Page 150

Innovative and eco-friendly ship building

Mission-critical maritime products and services

i M
M55 n APR/MAY 2023
SHIPYARDS Building Better Blades
inside (


Managing Director

John White

Editorial Manager

Phil Nicholls

Editorial Assistants

Imogen Ward

Hannah Barnett

Finance Director

Filomena Nardi-Smith

Feature Writers

Andy Probert

Romana Moares

Richard Hagan

Sales Director

Richard Brightmore


Inside Marine 2023

i M

Sales Manager

Helen Leisi

Project Managers

Alexander Paterson

Tony Ingrouille

Kym Hamilton

Chris Renicar

David Earl

Connor Doddington

Verity Manning

Lisa Smith

Carl Millican

Research Editors

Judi Wheaton-Mars

Jeff Johnson

Ginelle Lorenzo

Natalie Martin

Business Development Manager

Darren Foiret

Events Manager

Jasmine Lodge

Art Director

Ian Spencer

Art Editor

Philip White


Michael Stamp


Sarah Jones

Georgina Harris

T: +44 (0)1493 445121 +44 (0)1502 566216

E: media@insidepublication.com

4 Inside marine
W: www.insidemarine.com No part of this publication in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review maybe reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. Company Reg No: 06783092 • Company VAT No: 167 6757 57
Pangeos the Terayacht
A project by Lazzarini Design, the Pangeos Terayacht is 550m long by 610m at its widest point. This itinerant floating city comprises various hotels, shopping centres, parks and all the facilities needed for up to 60,000 guests.

From sextants to satellites

Welcome, Dear Reader, to your latest edition of Inside Marine, and what a riveting read we have for you. As an ex-mariner, I am always passionate about this publication and enjoy flicking through the pages to keep up to date with the latest developments within this diverse and fascinating industry.

There have been so many major advancements and changes in the maritime world since my days at sea. It almost feels like my nautical days consisted of ropes, sails and rigging. I truly feel like The Old Man of The Sea!

I am sure there are some old sea dogs amongst you that feel the same way, and yet we appreciate, respect and understand the need to make life at sea safer and more efficient. That said, I think most mariners still long for the seemingly more nostalgic days of sail and adventure into uncharted seas. Here it was a tough and hardy crew battling the elements and respecting our mistress, the Cruel Sea, that set us apart from the landlubbers.

Now that I have made some of you feel old, let’s look at the present and the future. To help you achieve this, I hope you enjoy

amongst the following pages, a plethora of interesting articles, news, innovations, advertisements and event profiles to keep you informed with all that is going on ashore, at sea and beneath the waves.

We focus in this edition on ship owners and operators, as well as shipyards. Like other sectors, these have seen major changes over the years with the size of ves sels, the crewing, navigation equipment, safety measures, anti-piracy issues and the ever present need to be sustainable with the reduction of our carbon footprint.

Therefore, let us recognise that life in this challenging industry is not necessarily easier now, just different, and I ask you to join me in wishing all mariners fair winds and following seas.

Inside marine 5
Managing Director John White discusses advancements in the maritime world.
To have your company’s latest product, technology or concept included in Inside Marine, contact us today. Send us your innovation: media@insidepublication.com GE T INVOLVED
6 Inside marine 44 36 14 Inside marine minds intro Grandweld Shipyards Swiftships 82 EDT Offshore 92 Ardmore Shipping Corpora 102 C Transport Maritime 110 Highland Maritime 118 Vertom 128 PT Logindo Samudramakm 134 Sea Pioneer Shipping Corpora 5 Director’s comment 56 Marine Service Noord 64 Thecla Bodewes Shipyards 74 SOCIBER Shipyard 8 Upcoming events 10 Country focus 16 Exclusive interview 20 Innovations 28 Matter of fact 30 Latest marine news OWNERS, OPERATORS & MANAGERS SHIPYARDS
Inside marine 7 Contents 204 tion mur TBK ation Shoreham Port 182 Diaplous Group Shield Marine Services i M MANUFACTURERS 142 Scanship SEAmagine 150 Romica Tie Group 158 PORTS & TUGS KTK Tugs 168 176 RAK Ports MARITIME SERVICES Neptune P2P Group 190 198

06-09 June 2023

Nor-Shipping 2023

Nor-Shipping is at the centre of the oceans. This is where the maritime and ocean industries meet every two years – a natural hub for key decision makers from across the world to connect, collaborate and do deals to unlock new business opportunity.

06-08 June 2023

Breakbulk Europe

The largest event in the world for the project cargo and breakbulk industry. Breakbulk Europe is the global gathering for the industry with more than 120 countries represented. Exhibitors and sponsors include cargo owners, ocean carriers, freight forwarders, ports/terminals, heavy haulers, equipment companies and more.

31-01 May-June

European Environmental Ports

The 5th edition of ACI’s Europea Conference will take place in Va will bring together experts and k European Ports industry, in order to discu changes, challenges and developments

[click here] for weblink 06Marine In Ma Exp sta equipment returns with on the exhi the confere [click h [click here] for weblink
8 Inside marine
[click here] for weblink

-08 September 2023 nteriors

arine Interiors, the Cruise and Global po powered by SMM. Europe's first and-alone trade fair for interior design, and technology for passenger ships h thousands of industry professionals bition floor and renowned speakers in ence area.

here] for weblink

e 2023

s Conference

an Environmental Ports alencia, Spain. The event key stakeholders in the uss the most recent

11-15 September 2023

London International Shipping Week

London International Shipping Week (LISW) is one of the most important international shipping and maritime events in the world. Having grown consistently since 2013, LISW is set to become an even bigger event in 2023, hosting hundreds of events attracting thousands of international industry decision-makers.

[click here] for weblink

Why not give your event exclusive coverage to thousands of readers and connections globally? Contact us: media@insidepublication.com

Inside marine 9

Latest developments from the Chinese industry


GSBN collaborates with COSCO SHIPPING, OOCL & SICIT for safe transportation of cargoes

Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) is an independent, not-for-profit technology consortium building a blockchain-enabled operating system designed to redefine global trade. GSBN is collaborating with COSCO SHIPPING Lines (COSCO SHIPPING), Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), and the Shanghai Research Institute of Chemical Industry Testing Co, Ltd (SICIT), to improve the safe transportation of chemical cargo by harnessing blockchain technology.

Together, the four companies have leveraged blockchain technology to achieve an industry first proof-of-concept to enhance transportation safety in the shipping industry. As industry best practice, special cargo with designated goods, such as chemicals and lithium batteries, should be certified as safe to transport before they are handed over to logistics and shipping companies for export.

Transportation certificates

For exports from China, SICIT is one of the main organisations authorised to test and issue safe transportation certificates. By harnessing GSBN’s blockchain-enabled platform, a new streamlined process has been designed to ensure that safe transportation certificates and the information they contain can be verified from the original source, and the information is accurate and reliable.

To demonstrate this, the four named companies have developed a successful proof-of-concept with shipper Midea, one of the largest electrical appliances manufacturers in the world. Through GSBN, both COSCO SHIPPING and OOCL will be able to verify certificates obtained by Midea for their cargo directly with SICIT.

Internet of Things

GSBN’s secure, blockchain-enabled infrastructure ensures that the certificate data is immutable and structured, which can be verified as the single source of truth. This helps reduce human mistakes, enhance security of the cargo and accelerate the process overall. In the future, it can also facilitate the advancement in automated verification, as well as the circulation of reliable certificate data stored on the blockchain among multiple parties. n

10 Inside marine


Latest developments from the UK’s industry


World’s first hydrogen-powered shipping project wins funding

The ‘Hydrogen Innovation – Future Infrastructure & Vessel Evaluation and Demonstration (HI-FIVED)’ consortium will receive over £3.8m of funding to build and showcase its innovative autonomous vessel and bunkering infrastructure technologies for liquid hydrogen. The £5.4m project is expected to be delivered in autumn of 2024 and aims to establish a domestic green shipping corridor between Aberdeen and the Orkney and Shetland Islands, with hydrogen-powered autonomous ships being used to transport cargo.

CMDC3 funding

Unitrove, creator of the world’s first liquid hydrogen bunkering facility, will deploy its mobile fuelling technology at the Port of Aberdeen in support of ACUA Ocean’s bid to build and operate the world’s first maritime autonomous surface ship powered by liquid hydrogen. The project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3 (CMDC3), funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

The CMDC3 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions’ (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022–2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

“Delivering successful technology demonstrations is critical to de-risking future investment in maritime decarbonisation,” said Michael Tinmouth, COO of ACUA Ocean. “This CMDC3 project brings together a consortium of innovative partners, subcontractors, and suppliers from across the maritime sector.”

Supply-chain partners

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive UK government support to enable realworld demonstration of the world’s first liquid hydrogen autonomous vessel and infrastructure,” said Steven Lua, CEO of Unitrove.

Inside marine 11
A consortium led by zero-emission vessel provider ACUA Ocean, in partnership with zero-emission infrastructure provider Unitrove, has won a multi-millionpound UK government grant in a major push to decarbonise the maritime sector.


Latest developments from the Australian industry


A ferry exciting future

As the operator of the Australia’s largest electric bus depot, sustainable transport is a key driver in the Kelsian Group’s contract offering, which now includes options for electric ferries.

SeaLink Sydney, operating locally as Captain Cook Cruises, successfully secured a 15-year contract for the Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) Lane Cove ferry service, having run the service for the last 17 years.

Sustainable Sydney

The new contract with TfNSW contains an option to move to low emissions technology during the term.

“We are working with governments, stakeholders and clients to pursue the design and construction of low and zero emission vessels including hydrogen and electric,” SeaLink Marine & Tourism Chief Operating Officer Donna Gauci said.

Kelsian Group is a leader in sustainable public transport and operator of Australia’s largest zero emission bus fleet and Australia’s largest electrified bus depot. Local manufacturing is also a priority, with 18 new vessels constructed by SeaLink in Australia since 2017.

“It is important to us that we are innovative while remaining respectful,” Kelsian

Group CEO Clint Feuerherdt said. “We seek to collaborate with the local community and stakeholders throughout the vessel design stages, and during the naming and dressing of them to ensure we are respective to the traditional landowners.”

First Nations’ history

SeaLink’s new Redland Bay passenger ferry Talwurrapin was named in consultation with the local Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), with two more new vehicle ferries to the same region named Mirrabooka meaning Southern Cross, and Yarabinjara meaning Sea Creatures, names also chosen in consultation with QYAC.

Kelsian Group is committed to Reconciliation and actively engages with Traditional Owners. Through collaboration with Land Councils, respected Elders and Indigenous artists, it demonstrates respect to Australia’s First Nations’ history via traditional naming of marine vessels and artwork adorning the passenger vehicles and ferries.

12 Inside marine

Latest developments from the Dutch industry


Port of Rotterdam throughput virtually unchanged in 2022 despite war and weakening economy

The war in Ukraine led to unprecedented changes in goods flows last year. At 467.4 million tonnes, total throughput in Rotterdam was almost the same (-0.3%) as in 2021 (468.7 million tonnes) but the underlying figures show that there were major changes.

Container throughput fell by 5.5% in TEU (-9.6% in tonnes), mainly because container traffic to and from Russia came to a virtual standstill after the invasion of Ukraine. Imports of LNG, mainly from the USA, increased by 63.9% as an alternative to Russian gas. At the same time, coal imports rose by 17.9% as mainly German coal-fired power plants were used more. In line with the sanctions, companies reduced imports of Russian oil, oil products and coal, and succeeded in importing them from elsewhere.

“2022 was an extraordinary year in many ways,” said Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “The war and the sanctions led to changes in energy flows around the world and high energy prices, and therefore high inflation and the weakening of the economy. The Rotterdam business sector and all service providers were able to respond

quickly and effectively. The war has also demonstrated the risks for crucial sectors of strong dependence on one country or a limited number of countries.”


The Port Authority had a good 2022 in financial terms. Revenue rose by 6.9% to €825.7 million. Operating expenses also increased by 8.3% to €282.2 million. The operating result before interest, depreciation and taxes (EBITDA) was also higher on balance: by 6.1% to €543.5 million.

The net result was unchanged at €247.2 million (2021: €247.2 million). The Port Authority invested a total of €257.0 million in the port (2021: €226.3 million). The dividend proposal for the shareholders (the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Dutch State) increased by €9.6 million to €132.3 million (2021: €122.7 million).

Inside marine 13


Inside Marine asks the experts about their personal experience in the industry

minds inside marine

Question: What steps will your sector need to take to become more environmentally sustainable?

I think a combination of electric mobility and taking advantage of the best in future technology can be implemented efficiently to deliver turbochargers that meet demands to be less polluting and more environmentally friendly

We are already reducing our carbon footprint by using video conferencing, working from home, promoting the use of E-bikes, car sharing and the use of public transport by our staff, extending deployment times for guards (less flights), smart positioning and moving guards around by using vessels on return journeys. These are small examples - but they all add up. Thinking more strategically, software can optimise transits, taking into consideration the wind and tides to make them more efficient and reduce their carbon footprint

The industry is probably as sustainable as it can get. We just have to ensure that we keep our carbon footprint and emissions as low as we can

The microbial detection industry could take further steps to become more environmentally sustainable. Key points include promoting more products, implementing sustainable practices in manufacturing and distribution, reducing the reliance on single-use plastics and more collaboration with partners to promote sustainability

The industry is facing demands for greener products and is responding through greater R&D and innovation. Everything that DMT naturally supports

“ “ “ 14 Inside marine
“ “

We have to start measuring our impact on the environment. Shipbuilding is a business that is almost unlike all others in terms of the nature of the work we do. We’re working with open flames, welding, cutting and recoating. There’s a considerable impact on the environment but at the same time, we see a considerable scope to improve and change that. And that’s what we’re doing.

Once you measure your impact, it allows you to quickly and easily see where you can improve. We’ve been measuring that for the past five years and we’re on a continuous improvement process. I recommend that companies in our sector start with easy interventions and build their efforts from there. I also recommend that anybody with a roof space like ours should be doing solar PV generation. According to our calculations, our recently installed facility will be paid back within three years

Ship operations will need to become more environmentally friendly. This is achievable for now through better efficiency and new hull designs. Happily, the shipping industry - which is quite technologically driven - is taking big steps forward and in my experience, when the industry moves, it’s in the right direction

More coordination, communication and transparency amongst regulators, owners, charterers, end users and other stakeholders in the maritime industry is needed regarding the common goal, which is Net Zero

We would love to hear your answers, so send an email over to our Editorial Manager, Phil Nicholls, and share your thoughts to all our readers.


“ “ Inside marine 15
Get Involved i M
“ “

Building dynamic ocea ecosystems

By way of introduction, could you please share a brief history of Archireef?

At Archireef, we offer climate solutions by restoring degraded marine ecosystems. We combine expertise in marine biology, the latest technologies in 3D-printing techniques and material science to create artificial habitats for threatened marine environments.

Even though Archireef was founded in 2020, it answered a problem I had personally faced ever since I was young. Seeing corals disappear in the coastal areas of Hong Kong made me realise the severity of the situation. We have already lost 50% of global coral reefs in just the past few decades, and this number is only growing.

Archireef was created to help solve this problem, and we are still in the beginning of our journey.

To put your work into context, please highlight the importance of reefs to the marine ecosystem and how they play a role in the UN’s Ecosystem Restoration project.

The United Nations has included ecosystem restoration in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which state “take action for marine and coastal ecosystem restoration to achieve healthy and productive oceans.”

The UN elevated advocacy by declaring 2021 to 2030 to be the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Our aim is to be an integral part of the global effort, by creating positive impacts in marine and coastal restoration. We also need to create awareness of the importance of ecosystem restoration, how it affects us, our living conditions, climate change, medical advancements, natural disaster prevention and much more.

For this reason, we created an education department within Archireef that consists of workshops and educational sessions that raise public awareness of the condition of our environment. We also believe in citizen

Inside Marine meets Co-Founder & CEO of Archireef Vriko Yu to discuss coral reef restoration Co-Founder & CEO of Archireef Vriko Yu outlines the origins of the world’s first reef tile 3D-printed in clay and explains how it revitalises coral reefs. Questions by Phil Nicholls.

science and community engagement, which is why we always encourage and provide the opportunity for the public to take part in our projects.

Can you please outline the history of your 3D-printed Reef Tile?

The 3D-printed Reef Tiles was a research product born out of The University of Hong Kong cross-faculty collaboration.

My Co-Founder and Archireef’s Chief Scientist, Dr David Baker, and I investigated numerous methods to create the ideal environment to aid coral growth, prevent sedimentation build-up, which is a major threat for corals, and assist in their restoration.

After eight years of research, we are proud to have created a solution, the first of its kind, that restores corals in an efficient and effective way. We created the first 3D-printed Reef Tiles, the flagship product at Archireef and are delivering promising results.

Your tiles are printed in terracotta. What made you choose this material?

There are many solutions to help corals, however, the materials used are either concrete, plastic, or metallic structures,

which negatively affect ocean conditions and marine life.

Terracotta is biocompatible, chemically inert and porous. It therefore has none of the negative chemical properties of concrete, while naturally having a surface micro-texture that is attractive to sessile marine invertebrates like corals. The porosity facilitates biocalcification enabling a good anchorage for the organism.

The design of Archireef’s clay tiles can be customised for different environments. Do you have an example of how your design alters to match a specific environment?

Since we utilise 3D-printing technology, we have full flexibility to customise our Reef Tiles in many ways. Our Reef Tiles are composed of three layers: the legs to allow us to customise the tile to its location, the base layer which prevents the tiles sinking into the sand, and the third component, a bio-mimicry layer, inspired by an existing coral called Platygyra, which is one of the

Inside marine 17 an s


best corals in the world at dealing with sed imentation stress.

We customise the tiles to its location and to the type of corals that exist within that specific area. This is useful when deploying in different locations around the world.

How do your tiles contribute to reef restoration?

Over 95% of the corals planted onto our Reef Tiles have survived, this is at least four times more effective than any other solution available today. We are very proud of these results. This gives us the confidence and motivation to keep pushing, look for more opportunities and organisations to collaborate with.

You worked on the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park in Hong Kong. How have the reefs developed since installation?

This is one of our first projects, adopted by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong, as an active management tool to aid coral restoration in Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park back in July 2020.

Three sites were selected for restoration inside the marine park, Coral Beach, Moon Island and a sheltered bay near the WWF marine life education centre. We deployed 128 Reef Tiles overall, covering 40sqm. The progress has been remarkable in rebuilding reef structures and nurturing marine life.

In just a couple of months, the impact became visible as so much new life settled into the restored area that even the tiles could barely be recognised. Our Reef Tiles have secured 95% coral survivorship in this pilot project.

Can you scale up your reef creation to larger areas of the seabed?

Scalability has always been a key consideration at Archireef. During the development of Reef Tiles, we wanted to make the deployment process as eco-friendly and straightforward as possible. Thus, we designed hexagonal tiles, 50cm in diameter. This allows one diver to deploy up to 40sqm within one day, without needing heavy equipment or machinery.

We recently launched our first eco-engineering facility in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This has allowed us to accelerate Reef Tile production. Today, we have the capacity to produce enough tiles to accommodate any project.

18 Inside marine
Inside Marine meets Co-Founder & CEO of Archireef Vriko Yu to discuss coral reef restoration

What challenges do you face with growing the project?

Our aspiration is to be able to deploy in as many locations as possible, to do so, we must productise and commercialise a research-based project – this was especially challenging for me.

As a scientist by training, I have learned how to analyse and research a problem, to brainstorm solutions, and then question and assess the results to find the definitive resolution. These skills helped me develop our 3D-Printer Reef Tiles – but they did not prepare me for what comes next.

I learned that if I wanted to achieve my passion, I must be persistent, versatile and trusting. By continuing to try different methods and believing in the end-goal even if others see it impossible; by thinking critically and logically, and to accept and integrate new ideas and perspectives to constantly learn and better equip myself with knowledge and skill sets

needed; and by building a capable team that I can trust. I couldn't be prouder of my team, and they are an essential pillar to our current achievements.

Do you have any further projects at Archireef that you would like to share?

We are working with several companies in Hong Kong, and have expanded to the Middle East, specifically to Abu Dhabi in the UAE, where we see great promise and opportunity when it comes to pushing sustainability with nature-based solutions.

2022 was a great year for us, however 2023 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Archireef, where we have a good network of clients and partners to push the boundaries and new opportunities opening.

What aspect of your job excites you personally?

As a professional diver and a marine enthusiast, it gives me great joy to see the impact we have on the environment. Whenever I see the positive impact of our projects – by converting a degraded seafloor to a striving ecosystem, filled with life – I get the motivation and energy to keep going, hoping to create more change, something that our future generations will enjoy.

Inside marine 19


Latest innovations from the marine industry

BMT 27m CTV hybrid design selected for expandin European offshore wind

BMT has announced that its 27m design has been selected by HST Marine, a Purus Company, as one of its CTV vessel designs for the expanding European offshore wind market. Built by Strategic Marine, four hybrid StratCat 27 Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) will be delivered in the first half of 2023. This quartet of deliveries will be the first parallel hybrid propulsion CTVs to be built in Asia.

The design is the result of a collaborative process between the BMT and Strategic Marine teams. The CTV has been designed for optimal operational effi ciency across a wide range of loading conditions, maximising waterline length while maintaining a load line length under 24m and helping reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The design includes a reliable Fixed Pitch Propeller Cat C32 propulsion system. With a maximum speed of more than 26 knots, it allows crews to transport technicians fast and efficiently.

“Strategic Marine’s collaboration with BMT is proving successful once again with the latest version of the increasingly popular StratCat 27,” said Strategic Marine’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Chan Eng Yew. “These will be the first hybrid StratCat 27 for our client’s exciting new CTV project in the European region. It’s the latest example of

how we are working with specialist partners to build ever-expanding fleets of low carbon vessels, which is a step-forward in our decarbonisation goals across our product range geared towards meeting market requirements.”

The vessels include the latest generation, patented BMT Active Fender System ® (AFS) technology that dampens contact with the turbine tower. AFS reduces impact loads for turbine structures, allowing vessels to engage at higher sea states and improving safety during personnel transfers.

The cabin design has been optimised for improved comfort and workflow, with ample storage space, comfortable business class seating for 24 offshore service personnel and accommodation for up to 9 crew members.

To improve visibility from the helm, the vessel’s bridge deck layout has been

20 Inside marine

enhanced with ergonomic positioning to increase comfort for the bridge crew. The parallel hybrid system which reduces main engine hours and maintenance costs, can also significantly reduce vessel noise and vibration. Depending on the vessel’s operational profile and charging facilities, the parallel hybrid system can significantly cut the vessel’s operational carbon footprint. n


Inside marine 21
inside( ( MARINE
your innovation
would love to see your latest innovations, builds or future concepts. Why not showcase them to thousands of potential clients and readers in the
Inside Marine magazine?
Get in touch today: media@insidepublication.com

Latest innovations from the marine industry

CSignum announces wireless radio modem to transmit data across water-air boundary

CSignum Ltd, the global leader in wireless underwater communications, asset digitisation and actionable insights for ocean and freshwater industries, has announced that the CSignum HydroFi Modem™ will become commercially available in early Q2 of this year. The low-frequency HydroFi Modem is the first and only reliable point-to-point wireless radio communications system that enables the transmission of data through the water-air boundary. The HydroFi Modem is currently undergoing successful trials for three use cases: AUV and ASV data recovery, ship hull networking, and real-time ADCP data backhaul.

CSignum has successfully transmitted real-time data 28-30 metres from underwater modems to topside receivers connecting HydroFi technology to industry standard sondes, ADCPs and dataloggers. The HydroFi Modem is complementary to, and overcomes the limitations of, acoustic, optical and cabled data transmissions. It provides monitoring and navigational solutions that digitise and scale IoT subsea devices for underwater industries, encouraging greater sustainability, increased performance and preparedness for unforeseen events.

HydroFi has also been used in an industrial asset integrity initiative underway at HESS for monitoring, inspecting, and repairing assets using autonomous vehicles in the oil and gas sector, a project that also has promising potential for environmental monitoring. HESS and Ocean Aero have successfully completed initial trials in which a HydroFi

Modem deployed on a Triton AUV sent and received information from underwater sensors positioned either on the sea floor or on submerged buoys.

The companies are currently exploring how sensors could be further utilised to monitor overall water quality parameters in the future — from dissolved oxygen levels, to turbidity, to ocean temperatures. Initial trials have proven the industrial use case workable whether the transmitting modem and receivers are connecting with vehicles underwater, at the surface or in the air.

“The ability to deliver underwater communications utilising the HydroFi Modem unlocks exciting opportunities to expand HESS autonomous operations,” said Keith Blystone, Chief of Staff at Ocean Aero. “By autonomously collecting and communicating subsurface data wirelessly with the TRITON, we can speed up information gathering for HESS.”

22 Inside marine



Shipping and Value

Maritime install first-of-its-kind fully integrated carbon capture solution

Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has announced the successful installation of Value Maritime’s (VM) Filtree system onboard its managed vessel M/T Pacific Cobalt in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Filtree system, which filters sulphur and 99% of particulate matter, includes VM’s Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) module that can capture up to 40% of CO2 emissions from the vessel’s main and auxiliary engines.

The CO2 is captured in a special chemical that is stored in an onboard tank that during the retrofit has been recoated and converted for this purpose. The tank now provides sufficient storage space to capture more than 200 tonnes of CO2 in a single voyage.

Once the tank is full, the chemical will be pumped out in port and delivered to end users, such as greenhouses or synthetic fuel producers, who will be able to release the CO2 on demand. The CO2 can also be placed into carbon sequestration networks. The chemical will then be returned to the vessel for reuse and to capture more CO2.

“2023 marks a critical year for the shipping industry,” EPS CEO Cyril Ducau stated. “For us to hit IMO 2050 and net zero targets, we need to start moving the needle significantly now. To ensure that we are able to make a significant difference, we have been developing a portfolio of solutions across various vessel types. Advanced decarbonisation technology, like the CCS system from Value

Maritime, offers a concrete solution that can be implemented on existing vessels.

“The result is an immediate carbon emission reduction while removing the need to wait for the development and rationalisation of alternative green fuel infrastructure.”

“Indeed, 2023 is the year of change for sustainable shipping,” Value Maritime Co-Founder & Director Maarten Lodewijks said. “EPS is leading the charge of shipping companies that have already started the transition to a greener fleet. Thanks to them, we have now succeeded in bringing our filtering and carbon capture technology to the tanker market. A special thanks should go to the installation team who completed this project within a narrow window and with the utmost professionalism.”

The installation of the prefabricated gas filtering system commenced in midJanuary 2023 in Rotterdam. It took 17 days to complete and was managed jointly by EPS’s and VM’s sea and shore staff. n

Inside marine 23

Latest innovations from the marine industry

Delivery of SMST Knuckle Boom C for Van Oord

SMST’s 100t active heave compensated Knuckle Boom Crane has joined the VARD Brattvaag yard in Norway. VARD, the major ship designer and shipbuilder, awarded SMST the contract to equip the Calypso with the innovative crane. The work is being done for Van Oord, the renowned Dutch marine contracting company.

24 Inside marine


The SMST Knuckle Boom Crane is designed for a large range of deck and offshore handlings. The crane can be used for handling, lifting and lowering equipment on seagoing vessels. The crane is made of standard components which can be combined into a crane fit for each specific task.

“We are pleased to be part of this next ‘green’ generation vessel and are proud of our great cooperation with both VARD and Van Oord,” said Jan Eelke van der Meulen, Sales Manager at SMST. “For us, the delivery of this second crane is a testimony of proven quality and solid performance of the main crane on board the Nexus, the first cable-laying vessel at Van Oord.”

The SMST crane has a newly designed boom configuration for increased outreach, suiting the larger dimensions of the Calypso (a green cable-layer).

“SMST has provided an offshore crane that enables us to lay heavy and long export cables. Since the deployment of the Nexus, the vessel has successfully finalised multiple cable installation projects, with reliable support of the SMST crane,” added Gerry Mensink, Project Manager at Van Oord. “The addition of the smart auxiliary jib will

increase the efficiency of our lifting operations significantly.”

SMST is situated in Drachten in The Netherlands. It is an internationally oriented company that designs and builds offshore equipment. The SMST products cover a wide range of systems for access, lifting, drilling, pipe laying and specialist work.

Through the unique combination of the company’s in-house design and engineering expertise, production facilities, testing capacity, worldwide installation and service, SMST is able to deliver high-quality engineering and product solutions that are developed to customer’s specifications.

Inside marine 25
26 Inside marine

Interesting and unusual facts from around the marine world


The world record for the deepest free dive is held by Herbert Nitsch, ‘the deepest man on Earth.’ He reached a depth of 831 feet (253.2 metres) though he sustained a brain injury as he was ascending.

The highest tides in the world are at the Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. At some times of the year, the difference between high and low tide is 16.3m, taller than a three-story building.

Ships are high-value assets. The larger high-tech vessels can cost upwards of $200 million to build. Operating commercial vessels generates an estimated annual revenue of over half a trillion US dollars in freight rates.

The first tugboat went into service in March 1802. Called the Charlotte Dundas, the vessel started out as a paddlewheel that had been built the year before by William Symington of Scotland. In 1802, he fitted his patented steam engine to the paddlewheel, and the first tugboat was born.

28 Inside marine MATTER OF FACT

In the UK, the shipping industry accounts for more GDP than civil engineering, restaurants and takeaway food combined.

Every year, ships lose containers at sea, whether due to bad weather or accidents. Experts believe that 2,000 to 10,000 are lost annually.

The top ten feet of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere.

One knot equals one nautical mile per hour. The term knot dates from the 17th century, when sailors measured the speed of their ship using a device called a “common log”, a rope with knots at regular intervals, attached to a piece of wood. Mariners would lower the common log into the water and allow it to float freely behind the ship for a specific amount of time. They would then count the knots between the ship and the piece of wood, and that number estimated their speed.

Inside marine 29
Every problem is a gift, we would not grow without problems
– Anthony Robbins –
“ “

Horizon Europe funds first-of-a-kind maritime onboard application

TheShip-aH2oy project will develop and demonstrate a zero-emission propulsion technology on board ships using green hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) on a megawatt scale.

The European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) has informed the consortium of 17 partners that they will be granted €15 million (project period: five years). The concept is based on the combined use of LOHC and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) as a powertrain, providing a significant improvement from conventional internal combustion engines. The project has real-lab character as the developed LOHC /SOFC powertrain will

be demonstrated on board one of Edda Wind’s Commissioning/Service Operation Vessels (C/SOV).

In Ship-aH2oy, Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies will oversee the detailed design of the LOHC release unit and the integration with the SOFC, while Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime will interface with the external SOFC supplier and take care of the entire system to be introduced and installed on the already prepared Edda Wind vessel. The design of a scalable system architecture for larger ships and power plants by integrating several megawatt LOHC/SOFC modules is consequently intended.

Pioneering project to make maritime industry more green wins £4.6m

A£4.6m innovation project, led by renewable electrification specialists AceOn, to develop battery and hydrogen technology to power the marine vessels used for servicing offshore wind turbines, has been given the green light for Government funding as the UK takes action to make the maritime industry cleaner.

The RESTORE project will seek to replace the fossil-fuelled power and propulsion s ys tems of crew transfer vessels (CTVs) with green hydrogen and battery storagebased alternatives. The test vessel for the study will be the Princess Royal Vessel; a CTV catamaran in Blyth, Northumberland, which is used to transport technicians to the EDF offshore wind power plant there.

30 Inside marine Send your latest news to: media@insidepublication.com MARINE NEWS Latest news in the marine industry

Vertom Group launched MV Vertom Cyta at Thecla Bodewes Shipyards

The Vertom Group, one of the leading short sea shipping operators within Europe, has announced the successful launch and christening of its latest vessel, MV Vertom Cyta. The vessel was built at Thecla Bodewes Shipyards. She is the second of eight vessels being constructed at the yard facility in Kampen, The Netherlands. MV Vertom Cyta is named after Cyta de Jong, wife of Vertom CEO Arjan de Jong.

The MV Vertom Cyta features a dieselelectric propulsion system, which offers superior efficiency and reduced emissions,

making it a more sustainable option for shipping operations. The vessel has been designed to meet the highest environmental standards, while also providing the highest levels of performance and reliability. With a length of 118.60m and breadth of 14.30m, the vessel is tailor-made to provide competitive shipping-solutions for Vertom’s clients.

Oyster Yachts takes centre stage at London Luxury Afloat


Yachts will once again be at the very heart of London Luxury Afloat, taking place at St Katharine Docks from 18-22 April, described as the UK’s most luxurious showcase for discerning buyers. Set against the historic backdrop of Tower Bridge, in the centre of the City of London, the marina at St Katharine Docks offers the perfect location for Oyster to showcase four of its newest and most popular sailing yachts.

The star attraction for many will be a brand-new Oyster 495, which was recently awarded the accolade of European Yacht of the Year 2023. At 50-foot, it’s the baby of the Oyster fleet, suited perfectly for couples to sail, yet with all the onboard features and technology for extensive bluewater sailing anywhere in the world. Dominating the waterfront, Oyster will be showcasing their three newest, luxury bluewater cruising yachts, the Oyster 495, 565 and 595.

Inside marine 31

Clean Maritime Funding secured by Windship Technology

Windship Technology has been awarded £4m as part of a consortium in the latest round of the UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. The project is a demonstration of a symbiotic wind propulsion and carbon capture system, aimed at making a zero-emissions shipping industry This project will install a Windship Technology 36m tri-foiled rig on a 15,000DWT bulker alongside carbon capture technology being demonstrated by Leilac.

“We are absolutely delighted with this funding for Windship Technology,” said Graham Harvey, CEO of Windship Technology. “Given the significant financial support announced today, the Department for Transport and Innovate UK believe Windship Technology can be a key driver in the clean shipping revolution, and we are proud to be playing our part in the decarbonisation of the shipping industry.”

32 Inside marine Send your latest news to: media@insidepublication.com MARINE NEWS Latest news in the marine industry

seven seas, five oceans, one voice


grandweld shipyards swiftships marine service noord thecla bodewes shipyards sociber shipyard

i M


The global shipbuilding industry is experiencing a much-needed recovery and Grandweld Shipyards in Dubai is no exception. With order books full to bursting, the company is looking forward to delivering several years of highquality ship launches. Meanwhile, its design department has been putting the finishing touches on a brand-new product launch exclusively revealed in this article. Richard Hagan sat down with General Manager, Jamal Abki, to get the inside scoop.

Located on the man-made island of Dubai Maritime City, Grandweld Shipyards’ large, modern 55,000 square metre facility is centrally located and perfectly positioned to serve both regional and international customers. It provides a complete range of shipbuilding ser -

vices to the global shipping industry, including design, new builds, repairs and mainte nance.

Fabricating dreams in the desert Grandweld’s shipyard is the largest in Dubai Maritime City, with the capacity to simultaneously build over 30 vessels.

36 Inside marine

It also boasts unique fully enclosed hangars, completely insulated from the desert's heat, sand and dust. These buildings allow the company’s skilled teams to build, repair and maintain vessels in complete isolation from the harshness of the local environment.

Grandweld Shipyards’ eco-certified facility contains everything needed to build some of the region’s best ships. Alongside 31 docking births, Grandweld Shipyards boasts a pair of ship lifts – one 6,000-tonne and one 3,000-tonne – to effortlessly move projects in and out of the facility, where up to 1,000 skilled staff members at a time can work on them. Though the number of staff employed in the shipyard varies between projects, the company maintains a large, permanent management team to ensure continuity across all projects.

A CNC workshop and a piping workshop are also conveniently located inside Grandweld Shipyards’ facility. According to General Manager Jamal Abki, Grandweld’s comprehensive facilities set it apart from its competition: “Our facility is unique, globally, in many ways. We have everything necessary right here to perform at the highest levels of efficiency, safety and quality at all times.

“Grandweld pioneered the shipbuilding industry in the United Arab Emirates, and our extensive capabilities have been vital to our success in evolving from a regional builder to a respected player on the global market.”

Future fuels and hybrid hype

In light of the ever-tightening International Maritime Organisation (IMO) emissions rules, ship owners worldwide are turning t o the shipbuilding industry for solutions

Inside marine 37

Grandweld Shipyards has been quietly developing several innovations.

“There’s a definite trend towards hybrid ships containing a battery system linked to diesel generators,” Mr Abki explained. “We’ve been working hard, doing a lot of research and development with hybrid system manufacturers to ensure that our vessel designs interface and integrate correctly with their systems. We’ve now reached a point where we are ready to move forward and start building these vessels.

“And it’s just in time, because recently we’ve received a lot of very serious enquiries for hybrid ships and we’re working on offers for various clients. So w e definitely see hybrid as the direction the industry will go for now.”

Grandweld Shipyard expects its hybrid vessels to easily meet and exceed the IMO’s incoming and future emissions regulations. “As designers,” he continued, “we have to work out where the industry is heading and then ensure that our designs are 100% compliant with all incoming regulations so that the vessels are ready for the enforcement of those regulations.”

New & exclusive: GrandUltra

For almost two decades, Grandweld Shipyard has enjoyed enormous success with its top-selling Grand Superior crew transfer vessel. The vessel has been so popular that between 2017 and 2022


Grandweld delivered approximately 150 examples to customers around the world, including locations as far afield as Venezuela and the Gulf of Mexico. And now, following the resounding success of Grand Superior, the exclusive reveal of Grandweld Shipyards’ replacement for Grand Superior: GrandUltra. In GrandUltra, the team at Grandweld Shipyards has improved on and evolved everything that made Grand Superior so popular with customers worldwide.

“GrandUltra will boast more muscle and more capabilities, while remaining focused on the mission for which it is built,” said Mr Abki, who went on to provide some context to the new model’s design.

“Grandweld Shipyards was the first to bring a 42-metre aluminium crew boat to the market in 2007. At the time, people couldn’t see the need for a boat that size in our region because smaller boats were typically in use. However, we’d done our research and we established that in fact, the right boat for our region is a 40- to 42metre vessel. At the right speed, a boat that size can take on a lot of the offshore

Inside marine 41
“GrandUltra will boast more muscle and more capabilities, while remaining focused on the mission for which it is built”

business and also replace helicopters for many trips. It’s more economic to run and is able to do these offshore trips quickly and efficiently.”

GrandUltra has been specifically designed to accommodate both conventional and hybrid propulsion systems, but its design has specifically focused on several key areas: Deck space, crew comfort, and seagoing capabilities.

“It’s got a serious deck that exceeds everything else on the market,” said Mr Abki. “In terms of crew comfort and seakeeping in general, we’ve ensured that the vessel’s dimensions and hull shape provide best-in-class crew comfort and seagoing capabilities, both here and outside of the Gulf region.”

Chasing the future

Despite its full order books, Grandweld Shipyards is not becoming complacent. The company is actively pursuing diversifi -

cation to ensure that the cycles typical of the shipbuilding market have less of an impact on it in future. “We’re trying to diversify outside of oil and gas as much as possible,” Mr Abki explained. “We’ve identified opportunities in passenger transport and offshore wind farm service vessels, so we’re definitely going to be expanding on that.”

A recent project is evidence of the company’s flexibility and willingness to adapt in its quest to diversify: in 2022, for the f irst time, Grandweld Shipyards delivered a one-off, totally bespoke superyacht chase boat (sometimes referred to as a ‘shadow vessel’).

The chase boat included a sizeable helicopte r landing pad that can accommodate very large helicopters, while also boasting plenty of space to handle superyacht tenders, cars, jetskis and the like. It also offers an onboard g ym and VVIP accommodation, all on top of a com-

42 Inside marine

fortable, seaworthy hull capable of going almost anywhere.

“We delivered the chase boat with 100% customer satisfaction,” said Mr Abki. “The success of this project proves that this is another opportunity for diversification that we can pursue.”

In the meantime, Grandweld Shipyards will continue to foster the company culture that, according to Mr Abki, is the secret ingredient that keeps customers coming back. “We work hard to deliver a unique experience when clients visit us,” he concluded. “All of our staff are focused on making the customer happy while they’re here and keeping them happy when they walk out. And what I hear from our clients is that this is what makes them come back to us again and again.”

n Inside marine 43

Putting Leadership Into Action to Achieve National Security

Swiftships’ Marching Towards Naval Supremacy

Swiftships continues to accelerate ahead of the shifting currents in military watercraft complex demands. With a $1.3B backlog in play, the Louisiana shipyard is at the heart of technological advancements that foresee 3D printing of repair parts and the development of ever more intelligent and secure multi-mission unmanned vessels. Cricket loving CEO Shehraze Shah “pads up at the Swiftships’ crease” to reflect on a remarkable year with Andy Probert.

Well-known for its robust and durable vessel designs, and gold standard reputation for vessel sustainment programs with the United States Navy (USN), the Swiftships team refocus on emerging technologies to provide futureproof solutions to its client missions and stay ahead of the competition.

“We have active programs in four continents, including being a platform provider-of-choice for the USN and trusted

co-production partner for allied nations,” said Shah. “While the industry slowly shifts course, Swiftships – with $1.3B in backlog orders – continues accelerating.”

Louisiana-based Swiftships is a globally respected Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for mission-critical maritime products and services. Their portfolio encompasses innovative vessel designs, proven hulls, quality shipbuilding and mission-critical systems integration practices, supplemented by Maintenance, Repair and

44 Inside marine

Overhaul (MRO) services and in-house Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) capability, ensuring Swiftships remain at the state-of-the-art of military watercraft evolution.

Turning dreams into action for digital shipbuilding

In furtherance of Shah’s vision, Swiftships has rapidly expanded Research and Development (R&D) activities, partnering with Lockheed Martin, L3 Harris, Raytheon Technologies, and Serco to support a wide range of cutting-edge programs.

“Swiftships’ exemplary ratings with the USN and other agencies of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) have intrigued Large Systems Integrators (LSIs) to partner with us on the mission to enhance how coastal borders are governed,” Shah quoted.

A new Swiftships collaboration with Lockheed Martin for the 3D printing services of repair parts in remote locations has excited the industry. The program will enable the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to utilize components printed on demand, such as engine parts, from either fiberglass or stainless steel.

“The on-demand 3D printing of repair parts will be a massive advantage and offers exciting capabilities in vessel maintenance support,” Shah explained. “We have also looked at technology applications for producing kits using 3D printing in support of our co-production programs.”

Revolutionary shipbuilding “already in action” is a gamechanger for Swiftship’s current mega-scale MRO contracts and soon-to-be-expected awards.

“Combined with our custom-built Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP), additive manufacturing will forever reshape the shipbuilding industry, offering critical parts availability, improved fleet readiness, and cost-effectiveness,” Shah added. ”And all, just in time, as global distractions has led to ever-high inflation and unprecedented supply chain challenges.” Swiftships strategy is to combine cutting-edge technology with its proven vessel sustainment methodology and localization expertise and enable optimal operational readiness for the US and partner navy fleets.

Inside marine 45
Swiftships MRO Offering to Lockheed Martin’s MMSC
Production of Swift 28m CPC
46 Inside marine
Inside marine 47

Intelligence to mission systems

The Intelligent Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), built on Web 3.0, is a platform that monitors systems designed for the age of machine learning and the industrial Internet of Things (IoT). The system performs all the monitoring and control functions of a traditional Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) while unlocking platform data to improve mission effectiveness and improved Continuous Lifecycle Management (CLSM).

SCMS Key Features & Benefits: It is a scalable edge and cloud computing architecture enables continuous development and integration of advanced systems, such as optimal supervisory control with integrated bridge systems, reliable automation through edge, hub & cloud access to platform data coupled with advanced digital twins simulation allows end-users to optimize operations planning: state-of-the earth monitoring, system/equipment optimization, predictive maintenance; prognostics, advanced autonomy; remote system monitoring, data analytics, and command and control; supports open Continuous

Integration or Continuous Delivery (CICD) workflows for rapid lifecycle upgradability; effectively integrates Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and automates Integrated Maintenance System (IMS) architectures.

Unmanned vessels proving their worth

Swiftships has pioneered in multiple disciplines helping the USN to speed up the development, testing, and deployment of different sizes of Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) into its fleet. Swiftships started investing in testing autonomous platforms long before 2015, and its name became central to conversations around militarized unmanned platforms since the US Navy’s 2018 selection of the Swiftships’ Riley Claire – a 175 feet Fast Supply Vessel (FSV) – for transformation into a Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV), named “Nomad.”

Today, alongside L3 Harris (as a Prime), Swiftships continues to build Medium Unmanned Surface Vessels (MUSVs).

“This is a first-of-its-kind vessel to meet current and future changing needs and

U.S. Marine Corps, 35-foot Expeditionary Littoral Craft (ELC) RELIABLE MARITIME SYSTEMS

the shift towards more autonomous craft,” Shah said. “Adopting a MUSV platform enables every military customer to make their own decisions on what they require.”

“Our partnership with L3 Harris has provided a huge advantage for Swiftships as the MUSV platform has rapidly improved. The Navy is delighted with the progress of the design, and the prototype is underway.”

Nomad again captured audience attention and highlights the potential for FSV platforms’ conversions to militarized vessels as she participated in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise

with 98% of that distance in autonomous mode in 2020, proving endurance and interoperability with the government’s command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence systems.

with the participation of 26 nations, 38 human-crewed and unmanned ships, submarines, aircraft, and 25,000 personnel.

During the exercise, Nomad and other unmanned vessels showcased the potential to extend the capability of connected manned platform sensors to enhance fleet capacity across the multinational force. Nomad has already travelled from the Gulf Coast through the Panama Canal to the US West Coast, a total of 4,421 nautical miles,

“The triumph of Nomad has sparked global commercialization interest in similar autonomous and lightly-manned vessels,” Shah related. “We’ve been approached to pitch this technology to other potential customers worldwide, who see it as an opportunity to expand upon their existing capabilities without the usual high manpower demands and capital costs.”

This enabling technology has increased the autonomy, reliability, and endurance of unmanned systems, particularly those operating in maritime domains such as Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs). We offer platforms that enable robust perception for situational awareness in littoral environments. Swiftships self-awareness of the state of the unmanned system’s mechanical and electrical systems and responsible, autonomous decision-making in an open, dynamic world allows it to have a nifty future.

Inside marine 49
Nomad in Multi-National Rim of the Pacific Program FSV Riley Claire Prior to Converting to Nomad

“We took a closer look at representative mission profiles and identified key market/technology gaps for small craft. We developed a low-cost, multi-mission capable 35-foot Expeditionary Littoral Craft (ELC) with a top speed of over 45 knots.” said Shah.” The USMC tested our prototype, and the client was delighted that Swiftships exceeded specified requirements by over 30%.” This ELC is a revolutionary platform due to its extreme endurance, high speed, minimal signature, and ability to support manned/unmanned assets and affordability.

“This reflects the broader industry in which nations want smaller, agile, and faster vessels that can be constructed in 60-90 days and high volume. That has ramped up excitement at Swiftships; we are taking large vessel orders and also focusing on small craft programs,” Swiftships President and co-owner Mr Jeff Leleux expanded. “Moving deeper into the high-speed craft business with greater volumes and faster turnarounds allows us to test new technologies shaping the unmanned market. We are taking on several new initiatives with our partners and enhancing our vessels with the capabilities of their advanced systems.”

Earlier in 2022, Swiftships unveiled its 46’ Small Unmanned Surface Vehicle (SUSV), aka “Challenger,” to support the growing needs of the defense industry. The craft is built on a proven high speed, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) approved platform that has served in various military and commercial engagements for over 20 years. The missions include strategic strike and mine

countermeasure/sonar deployments and the associated mission profiles comparable to or exceeding our competitors’ capabilities.

Expanding facilities to support active programs

Swiftships’ acquisition of a long-term lease of the Old McDermott facility in Louisiana has proved critical to its sustained growth. They have ramped up production there for constructing the USN’s Landing Craft Utility (LCU)-1700 boat, the Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MUSV), and overhauling the US Army’s LCU-2000 boat.

Elsewhere, Swiftships has an ongoing contract for the Egyptian Navy’s (ENs) 28m Coastal Patrol Craft (CPC) program. Shah said: “We signed two new contracts

Swiftships Challenger with Game Changing Capabilities Swift Planning Yard Services Enable Efficient Local Production

in 2022 for 16 craft to EN co-production count. That will make 49 CPCs delivered to EN by the end of 2027, and the 28m CPC is the most-built patrol vessel in its class.”

Shah added: “The Egyptian Navy has advised us they will need at least fifty (50) 28m CPC in their fleet to support their mission profiles and populate their new naval bases in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.”

The company is co-producing twenty 38m Gunboats (GB) for the Pakistan Navy’s new advanced fleet, including a new requirement for two 1,500 Tonne Corvettes for their “Combined Task Force (CTF) 151” mission as part of a multinational task force with Allied Forces.

The Louisiana yard also resourced a support contract from the Iraqi Navy with Spares and Lifecycle Support for its naval fleet and receives inquiry for MRO services and new 45m Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) construction.

A global powerhouse

“Swiftships is looking at a very positive growth with more vessel orders, co-production programs and MRO efforts,” said Shah. “Talks are ongoing over a new

35m FPV, a 45m Patrol Boat for Azerbaijan Navy, the Dutch Navies Rapidly Increased Firepower Capability Royal Netherlands Navy (TRIFIC) Program, and USN 85m Littoral Mission Support.”

Other global successes include Swiftships’ partnership with Lockheed Martin through a joint venture with the Saudi Arabian military industry to provide MRO efforts in support of

the Royal Saudi Naval Force’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) Tuwaiq class.

“We also see some Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) opportunities to support the growing windfarm market off the US coasts that could come to fruition.” In addition, Swiftships has entered the crypto-rigs development market to customize Bitcoin rigs for its global partners, using its manufacturing and industrial capability to customize rigs for clients worldwide.

Swiftships has a comprehensive view of the entire shipbuilding lifecycle as part of its unwavering commitment to helping its customers succeed. “We have the required skillset,” said Shah, “and experience to extend our vessels’ lifecycles and address the critical needs to maintain, repair, and

Inside marine 51
35m FPV reaches millions in NAVDEX, Abu Dhabi Keel Laying Ceremony for 38m Gun Boat, Karachi
Inside marine 53

convert them as our customers’ requirements dictate.”

Shah reflected, “Change is imminent, as sustainability is widely regarded as the next big revolution since the shift to autonomous tech is disrupting the way shipbuilding used to be done. Extra pressure is falling on shipyards to own sustainability. But more understanding must occur before an enterprise can even consider adopting a sustainable-first strategy.

“Swiftships’ ability to use advanced technology has enhanced its backbone that integrates data and project management tools and empowers our managers. Undoubtedly, these advances will make us smarter, stronger, and more competitive for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Shah concluded: “Swiftships has been fortunate to have world-class partners and suppliers by our side. With these suc -

cesses, Swiftships continues to evolve as a global maritime powerhouse.

“We have used new methods and tools for modelling, simulation, and data analytics to build a cradle-to-grave digital infrastructure with cutting edge design, delivery, and low total ownership cost of platform. Our design helps clients implement Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) practices for requirements definition and product development, increasing the effectiveness and affordability of the systems needed for national security.”

Reliable and safe maritime systems

Swiftships systems offers enhanced safety and reliability for these platforms. These systems automatically detect objects on and just below the surface of the water, day, or night, and in most weather conditions, by

PROFILE 54 Inside marine
Fast Patrol Vessel Bridge, Comm and Control Systems

fusing sensor data from multi-spectral cameras and radar using reliable and validated artificial intelligence algorithms. The systems are being rigorously tested in the rivers of the Atchafalaya Basin and evaluated for operation in cluttered littoral environments with dynamic atmospheric and wave conditions, dense vessel traffic, navigational markers, shallows, and other exclusion

zones. Numerous applications include several areas: perception for USVs and Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs); a multi-sensor Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) package with automated change analysis; persistent watch standing to augment crewed vessels; remote situational awareness with automated alerts and warnings; and port and harbor security with the integrated vessel and activity tracking.

The ultimate goal of both “unmanned” vessels and manned vessels such as amphibious vehicles is unparalleled reliability and accuracy of perception to enable the system to “understand” the world around it. This goal is a crucial enabler of unmanned and reduced-manning vessel operations. n www.swiftships.com

Inside marine 55
3rd LCU 2000 Operations Ready for USN Swifts and KS&EW Optimized 38m Gun Boat Design for Serial Production

Marine Service Noord has been in operation since 1988, with extensive experience in the maritime industry, the company creates turnkey solutions for commercial shipping and superyachts (maintaining expertise in alternative fuels). CEO Niek Koops, Head of Sales & Design Department Gerard Eising and Sales & Marketing Engineer Richard van der Meer discussed the company’s impressive capabilities, in a report by Imogen Ward.

Initially engineering and constructing pipework for the engine rooms of short sea vessels, Marine Service Noord entered the superyacht sector in 2010, following the closure of its largest customer at that time, the Volharding shipyard.

“When our main customer ceased operations, we had to find something new,” Sales & Marketing Engineer Richard van der Meer said. “The superyacht sector is really interesting, and we began our first project for the Oceanco shipyard, developing engine room systems for 90 metre-long 3000GT superyachts. So; we switched from the short shipping sector to luxury superyachts.

“We also specialise in designing and constructing alternative fuel systems and technologies. We had designed and built the installation for the small LNG carrier

Pioneer Knutsen in 2004 and knew that this knowledge could be used for alternative fuels like LNG. We decided to write a new business plan and in that, we laid out two paths; one which focused on growth in the superyacht new-build and refit sector, and the other side incorporated project development for alternative fuels.”

The company completed its second LNG fuel-related project in 2013. Working with Chemgas to design and build a BV certified Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS) for the inland tanker mv Sirocco. The company designed, assembled and commissioned the ship’s piping systems for both the engine room and the cargo handling systems.

Inside marine 57

Formulating a perfect solution

Following the success of Sirocco, Marine Service Noord expanded its capabilities within the alternative fuels sector. Now, the company designs and builds fuel systems for LNG, methanol and hydrogen, and the knowledge does not stop there; the company is currently working on an ammonia-fuelled project as well.

Recently, Marine Service Noord has witnessed a heavy interest aimed towards the capabilities of hydrogen. “If a customer has a low power requirement and only needs that power for a short period of time, then hydrogen is a great fuel option,” Mr van der Meer explained. “We have had a lot of interest for that particular fuel. However, for vessels requiring more power over longer time periods, it would make more sense to choose LNG, methanol or ammonia because of the energy density of the fuel.”

The company is known for its liquefied gas system designs. “Our Fuel Gas Supply Systems (FGSS) and Cargo Handling Systems (CHS) are a great example of Marine Service Noord’s capabilities,” Head of Sales & Design Department Gerard Eising said. “Chemical gases, like methane, propane or butane, when compressed or cooled become a liquid. We create systems suitable for handling these gases. We design it, build it and install it.”

On the topic of cargo handling systems, Mr Eising also commented on the possibility of trading CO2: “We don't see much talk about transporting CO2 at the moment, but we are sure that it will eventually become

58 Inside marine

an interesting trade. Currently we see little transport of CO2 but if you want to make efuels like methanol you will need CO2. Also, if we capture CO2 from factories it will have to be transported and that is not always possible through pipelines. If a ship needs to be built to transport liquid CO2, we are ready for that; we know exactly how to design those systems.”

Due to the alternative fuel transition being quite recent, the approval process for designs can be quite lengthy. However; thanks to Marine Service Noord’s experience with the risk-based design process, the company can complete it very efficiently and in a much shorter length of time.

State-of-the-art superyachts

Since its transition into the superyacht sector, Marine Service Noord has worked on a number of extremely impressive vessels.

In cooperation with Oceanco, the company has also worked on the Jubilee – the largest superyacht constructed in the Netherlands. Installing the piping systems for the engine room of the 110-metre yacht, Marine Service Noord also provided pre-engineering, 3Ddetailed engineering and the prefabrication of the carbon steel, stainless steel and cunifer piping.

To ensure the continuous fulfilment of customers’ requests, the company has made several recent investments, including a new bending machine. This machine enables Marine Service Noord to bend cunifer and Mapress piping for superyachts. With the size of superyachts increasing, these supersized vessels require piping systems with a much larger diameter. The new machine is capable of bending pipes with a diameter of up to 133mm and has saved the company considerable welding costs.

60 Inside marine
Inside marine 61

“We did a break-even analysis before we purchased the new machine we estimated how many bends we can make and what the investment of the machine would cost.

With that information, we deciphered how quickly we could make back the investment costs,” said Mr van der Meer. “Another smaller investment we made was to purchase Mapress tools for our people working at the shipyard. This purchase ensures all workers have enough equipment, which keeps the installation process efficient. As a result, we can save our customers money. These kinds of investments are very important to maintain our operational efficiency.”

Excellent customer service

Customer satisfaction is incredibly important for Marine Service Noord: the company maintains contact with clients through every step of the process and even provides support following project completion, to ensure they remain happy. “It’s very important to


have a good service and after-sales department,”added Mr van der Meer. “It not only shows commitment to our customers but gives them the opportunity to provide feedback on the systems we design and build.

“We do everything from the first lines on paper to commissioning, and to get that feedback is very helpful. Whether it is positive or constructive, it enables us to incorporate improvements into our new system designs.”

“Ultimately, our aim is simple: we try to develop long-term relationships with our customers, and keeping them happy is a big part of that,” CEO Niek Koops said. “ Of course, we work with other companies on a short-term basis as well. However, we try to focus on developing long-term connections. These often last for many years and together with our customers we create innovative designs that make them want to return.”

Going forward, Marine Service Noord plans to continue providing exceptional service for customers. “As long as we maintain our focus on new, innovative projects, I think

there will always be a place for us,” Mr Koops concluded. “We will continue to develop relationships with other companies in the market, such as ship designers and electrotechnical partners, because we need them for the successful development of our own designs.

“We will meticulously grow our business one step at a time, building great teams and relationships along the way.” n

Inside marine 63



Thecla Bodewes Shipyards is an accumulation of four yards, including TB Shiprepair Meppel which specialises in vessel repair, refits, providing after-sales services and general support to the yard’s existing fleet. Owner & CEO Thecla Bodewes and Project Developer Wilco Smit provided an update on the company’s latest operation. Report written by Imogen Ward.

Always striving to manufacture brilliance in a sustainable way, Thecla Bodewes Shipyards is the epitome of innovative and eco-friendly designs.

“As a team, we develop and build hightech vessels that contribute to our mutual desire to strive for a better, more sustainable future,” Owner & CEO Thecla Bodewes said. “Our clients trust in what we do and

believe in our vessel designs and our forward-thinking.”

TBSY has facilities located in the Netherlands at Kampen, Meppel, Harlingen and Stroobos. The company specialises in designing and manufacturing large, sea-worthy vessels and takes full advantage of its yards’ capabilities, including TBSY Harlingen which is used mainly for

64 Inside marine

special projects (like RV Wim Wolff) and providing refit location facilities to the superyacht industry.

One of the company’s latest projects, the newbuilding and delivery of the 138m long and 11,000-TDW diesel- electric geared multi-purpose vessel Vertom Joy (featuring a 17.8m beam), also fully utilised the maximum build capabilities of TBSY Kampen.

Bustling boatyards

Since TBSY’s last interview with Inside Marine, it has been incredibly busy with a plethora of new vessels. The company has successfully maintained a focus on sustainability with its latest portfolio additions.

In May 2022, the company successfully delivered Krakesandt, a trailing suction

hopper dredger (TSHD) to its new home at De Hoop in the city of Terneuzen. “Similar to its sister vessel, TSHD Anchorage,” Ms Bodewes said, “Krakesandt features a diesel-electric propulsion system which offers a variety of operational configurations to efficiently regulate the energy supply during sailing, dredging and vessel unloading.” And this dredger is ready for the sustainable transition to zero-emission fuels.

Another exciting development at TBSY is the recent commissioning of six

Inside marine 65

Like a fish takes to water, Alewijnse excels when it comes to carrying out complete electrical and automation installations on board vessels of all types. The systems integrator has been working together successfully with Thecla Bodewes Shipyards for more than 40 years. Joint projects include the advanced hopper dredgers Krakesandt, Anchorage and Charlock.

66 Inside marine editorial mention
Inside marine 67


diesel-electric multi-purpose vessels for Vertom – following this, two additional 7,000-TDW vessels were contracted in December 2022.

“The LABRAX series commissioned by Dutch Vertom Group has strengthened our position in the short sea shipping market,” Project Developer Wilco Smit explained. “The vessels feature a reliable diesel-electric propulsion system and by utilising the smart power management system, we have further optimised the vessels’ energy and fuel consumption – greatly reducing the ships’ emissions. The second vessel of the series, “Vertom Cyta”, was successfully launched in February and will be delivered in April. Two other launches will follow later this year.

“The Labrax-series is a perfect example of how the yard is using local suppliers

and subcontractors in order to achieve the highest system quality on board, but still focus on keeping the costs down in all respects: especially the suppliers from the northern part of the Netherlands, who are well known for their ability to react fast, and still provide the services we expect without sacrificing on quality.”

In partnership with one of its affiliates, a Dutch manufacturer of environmentally friendly power transmission solutions, TBSY has invested heavily towards perfecting its diesel-electric propulsion systems. These have a positive effect on a vessel’s propeller revolutions per minute. To further the efficiency of its vessels, the company has also designed a hull perfect for reduced resistance at sea.

“Each reduction in hull resistance has an immediate effect in fuel consumption,

68 Inside marine

and thus operational costs as well,”

Ms Bodewes said. “We know it is incredibly important for our hull lines to be optimised to the max, which is why our yards are dedicated to investigating CFD calculations and are frequently assessing vessel designs for potential improvements. It may sound odd but, when it comes to hull resistance, every single percentage saved counts.

“By achieving a 2 per cent saving in hull resistance – especially with current operational costs – companies can save a lot on fuel expenses. For our customers that’s quite an attractive option.”

Expertise in diverse markets

Currently underway at TBSY is a technically advanced research vessel. Once complete, the RV Wim Wolff will measure 40m in length and will provide the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) with state-of-the-art research facilities – including dry and wet labs. Following the successful construction

Inside marine 69
70 Inside marine
Inside marine 71

of the vessel’s hull, the company has now started outfitting and interior installation at its Harlingen facility.

“The RV Wim Wolff is made of aluminium,” said Mr Smit. “Together with our engineering partners, we invested a lot of time into designing a SOLAS compliant vessel with a shallow draft that wasn’t made from steel. It proves that we can produce top-quality vessels from other metals, highlights the specialist skillsets of our workforce and also exemplifies our experience of different engineering methods.

“The ship will also comply with SOLAS classifications; for example, the aluminium hull meets the highest standards of fire integrity. We don’t often get the opportunity to build a 40-metre diesel-electric vessel like this to SOLAS specifications. One example of sustainable solutions implemented onboard the vessel is the use of deck covering made from recycled plastics. Not only this is better from an environmental point of view but it also contributes to safe working conditions for the crew.”

The diesel electric power management system also incorporates a battery bank which enables the vessel to sail without

emissions and without underwater noise in the protected areas of the Waddenzee.

TBSYs’ Project Development department has recently expanded its capabilities; with an expertise in a diverse range of markets, new designs are essential. “We are regularly preparing new designs in-house, and by using our strong relationships with ship owners, we are able to adapt these designs for future trading,” Mr Smit said. “The department is working hard to develop technical solutions for potential zero emissions demands in collaboration with our network of key Dutch suppliers.”

The Dutch maritime industry

With a rich offering of highly qualified professionals at its doorstep, TBSY prefers to work with local suppliers and is fully invested in the Dutch economy.

“What you see still in The Netherlands is a huge network of skilled suppliers,” Ms Bodewes explained. “That's also why our customers like to come here, because they know they will receive a highstandard vessel. In the northern part of the Netherlands there is an abundance of small, but highly qualified suppliers. Not only do


they provide quality, but they are extremely efficient as well.”

The Dutch maritime industry is incredibly important to TBSY: that plays an active role in discussions regarding the future of the industry. Recently, the spotlight has focused on the Maritime Masterplan – a commitment made by shipbuilders and the Dutch government to manufacture and manage 30 emission-free Dutch vessels by 2030.

“It is important to recognise that our industry has strategic importance to the Netherlands,” Mr Smit said. “Our nation is renowned for her innovation capabilities and the smart and high standard technologies in the maritime industry. We are strong believers in keeping that knowledge and creativity alive within Europe.

“Our maritime industry is vital to the country’s economy and key for the upcoming transitions including protection against both geo-political and environ -

mental threats; it is an incredibly potent sector, full of exceptionally talented individuals, which is why we need to solidify its future.”

On the topic, Ms Bodewes added: “There will always be a need for new vessels; in particular ships that answer to the demands of green initiatives. It is so important that, as a shipyard, we are aware of our responsibility for our planet, to leave behind a safe and healthy world for our children,” she concluded. “That is why our mission is to strive for zero emission shipping, and that all starts on the drawing board.”


At a crossroads of major shipping lanes on the Pacific side of South America, lies the SOCIBER shipyard. It is a floating dry dock in Valparaíso, the Chilean seaport. With origins dating back to 1985, SOCIBER has long been synonymous with friendly, fast, focused ship repair and conversion services. Sidney Chellew is the General Manager and he explained what makes the shipyard tick to Hannah Barnett.

74 Inside marine

The SOCIBER shipyard is not only one of the largest floating dry docks on the west coast of South America, but it also recognises the value of doing things the old way.

“The really nice thing about what we do, is we give work to a lot of motivated people doing both updated technical tasks and old trades that not many people know,” said General Manager Sidney Chellew. “There's a lot of things we do that they don’t teach at university or any technical school. They're taught by someone’s father, or by an old worker passing along his experience.”

The technical aspect

It may be in touch with its roots, but the SOCIBER shipyard is still equipped to provide quality service to modern standards.

“It’s not a floating dock for really big ships but it's good enough,” said Mr Chellew.

“It is 150 metres in length, and we can raise ships of up to 9,500 tonnes with a width of up to about 24 metres.”

As a classNKK dock, SOCIBER cannot afford to let standards slip. “NKK is very strict, so every five years we have to obtain a full classification certificate to continue operations,” Mr Chellew said.

Inside marine 75


“The dock may be 37 years old,” he continued, “but it’s in a very good shape, it works efficiently, we are responsible, and safety is crucial. We love our floating dock, so we care for it. Port of Valparaíso has had a floating dock since 1857 and we are the proud successors of them.”

Expansion and strategic planning

Mr Chellew has been General Manager at the shipyard since the 1st of April 2021. He explained that since then, he has been focused on establishing a coherent vision for the future, and that a newly reviewed

corporate strategic plan was the first task asked of him by the Board of Directors.

“We took a year working on the strategy and thinking about it,” he said. “One of the things that came out of the review was that we needed to expand our operations. So, we have been working as a subcontractor. Doing what we do best; hull treatment, painting, scraping, those kinds of things.

“We also do big mechanical jobs. Like fixing propellers, piping, valves. And we’re able to do metal structure work, fix damage and replace plates. We are expanding those capacities and looking into further revenue

76 Inside marine

streams, like port facilities or ship docking. That's my big push as General Manager, to generate more income.”

Client’s choice

Most of Chile’s dry docks exist to service the Navy, meaning the Sociber shipyard is a good option for commercial vessels. The dock sees a lot of trade from fisheries, because Chile has a wide ocean as an exclusive economic zone and is also the second largest producer of salmon in the world, after Norway. Mr Chellew explained that peak season falls between July and November.

Inside marine 77

The quality of the services offered is something SOCIBER has never compromised on. “We work with four or five different fishery companies,” said Mr Chellew. “I know the ships that we had last year will be back next year. We need to do a good job, because if we do a bad job, they are not coming back. Quality was one of the attributes that previous managers brought to the company. If you look at the balance book, from yearto-year, you will find very few failures.

“As a client, I would love that if I ask for an unexpected job or decide some necessary changes on the repairs plan, the shipyard will show a quick reaction and adaption. Customers like that dynamic.” That is a highlight characteristic of SOCIBER.

The other advantage the SOCIBER shipyard has is its location, because many of the other shipyards in Chile are located further south where there is more rain and bad weather. Valparaíso has a temperate climate. “The blackout days for shipyard production here because of weather issues are only about 12 to 15 a year,” according to Mr Chellew.

The future’s bright

As well as mainly importing its steel from China and Europe, SOCIBER works with a range of both international and local suppliers. “For example, we have a good relationship with our painting suppliers,” Mr Chellew said.

Despite some turbulence in global markets, and across industries over the last few years, Mr Chellew remained optimistic about the outlook for the future of the company, viewing the shipyard repair trade as


reliable one: “We basically deal with eliminating rust, but rust is going to exist forever. So, we’re going to have a business forever,” he summarised.

SOCIBER´s stated goals are to be recognised in the Central and South Pacific as a highly competitive company, to provide solutions in the field of maintenance and to continue working to a high standard of quality and safety.

But it is its people who make SOCIBER special. As Mr Chellew concluded: “You get a good feeling when a ship is sent back to service; a feeling of a job-welldone. That pride of doing things right. I think there's an understanding that everybody here is treated with justice

and fairness, including our workforce. If an employee after work is moving back home, he is not going to mind wearing a lanyard with our logo on it. Not ashamed to say: ‘Okay, here I am. I am from SOCIBER’.” n

Inside marine 79

seven seas, five oceans, one voice


edt offshore ardmore shipping corporation

c transport maritime highland maritime vertom

pt logindo samudramakmur tbk sea pioneer shipping corporation

i M


With over four decades of experience in the shipping industry, EDT Offshore has evolved from its origins in cargo, towage and salvage into a uniquely diverse maritime company. Today, it operates in a range of sectors including oil and gas, marine construction, ship management and operations, as well as - unusually - aviation. Richard Hagan met with Operations & Ship Management Director Giles Heimann and Head of Chartering & Commercial John Stamoudakis to learn how this dynamic company continues to evolve.

82 Inside marine

From its headquarters in Limassol in Cyprus, EDT Offshore has established itself as a key player in the Eastern Mediterranean, with an additional physical presence in Greece, Israel and Egypt.

Established in 1980, this family-owned company at first operated in the cargo, towage and salvage sectors. Over time, EDT Offshore aggressively pursued a diversification policy that initially saw the company enter the oil and gas market in which it continues to provide support vessels and shore-based infrastructure.

Further diversification efforts followed, ultimately leading to the company’s

impressive current portfolio of services. EDT Offshore’s clients benefit from a flexible advanced fleet, as well as ship agency logistics and operations; ship repair facilities catering to both the commercial and luxury yacht markets with their own dry dock facility; ship agency operations; oil and gas field support services; and its unique aviation arm in Paphos in Cyprus which operates hangarage facilities and cargo handling services.

A vessel for every job

The diamond in EDT Offshore’s crown is its impressive fleet of 24 seagoing vessels. The fleet is headed by a trio of multipurpose support vessels (MPSVs), the EDT Jane, EDT Hercules and EDT Protea.

The Jane, Hercules and Protea are considerably modified to carry out a variety of functions for EDT Offshore’s clients and include features such as twin Remotely Operated Vessel (ROV) hangars, deep-sea heave compensated cranes, and expanded

Inside marine 83
84 Inside marine
Inside marine 85

crew and charterer accommodation. Jane and Hercules are both Ulstein-built vessels and feature Ulstein’s famous X-Bow. Also known as an inverted bow, this bow was first launched in 2005. It features a wavepiercing design proven to reduce pitching and bow impact loads in bigger seas, making the vessel more stable during poor weather conditions and improving crew and passenger comfort.

The fleet also features a variety of support and supply vessels, tugs and anchor handling tug supply vessels as well as offshore supply and survey support ships. Two dredgers - the EDT Oxyrinchus and EDT Yam - support the company’s construction services, while the landing craft EDT Arlene II is on hand for specialist support to any project requiring it.

Finally, the company’s newly acquired EDT Aeolus is a specialist, strong and highly capable AHST delivering an impressive bollard pull of 103 tonnes. She’s designed to handle large deep-sea ocean towages while also offering heavyweight anchor handling services.


EDT Offshore furthermore owns and operates several substantial open deck barges for transporting cargo by sea, in support of rig operations for example. Since the company has its own tugs, the entire barge and towing operation can be offered to customers as a complete package and handled entirely in-house.

That is the EDT difference, according to Giles Heimann, Operations & Ship Management Director: “All of the major oil operators and big EPCI contractors trust us with their biggest and most challenging assignments. We aren’t your typical ship owner since we have our own maintenance facilities, including mechanical and electrical workshops, welding workshops, carpentry workshops and a floating drydock. We take huge pride in maintaining our fleet to a very high standard, which we’re able to do largely in-house.”

Into the North Sea

EDT Offshore’s fleet is kept extremely busy. EDT Protea is in the midst of a fiveyear contract, while another three of the company’s ships operate in the North Sea and one operates exclusively in the Persian Gulf.

The company’s North Sea operations are a particular highlight. There, EDT Jane is committed to a long-term contract with a major EPCI contractor, in terms of which she is busily inspecting, repairing and maintaining several platforms in the area.

“This programme has seen the Jane working on most of the major UK North Sea sector platforms,” said John Stamoudakis, Head of Chartering & Commercial, “such as the Buzzard Complex, Britannia Field,

Inside marine 87
Inside marine 89

Caledonia Fields, Elgin Fields and the Gannet Fields. We’re expecting this programme to continue into 2024 and beyond because these platforms need a lot of ongoing work.”

People power

The company’s diverse fleet and operational activities are powered by a dedicated staff of 500 people, of whom about 170 are onshore. The shore-based team is spread across offices in Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. The majority, however, are based in EDT Offshore’s headquarters in Limassol.

Thanks to EDT Offshore’s wide variety of operational activities, the staff are kept constantly busy, as Mr Heimann explained: “We’re set up like most other shipping companies in that we have separate

departments looking after crewing, health and safety, technical operations and technical purchasing as well as a chartering team looking after commercial operations of the vessels.

“But we go one step further by doing most of the maintenance ourselves. While we have some sister ships, much of the fleet is different in terms of design, construction


and build, so it takes a very dedicated team of professionals from across the company to keep these vessels in tip-top condition.”

EDT Offshore recently celebrated a major milestone with the launch of its brand-new ship and company management system. “It’s been a threeyear project,” Mr Heimann explained. “Covering every facet of our operation, from finance to operations, chartering and everything in between. All our ships are connected to the system and are live within it. It’s been a major project, but the whole company is now operating within one unified system. It’s a huge milestone that substantially improves our operational efficiencies and capabilities.”

Going green in Scotland

One of EDT Offshore’s latest projects is an especially impressive example of the company’s capabilities. “The SeaGreen project – Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm - is one of our latest projects,” said Mr Stamoudakis. “We’ve been engaged in this project since 2021 with our flagship EDT Hercules.

“We’re doing the grouting for all of the jacket foundations for the wind farm. This phase, involving 150 jackets, is planned for completion in April 2023. Once the project is complete, it will save Scotland about 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year and will power 1.6 million homes: that is two-thirds of the homes in Scotland.”

Meanwhile, EDT Offshore’s fleet is moving towards green technology, too. The company is actively reviewing future fuel options including dual fuels, batteries and more. “It’s all very interesting,” Mr Heimann concluded. “The way ahead right now is improved ship efficiency; modern hull design is critical. But we’re constantly looking at where the market is going and at what the future may hold.

“All of our plans will be based on where we see future requirements. There’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding the ability of batteries to cope with vessel operations. There’s also a lot of talk about hydrogen and gas power. We’ll need to ensure that these systems can work for us, but as we see advantages for our vessels, we’ll certainly follow that road.” n

Inside marine 91

Ardmore Shipping Corporation owns and operates product and chemical tankers worldwide, engaging in spot trading, time charters and commercial management. CCO Gernot Ruppelt told Hannah Barnett how the company has developed into a responsible and successful business since it was founded in 2010.

92 Inside marine

According to Ardmore Shipping CCO

Gernot Ruppelt: “If you think shortterm in this business, you've already lost.” There is no doubt the company is dedicated to long-term investment and growth. This means investment in the products and services it offers, but it also means the people and the culture that keep Ardmore going.

Company milestones

Ardmore is based in Cork, Ireland, and controls roughly 30 product and chemical tankers. The average age of the fleet is not much more than eight years. “Most of them we own directly, some we have time chartered in, some we have commercial management responsibility for on behalf of another owner,” said Mr Ruppelt. But the company culture seeks to measure success in a more nuanced way than numbers alone.

That is not to say there are not some key, identifiable, milestones that brought the company to where it is. For example, Ardmore has been public on the New York Stock Exchange since 2013. “It enabled us to grow into a different tier of company,” Mr Ruppelt reflected.

In 2015, Ardmore entered the spot market which provided the company more exposure. That led to a globally connected team and, within a year, the establishment of regional offices in Singapore and Houston.

“But that was just step one,” continued Mr Ruppelt. “From there, we had to build, refine, strategise. You have to set up communication and intel sharing, marketing plans, infrastructure. But most importantly, it is about culture. What sort of culture do you want to create? ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast,’ as Peter Drucker said. It's an easy tagline to post on LinkedIn, but social media posts are cheap. Walking the talk is something different. Creating the right culture requires effort and hard work sometimes. It requires attention; culture is key.”

The final milestone in defining the culture of the company came in 2021, with the formal announcement of the Ardmore Energy Transition Plan. With the intention to play a pivotal role in the industry’s goal to reach net-zero emissions, the ETP focuses on three key areas: transition technologies, transition projects and transition cargos.

Inside marine 93

“It’s at the core of who we are,” said Mr Ruppelt. “I think for the industry, the urgency around energy transition has been more recent. But for us, trying to build a company that is very energy efficient and very progressive has been part of our DNA since 2010.”

Shrewd investment

With a $61 million net profit reported for the third quarter of 2022, Ardmore is certainly doing something right. The spot earnings for its MR Tankers were $47,026 a day in the same quarter, while chemical tankers earned $31,536 a day.

“We executed on a large refinancing,” said Mr Ruppelt. “A lot of the free cash flow generated was used to pay down debt and optimise our cost structure on the capital side, but also for selective vessel upgrades.

We announced a new dividend policy as part of our long-standing capital allocation policy. That means reducing leverage and smart reinvestment in the business. Plus redistributing a significant portion of our earnings back to shareholders.”

The company’s approach to growth is ‘more nuanced than some of our competitors,’ said Mr Ruppelt. He emphasised the benefits of patience and the company et hos of purchasing ‘the right ships, at the right price, at the right time’, and was keen to highlight that Ardmore is not interested in pursuing growth for the sake of growth alone.

“If we wanted to run the company to just captivate markets or industry peers, we could buy a lot of ships and do big M&A deals,” Mr Ruppelt continued.

“That’s great for the headlines, but we're not convinced that it necessarily builds value. There's a lot of mistakes you can make when you simply pursue growth.

96 Inside marine
Inside marine 97
“I think for the industry, the urgency around energy transition has been more recent. But for us, trying to build a company that is very energy efficient, and very progressive, has been part of our DNA since 2010”

Veson Nautical delivers a comprehensive suite of solutions that empower the world’s leading buyers and sellers of marine freight to achieve new levels of efficiency, visibility and commercial success. Over 38,000 users, in 2,400 organisations across 75 countries, use our commercial maritime solutions for a connected world.

We wish to thank Ardmore Shipping for its continuous support of our maritime solutions. Together, we are dedicated partners, committed to long-term investment and growth as responsible businesses.

98 Inside marine editorial mention
Veson nautical

“Companies take on too much debt, they overpay, they buy the wrong assets at the wrong time. And worst, and maybe the most common, they lose themselves along the way. Their strategic focus gets diluted, and their culture gets lost.

“And ultimately, we believe that our strong performance speaks for itself.”

Partnerships that pay off

When Ardmore makes an investment or partnership, it is done to add substantial and honest value: to contribute to company culture, rather than take away from it.

A clear example is a joint venture with ship management company Anglo-Eastern in 2016. “The best of both worlds,” as Mr Ruppelt put it. “Because

Anglo-Eastern is an extremely respected and high-performing organisation. It provides a tremendous amount of expe rience, legacy, staff and access to infrastructure that we cannot replicate on our own.”

Another valuable partnership was announced at the end of 2022, when Ardmore placed an order for Value Maritime’s emissions-reducing Filtree system. The technology is designed to clean both air and water on ships and includes integrated ‘plug & play’ carbon capture and closed loop features.

“Value Maritime was a great opportunity for a more forward-looking scrubber option. Strategically, we believe that becoming more exposed to chemical, nonpetroleum cargoes is in line with who we are as a com-

100 Inside marine

pany, and in terms of the long-term direction of our industry, it just makes the most business sense,” explained Mr Ruppelt.

The future is today

The Ardmore 2022 Progress Report is a coherent, current distillation of the company’s culture and values. It is called a progress report not only to emphasise the progressive nature of the company, but also to hold its actions to account.

The report expresses Ardmore’s commitment to a sustainable and realistic energy transition and decarbonisation process. “The key takeaway from the report is that the future is today,” explained Mr Ruppelt. “There is uncertainty, the rules aren't completely clear yet on what the IMO, or the European Union and particular regional jurisdictions are going to do in the legislative environment. But it is our belief that most of our customers will eventually reward or incentivise fuel-efficient fleets.”

This progressive outlook is fuelled by the people who run the company. Mr Ruppelt was enthusiastic at the potential held by Ardmore’s seafarers. The company has introduced a comprehensive and innova -

tive 3D training programme for staff, with the purpose of maintaining highest safety standards onboard Ardmore’s ships. But more than that, it is about allowing the development of workforce potential to positively impact the company culture.

“Seafarer education and engagement are very close to our hearts,” Mr Ruppelt enthused. “Ultimately, everything we do commercially will have an impact on the people on our ships. And vice versa: as a company, we believe strongly in the progression and education of our staff onboard and ashore. It all comes back down to culture. You can focus on your hardware, your steel and machinery, and you can write endless SOPs, but ultimately, it is about the people who operate the hardware: and they need the mentality that matches the culture you want to create.”

Inside marine 101


C Transport Maritime (CTM) has been offering leading management services to partners and clients in the shipping industry since 2004. Based in Monaco, with around 200 vessels under management, it is a large operator. The company also manages three pools in the Supramax, Panamax and Capesize markets.

102 Inside marine
Carlos Pena, Chief Commercial Officer, explained more to Hannah Barnett.

With a depth of experience and a wide scope of operations, CTM is a world class vessel management company. “That is our core business and that is what we are good at,” reflected Chief Commercial Officer Carlos Pena. “We have managed hundreds of vessels over the years, so our knowledge in the dry bulk market runs deep, and our network is wide.”

A good year

2022 was a rewarding year for C Transport Maritime. The company won the Safety4Sea Dry Bulk Operator Award. Vessels under the commercial management of CTM carried 54 million tonnes of cargo of 61 different types. The company loaded at 276 different ports and visited 100 countries.

The two largest pools, the Supramax and Capesize Revenue Sharing Agreements (RSAs), also overperformed their respective indices by 8% and 14%. “So, the benefit of being in our pool as opposed the spot market was between $600,000 to $800,000 per ship, which is pretty substantial, particularly for owners with multiple vessels in our fleet,” explained Mr Pena.

At the same time, the public ship owning vehicle that CTM manages, GoodBulk, took advantage of the strongest sale and purchase environment in many years to sell 12 vessels: 11 Capesizes and one Panamax.

Of course, the company would not be able to operate on this scale, and enjoy such a successful twelve months, without a robust and professional crew. “We have an active roster of 688 crew members

Inside marine 103

manning our vessels,” said Mr Pena. “That is through our collaboration with Augustea Ship Manning in the Philippines. The crews under our management are trained to the highest industry standards, undergoing over 200,000 hours of training in 2022.”

The benefit of pools

CTM has been managing shipping pools since its inception. The company now controls three pools in the Supramax, Panamax and Capesize markets, under Supramax, Panamax and Capesize RSAs. These help reduce fragmentation in the dry bulk sector and improve efficiency of service and costs.

“Consolidation does not necessarily mean ownership concentration in a few hands; it can simply be a commercial consolidation. All it means is fewer entities controlling more ships,” Mr Pena explained.

The company is also a founding member of Capesize Chartering Ltd (CCL), which, alongside CTM, is comprised of Bocimar and Star Bulk. All vessels entered into the Capesize RSA become part of this alliance, whilst still remaining in the care of dedicated management teams.

“Overall, being in a pool brings many advantages for owners but also for charterers,” explained Mr Pena. “The pool will


be privy to better information, leading to improved decision-making and more opportunities. Vessels are positioned around the world and can take advantage of the rates in a myriad of routes, as well as optimise the best ship for a cargo or trading route. The peaks and troughs of the market are evened out, and the owners in the pool can benefit from superior market information.”

All ships in CTM’s pools are run and operated on the spot market, which has yielded better results for the company over the years and has the added benefit of flexibility. More vessels in fewer hands reduces fragmentation, unequal information and increases negotiating power.

“For charterers, the pool is a good ‘owner’, because of its volumes and the process of fixing is already standardised to most charterers’ standards,” Mr Pena continued. “ Charterers can communicate with only one company which is fronting the decisions, plus charterers can get flexibility from the pool that an owner may not be so keen to do or can’t do. For example, options on trips or switching ships depending on the dates.”

Investment opportunities

Another profitable arm for CTM comes in the form of Stone Shipping Ltd. Incorporated in Bermuda, Stone Shipping is a chartering vehicle formed in 2019 for the purpose of chartering-in Supramax and Ultramax vessels, either on fixed- or floating-rate periods, on behalf of investors.

Inside marine 107

As Mr Pena explained: “Stone Shipping is a chartering vehicle that aims to give access to the dry bulk charter-in market to both first-time and seasoned investors. I t has a market neutral strategy and its returns have been very good.”

The charter-in market is one that is normally reserved for shipping companies and ship managers with extensive knowledge of the sector, a long-standing reputation for good performance and a strong financial footing. Through Stone Shipping,

CTM is opening a typically closed sector of the dry bulk industry to investors. The platform has delivered highly satisfying returns to its investors with the last one that closed coming in at +35% IRR. Since its inception, Stone Shipping has raised $44 million across five privately invested funds and has chartered-in close to 30 vessels. The vast majority have been employed on the spot market in CTM’s Supramax pool, the Supramax RSA


Shipping sustainability

There is no doubt that a fleet this large comes with a lot of responsibility. Some of that involves environmental accountability.

“Clean oceans and air are essential for our very existence, not only as a company but as individuals,” said Mr Pena. “It’s about making a difference where we can drive growth and value for clients, whilst simultaneously protecting the environment and benefiting society. This is why we engage with financial institutions for the promotion of the Poseidon Principles and we started the process of inking our first sustainability-linked loan.”

CTM has done almost 20 sale and purchase transactions in the last 12 months for various clients, transactions that are transforming CTM’s managed fleet to a more modern and fuel efficient one. Carbon emissions from the global fleet on a perdeadweight basis have fallen considerably in the past 15 years, showing how much more efficient ships have become. For instance, one of CTM’s 2022-built 180,000 tonne ship consumes 60% less fuel than a 2010-built 180,000 tonne ship.

With an ongoing vision to create value for its operating partners, it is evident that CTM is a company continuing to adapt, evolve and grow, as the market requires.

Inside marine 109

With almost 15 years’ experience managing vessels in the marine industry, Highland Maritime continues to live up to its commitment of making customers smile. Managing Director Andrew Airey provided an update on the company’s operations and discussed its continuous popularity, in a report by Imogen Ward.

110 Inside marine

Trust is paramount at Highland Maritime, who works hard to maintain a flawless reputation and always ensures its clients receive consistent customer service. With reliability at the helm of the company’s operations, no request is too big.

“Time and time again, our seafarers prove themselves to be the safest, most dependable, innovative and genuinely helpful crews,” said Managing Director, Andrew Airey . “As a result, the demand for Highland’s crewing and dedicated management services continues to grow.”

Highland is a medium-sized vessel manager based in Bangkok, Thailand, that offers a full service to its clients – from its

superb duty-of-care for vessels to its dedication to clients’ cargo commitments. With the ultimate goal of enhancing its customers’ businesses, the company efficiently manages 25 vessels. This includes Panamax and Supramax bulk carriers, multi-purpose cargo vessels, a floating transhipment terminal and a Capesize bulk carrier – the first of its kind under Highland’s management.

The other services on offer at Highland include consultancy-based support (pre-purchase inspections, buyer representation and insurance advice) and the more hands-on supervisory aid (crew management, dry-dock management and project management).

Inside marine 111
Inside marine 113

As of 2021, Highland also has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications. These are great additions to the company’s accreditations and have helped the company progress in its quest for customer satisfaction.

News to smile over

Highland has been exceptionally busy since its last article with Inside Marine The company has successfully implemented a hybrid working schedule for its 25 inland staff, which has had a positive impact on the business’ carbon footprint and employees’ wellbeing.

“Like many companies, Highland was developing remote working and cloud data systems before Covid,” Mr Airey said. “During the pandemic, we were

able to transition smoothly to working from home. In turn, this enabled us to reduce our office space, which minimised our energy consumption and reduced our carbon footprint. Our staff also became more productive, and their job satisfaction increased too.”

On the back of this outcome, Highland made the decision to permanently implement hybrid working after lockdown restrictions were lifted. Whilst many companies crumpled under the pressure of the pandemic, Highland found that business surged.

This popularity is partially due to the company’s devotion to its customers’ happiness. Another appealing aspect is the work of the company’s diligent suppliers. Highland works hard to create and


maintain meaningful connections with these companies. “Our long-term sup pliers have provided constant aid, regardless of the economic situation or the shipping cycles,” Mr Airey said. “They fully understand and reflect the exceptional level of service and high quality our customers expect, providing them with a consistent international standard of care for their vessels.”

Happy customers and crew

To ensure its employees have the most positive environment, Highland is planning to implement an in-house staff awareness campaign. This will take place later in the year and will include a compe tition to ensure everyone is getting involved. Staff will be asked to generate ideas to help identify areas needing improvement –with a specific focus on sustainability and equality . The goal is to maintain a positive and safe working environment. The company also hopes this campaign

Inside marine 115

will highlight more innovative ways to reduce its carbon footprint and improve company-wide sustainability efforts.

To guarantee a safe workplace, Highland provides all staff with regular training, and actively encourages them to develop transferable skills that can be utilised on future projects.

All crews are hired locally; this element is extremely important to Highland (who always takes every opportunity to reinvest into the local economy). In the past, the company has organised beach clean- ups and volunteered at local children’s homes – brightening their days with freshly painted walls and fun murals.

Highland shows a great deal of care, not just for its own crews, but also for future professionals and the maritime industry more broadly. There is a shortage of base-level professionals across all sec -

tors, but Highland has devised a plan to help improve recruitment rates within the maritime industry. The company has committed to a sponsorship programme for high school students with a passion for seafaring.

Starting this year, Highland will offer funding to those studying maritime related courses at Thai maritime colleges and universities. “There is currently a shortage of officers and crews that have the right professional attitude,” Mr Airey explained. “We are working in partnership with the Government Marine Department and the Department of Education in Thailand to update how the maritime career is portrayed to younger generations.”

Grin-worthy global goals

With a focus on the future, Mr Airey maintained a positive outlook: “Our marketplace is driven by global public opinion, especiall y


now we live in a world of technological connectivity. The younger generations are constantly striving for more sustainable and healthy business practises. Highland is dedicated to listening to these voices to continually educate ourselves and adapt our services accordingly.

“We aim to apply our experience and continuous skill development to be ready for the management of vessels run on clean fuels, which will be a vital step towards the maritime industry’s decarbonisation targets.”

As a steadfast competitor in the industry, Highland is focusing its efforts inwards. The company is always looking for ways to improve, and aims to dedi -

cate resources to expanding its managemen t team and increasing its production capabilities. Mr Airey described this development as careful and organic –to ensure service quality and customer satisfaction remains consistent. With a positive assessment of the market, there is no doubt that these goals will be achieved.

“I am always optimistic about our market and global development,” Mr Airey concluded. “If you remain optimistic, you will always find a way to achieve your goals and improve. Ultimately, our aim is simple –we work hard to ensure the happiness of our clients. This is reflected in our motto: we manage…you smile.” n

Inside marine 117
Managing Director Andrew Airey
118 Inside marine VERTOM I PROFILE

Vertom Group is one of the largest European operators in short-sea shipping. Warner Warnders, Managing Director of Vertom Bereederungs GmbH, shared the story with Phil Nicholls and Hannah Barnett.

of Vertom operations with boosted employee numbers and ten more vessels.

Vertom was launched in 1974 in Rotterdam by Ton Pols, with only 20 employees and three ships. The name Vertom was derived from the name of its first vessel. MV Vera Tomson. Even from its early days, Vertom focused on short-sea shipping.

Growth at Vertom was steady, opening offices in Belgium in 1981 and establishing a liner service to the Caribbean in the mid-1980s. Vertom Shipping UK Ltd began in 1999 and the first port offices were soon opened. The merger in 2010 with Unity Beheer (UCS) expanded the scope

By 2016, Vertom was performing well in short-sea shipping and expanded the fleet as a result. Purchases from the second-hand market steadily enlarged the fleet and broadened Vertom’s capabilities. Alongside the growing shipping portfolio, Vertom expanded over the years by adding agency services in the Netherlands, then Spain, Greece, Bulgaria and eventually across Europe.

In 2021, the company was acquired by UK-based Cory Brothers Shipping Agency Ltd to form VertomCory, a branch of Vertom, offering assorted agency and logistics services. Another joint venture was launched in February 2022, with Vertom Group partnering with Strand

Inside marine 119
120 Inside marine

Shipping AS, a shipbroking firm from Mo i Rana in Helgeland, northern Norway.

The German-based Vertom Bereederungs GmbH office has over 40 employees, while the umbrella Vertom Group employs over 400 staff shorebased and 1,000 seafarers. Around 60% of the Vertom crew are typically at sea at any one time.

After the steady program of vessel purchases over the past six years, the Vertom Group fleet stands at over 90 ships in commercial management. Warner Warnders, Managing Director of the German

office, explained the Vertom fleet specialisation: “Our vessels are between 3,500 to 10,000DWT, so we have a broad variety of vessels available to serve our clients.”

Vessel length is between 80 to 120m. In addition to being a shipowner, Vertom also offers chartering of dry bulk and general cargo and tanker chartering. Vertom is a commercial agent for Europe Caribbean Line running bi-weekly liner services to Suriname and Guyana. The South Caribbean Service runs monthly to the ports of Antwerp, Hull, Gijon, Georgetown, Paramaribo, Point Lisas,

122 Inside marine VERTOM I PROFILE
“ “
It is no surprise that Vertom believes its employees are its most valuable assets. Sustainable employability and physical wellbeing are the key fundamentals of the group’s business culture

Matanzas/Puerto Ordaz and Rotterdam.

In consequence, Vertom’s routes are 80% European and 20% worldwide.

The steady expansion in the fleet was also reflected in Vertom’s turnover. Minor financial growth from 2010 to 2015 turned into steady increases through to 2021.

Mr Warnders is determined to maintain this trajectory: “Our approach to growth is focused on ensuring sustainability and long-term success. Rather than prioritising rapid expansion, we prioritise a healthy and measured approach to growth .”

A star fleet

To achieve these projected growth figures, Vertom Group has further bolstered its fleet. The company successfully launched Vertom PATTY and Vertom

CYTA, with Vertom TOMMA set to launch in July 2023.

In total, eight of these types of vessels are on order. Further deliveries are scheduled till 2025.

The vessels, built by Thecla Bodewes Shipyards in the Netherlands, are 7,000DWT diesel-electric multi-purpose dry cargo ships designed to meet Vertom’s requirements for providing tailor-made shipping solutions to clients. The LABRAX 7,000DWT cargo vessels feature CFD optimisation of the hull design to deliver fuel-efficient speedpower perfor mance driven by a future proof modular electric propulsion system

“They are custom-made vessels,” explained Mr Warnders. “We designed the new box-shaped cargo holds to ensure maximum loading flexibility and cargo intake. The vessel is fitted with an integrated power management system, diesel-electric propulsion system and

Inside marine 123

Alewijnse specialises in maintaining electrical installations on board vessels at every stage of the assets’ life. The systems integrator has been working together with Vertom Group for more than 10 years. The qualified Alewijnse technicians support the Vertom fleet wherever they are in the world, taking care of all their maintenance needs.

124 Inside marine editorial mention

a new propeller design. It was a huge success to bring Vertom PATTY and Vertom CYTA into service. The fuel reduction is between 20 to 30% compared with existing vessels.”

Vertom is investing wisely during the fleet expansion with one eye on sustainability issues.

“As we are focused on the short-sea business, we have different options compared to deep-sea shipping companies,” Mr Warnders explained. “Therefore, we decided our new general cargo vessels and mini-bulkers should be fitted with a hybrid-electrical power system, or an exchange system as we call it, because not only is it electric, but we can easily ex change the modules to methanol

or hydrogen, for example, as the technology develops.”

The new fleet lowers the average age of Vertom vessels and make Vertom a market leader in the segment. The new ships are ‘ready for tomorrow’, delivering lower environmental impact, reduced CO2 emissions and better working conditions for the crew. Vertom devoted a lot of effort to innovate the entire ship system.

Sustainability is a driver for Vertom, a company that embraces new technologies emerging onto the market.

“As a team, we are looking at the options for our vessels to become more environmentally-friendly, we look for solutions which make it easier to maintain and improve the technical parts of our

VERTOM I PROFILE 126 Inside marine

ships,” said Mr Wanders, who also confirmed Vertom has installed VentiFoils on one of the vessels in its fleet, with two more installations planned during 2023.

Full range of services

The close-supportive relationships Vertom enjoys with crews is just one aspect of what sets the group apart from the competition.

“Vertom offers clients a full range of s ervices – including technical ship management,” Mr Warnders explained. “We have ownership, we have commercial management, we have agency, we can provide all our services to the highest standard, which is one of our main goals.

“We are in close contact with our customers in respect to the ship itself and preparations and all the cargo preparations or upcoming regulations. If they have questions, then we have all the answers at hand.”

Finding solutions together

This close cooperation also extends to Vertom’s suppliers. “This is where loyalty and good partnership is our main focus,” Mr Warnders said. “Once we have a supplier in place, we maintain strong contacts

to ensure close cooperation. We build trust together and once we find reliable partners; we discuss everything with them and look for solutions together.”

Mr Warnders explained the challenge of recruiting new personnel for the Vertom Group. The Group searches for the right people who share the same passion for the shipping industry Mr Warnders feels. "I dearly appreciate my choice to work in shipping. Every day it proves to be the best decision I've ever made!"

" The daily routine is highly varied, ranging from tackling environmental projects or resolving an incident, to coor dinating transportation of cargo. The people working in shipping are intelligent and very fond of their industry."

It is no surprise that Vertom believes its employees are its most valuable assets. Sustainable employability and physical wellbeing are the key fundamentals of the group’s business culture. The Vertom Group’s mission for the future is to be an innovative, discerning, and socially responsible company: to be recognised as a leading maritime service provider.

With the arrival of the new class of vessels, Vertom looks well on course to reach its objectives and continue sailing towards steady and sustainable growth targets. n

Inside marine 127

PT Logindo Samudramakmur Tbk is committed to providing integrated maritime services which support the upstream oil and gas industry. The Indonesian company was established in 1995 by Eddy Kurniawan Logam and Rudy Kurniawan Logam. Current CCO Ragil Marzuki explained to Hannah Barnett how the company has grown by prioritising the condition of its fleet.

128 Inside marine

PTLogindo Samudramakmur Tbk started as a modest venture. I t operated a small fleet of tugs and mooring boats to support marine offshore vessels for the oil and gas industry in Indonesia. The company had one main client, TotalEnergies, the French energy company, operating in East Kalimantan, an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo.

“Then we started to grow,” recalled CCO Ragil Marzuki, “serving other oil and gas companies from the western to the eastern parts of Indonesia. We now support exploration drilling, development drilling, operations production, surveys, offshore construction and so on. Complementing this growth, Logindo began acquiring larger vessels, increasing its portfolio, and we went public in 2013.”

The company’s public floatation was made possible when, in 2011, Logindo invited Pacific Radiance Pte Ltd to become its strategic partner and further develop its business. At the end of 2013, Logindo listed its shares on the Indonesian stock market for the first time.

Inside marine 129

The logistics of Logindo

The company is now a robust, wellestablished presence in the Indonesian archipelago, and is able to lend its expe rience further afield too. “We mainly service the South-East Asian market, because we have a big network of our brokers here in Indonesia, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia,” Mr Marzuki said. “The demand is high in Malaysia. And just recently, we brought our vessels to a job in Myanmar. Also, we've been working in Cambodia. These are areas that have projects, but they don't have enough vessels available. So, they look to Indonesian companieslike us.”

Logindo has its main office in Jakarta, and a site office in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, the Indonesian province on the island of Borneo. It also has its own dockyard facilities at Handil in East Kalimantan. On average, head office personnel runs to about 80, with 40 in the Balikpapan site office.

Mr Marzuki was optimistic, but realistic about how the company will continue to grow its fleet in the near future.

“Following an increase in demand since Q2 of 2022, Logindo may acquire assets depending on market conditions,” he said. “As one of the leading marine offshore companies, Logindo is comfortable making predictions on the movements of the market, so acquiring assets will be based on our best assessment.

“Logindo’s owner is thinking about buying vessels in China and Malaysia, as demand for services like ours is very high in the Asia and Pacific regions at the moment. But the most important thing for us is that the company maintains its fleet optimisation and utilisation. So, we expect to acquire some vessels; we are having a look around, but we don't have any new ones yet.”

Vessels of all varieties

Logindo currently boasts 45 vessels of seven different types, from crew boats to landing crafts. “Our main big vessel is the


anchor handling tug, and we have nine units of those available,” Mr Marzuki said.

As a company servicing the offshore industry, the condition of the fleet is of paramount importance. It maintains high standards, according to Mr Marzuki.

“Logindo is well known for its fleet performance,” he said. “We keep our vessels seaworthy and up to marine standards. Our oil and gas clients sometimes have requirements beyond the common HSE offshore marine standards, and we meet those too. We have a long history of keeping vessels in prime condition.

“We follow regulations to the IMO standard. Big maintenance jobs are conducted every five years. In between that we need to do intermediate surveys, which are conducted every two and a half years. Even running the motor for too many hours can put the engine life itself at risk. We always

need to work out a balance between the revenue that we're getting, compared to the maintenance that we need to do.”

Surviving turbulent times

Closely liaising with partners has proved essential for Logindo to sustain its high level of maintenance work.

Inside marine 131

“Our relationship with suppliers is a key component when ensuring the fleet is kept in the best condition possible,” said Mr Marzuki . “Our choice of partners reflects our many years as a stable presence in the marine industry.”

He added that the pandemic introduced a harsher selection process than usual: “During the Covid era, lots of suppliers and vendors were hit. Those who can still maintain their businesses and support Logindo are basically pre-selected by nature. They are the strongest partners.”

Of course, as Mr Marzuki acknowledged, Logindo was not immune to the difficulties presented by the pandemic either.

“Everyone was affected by Covid. But we got through it,” he said. “I believe we must be doing something right. It was not easy. The owner had to go to the bank to restruc -

ture. And it was not only the financial side, but the maintenance and the operational sides. We had to work out how to reduce our opex. Those kind of things have a global impact because some of our spare parts came from overseas, like the electrical system which we import from Norway and from Italy. So, it really impacted us. But not just Logindo, everyone around us too.”

The future of Logindo

Logindo is a modern business, not about to rest on its laurels by limiting its work scope to the oil and gas industry. Mr Marzuki acknowledged the growing global market for offshore wind, and said it is something the company is keeping an eye on.

“In the future, we are looking to other potential ventures such as the wind farm


projects coming to Korea and Taiwan,” he said. “I believe Indonesia will follow those countries into the offshore wind industry. There are initial studies happening here already. That would be a good option for us; to not always be focusing on oil and gas, but expanding into a new form of energy – one that will require support.”

The CEO emphasised that Logindo has navigated the stormy waters of the last few years and emerged stronger than ever. He presented an optimistic but coherent vision for the future: “We want to maintain our brand as one of the oldest and most reliable marine offshore companies. In addition, we must sustain full care of our fleet, especially those vessels

that are aging. We want to keep the good team that make up our workforce and continue our journey, facing ever more challenging markets.” n

Inside marine 133


Sea Pioneer Shipping Corporation plans to remain a small-to-medium operator, with a desire to hit a capacity of 16 vessels in the next few years – maintaining a good balance between dry and wet operations

“Staying relatively modest in size means that we keep agile for clients and sustain excellent communication channels with them. That is key to our longevity in the industry,” explained Technical Manager Leon Kallergis.

The diligent dozen

The balanced fleet at Sea Pioneer consists of six tankers and six bulk carriers, thanks to additions over the past year. The current tanker fleet enjoys a total capacity of over 333,000m³, with every vessel 50,000DWT or larger.

This arm of Sea Pioneer’s operation was boosted by the acquisition of two new product/chemical tankers. Built at DAE SUN Shipbuilding and Engineering, in South Korea, the IMO 2 and 3 product


Deploying over 50 years’ experience,

is a long-time


carriers are fitted with modern ballast water treatment systems.

MT Modesty was delivered in October 2022, with her first sailing the following day. Sister ship MT Reliability was delivered in January 2023, again sailing the next day. Both vessels carry the Liberian flag.

“Joining our previous tankers named Clarity, Dignity, Honesty and Tenacity are these two new builds,” Mr Kallergis said. “Modesty and Reliability both entered service as soon as they were delivered.”

Inside marine 135
Greek-based Sea Pioneer Shipping Corporation operator the wet and dry sectors. Technical Manager Leon Kallergis shared the latest news. Report by Phil Nicholls.

In turn, Sea Pioneer’s bulk carrier fleet has similar capabilities, consisting of six vessels with a total cargo capacity of over 565,000m³. This roster composes MV Bravery, a Panamax bulk carrier with a loading capacity up to 90,740m³, and five Kamsarmax bulk carriers averaging 97,000m³ capacity.

The latest addition to this arm of the Sea Pioneer fleet was the Kamsarmax bulk carrier MV Longevity, which also joined the company in October 2022. Previously named MV Majestic Sky, the Longevity now serves Sea Pioneer globally in the spot market sector.

Green sailing

Shipping remains the most efficient method of global transport. Sea Pioneer is now part of a transitioning world, one more aware, sensitive and minded to its environment and social responsibility. The company continues to research and develop new procedures and equipment as part of its continued efforts to reduce emissions

and the impact on the environment. Decarbonisation stands as a priority in all of Sea Pioneer’s operations.

These operations involve the strict management of safety procedures and processes for environmental protection in the fleet. Sea Pioneer’s investment strategy aims at building a modern fleet with the gradual employment of innovative energy-efficient technology to optimise operations, and minimise actual and potential adverse environmental impacts.

“We have also installed ballast water treatment systems on all our vessels,” Mr Kallergis explained. “So, we are IMOcompliant, and we are continuing to implement other digital projects within the office to ensure we have state-ofthe-art tools to enhance and monitor fleet performances.”

Sea Pioneer is also looking at efficiency technologies that can be applied to the vessels to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the overall decarbonisation of the fleet.


“The aim is to make the existing fleet more environmentally friendly,” continued Mr Kallergis. “There is an ongoing dialogue with the company owners regarding whether we need to change fuel types, continue with fuel oil or change to natural gas, ammonia or hydrogen. Many options are on the table to drive future efficiencies.”

The company has also installed new computer software, upgrading its cybersecurity across the fleet to safeguard its IT infrastructure against hackers.

A safe family

Alongside these environmental goals, Sea Pioneer’s ESG strategy includes a focus on the welfare and safety of its crews. The success of the company relies on the work and dedication of all the talented people that constitute the Sea Pioneer family.

Sea Pioneer also fosters social responsibility through regular financial contributions to various non-profit, social

welfare organisations, philanthropic foundations and NGOs. Beneficiaries include the Krikos Zois charity association and the Hara non-profit association, specially recognised as a charity for people with special needs. Other supported initiatives include, among others, local community contributions, volunteering activities and educational institution initiatives and sponsorships.

Internally, the company promotes an equal, diverse, and inclusive working environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity. All members of the team are encouraged to develop themselves professionally. Sea Pioneer recognises that the workforce is its greatest asset. Therefore, Sea Pioneer considers the team’s health and safety of utmost importance.

Sea Pioneer is justifiably proud of being certified a Great Place to Work ® in Greece for 2022-23.


“We are glad for the recognition of the company’s efforts, and its commitment to safety on board the fleet being its top priority,” said Mr Kallergis. “This is an essential part of our company’s culture.

“We’d like to thank our Masters, Officers and Crew for their efforts and commitment in achieving our company’s goals, and for maintaining the Sea Pioneer name at such a high level.”

A growing fleet

In order to maintain this level of performance, the company is expanding its fleet I n February of this year, Sea Pioneer signed contracts for the construction of three 81,800MT Kamsarmax bulk carriers, to be built in Japan by Oshima Shipbuilding Co Ltd. All three of these vessels will be delivered in 2025.

Operating out of Athens, the office-based team help to maintain the fleet predominantly crewed by Filipino seafarers. Sea Pioneer has carried over 88 million metric tonnes of cargo between 102 countries. The company’s vessels are usually offered to clients on the spot market and rarely operate beyond six-month contracts.

To improve the vessels’ reliability and efficiency, Sea Pioneer has a monitoring system to collect data and analyse fleet performance.

“We will be able to record the vessels’ efficiencies, including cargo control room operations, from a screen at the office,”

Mr Kallergis said. “We are steadily transitioning towards digitalisation.”

Sea Pioneer continues placing enormous importance on long-lasting partnerships with clients based on quick decisionmaking, trust, transparency and staying in regular contact.

“The size of our company is essential to us, as it enables us to keep in touch with clients by talking to them regularly,” Mr Kallergis concluded. “Our agile team can easily build close contacts, whereas a big company may not even talk to a client face-to-face.

“Moving forward, Sea Pioneer will remain steadfast with a foot in both the wet and dry sectors. Striking a balance means we can enjoy the highs of one, while accommodating the lows of the other.” n

Inside marine 139

seven seas, five oceans, one voice


scanship seamagine romica tie group

i M


Vow and its subsidiaries Scanship, CH Evensen and ETIA are passionate about preventing pollution. The company’s world leading solutions convert biomass and waste into valuable resources and generate clean energy for a wide range of industries. Scanship, Vow’s cruise division, provides innovative systems to convert waste into clean energy and purified water, meeting the highest international discharge standards. Any residuals from the processes can be recovered, recycled, or reused.

Hamid Gorbani is VP Sales, Maritime Solutions, for Scanship. He explained to Hannah Barnett how this ground-breaking technology works.

142 Inside marine

Scanship has been a pioneer in its sector of the cruise industry for decades, thanks to its innovative mindset and the drive to constantly develop and improve its processes for minimising pollution in all forms. The latest development is within Pyrolysis systems for processing waste.

“When we established our wastewater treatment system in early 2000, it was a significant development,” Mr Gorbani recalled. “Today we are the market leader

when it comes to fitting out newbuilds and retrofitting existing vessels with waste and wastewater treatment systems.”

Scanship has technology onboard cruise ships sailing on every ocean. The holding company’s reach does not stop at the coast; public utilities and industries use its solutions for sludge processing, waste and plastic management, and gas production. It also has a presence in other autonomous sites like ports, airports and offshore platforms. The company ethos

Inside marine 143

is to bring an end to waste and stop pollution to enable a truly sustainable circular economy.

All Scanship systems are supplied in full compliance with IMO – MARPOL and furnished with all necessary approvals. In 2003 the company was one of the first in the world to obtain an Alaska-approved advanced wastewater system and the first to obtain approval for the new IMO MARPOL 227(64) special area in the Baltic Sea in 2013.

Pyrolysis onboard

The company was awarded a contract with the Finnish shipyard for the delivery of a pyrolysis system to be installed on the most recent newbuild for Royal Caribbean International. This is set to be the largest cruise ship in the world when it enters operation late in 2023.

Mr Gorbani emphasised the dedicated research and development that went into the technology and was enthusiastic about its potential.

“The pyrolysis technology that we developed and deployed for this vessel is ground-breaking,” he said. “When the vessel will enter operation, it will be the first of its kind and considered as the flagship. We are extremely proud of being part of this cooperation.”

In order for the company to function and to win large contracts like this, cooperation at every point in the supply chain is essential. “Suppliers and clients are extremely important to us,” Mr Gorbani said. “We have a very experienced and dedicated team within Scanship, who work to constantly improve relations with manufacturers and suppliers. We are in regular dialogue with the installation

146 Inside marine SCANSHIP I PROFILE

companies too – Understanding how they can support us and how we can be a stronger team together.

“In this way, we can give the best support to our clients to help them improve their ship operations. I believe that success is always built on a foundation of trust, good communication and understanding the client´s needs. This applies to the downstream value chain as well.”

An insight into pyrolysis

But how does this innovative technology work?

Pyrolysis is a technology based on heat treatment with absence of oxygen, where the feedstock is converted into burnable gases and biochar, Mr Gorbani explained.

Scanship currently has three different technology solutions in its portfolio consisting of Microwave Assisted Pyrolysis (MAP), the Spirajoule heated induction screw and the CH Evensen Rotary Kiln.

Inside marine 147
Hamid Gorbani VP Sales, Maritime Solutions
148 Inside marine

The latter is mainly designed for large scale industry.

The generated Pyrogas from the process is a combination of energy-rich gases such as hydrogen, methane and other burnable gases, all handled in a dedicated safe gas management area on board vessels. The energy in the Pyrogas is utilised in dual fuel boilers onboard to produce steam which will in turn reduce the vessel’s overall fuel consumption.

Continuing its trajectory of expansion, Vow, (the parent company of Scanship) and through its acquisition of ETIA in 2019 and CH Evensen in 2022, sees the complemen tary benefits in their technology portfolio. “We see a lot of synergies between these companies. We are working very

closely to see how we can implement these synergies in all applications and industry verticals that we operate within,” said Mr Gorbani.

A clear horizon

Scanship has recently delivered its 100th wastewater treatment system in operation, with the handover of Norwegian Prima from Fincantieri. A proud moment for a team which lives by its values; trust, responsibility, inclusiveness and passion. With this strong foundation, the future looks just as promising for the company, as it intends to continue its same steady course.

“Our goal is to maintain our position in the industry but always with a focus on improvement,” Mr Gorbani concluded.

Inside marine 149

A SEAmagine 3-person Aurora submersible depth rated to 1000m, whilst diving in French Polynesia, made a scientific discovery with the first ever recorded sighting of a “Prickly” Shark in that part of the world


SEAmagine, based in California, designs, engineers and manufactures a range of small private submarines with the capability to take humans safely and confidently into the depths of every corner of the world’s oceans. After almost three decades in business, SEAmagine continues to set the standard for the industry. Co-Founder Charles Kohnen spoke to Richard Hagan about the business of carrying people into earth’s most spectacular, wondrous and hostile environment.

150 Inside marine

SEAmagine was founded in California in 1995 by brothers Charles and William Kohnen, who were soon thereafter joined by Ian Sheard. The trio, all engineers, were drawn from the offshore oil industry and NASA’s Aerospace industrial sector.

In 1995, there was no company in the world focused on building submersibles. At that time, recalled Mr Kohnen, the oil and gas and defence sectors had replaced submarines with remotely operated vehicles, and later autonomous underwater vehicles: “SEAmagine was instrumental in the revival of the manned submersible sector. It was a true trailblazer, as we were the only company in the world solely focused on redefining the basic concepts of small, manned submarines and their capabilities. Notably, for example, our

company was the first to champion the acrylic spherical cabin which has since become an industry standard.”

An impressive record book

SEAmagine’s continued drive for innovation and evolution within the submersible space has resulted in a string of impressive industry firsts and category records.

A particular highlight is the company’s boarding design philosophy. Until SEAmagine was established, manned private submarines were boarded first and then launched at sea. “We revolutionised this practice by being the first company to introduce the capability for the sub to be boarded after it was launched in the water,” said Mr Kohnen. “This convenient design and operational feature had never previously been

Inside marine 151
SEAmagine submersible being launched from its support ship

thought of. Today, it’s a focal point of SEAmagine’s history and one that has been adopted as an industry standard.”

SEAmagine has also poured considerable effort into the actual act of boarding, too.

“We’ve developed a highly improved, patented boarding arrangement for passengers which is important for the tourism and leisure markets,” Mr Kohnen explained.

“You need to do a lot of gymnastics to enter other subs, and it’s not always suitable for everyone.”

F or SEAmagine safety is paramount, and it defined industry standards. In the 1990s SEAmagine worked with the US Coastguard to establish the first

submersible pilot training program and certifies all submersibles with the American Bureau of Shipping.

Another highlight in SEAmagine’s journey was its pioneering introduction of a threeperson acrylic submarine - the first com pany to do so. Its first three-person submarine was delivered in 2004, and by 2022 was still in full operation, having logged over 3,100 dives with an unblemished reliability record. “It’s one of the busiest subs in the world,” said Mr Kohnen.

Meanwhile, SEAmagine’s combined fleet of delivered submarines has, to date, accumulated over 12,000 dives. According to Mr Kohnen, this is four times more than

154 Inside marine SEAMAGINE I PROFILE
SEAmagine Aurora Submersible diving with a SCUBA diver in shallow waters

the total dives accumulated by all of SEAmagine’s competitors’ subs combined.

“The extensive usage of SEAmagine subs in the leisure, commercial and defence sectors is an undeniable testament to the design and reliability of our product,” he said.

Diving into the numbers

With its headquarters near Los Angeles, California, SEAmagine employs an experienced team of engineers and technicians who are supported by an impressive array of nearby subcontractors.

The company is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of two- to seven-person submersibles for use on yachts - in scientific and professional expeditions - and for the defence sector. All of its subs are built to navigate depths ranging from 100 metres to 2,300 metres and are formally classed by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

T he high operational rate of its fleet has directly benefited SEAmagine’s recently launched, latest generation

of submersibles. The Aurora product line is the company’s fifth-generation series of submersibles. Drawing from its decades of operational experience, the Aurora series of models boasts a submersible solution for every requirement.

A close relationship with key suppliers is an important aspect of SEAmagine’s business. For example, the company uses the world’s most efficient underwater propulsion thrusters produced by Innerspace Corporation. These direct drive thrusters, being of superior hydrodynamic design, have an unsurpassed record on low noise, high reliability, and on requiring extremely low levels of maintenance.

Under the surface

The Aurora-3C model is SEAmagine’s most compact three-person model and is rated to a depth of 460 metres. Its compact dimensions and relatively low four-tonne weight make it convenient for installation on a ship. The Aurora-3C is marketed to performance-seeking customers, including

Inside marine 155
Charles Kohnen, SEAmagine’s co-founder, and Ian Sheard, the company’s director of engineering, performing a test dive aboard an Aurora submersible

Coast Guard agencies and yacht owners seeking a submersible with Top Gun-like performance underwater.

The larger Aurora models have occupancy capacities ranging from three to seven people, and depth ratings from 100 metres to 2,300 metres. The larger occupancy models are rated for shallower operations and are aimed at the leisure and tourism markets, while the deep-rated Auroras are aimed at the scientific, professional and defence sectors.

SEAmagine’s submarines all offer a transparent cabin with minimal nearby visual obstructions such as pontoons and hatches. SEAmagine’s design is unique in that the unobstructed view is ensured for all occupants of the submersible and not just those seated in front.

A pioneering prickly sighting

In January 2021, a SEAmagine submarine made history when it delivered the firstever observation of a mature prickly shark (Echinorhinus cookei) off the island of

Moorea in French Polynesia at a depth of 500 metres. The sighting was so scientifically significant that it was published later in 2021 within Cybium, an International Journal of Ichthyology.

Meanwhile, that same year, SEAmagine delivered two submersibles for the US Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (‘NAVSEA’) that are now operated by the Azerbaijan Coast Guard in the Caspian Sea for counter-terrorism inspections. SEAmagine trained multiple teams of Azerbaijani Coast Guard officers to pilot and support the submarines.

Exploring offshore energy

While SEAmagine has enjoyed significant success in the leisure and defence markets, it’s pushing to expand the use of submersibles in the commercial market, and particularly the offshore oil and gas industry.

“We believe that a small support vessel can hold a SEAmagine submarine and perform the same work that a large

SEAMAGINE I PROFILE 156 Inside marine
SEAmagine submersible diving in Costa Rica encountering a tiger shark while inspecting underwater seamounts

work-class remotely operated vehicle can,” said Mr Kohnen, “but without needing the expensive, large support ship with dynamic positioning that the ROV needs.

“Once launched, our sub is independent of the surface support ship and unlike the ROV, it has no umbilical to the surface. It is able to perform difficult subsea tasks that are typically assigned to large workclass ROVs and can present new options for nearshore projects in the energy sector, because the daily operational cost is lower.

“There are critical benefits in costs, efficiency and quality of data with

a crewed vehicle that’s still not possible with drones, depending on the parameters and context of a given subsea project.”

In conclusion, Mr Kohnen emphasised the unique value and insight that a manned submersible delivers underwater: “I have made close to 1,000 dives on our subs around the world, and each time it’s still a thrill to go underwater. What we discover by being underwater in a submarine with the incredible field of view and so much technology at our fingertips, provides insight, knowledge and situational understanding of our ocean that other means cannot replace.” n

Inside marine 157
Charles Kohnen, Co-Founder & Chairman of SEAmagine Hydrospace Corporation Ship crew launching the 3 person Aurora-3C submersible



The Romica Tie Group (RTG) was founded by Mike Turner and his father, Bob Turner, 20 years ago to combine their knowledge in the design and manufacture of deck equipment. Over the last 20 years, the father and son duo created a highly successful business. Owner and Managing Director Mike Turner reviewed the company’s latest operations. Report by Imogen Ward.

Bob and Mike Turner initially set up as an engineering and consultancy office but decided to vertically integrate its supply chain and manufacture its own products in-house A-Z in 2006.

“Initially, we looked to supply consultancy, vessel layout and complete deck machinery designs, together with quality and inspec -

tion services. We wanted to leave the production of the deck equipment to local subcontracted manufacturers,” explained Mike Turner.

RTG’s work in the beginning was low volume and not deemed financially attractive for the local producers. So, in 2006 RTG rented a workshop and put together a team

158 Inside marine
Romica Tie Group owner and Managing Director Mike Turner

of engineers, fabricators and system integrators. In 2010, a purpose-built factory was constructed in Satu Mare, Romania. Since then, the company has invested in machine tools each year to increase capacity, production efficiency and capability to produce larger, more complex products.

The Turners’ key solutions

Boasting a wide range of capabilities, RTG designs and manufactures deck machinery at its facility in Romania, utilising the knowledge and expertise of almost 100 full-time professionals. RTG does everything from designing through to installation on the vessel, qualified welding and fabrication, mechanical assembly, hydraulic and electrical installation. PLC programming, automation, testing, commission, and onsite installation are all services available to customers, providing a one-stop shop.

Mr Turner was keen to emphasise the strength of the relationships with clients: “We develop ‘strategic’ partnerships with our clients, many of whom have worked with us since we began in 2003,” he said. “We build and maintain deep relationships for the long term, so it is essential we are in tune with the problems clients face and develop products and services as well as RTG’s key business success factors, which align with our partners’ needs.

“RTG designs and manufactures a wide variety of standard products and turnkey solutions, winches, cranes, and integrated launch and recovery systems. We developed market leading solutions for constant tension control systems: our winch and con trol system successfully set a working

Inside marine 159
160 Inside marine

depth record of 3,000m for a CPT geotechnical sample.”

Such constant tension systems are frequently used on wind farm applications, typically in shallower water when a study of the seabed is undertaken to assess its suitability: RTG geotechnical winches work in tandem with devices that extract geotechnical samples from the seabed. Its survey winches also work with side-scan sonars to map the ocean floor; in both cases, the safe deployment and recovery of the equipment and operator, are of paramount importance.

“What differentiates us from our competitors,” added Mr Turner, “is our focus on providing the client with tailored solutions: in understanding the clients’ pain,

we have the perfect basis to develop relevant products.

“RTG have always focused on the client’s need first, rather than pushing a standard product or standard system.”

RTG offers a wide range of turnkey solutions and products:

• Standard products: winches, hydraulic power units, seismic handling systems, A-frames, cranes, pipe and cable laying systems, cable storage, cable spooler and corer handling systems

• Build-to-Print with welding, large fabrication, large dimension CNC machining, assembly and integration capabilities

• Bespoke systems, built to customer requirements

Securing future generations

Yuken Europe provides Japanesequality products and worldwide solutions to your business. Yuken hydraulics products are continually improved with Japanese precision to an international standard. We support Romica Tie Ltd with hydraulic systems and support its ethos of being a company with sustainability at its heart.

Visit our website to find out how we design, build and commission systems to suit customer needs, from small to the world’s largest socket pass cable laying system.

Mr Turner was keen to highlight his company’s sustainability goals: “Our mission statement is that we are ‘committed to sustainability and the customer’s com -

162 Inside marine ROMICA
editorial mention
yuken europe

petitive advantage’ – the company is hard at work finding solutions to aid the planet.”

“We are also fully committed to reducing our impact on the environment and are currently in the first phase of installing 150kW of solar panels onto our factory roof; within two years, we plan to increase the capacity to 700kW and thus to be energy independent. I have a young family, and I appreciate the importance of sustaining the planet to ensure a brighter future for them. From a business perspective, we are focused on providing solutions for the renewables sector.”

RTG has set business objectives to increase organisational process efficiency and reduce waste through better use of

resources. Long-term sustainability is of the highest importance to Mr Turner, and RTG’s objectives serve to protect the planet and make the organisation more economically viable at the same time.

Suppliers are also a vital element of RTG’s progressive journey towards being greener. The company values the importance of long-term relationships and has an auditing system to ensure its supply chain remains ethical. Choosing suppliers who align with the company’s ethos is paramount.

A family affair

Mr Turner is clearly incredibly fond of RTG: “Looking back, I’m filled with pride. The company has developed thousands of products and solutions, harnessing

Inside marine 163

the talent of its staff with fulfilling jobs and careers. We have successfully provided bespoke products and technical solutions to many research institutions around the world: I am particularly proud that RTG has helped to advance the cause of oceanographic research.”

The Managing Director was also keen to highlight the company’s development: “We have a fantastic team; each member has grown personally and professionally over the years and can rightly consider themselves specialists in the production of deck equipment. Such specialist experience is accumulated over time - successfully converting the lessons learned from more challenging projects into evermore innovative and optimised solutions.

“We will commemorate the 20th anniversary with our employees, to celebrate our achievements and the dedication of our

entire team here at RTG. It is RTG’s dedicated staff and the daily commitment that each employee puts in that makes the difference.”

The company’s commitment to the local community is evident in its work towards opening its own trade school, initially to increase the skills and competencies of its own junior employees, then expanding to serve the wider local community: “We want to offer our employees opportunities to grow and fulfil their potential,” Mr Turner explained. “So, we have focused on setting up a trades school which will allow apprentices (and mature students) to gain a qualification. It is important to retain, renew and transfer the skills within the organisation with the next generation.”

“I think it’s an important investment, not just for RTG, but for the local community too,” Mr Turner stressed. “We hope to collaborate with all the local stakeholders, and


it’s a major strategic objective we will prioritise for the future.”

RTG sees its future best served through innovative collaboration, having developed specific skills over the last 20 years. That complete set of in-house skills provides a competitive advantage. “We feel they are best exploited by being open to collaboration with all the operators in our market,” added Mr Turner. “We try and find areas where we can complement our ‘competitors’ in the sector and engage with them collaboratively. It has been a most challenging few years and I think one of the best ways to develop and succeed as a company is by finding ways to collaborate.”

Mr Turner clearly demonstrates a desire to make things better, and a willingness to learn from challenging experiences. He defines clear targets and goals and effective communication, and nurtures a collaborative work culture, maintaining ethical organisational values conducive to fairness, teamwork and transparency.

“We have maintained an inclusive work environment where everyone feels comfortable to offer new ideas,” Mr Turner concluded. “I believe this is essential for innovation and will continue to be the secret of RTG’s success in the future, having been a major contributory factor over the last 20 years.”

Inside marine 165


ktk tugs rak ports shoreham port i M
seven seas, five oceans, one voice

Situated in the exotic isle of Curaçao, KTK Tugs has been busy building partnerships with its neighbouring islands: Aruba and Bonaire. Managing Director Surldric Rojer explained how this was being achieved and shared an update on the company’s current operations, in a report by Imogen Ward.

KTK Tugs is a virtuoso of tug char tering within the Caribbean Sea. Taking a hands-on approach with clients and employees, the company provides nothing short of perfection when it comes to customer service.

“We understand the importance of being in constant contact with our

168 Inside marine

customers,” Managing Director Surldric Rojer said. “We visit them regularly to discuss the performance of our tugboats and crew, and to work out how we can further our impact with these companies as an added-value member of their operations.”

The company is responsible for all deep seaport operations in Curaçao, including harbour towage, mooring, launching and pilot transportation. With almost 40 years’ experience, KTK is a highly experienced tug operator and, as a state-owned company, it maintains a strong commitment to the local community, ensuring the conservation of Curaçao Island through the encouragement of sustainable practices.

ABC Islands

It has been several years since KTK’s last feature with Inside Marine: since then the company has been exceptionally busy forming crucial partnerships with the nearby Leeward Antilles islands Aruba and Bonaire.

Following a long-lasting relationship between Curaçao and Bonaire, KTK has signed a five-year long concession with the Public Entity of Bonaire to ensure KTK’s subsidiary, KTB Tugs, provides continuous towage services in the island’s ports. KTB was founded back in 2018, with the aim of giving Bonaire its own tug service.

Inside marine 169
170 Inside marine
Inside marine 171

Following the successful concession, tug OLA (under the ownership of KTK) will be based in Bonaire. “We entered into discussions with Bonaire, to decipher whether we could work within the island’s ports,” Mr Rojer explained. “We negotiated back and forth and decided to position a tugboat in Bonaire, on the condition tha t this boat could be shared with Curaçao if KTK’s other vessels required extra assistance. The concession is for a long period, and we hope that we will witness harbour traffic in Bonaire start to increase again.

“It is important to note also that due to Bonaire’s harbour restrictions, most prod ucts imported into Bonaire are first shipped in bigger vessels to Curaçao, and then offloaded and shipped into smaller boats to Bonaire. The island is currently

172 Inside marine KTK TUGS I PROFILE

working towards improving its facilities and enlarging its pier, which will allow larger vessels to come to Bonaire. We expect this to happen in the next three years, which will provide a good founda tion for Bonaire’s continued economic growth and of course the business of KTB.”

Benefits of e-tugs

With electric power propulsion a hot topic in the maritime industry, KTK has been considering the future of this system. “We have recently started a feasibility study with Damen, to see if an e-tug would be practical for Curaçao,” Mr Rojer said. “We are now in the preliminary phase – assessing data which has been gathered over two months. The movements of one of our tugs were monitored, alongside its travelling distance, power usage and fuel consumption. This data was then put into a model to

highlight the benefits of replacing a diesel engine with electric propulsion.

“This would be a good investment, which would help us improve our carbon footprint. We are headed in the right direction, moving towards completing the preliminary phase and considering the practicality of financing an e-tug. If it does go ahead, then we expect the project to be finalised in the next two years.”

If successful, the company will look to invest in an e-tug as a replacement for the oldest tugboat in the fleet. The LIMA II, which was commissioned in 1997, is on the list to be replaced, and KTK is currently deciding whether this tug will be replaced by another conventional vessel or whether to take the leap into electric propulsion.

The company is also investing in preventative maintenance programmes

Inside marine 173

and implementing more modern software to update its current maintenance structure.

Curaçao’s chartering

The company has also reduced its vessel capacity down to six. After initially placing ORCA VI – originally KTK’s biggest vessel – into warm lay-up during the pandemic, the company felt it did not receive enough charters to warrant keeping it. This was, in part, due to the ship’s large size and KTK’s main focus on harbour towage charter contracts. “We decided to sell ORCA VI to a Greek com pany in July, last year, which reduced our capacity to six vessels,” Mr Rojer said. “We are now operating very efficiently with a reduced fleet.”

KTK TUGS I PROFILE 174 Inside marine

Another objective on KTK’s agenda was the development of international chartering. The company has been extremely successful in accomplishing this and currently has two ships located in Trinidad & Tobago –KTK MERO and KTK TRIBON – the company’s KTK BARAKUDA is assigned to Aruba and OLA is currently working in Bonaire.

The remaining two tugs (LIMA II and MANTA) are assigned to Curaçao. “Four of our six tugs are working in international waters, which is great. We also have six smaller vessels in our fleet which are pilot boats,” Mr Rojer explained. “They are mainly operating in our local waters.”

Two of the smaller vessels, type Stan tug 1205s, will be deployed this summer to Bonaire and St Eustatius respectively, where they will form part of the Emergency Response Service small spills (TIER-1) of the Caribbean Netherlands

KTK Tugs is on schedule with all its goals, and, as a result of strengthening partnerships, has noticed other companies taking interest. “We are actually being approached by other companies wanting to partner with us,” Mr Rojer s aid. “Our partnerships with neighbouring islands have helped make us attractive to other companies. However; We are still heavily focused on deepening the relationships with our current partners, and we are looking forward to seeing what we can do together.

“Currently, our plans are to continue what we are doing and consolidate our operations in neighbouring islands and maintain our position in the markets where we are present now. We will always prioritise our customers, and our aim to have a stronger market presence will enable us to better serve them.” n

Inside marine 175



Major investments are underway at RAK Ports (owner of four ports and a freezone in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah). The largest development currently in progress, the Saqr Port 2.0, will result in an additional 1.1 million square metre port within the next five years. Interim CEO and CFO John Davies discussed this exciting expansion and the company’s next steps, in a report by Imogen Ward.

176 Inside marine


RAK Ports offers customers a stressfree cargo handling environment that is easily accessible from the west coast of Ras Al Khaimah, in the UAE. With an array of services available, the ports are user friendly and flexible for customers’ requirements.

“One of the things we have introduced is a more digitised approach when dealing with customers,” Interim CEO and CFO John Davies said. “We have established a new port operating system and a port community system that enables our customers and stakeholders to engage with us in a digital way, rather than relying on the back-and-forth of paper trails. This has been a positive change and has really benefitted our customers.”

RAK Ports has dominated the port scene since it was first established in 1977. With four ports located on the shoreline of Ras Al Khaimah, the company is experienced in bulk cargo handling, ship repair and can even provide cruise docking for those looking to take advantage of the historic and cultural elements of RAK Old Town.

Since our last interview, the company has successfully completed a major port expansion at Saqr Port. “The work started almost immediately after RAK Ports last interview; it included two 700-metre-deep water berths and was completed in March 2019,” Mr Davies said. “It’s been fully operational ever since; that’s probably the most important development we have completed since our last discussion.”

Inside marine 177

Salient sea services

RAK Ports offers a multitude of services to those docking at its ports. At Saqr Port, the largest in RAK Port’s portfolio, customers are treated to a deep-water port with an impressive cargo capacity of more than 100 million tonnes per year. It is the region’s largest bulk handling hub and offers access to the 8 million square metre freezone known as RAK Maritime City. Here, clients can lease land on a long-term basis.

“The Maritime City is a great option for our tenants,” said Mr Davies, “it has a niche market, providing direct access for most of its tenants. Also within our portfolio are three smaller ports. Al Jazeera Port, which is a small shipyard operation with cargo handling capabilities.

“The Ras Al Khaimah Port in the city centre, which is predominantly a warehousing operator, but also handles small levels of marine traffic. This port is also home to our state-of-the-art cruise terminal which has been recently engaged due to the cruise market reopening. Finally, Al Jeer Port is a small facility in the north of the Emirate: it is currently dormant. However, we are planning to reopen it very soon.”

The reopening of Al Jeer Port is not the only exciting development occurring at RAK Ports. The company is currently constructing the Saqr Port 2.0. With completion planned in the next five years, this facility will offer 1.1 million square metres of land to its customers. An adjacent quarry will provide waste material for the project, turning its unused material into sustainable building blocks; this green field site will also feature a large reclamation area and bulk cargo handling facilities.

178 Inside marine RAK PORTS I PROFILE

Up and coming investments

The company recently invested in Dynamic Under Keel Clearance software. This has resulted in larger cargo clearance rates. “The recent addition of this software has enabled us to safely load vessels with additional cargo – which results in the ships requiring a larger depth,” Mr Davies explained. “So far, this has been very successful, especially with the implementation of higher shipping rates. A lot of our customers have really taken advantage of this offering. This software has really given us a competitive edge because it allowed us to load around 300,000 tonnes of additional cargo in 2022. This is also a positive result in terms of sustainability, because it requires our customers to perform fewer trips for their cargo.”

This addition has benefitted RAK Ports in more ways than one. As a result of the extra cargo handling, the company successfully broke its monthly cargo record in 2022 – processing 6.2 million tonnes in March.

In an effort to reduce crane repair costs, and positively impact its staff, RAK Ports established the Training Institute. So far, 95 employees – from crane operators to marine crews – have successfully completed the course. “It helped to improve vessel turnaround time, loading capability and reduce equipment damage,” Mr Davies said. “We have had positive feedback from all operators who have gone through it, because previously, training was completed by other workers. We brought in a third party and provided complete educational guid -

Inside marine 179

ance for all those attending the Training Institute. It has also successfully aided our reputation as careful handlers.”

Positive employee communication is extremely important to RAK Ports, as are

the relationships formed with suppliers. “Our suppliers are key to the company,” Mr Davies said, “particularly the major crane suppliers. We partake in regular meetings with these individuals to ensure our supply chain is running smoothly. Also, these discussions are vital for ensuring the maintenance of our cranes. We have an excellent reputation as one of the largest utilisers of mobile cranes in the world.”

Efforts for going green

The cranes are essential to the ongoing operations at the ports. To upgrade these products and improve the company’s

RAK PORTS I PROFILE 180 Inside marine
Interim CEO a n d C F O nhoJ seivaD

sustainability, RAK Ports is now in the first stages of its equipment improvement plan – purchasing new cranes which are capable of electrification. The company is also assessing ways to bring electrification to its ports in 2023, with assessments on cabling and plans to move away from diesel fuels.

RAK Ports also recently signed up to the RAK Municipality’s energy programme. Another element to aid its drive towards improving sustainability, Mr Davies explained what this meant for RAK Ports: “It’s important for us to align our values with the Government’s green initiatives. So we have been working very closely with the Municipality team to implement further energy efficiency measures. These will be applied to all our ports, starting with more efficient port lighting in all our buildings.

“Where possible, we are also looking to convert our current crane fleet to an electric supply. We have a great team of people working here at RAK Ports to support this transition; they are key individuals who have upheld a long-standing relationship with us.

“Our business continues to be ever-changing and flexible,” Mr Davies concluded, “and going forward, our long-term work on the Saqr Port 2.0 is an extremely important investment for us. It’s a huge scale project that has a lot of potential in terms of both commercial and development opportunities. All this would not be possible without our fundamental and excellent team who strive for success and continue to motivate me every day.” n

Inside marine 181


The heritage of Shoreham Port can be traced all the way back to 1760. Since inception, it has been operating as a Trust Port, meaning it runs as its own independent statutory body. Surpluses made are reinvested in the Port to benefit both stakeholders and the local community, creating jobs and opportunities. Hannah Barnett spoke to Director of Engineering & IT Brian Rousell, Commercial & Property Director Beth Evans-Gay, and Head of Communications Kate Tyrer.

Though once existing to serve the power and gas industries, in recent years Shoreham Port has undergone a huge amount of change, according to Director of Engineering & IT Brian Rousell.

“In the last few years, the big change has been to focus on renewables and sustainability,” he said. “We've been increasingly building energy efficient and sustainable developments. I think, because we're a Trust Port, rather than privately owned or municipal, we take the long view on development. We are looking at investment that makes sure the Port is here for centuries to come.”

Community sustainability

Shoreham has been a certified EcoPort since 2013. It has two nED-100 wind turbines, affectionately named Gusty and Spinny, which produce up to 400MWh of electricity every year. This matches the energy needed to run the canal pump house, helping to maintain the canal level for vessels. Generating its own energy saves the Port approximately 160 tonnes of CO2 every year.

The fleet of nearly 40 forklifts, cranes and other machinery have transferred from diesel to gas-to-liquid fuel, reducing engine particulates by up to 90%, and nitrogen

182 Inside marine
Inside marine 183

oxides by up to 25%. Similarly, the Port has also changed the fuel infrastructure for its two tugboats, saving 4.5 tonnes of CO2 a year. And since early 2023, over 83% of the small vehicle fleet are electrified, with 15 electric vehicles equating to a carbon reduction of over 11 tonnes per year.

Shoreham Port’s eight award-winning Values:

• Good eggs

• All-in

• Fair

• Savvy

• One team

• Own it

• Open doors

• Trusted custodian

One of the Port’s stated values is to be ‘savvy’ in business, and that is apparent as it continues to invest in its growth. One

of the significant ways it is doing so is by expanding its ever-increasing commercial tenant community, now numbering over 170 units.

One of the most noteworthy developments is a new office building called Lady Bee Studios. “What’s interesting is it’s the first development that we’ve used a modular build for,” Beth Evans-Gay, Commercial & Property Director explained. “It’s quite different for us. It’s a fast build, but the heart of it is a sustainable construction profile, attracting SME tenants and contributing to this thriving tenant community.”

According to Ms Evans-Gay, the company has seen almost 20% growth in its revenue over the last two years as a result of projects like Lady Bee Studios, and investment in a new haulage fleet, as well initiatives


like the Adur dock development which includes Port Kitchen, the locally sourced, community-focused, café serving the Port since June 2022.

Investments and growth

Another exciting initiative is an eight-figure partnership deal with HSBC UK to consolidate existing facilities and finance future growth. Funding will be used to expand cargo handling facilities, continue to develop commercial property estate and enhance terminal capacity. It is a deal which suits the sustainability credentials of the Port, too.

“One of the things we like about working with HSBC is they've got this initiative with sustainability linked KPIs for the loan,” said Mr Rousell. “If we outperform or meet the targets, we get a reduction on our interest charge. If we fail to meet them, there's a small penalty. It's a good incentive to think about sustainability in everything we do.”

Inside marine 185

Alongside this, in November 2022, it was announced that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will support the Port’s application to redevelop its dry dock through the UK Seafood Fund, a landmark government investment in the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fishing and seafood industry.

As a result, Shoreham Port is investing over £700,000 into a renovation of the dry dock, which has served users since the 1930s. 75% of the capital comes from the DEFRA award. This will provide essential maintenance services to local and visiting fishing fleets for future generations.

“Investment in the dry dock will allow us t o refresh and modernise,” said Mr Rousell. “It is going to be a valuable asset for the Port and the region. Sustainability was a significant element of our bid because vessels and trawlers that are regularly calling into Shoreham have had to go to Holland, or even Scotland, for dry docking. So, we will be able to offer them a quick

turnaround, save a huge amount of emissions, and strengthen the supply chain for the fisheries.”

Green Energy Hub

Another string to Shoreham Port’s sustainable bow comes with its role as a Green Energy Hub, working towards the development of green hydrogen. This allows the port to play a significant part in decarbonisation and the emerging market for clean fuel.

The first phase focuses on the provision of green hydrogen and renewable electricity to the Port’s fleet of forklift trucks and HGVs. These ambitious plans bring together a group of strategic partners including H2 Green (a Getech Group company), Ricardo and Local Fuels.

“I think one of the big challenges with the Green Energy Hub is going to be increasing the renewables,” Mr Rousell reflected. “We’ve got two small wind turbines and we're looking at putting up several larger ones. That is not going to be straightfor -


ward; it’s going to require cooperation from local residents and planning authorities. But we pride ourselves on our relationship with those groups.

“I think we are in a unique position to be able to work with all our global partners to try and break this chicken-and-egg cycle of those not wanting to use green hydrogen until someone’s making it, and those not making it until there is someone to use it.”

Relationships and partnerships

One of the most striking elements of Shoreham Port is how many plates it keeps successfully spinning at once. Strong local partnerships are therefore essential to continue running efficiently.

As Mr Rousell said: “Our relationship with our local authority partners is key because it means a lot of our work is done with the community alongside us. In recent years we’ve put our energies into strengthening these partnerships with our local councils.”

Looking ahead, the Port hopes to continue forging these bonds and ensuring the work

it does is establishing a better future, despite a somewhat turbulent market. “I would say we're cautiously optimistic,” Ms Evans-Gay reflected. “It's difficult to understand what's going to happen in the marketplace. We are integrally linked to the construction industry, because of the cargo we process. So, we continue to look at how to change and adapt.”

Certainly, nothing looks likely to stay still at Shoreham Port. As Kate Tyrer, Head of Communications, summarised: “It’s exciting working somewhere that's really living and breathing. The Port itself is its own ecosystem. I will come back after the weekend and things will have changed overnight. I cannot say I've had a boring day in four-and-a-half years.” n

Inside marine 187
seas, five oceans, one
neptune p2p group diaplous group shield marine services i M

Neptune P2P Group is an international security risk management and maritime security market leader that has been successfully completing operations for clients since 2009. Group Managing Director Carl Sykes reviewed the company's extensive portfolio of security services, in conversation with Phil Nicholls.

Global security issues remain at the forefront of the daily news cycle. Security of commercial assets is a particular concern for the maritime industry.

“Sadly, the world is a violent place,” explained Group Managing Director Carl Sykes. “As such, people and their assets will always need protecting. In many maritime areas, robbery has replaced piracy, as one door is closed to the criminals, they open a new one.”

Neptune P2P Group is owned and operated by British and French former Special Forces. Entering its 15th year of trading,


Neptune P2P’s extensive portfolio of services includes:

• Security Risk Management

• Risk Analysis

• Risk Consulting

• Intelligence Services

• Maritime Security

• Counterterrorism

• Crisis Management

the company has successfully navigated Covid, Brexit (and a variety of trading challenges) to consolidate its position in the top tier of Maritime Security providers. In the past year, the company restructured to diversify its operations to include more Land Security Risk Management. This restructuring also increased the workforce to generate business and manage new opportunities as they arise.

“We are a small to medium enterprise (SME) with 25 permanent staff working from offices in the UK, UAE and France,” Mr Sykes said. “This ‘French Connection’ enables us to operate in a post-Brexit European market. We are the only Anglo/ French maritime security company openly operating as such, which brings benefits in coordinating activity across the

so-called Anglophone and Francophone parts of Africa.

“From our pool of security operatives, we can deploy highly skilled multi-lingual teams around the globe to meet our clients’ requirements. Last year saw Neptune P2P Group team members working in places as diverse as Senegal, the Gulf of Guinea , the Gulf of Aden, Brazil, Scandinavia and the Qatar FIFA World Cup.”

The company’s mission is to safeguard people, businesses and their assets, within high-risk maritime and land-based environments, across the world.

Protecting marine assets

Within the broad scope of Neptune P2P’s capabilities, the company has a particular focus on the maritime industry.

Inside marine 191

The company remains alert to both the evolving nature of global risks to shipping and the potential for technology to help protect marine assets.

“The presence of physical guards (armed or unarmed) onboard a vessel remains the best deterrent against all forms of maritime crime,” explained Mr Sykes, “but the future may involve a combination of armed and unarmed guards, plus advisors complemented with a digital overwatch.

“This will provide vessels large and small with the security and reassurance needed to protect crews and assets in High-Risk areas around the world. For commercial operators, this is a vital service, and an essential requirement when considering

the duty of care to mariners and the company’s more fixed assets.”

The company motto of ‘Prevention by Protection’ involves more than deploying armed guards. Neptune P2P provides risk assessments of critical assets, identifying any threats or vulnerabilities, then constructing a plan to reduce any risk to an acceptable level.

“ It is an oft-quoted fact that no vessel with an embarked armed security team has been successfully boarded by pirates,” Mr Sykes continued, “but what about those ship that don’t carry guards? As part of our ‘Prevention’ service, we offer ships security risk assessments which assist in identifying the weak areas in a vessel’s


superstructure and provides guidance on the use of preventative measures such as barriers, razor wire and the like.”

Secure ports and terminals

Neptune P2P also provides security services to ports and terminals, helping port operators identify threats and vulnerabilities to their assets. This enables the operators to develop plans and procedures to deal with a variety of scenarios such as theft, stowaways, narcotics smuggling and terrorism.

The port must have contingency plans in place to deal with any situation that may threaten its ability to function. Such a plan should mitigate the impact on the port’s output and subsequent income. This is where Neptune P2P Group works with organisations to create the Business Continuity Plan to best suit the individual operator.

“For example, we provided on-the-ground security consultancy services for an onshore/ offshore LNG project in Cabo

Delgado, Mozambique,” Mr Sykes recalled. “This Risk Assessment included strategic consultancy on their regional security management, using risk intelligence and analysis to build travel plans and implement security procedures. This enabled the client to develop and finalise their operational strategy and country-level security plans.”

An agile future

Alongside a broad portfolio of services, Neptune P2P benefits from being an agile SME with an Anglo-French heritage. The company is able to adapt to emerging threats while offering a holistic and bespoke service to clients.

“Neptune P2P Group has developed a Business Continuity Plan that has helped us stay ahead of the competition,” Mr Sykes said. “Security risk management is not all about armed guard; you must be able to think strategically and move with changes in global security risks and threats.

Inside marine 195
Carl Sykes Group Managing Director

“At Neptune P2P Group, we take great pride in the values we project to our clients. Leaning heavily on our former-military ethos, we instil in our workforce the requirement to do the right thing. We base our work on UK company principles developed with the client, noting their cultural, environmental and resource differences. The result is a hybrid approach that delivers the appropriate standards in a way that suits the client.”

The company is determined to maintain these high standards while staying competitive on price, avoiding ‘a race to the bottom’. However, unpredictability in the maritime security market remains Neptune P2P’s biggest challenge.

In 2022, the overall the number of global maritime criminal incidents rose. The increase in incidents is largely down to criminals diversifying their activities away from kidnapping for ransom to robbery of commodities, ships’ stores and equipment, illegal oil/fuel bunkering operations, and smuggling.

196 Inside marine
“At Neptune P2P Group, we take great pride in the values we project to our clients, leaning heavily on our formermilitary ethos”

Neptune P2P is ready to face these evolving challenges. The company aims to continue to be a market leader in marine security, SRM and BCR provision, intending to evolve and grow its training delivery through an online academy which also includes cyber security awareness training.

Mr Sykes shared his enthusiasm for working in such an unpredictable sector. “I am excited by the challenge of maintaining our position as a global leader in maritime security,” he concluded. “Each day brings different challenges, ranging from managing 24/7 security operations and dealing with unanticipated crises to planning and implementing new business ideas.

“Above all, though, I enjoy working as part of a dynamic, hardworking team with shared values and the determination to succeed.”

Inside marine 197


The Diaplous Group is a security, defence and crisis management company, providing both maritime and land-based holistic risk management solutions on a global scale. CCO Pelagia Chatzikyriakou, Senior Risk Management Analyst Amelia Rocos and Chief of Business Development Nikos Georgopoulos told Hannah Barnett more.

The name Diaplous comes from the ancient Greek word diáplous ( διάπλους ) which means the action of crossing the sea safely. Safety and security are paramount at the company,

both in the services it provides and the way it operates.

“Our mission is to support and mentor our clients in becoming the expert in holistic security risk and crisis management,” said

198 Inside marine


Amelia Rocos, Senior Risk Management Analyst. “Through identifying our clients’ threats and eliminating their risks and vulnerabilities, we support them in becoming more stable, productive and efficient.”

The background

Diaplous Group began as a private maritime security company in 2010, providing security services to the owners and operators of vessels in High-Risk areas such as the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Guinea, to pro -

tect them against piracy, armed gangs and maritime crime. Diaplous has since grown into a global leader in maritime risk management, having pioneered and achieved some of the industry’s greatest milestones and missions, including successfully supporting the journeys of some of the world’s largest offshore vessels (FPSOs, FLNGs, etc).

“Diaplous was established with the cumulative experience of its senior management, all of whom have accomplished backgrounds with over 30 years of experience

Inside marine 199

in the Navy, special forces and counterintelligence,” said CCO Pelagia Chatzikyriakou. “Based on their combined experience, expertise and knowledge, Diaplous has the proven capabilities to address and manage all levels of security risks and to provide holistic security solutions and services for any and all circumstances and assets.”

From offering armed or unarmed security guards in the Indian Ocean High-Risk Area (HRA) and security escort vessels in the Gulf of Guinea HRA, to assessing, planning and implementing holistic security risk management to both land and maritime clients, Diaplous uses its expertise, knowledge and capabilities to provide the full-range support from consultancy to on-the-ground implementation. Located across ten international offices, Diaplous Group boasts an impressive client base of over 940 shipowners, managers, charterers, brokers and agents. The company works closely with oil and gas firms and other major energy companies. Diaplous is also a trusted partner to insurance firms, law enforcement agencies, NGOs and UN-related organisations.

Good training and response

Diaplous cultivates the risk management mentality through another major company of the group, the Diaplous Risk Management College (DRMC), which offers a comprehensive range of internationally accredited and endorsed training services to clients, partners and its own personnel. Using decades-worth of expertise, these services can be delivered anywhere in the world and support lifelong capability building and career paths.

“In particular, we specialise in the design of customised courses and training to suit the specific needs of our clients, such as security, auditing, first aid, project management and risk and crisis management courses,” said Ms Rocos. “Adequate training remains a key factor in successful risk management.”

“The college also trains Diaplous’ field personnel, conducting mandatory courses and refresher courses for all our guards to equip them with a full skillset,” Ms Rocos continued.

Risk and crisis management is further supported by Diaplous’ Intelligence Analysis & Vital Response Crisis Management Centre


(IAVRCMC), which allows clients to remain strategically informed through intelligence; the key to a factual approach to decisionmaking when facing existing and emerging risks. In the case of an actual incident, the 24/7 department offers full crisis management support, activating emergency response, guidance and cost-effective options for courses of action.

Investments and growth

Another significant string to the Diaplous bow comes in the form of the newly established Diaplous Phi. “The team is led by former senior naval officers and marine engineers,” explained Ms Chatzikyriakou. “Diaplous Phi brings together advanced naval engineering knowledge together with deep Special Forces operational expertise to the design and construction of Special Operations Crafts (SOCs). ”Diaplous Phi aims

to provide its customers with ‘Tailor Made’ and ‘Turnkey’ solutions taking into consideration their specific requirements.

Diaplous’ proven capabilities are showcased by SOC AGENOR, an 18-metre aluminium SOC built to support the highly demanding operations of the Hellenic Underwater Demolition Command, the Greek Navy’s elite special warfare unit. The vessel is designed to provide superior ride quality without compromising on high speed. It is powered by two 1,200BHP MAN engines with a Q-SPD surface drive and can reach a top speed of over 50 knots in 35 seconds.

Diaplous is also rapidly expanding new services, including gangway management for vessels in a dry dock. Access control is maintained by security consultants deployed on-board, together with specific equipment and visitor management software.

Inside marine 201

Another investment is in coastal surveillance, which entails the operation of advanced high-tech equipment and remote monitoring through Diaplous’ 24/7 operation centre.

“With the use of Marine type RADARs, Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), as well as with the use of Thermal CCTV cameras and other sensors or security related technological components, we provide thorough coastal surveillance services to shore-side and offshore facilities,” explained Ms Chatzikyriakou.

Strength in numbers

Diaplous is supported by pillars associated with sustainable financing, cost efficiency strategies, environmental impact minimi -

sation, human rights protection, anti-bribery and anti-corruption advocacy, and risk management tools so as to become a constructive yet practical force that contributes to global integrity.

Ensuring consistent access to high-value information and practical tools, Diaplous joined the United Nations Global Compact in March 2022, a network of sustainably driven organisations that align their strategies with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 10 UN Principles.

“Our participation was succeeded by new monitoring methods, setting objectives and priorities, impact assessment aids, fresh ideas and extroversion Ms Chatzikyriakou said. “We interacted with various sectors, so as to acquire good


practices that they have adopted ie: on how to set targets and reach net-zero emissions or how to measure and promote gender equality, only to carry those practices in all the fields that we operate in and to the final products that we deliver.”

Going forward, the group intends to keep up with the cutting-edge, developing unmanned vehicles for remote inspection techniques, increasing safety and agility.

“Traditional methods of close-up surveys are risky, time consuming and costly,” explained Nikos Georgopoulos, Chief of Business Development. “By sending Diaplous’ sophisticated drones in to hardto-reach places, our pilots can collect visual data remotely, while standing safely outside of the dangerous spaces, thus improving the overall safety of inspection.

“Moreover, they can collect data from parts of the vessel that are inaccessible

with the traditional means, thereby providing a thorough situation awareness. At the end of the day, a sound, cost-efficient, less time-consuming, and well-reported Remote Inspection is delivered, to empower shipowners and surveyors in decision making, and most importantly with no risk to human life.”

Across all its endeavours, Diaplous looks set to keep doing what it does best: making the sea and other vital operating areas a safer place. “It is highly rewarding to be a part of an organisation that provides protection in some of the world's most dangerous and complex environments,” concluded Ms Rocos, “and to positively contribute as a stabilising force in global hotspots of insecurity towards the greater good of the world.” n

Inside marine 203

Shield Marine Services is dedicated to serving all marine sectors, offering turn-key installation solutions. Managing Director of Shield Marine Derek Lewry, Chairman of Shield Services Group Luke House and Marketing Director David Harmer gave insights into Shield Marine’s ongoing projects and what it has planned for the future. Report written by Imogen Ward.

With strong roots created by its parent company (Shield Services Group), Shield Marine has a concrete reputation for quality, is in tune with

its customers’ requirements and endeavours to deliver excellence on every project.

“Shield Marine has been operating for 35 years, and a company doesn’t get to

204 Inside marine

that age if it isn’t producing quality and without a dedication to exceeding its customers’ needs,” said Luke House, Chairman of Shield Services Group. “As far as we’re concerned, there are four pillars that make a successful company. Number one is the customer; we always need to give them the best service. The company, suppliers and the vital employees account for the other three pillars.”

Established in 1984, Shield Marine was a result of its parent company’s desire for diversification. “We were completing an installation project on a ship in Falmouth at the time,” Luke said. “They were concerned because they didn’t have a contractor to fit the flooring or furniture, so, we said that Shield would step-in to assist, and the business grew from there.”

Alongside Marine, the group now offers an extensive range of services (Asbestos Removal, Scaffolding, Insulation, Fire & Security and Mechanical, Electrical & Facilities Services) from its various offices across the UK.

As the seven-year consecutive winner of the RoSPA Gold Health and Safety Award, the group has a stellar reputation. This is mirrored in all its businesses, and Shield Marine is no exception. Having just renewed its ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 with positive feedback from the ISO, the company remains a strong competitor in the industry. Today, Shield Marine accounts for 16% of the group’s impressive £40 million revenue.

The number one choice

Shield Marine currently provides a diverse range of services, from cabin refurbishment to laying resin flooring, the company can accommodate all customers’ requests.

Inside marine 205

• Deck Coverings including resin deck solutions, carpets, vinyl and artificial grass

• Outfitting services, including refurbishment and renovation of cabins, tiling and wet units

• Fire, Thermal and Acoustic Insulation systems

• Defence – JOSCAR registered, using MoDapproved materials

Time is not a constraint at Shield Marine; the company will happily take on projects beginning from an initial survey to a full shipbuild programme lasting several years. This flexibility is incredibly popular with Shield’s clients and is possible because of its committed employees and subcontractors.

20 marine projects are currently underway at Shield Marine, one of which is an ongoing installation in Scotland. In partnership with Babcock International, the company has begun the major task of insulating and covering the decks of the Type 31 frigates. The project is expected to take several years to complete and will have a positive socio-economic outcome for Scotland.

To reinvest back into the local economy, wherever possible all Shield Services’ companies employ local professionals to undertake the projects at hand. Hoping to make a lasting impact in Scotland, Shield Marine plans to open a new office, which will further expand the company’s presence across this important region.

“There are currently four people working on the project in Scotland, and we anticipate this figure to grow to 30 once production is

fully underway,” Managing Director of Shield Marine Derek Lewry said. “A new branch in Scotland will really help us flourish in that part of the UK and enable us to provide more long-term jobs to local maritime professionals.”

Shielding local communities

Employing locally is just one way the company is investing in community. After witnessing a reduction of young professionals entering the maritime and construction industries, Shield decided to investigate solutions.

“To try and increase momentum, we have set up assemblies for school children in years ten and eleven,” Luke said. “The first one has already gone ahead and was a huge success. We gave the students insight into our company’s history, an introduction into the industry and showed them the opportunities that are out there. We also plan to take them on site tours to converse with the contract managers, meet with clients and see the

Inside marine 207

docks too. I think being able to see the professionals in action and have conversations with them will really encourage young people to enter the industry.”

With the support of the Group, and where contracts permit, Shield Marine are also investigating the possibility to get involved with the group’s Second Chance Scheme. Working with reforming category D prisoners, approaching the end of their sentences, the scheme helps rehabilitate offenders.

Luke explained how this opportunity first surfaced: “We’ve worked on a lot of different prisons over the years, where the inmates


are able to go out to work. When an offender is released from prison, they are only given the possessions they had on them at the time of imprisonment and enough money for one night in a hotel. After that they are left to fend for themselves.

“If those individuals have no home, job or family to return to, then they are more likely to reoffend. We wanted to help reduce the likelihood of that happening, so, we offered interviews to inmates and those that passed the interview process were hired.

“The scheme is also helping the offenders give back to society as well: 40% of their pay goes to victims of the crime, or a charity of their choice. The remainder of the money is then saved up, ready for when the inmates are released.”

All hands on deck

Shield Marine is progressing with its plans for growth. The company is currently in talks to become the UK’s approved installer for a major European brand of resin flooring, suitable for all marinebased systems. “We aren’t going to take on the world overnight. Whatever we do will be a result of steady growth,” Derek explained. “We expect our resin installation service to develop gradually over the next few years. We have the experience, the correct supply-chain partner and we have had incredibly encouraging discussions in London, at the recent Cruise Ship Exhibition.”

Whilst expanding, the company remains committed to its sustainability pledges, understanding that protecting

Inside marine 209

the envi ronment is just as important as ensuring top quality customer service.

“The Group has agreed to a group-wide sustainability plan, but Shield Marine’s Managing Director has also committed to reforestation initiatives, which contribute to key global projects,” Marketing Director David Harmer concluded. “There’s a huge amount of waste coming from the marine industry, especially when things become worn and outdated. Traditionally, there has always been a focus on buying new.

“We hope our plans for a restoration service will help change this mind-set, as we want to help educate that there are other, better solutions. Restoring not only saves money, but it can reduce a company’s carbon footprint and reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill.”

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.