Several breakthrough projects testify to a year of important developments in ship technology as voting opens for the 2019 Marine Propulsion Awards.
The judging panel has selected shortlists and the industry now has a week to vote for the winning entry across six categories. Voting closes on 12 April.
A high calibre of entries for the Emissions Reduction Award identifies environmental performance as one of shipping’s highest priorities.Nominations include Wärtsilä, for its work on the innovative LNG, volatile organic compound and battery-powered shuttle tankers being built for Teekay; The Fjords for the zero-emission sightseeing vessel Future of the Fjords; and the International Maritime Organisation for its greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy.
The Ship of the Year award is also hotly contested. The candidates are the first dual-fuelled Aframax tanker in service, Sovcomflot’s Gagarin Prospect; the battery-powered expedition cruise vessels Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen from Norwegian operator Hurtigruten; and CMA CGM subsidiary Containerships’ vessel Containerships Nord, Europe’s first newbuild gas-fuelled container vessel.
The Hybrid Power & Propulsion Award shortlist reflects the growing role of batteries and other hybrid power concepts. Two battery projects make the list this year: A self-contained battery system from Trident deployed on ropax vessel Stena Jutlandica, and the conversion of 10 OSVs to battery hybrid power by Seacor, in a nomination by class society ABS. Wärtsilä's new hybrid propulsion testing facility in Trieste also drew praise from judges, as did the first hydrogen fuel gas supply system from MAN Cryo.
In the Intelligent Monitoring & Maintenance category, the importance of rapid and accurate testing of fuels and lubes was recognised with a nomination for Parker Kittiwake's new XRF Analyser. That product was flanked by two new service offerings - remote engine diagnostics from WinGD, as trialled on crue oil tanker Energy Triumph and Wärtsilä's predictive maintenance service Expert Insight.
A high number of entries for tugboat projects in the Autonomous & Remote Operations Award indicates the huge opportunities for remote control in this segment and was rewarded with two nominations: a remote control demonstration by Kotug and Tug Training & Consultancy, and the trial and subsequent commercial deployment of remote control by Rosetti Marino, supported by Purple Water. Alongside these is the porject leading to the world's first autonomous ferry crossinng on Finferries vessel Falco, using technology from Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine (now part of Kongsberg Maritime).
A diverse range of submissions in the Efficiency Improvement cateogory was narrowed down to three very different projects: an efficient and portable fast-charging solution for battery-driven vessels, the Power Dock by The Fjords and Brødrene Aa; a novel application of WE Tech's permanent magnet driven shaft generators on Stena's latest generation of roro vessels; and significant design and efficiency improvements made to Wärtsilä's WXJ waterjets.
The judging panel has already selected the winner of this year’s Graduate Research Award. An announcement will be made shortly.
“The shortlists for this year’s awards reflect the rapid technology development taking place across shipping,” said Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery editor Gavin Lipsith. “Several major themes are evident, including increasing uptake of alternative propulsion arrangements and fuels, as well as the emergence of autonomous operation and predictive maintenance.”
The shortlists were selected from submissions garnered through an open, online nomination process by five expert judges: former Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine president Mikael Mäkinen (who was not involved in deliberations on the Autonomous & Remote Operations Award); Spliethoff vice president business development Sjaak Klap; AVL product manager system integration Dr Hinrich Mohr; South Shield Marine School head Kevin Lund; and Mr Lipsith.
The shortlists are now available for a public online vote. The winners will be revealed at the Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference, to be held in Amsterdam on 8-9 May.