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Kvaerner Leads Pert/Ship Interface Prefect

Norway's Kvaerner Ships Equipment is leading a Pan- European consortium which has been given the task of developing an improved port/ship interface (IPSI) for Europe, to improve doorto- door logistic chains in the continent by increasing the use of waterborne transport, including short sea and inland waterway routes. The project officially began on April 11, and is scheduled to last 36 months, at the end of which the results and conclusions will be made public.

The project is designed to result in lower cost port facilities and cargo handling equipment, as well as new ship types, cargo handling technology and management and information exchange systems. The goals of the IPSI project are: • To develop new concepts for flexible port/ship interface based on increased use of waterborne transport, including the utilization of inland waterways; • To develop methods and equipment for effective cargo and information transfer in land/water interfaces, focusing on high efficiency and low investment; and • To demonstrate the new "port/ship and ship/ship interface concept" to verify the effectiveness of multi-modal cargo exchange in a door-to-door context.

The contract to carry out the project was awarded by the European Union in Brussels, and in addition to Kvaerner, several other companies are involved in fulfilling the contract, namely: SAGA of France; Port and Transport Consulting Bremen GmbH and Fraunnhofer Gensellschaft of Germany; and Jebsen Eurocarriers, SINTEF and MARINTEK of Norway.

This consortium of companies has a combined expertise in transport and port operations, specialist short sea shipping, maritime consulting and research and development.

A key element of IPSI, with regard to port facilities and cargo handling equipment, is making adequate infrastructure — such as quays and equipment for prestow, handling and interchange of cargoes available at lower cost without other new investments in order to decrease overall port costs. New vessel types to be developed in conjunction with IPSI will be capable of handling a variety of cargoes, and will include short sea, inland waterway craft and combined sea/river ship types.

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