving 20% in bunker costs over similar-sized vessels in its fleet.
He also said the company had ordered a suezmax-size tanker from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering that would save at least 10% in fuel efficiency costs for only a 1% cost premium over traditional designs.
“It’s not true to say the Korean shipyards are ignoring the desire for more efficient vessels,” he said. “It’s slow, but it is happening.”
A Singapore-based chemical tanker owner said excess shipbuilding capacity would help the process.
“The last few years, we had to fight for shipyard space — but from here on, the yards will be hungry and they will be more open to more efficient ship designs.”
Recently, COSCO Shipyard launched a creative design contest for the green ship of the future. The purpose of this creative design contest was to encourage the technological innovation of COSCO Shipyard and develop innovative ideas for future ship designs.
The contest attracted attention from both professional technical staff and production and management personnel from the COSCO Shipyard Group. In accordance with the competition requirements, all design work was required to consider ship types of the future, and ensure that fully integrated and environment-friendly, economic and safe concepts were tabled. On May 10, the Evaluation Committee judged the 23 shortlisted designs. Finally, the jury awarded the first prize to two designs, the “5000TEU hybrid high-speed containership” by the COSCO Zhoushan Shipyard Department of Design and “Future Water City” by COSCO Nantong Shipyard technology department.
DNV has released details of two new bulk carrier design concepts, for a VLOC and an open-hatch handysize, which owners could use as the basis for selecting innovative features that they could incorporate into new vessels.
This is especially significant at a time when new environmental regulations are coming into effect and fuel savings are increasingly important. These latest design concepts follow DNV’s earlier new concepts for containerships and VLCCs.
DNV has the largest market share among class societies for the latest generation of VLOCs, including the giant Vale series. The Vale ships are largely conventional in design concept, but with some new features, such as an upgraded ballast system and capacity for higher loading rates.
The class society’s Ecore VLOC concept, developed in collaboration with Swedish designer FKAB, German gas engineering firm TGE Marine, cargo handling specialist Cargotec and MAN Diesel, includes several radical design features. They are intended to improve operational performance and reduce fuel costs and emissions. Owners can pick and choose which of them they might want to consider for future new orders.
The 250,000 dwt Ecore vessel features a V-shaped hull design with a wider beam of 70 m, which significantly reduces the amount of ballast water needed to 41,000 tonnes, compared with over 100,000 tonnes for a typical conventional VLOC design. It features a cargo hold design with a centre hold running the length of the ship, efficient tri-fuel twin engines and a self-loading system that increases loading speed and efficiency without compromising the vessel’s structural safety.
The ECO-Ship 2020 open hatch bulk carrier design was developed with Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan, which is a leading builder of open hatch vessels. It features a wider beam, taking advantage of the expansion of the Panama Canal, with a twin-screw propulsion system with twin drives with lean burn LNG engines. Shipboard cranes are electrically driven and can recover energy when lowering loads. Hatchcovers are constructed of composite materials which require less maintenance and are lighter, enabling them to be lifted by the ship’s cranes.
It is more expensive than a standard vessel but depending on the fuel price, the payback period for the additional investment is less than 10 years.
Technical innovation is going to play a major role in dealing with the growing pressures of environmental legislation, a BIMCO 39 conference in Vancouver was told this week.
Sponsored by the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia, the meeting focused on the developing goals for a cleaner environment, to which shipping and ports must respond.
In his keynote address, BIMCO President Elect Yudishthir Khatau pointed out that shipping “is a necessity – we depend upon it” and he asked how the industry can balance this with a responsibility to address climate change. It needs, he suggested, a change of mindset as it was impossible to separate growth from environmental responsibility.
Demand for cleaner air, reduced emissions and a range of other environmental challenges is driving the development of cleaner, greener ships and ports, with the spread of emission control areas and a compulsion to address greenhouse gas reduction. The imperatives of climate change, coinciding with and anticipated growth in marine transport places the maritime industry in a paradoxical situation, with often conflicting demands upon it.
Technology, said speakers at the conference, takes time to develop and the shipping industry risks being overtaken by events as mandatory limitations of emissions and other green regulations come into effect.
It was, however, suggested that a new generation of advanced ships such as shuttle tankers, tugs, container vessels and passenger ships are being developed to operate in this increasingly demanding regime.
Local presenters from Teekay, Seaspanand BC Ferries were among speakers who focused upon more sustainable ships, while the importance of better trained crew to operate more sophisticated vessels and new fuel management challenges were emphasised.
“Sustainable innovation” said Captain Stephen Brown , President of the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia “is absolutely essential for shipping and ports – we have to find a way”.
The BIMCO 39 meeting brought together a group of younger maritime professionals and prefaced the BIMCO General Meeting being held in the British Columbian city this week.
If measured by the number of ships produced and the number of vessel orders received, China is the world’s leading shipbuilder. However, in order to become a real superpower in the shipbuilding industry China still needs some more time, so being said by a senior industry official.
On a press conference on Saturday Li Dong, vice-director of equipment industry department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that China aims to become the builder of the most advanced ships by 2015.
In 2010, China built ships with a total deadweight capacity of 65.6 million tons, accounting for 43% of the deadweight capacity of all ships built in the world, and received ship construction orders with a total deadweight capacity of 75.2 million tons, accounting for 54% of the new orders in the world, he said. In the same year, China was trying to catch up with unfulfilled orders for ships with 195.9 million tons of deadweight capacity, making up 41% of the unfulfilled ship orders in the world.
Steen Brodsgaard Lund, executive vice-president and head of maritime services Asia-Pacific of the Germanischer Lloyd SE, said, "China has surpassed South Korea to become the foremost shipbuilder in the world." The Germanischer Lloyd (GL) is a German classification society based in Hamburg. "This momentum is likely to be maintained as China's booming shipbuilding industry is now on its way to become the world's leading shipbuilding nation from a quantity perspective and also continues to make impressive quality improvements.", Steen Brodsgaard Lund added.
Li said China is looking to move from being a great sea power to a shipbuilding superpower as part of its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) but still lags behind other shipbuilding nations when it comes to the ability to innovate and improve the technology used on seagoing vessels.
Technical director of Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co Ltd, Hu Keyi, told China Daily in an exclusive interview this year, "I want to answer those who wrongly hold that China's shipbuilding industry is too weak to compete with those of other nations, such as Japan and South Korea. As a matter of fact, after more than 10 years of rapid development with support from both State-owned banks and government policy, we can build high-end ships just as well as our counterparts." He is confident China enjoys great prospects in the shipbuilding industry.
Hu agreed China lags behind countries like Japan, the United States and South Korea in terms of high-tech ships construction. However, he said, China has advantages. Recently Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry Co Ltd., which is affiliated Jiangnan Shipyard, received an order for the construction of six 9,000-TEU containerships from a German ship owner.
"Those are the largest of their kind that have ever been designed in China," Hu said and added, "The order shows Chinese shipyard's ability to build containerships in accordance with international standards." Business between Chinese shipyards and overseas clients will spread the reputation of vessels made in China, he stated.
As Royal Dutch Shell makes final investment decision on the world's first LNG-FPSO, South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries embarked on the construction of the facility in earnest.
The Prelude FLNG is the largest of its kind and is to start producing LNG from 2016.
Samsung back on July 29th 2009 signed a basic contract with Royal Dutch Shell to construct LNG-FPSOs, together with France’s Technip, its consortium partner.
Under the agreement, Samsung will exclusively supply LNG-FPSOs to Shell for the next 15 years.
Industry insiders expect Shell to order up to 10 LNG-FPSOs worth $50 billion in total.
Samsung on March 9th 2010 held a signing ceremony for a contract with Royal Dutch Shell to build the 1st LNG-FPSO. Samsung, France’s Technip and Royal Dutch Shell signed a formal contract to build the LNG-FPSO, which is just the beginning of what would be the world’s largest newbuilding contract ever.
The LNF-FPSO, which has a length of 456 m, a width of 74 m and a height of 100 m, is expected to cost $5 billion.
The unit’s LNG storage capacity comes to 450,000 ㎥ and it will produce 3.6 million tons of natural gas per year at the gas field northwest Australia since 2016.
Brazil seeks to triple the number of ships and deepwater drilling rigs it needs to meet its ambitious oil and gas production targets set for 2020.
Dismissing widespread concern about structural overcapacity in the tanker sector, Petrobras chief executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli and Transpetro chief executive Sergio Machado have both been briefing shipowners, offshore executives and potential government partners in Norway this week, as part of a strategic plan to boost investment and ramp up shipping capacity.
Announcing that Petrobras plans to double total output to 5.4m barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of the decade from 2.5m boe today, Mr Gabrielli told offshore operators Brazil would need five new shipyards, an additional 38 deepwater rigs and more than 280 supply and special vessels by 2020 in order to hit its capacity projections.
Mr Machado separately told shipowners Petrobras’ transport arm, Transpetro, would need to increase the size of its fleet from 53 tankers totalling 3m dwt to 120 tankers by 2015.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us to add sufficient capacity and this expansion is going to require hundreds of vessels; this opens a big avenue of opportunities for the shipping industry,” said Mr Gabrielli, addressing the Nor-Shipping conference.
Brazil lays claim to being the fourth-largest buyer of ships worldwide and its shipbuilding sector alone has managed rapidly to swell its ranks from 2,000 people employed a decade ago to more than 56,000 by 2010. The Brazilian delegation was keen to point out there was still considerable money to be spent on their ambitious expansion plans.
The Brazilian government is planning to invest $1bn in maritime training and research over the next three years and estimates it will need to train 208,000 people in Brazil by 2020 to meet demands across the maritime and logistics sector.
China’s Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Railways signed an agreement on Tuesday to jointly promote the development of China’s combined rail-and-waterway transportation network.
The agreement, regarded by the Chinese government as a concrete step in the establishment of a fully integrated transportation system, will increase efficiency, cut costs and contribute to China’s efforts to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, said Li Shenglin, China’s minister of transportation.
According to the agreement, the two ministries will work to optimize China’s existing rail-and-waterway transportation network, increase the construction of needed infrastructure and create supportive policies and regulations for the network, said Weng Mengyong, vice minister of transportation.
The ministries will also work together to strengthen the management of the network and work with ports and shipping and railway companies to develop related businesses, Weng said.
Weng said that the number of shipping containers handled through China’s combined rail-and-waterway transportation network is less than 2 percent of the total amount of containers handled at the country’s ports.
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) is set to own the largest dry dock in China as the Singapore-listed company, which holds a 60% stake in Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding, is building a 543-metre-by-147-metre dock that will be ready from 2013.
Industry watchers says the new dock will overtake Hong Kong-listed Rongsheng Heavy Industries’s No 4 dry dock, which measures 530 metres by 135 metres and is currently the largest of its kind in the country.
The move has raised concerns that it will further aggravate the excess capacity the Chinese shipbuilding industry is currently facing. However, some market players reckon it is necessary for Yangzijiang to own a large dock in order to exercise flexibility and adapt to market changes.
“Yangzijiang is building this mega-size dry dock so that it can construct large vessels as well as offshore units,” said one industry pundit.
Industry players say Yangzijiang will be using the dock to construct the 10,000-teu containerships that Seaspan Corp is intending to book.
“Another reason for building the dry dock is that Yangzijiang did not succeed in taking over oil-rig maker PPL Shipyard. As a result, it is investing in Yangzi Xinfu to enter the offshore sector,” said one shipbuilding player.
Italian shipowners are urging China to take responsibility for the crippling effects overcapacity is having on chartering markets, particularly the dry sector, by introducing a system that for every ship its yards build another is scrapped, in bid to tackle rocketing fleet growth.
Giuseppe Bottiglieri and other owners present at the Mare Forum Italy event in Sorrento said they would like to see China go one step further than the incentive scheme introduced last year aimed at getting domestic owners to scrap unsafe vessels, and balance out new ships entering service with the same number exiting the fleet.
A major concern are elderly ships of around 25-30 years of age bought in the secondhand market over the last two years while prices have been cheap, and which are serving the Chinese coastal trade. Many are thought to be at risk of breakdown or accidents.
“It is very dangerous for shipowners. Those with old ships should be warned that they are running huge risks,” Mr Bottiglieri told the forum, talking about China but also the wider shipowning community. “They should be replaced with new ships.”