Holyhead Breakwater to undergo refurbishment due to erosion of foundations

A consultation has been launched over plans to refurbish Holyhead Breakwater amid concerns it could fail within the next 15 years.

Investigations of the structure have identified a need for a large scale refurbishment of the Breakwater to ensure that it can continue to receive about 70 per cent of all vehicle movement between Ireland and Wales and the North West.

The work, proposed by Royal HaskoningDHV on behalf of Stena Line, would see the construction of two layers of concrete armour units, weighing 43.5 tonnes each, placed along the breakwater over a width of approximately 40 metres.

Stena Line Ports is asking for the public’s views on the proposed refurbishment as part of its pre-application consultation from June 7 to July 4.

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UK based specialist gets nod for new LNG fuel retrofit concept

An innovative LNG fuel tank system developed by UK-based marine engineering and ship repair specialist Newport Shipping UK LLP for crude tankers and bulkers has gained a key preliminary class approval to facilitate retrofits of such vessels in line with new environmental requirements to cut maritime emissions.

Newport Shipping’s concept is based on deck-mounted LNG tanks that can be installed without major modifications to the vessel hull, thereby reducing installation costs, as part of a retrofit solution using a dual-fuel engine that would also be suitable for future use of carbon-neutral methane such as bio-LNG.

This marks a significant milestone for Newport Shipping, positioning it to take a leading role in the rapidly emerging market to adapt vessel fuel systems for LNG that has seen only a few such retrofits globally to date.

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Amsterdam testing autonomous boats on its famous canal system

Currently, Amsterdam is testing autonomous boats that run electric power on the many canals running through the city. Amsterdam has more than 60 miles of waterways that host all types of ships and watercraft. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) and MIT are collaborating on the Roboat project to develop new ways of navigating waterways without a human controlling the craft.

Officials in Amsterdam say the technology is very relevant and highly complex port operations where there are many vessels and ships and a lot of quays and peers. Stephan van Dijk says the technology can improve safety using autonomous systems and make it more efficient with a 24/7 operation approach.

A recent demonstration used a 13-foot-long electric boat. 

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Germany pumps in millions to keep Asian-owned shipbuilder afloat

Germany has agreed to pump in 300 m euros (S$483 million) to keep MV WERFTEN afloat, after the pandemic knocked off kilter the shipbuilding subsidiary of Asian tourism and casino giant Genting Casinos.

MV WERFTEN’s three shipyards along the Baltic coast of former eastern state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had been forced to reduce the working hours of most of its 3,000 workers since the coronavirus crisis erupted more than a year ago.

With travel still severely restricted, particularly in Asia, the company has seen demand for huge cruise ships or luxury mega-yachts dwindle.

In December, Germany had already offered MV Werften a credit line of 193 m euros.

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Blue Abyss brings world’s biggest and deepest pool to Cornwall with £150m project

After previously being in advanced negotiation with many interested parties including Merseyside and the UK Ministry of Defence in Central Bedfordshire, it great to see this project finally land in Cornwall, although at a £15m higher asking price than its original funding requirement.

A huge congratulations to John Vickers it looks like its finally happening and what great news also for Cornwall as the world’s biggest and deepest pool for testing the latest underwater technology, helping advance subsea robotics and even training astronauts is planned.

Blue Abyss a £150 m facility which has the support of British astronaut Major Tim Peake, will be the world’s leading extreme environment research, test and training centre serving the offshore energy, marine, defence and space sectors.

It is planned for the Aerohub Enterprise Zone at Cornwall Airport Newquay, and is expected to create 160 jobs, pump £50m of build costs into Cornwall during its 18-month construction and generate £8m annually for the local economy.

A great opportunity also for the UK SME Maritime supply chain.

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Royal Yacht Britannia will be built and operational within four years

Boris Johnson has announced that a replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia will be built and operational within four years.

Downing Street has unveiled plans, which will see the new ship “host high level trade negotiations and trade shows and will sail all over the world promoting British interests” as a part of the country’s post-Brexit “open Britain” push.

The new £200m ship will replace the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was the 83rd and last royal yacht after Tony Blair opted to not build a replacement.

Downing Street said the new ship’s role will be “distinct from that of any previous national flagship” and will dock at countries that are due for prime ministerial visits.

But there’s just one small problem the Queen nor her family want one.

The idea that it might be named after her late husband Prince Philip was snubbed by Buckingham Palace and a senior royal told The Sunday Times that a royal yacht was “too grand” a symbol for use in the modern age. “It is not something we have asked for,” they added.

National Maritime Perspective:
It is not a new national flagship that we need to announce that we are once more “a great independent, maritime nation!” Whilst it would most definitely support shipbuilding in this country, there may just be better ways to represent and promote the best of British… but there again Boris is of course a sucker for vanity projects…anyone fancy a stroll across the Garden Bridge!

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UK ship repair company nabs contract to build new multi-cat vessel platform for Mowi

UK ship repair company Dales Marine Services Ltd has announced a new contract for a new multi-cat style vessel platform for Mowi Ireland.

On the award of this contract, Marine Design International director simon cormack said that his company “demonstrated an in-depth knowledge in vessel engineering and an ability to deliver at a competitive price”.

The new design has been developed with Mowi Ireland as a platform incorporating the hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical supplies required for operations on the farms. This latest model also has propulsion efficiency improvements for transits between sites.

I look forward to visiting Dales Marine Services next week in Greenock who have over 30 years in vessel engineering and dry dock services with multiple vessels visiting its dry docks in Aberdeen, Leith, Greenock and Troon with a supporting dry dock at Grangemouth. Andrew Malcolm

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Abu Dhabi oil company begins North Sea rig decommissioning

The TAQA Group has commenced work on one of the largest decommissioning project undertaken in the North Sea.

They will be removing the 1988 Brae Bravo platform, east of Sumburgh Head off Shetland. The topside platform weighs 36,000 tonnes, with a jacket substructure weighing 22,500 tonnes.

It will be removed in three separate phases in 2021 and 2022, using two of the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessels (SSCVs).
It will be the first time these vessels have been used in the North Sea. The ships, named Heerema’s Thialf and Sleipnir, are each greater than 200 metres in length.

All waste materials will be transported to the AF Environmental Base in Vats, Norway for processing, aiming for a 95% recycling or reuse target.

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Waste that travels along the River Thames will provide warmth to 21,000 London homes

Cory Environmental have been awarded £12.1 m through the Government’s £320 m Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP). The £1.6 million commercialisation grant and £10.5 million construction loan will support the development of one of the UK’s largest heat networks, delivered by Vattenfall, to supply low carbon heat to a total of 21,000 homes.

Cory’s existing Riverside energy from waste (EfW) facility will provide heat for up to 10,500 homes in Bexley in the first phase of the proposed heat network.

A second EfW facility – adjacent to the existing one and part of Cory’s Riverside Energy Park which received planning permission from the Government in April 2020 – will supply an additional 10,500 homes.

Serving a combined 21,000 homes, the heat network will be among the largest in the UK exemplifying the type of ambition needed as the UK transitions to net zero.

Cory currently uses the River Thames to transport waste from the centre of London to its EfW facility on its fleet of tugs and barges, removing around 100,000 truck journeys a year from its congested roads. The completion of the Riverside Energy Park, which will be fully operational by 2025, will remove additional truck journeys, further reducing the capital’s reliance on landfill and delivering environmental and safety benefits. The waste that travels along the River Thames will serve the heat network.

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Offshore Wind Growth Partnership releases £3.5 m for Development Grants

In its largest funding call to date, the OWGP is releasing £3.5 million for Development Grants to be awarded to high-growth supply chain companies. Development Grants of between £100K and £1 million are available for capital and operational expenditure on projects that will unlock significant growth potential in UK content, jobs and export opportunities. This latest call builds on the £2.5M of grant funding already allocated to successful companies in the last 18 months.

Development Grants are available to UK companies and will be awarded on a competitive basis, with successful proposals demonstrating a long-term business plan and a clear ambition for growth in the sector. Eligible applicants can request up to £1M in a single grant application to cover up to 50% of the total project budget.

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