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EUROPEAN MARINE TECHNOLOGY

The 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse, set to debut in 2018, will be built at Uljanik in Croatia and feature two 3MW Azipods from ABB

IT advances have also facilitated a new approach to ship design. Model basins and testing tanks still have their place, of course, but thousands of relatively high-speed computational iterations can measure the relative benefits of small design changes in a way that has not been possible before. Take the Finnish company Foreship, for example. Its capabilities in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the super-efficient hull forms which it has developed have propelled the company into a position as one of the top ship design consultants to global cruise lines, advising both on newbuilding plans, conversions and retrofits. In a couple of months, the first of two 4,700 dwt “EcoCoaster” cargo ships is due for delivery to Finland’s Meriaura Group from the Royal Bodewes yard in the Netherlands. Foreship carried out extensive hull optimization work and, as a result, these vessels will burn only about half of the fuel compared to an existing vessel of similar size and class. Foreship worked with both the owner and Aker Arctic Technology on the ships which will be able to run on biofuel or marine gasoil. Meriaura plans to have at least half of its fleet – currently about 20 ships – based on EcoCoaster designs by 2020. Since ordering the 4,700 dwt units, work has been carried out on larger designs. Also hailing from Finland is progressive ship design firm Deltamarin. Now a subsidiary of Singapore-listed AVIC International Maritime

Holdings Limited and ultimate Chinese ownership, the company’s range of super-efficient B.delta bulk carriers spanning a size range from 28,000 dwt to 210,000 dwt has caught the attention of longestablished dry bulk owners including heavyweights such as Algoma, Canada Steamship, Cosco, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Oldendorff. Of course the catalyst for taking a fresh look at the hull forms which had not changed for decades was the spike in bunker prices. But although the oil price collapse means today’s fuels cost only a fraction of prices two or three years ago, the search for improved economy has developed a momentum of its own, and nowhere is this more obvious than among leading propulsion companies, many of which are to be found in Europe. While big low-speed diesel manufacturers like MAN Diesel & Turbo and Wärtsilä have made huge strides in raising the fuel efficiency of large engines, it is among some of the smaller niche machinery providers where true design innovation is to be found. Electrical power, energy storage and the growing popularity of azimuth thrusters are fiercely fought-after markets. ABB, Rolls-Royce, Steerprop, and Wärtsilä all feature in a market popular with operators of cruise ships, workboats, offshore support vessels and dynamically positioned offshore units of various types. ABB, for example, recently won a European Marine Engineering Award for its Azipod D electric propulsion system with a power May 2016 MARINE LOG 19

May 2016 Marine Log  
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