Plastics News

25 May 2020

BIMCO Tanker Rate Analysis: Reality Kicks In, Rates Fall

Source: BIMCO, Clarksons

Tanker shipping: sky high freight rates replaced by reality of falling global oil demandGeopolitical tensions have now eased, leaving freight rates to feel the full effects of the weak underlying market and falling demand. Tanker shipping looks set to be under pressure for the rest of the year.Demand drivers and freight ratesThe tanker shipping industry was once again caught in a whirlwind, as freight rates skyrocketed with little regard to the poor market fundamentals before the latter once again caught up with rates.

01 May 2020

SCIENCE: Seafloor Microplastic Hotspots Controlled by Deep-sea Currents

Simplified graphic showing how seafloor currents create microplastics hotspots in the deep-sea. Image Courtesy NOCS

New research has revealed the highest levels of microplastic yet recorded on the seafloor, with up to 1.9 million pieces in an area of just one square metre.Published this week in the journal Science, this study shows how deep-sea currents act as conveyor belts, transporting tiny plastic fragments and fibers across the seafloor. These currents can concentrate microplastics within huge sediment accumulations, which the authors of the research term ‘microplastic hotspots’. These…

29 Apr 2020

Microplastic Impairs Hermit Crabs' Shell Selection Ability

Image Credit: Queen’s University Belfast

New research from Queen’s University Belfast and Liverpool John Moores University reveals how the microplastic pollution crisis is threatening biodiversity, specifically the ability of hermit crabs to select a shell needed for their survival.Currently up to 10 percent of global plastic production ends up in the sea although the understanding of how this affects marine life is limited. The research, published today in Biology Letters, focused on the impact of plastics on hermit crabs…

07 Apr 2020

VTT Studying Bio- and Waste-based Oils for Ships

© pengzphoto / Adobe Stock

Researchers looking for an ecologically and economically sustainable way to replace fossil fuels are exploring how suitable fuel oils made from biomass and waste plastics are for power plants and ship diesel engines.Internal-combustion engine power plants use natural gas or heavy fuel oil in diesel engines. In order for large diesel engines to be environmentally sustainable both on land and at sea, it is necessary to find bio- and waste-based alternatives to fossil fuels. These…

03 Apr 2020

Lubrication Selection Fundamentals

© Wojciech Wrzesień / Adobe Stock

As an operator of vessels, you understand that lubricants play an important role in helping you achieve your operational objectives. Yet, finding the right one can be overwhelming since there’s an almost unlimited number of different lubricant formulations. An understanding of lubrication chemistry, performance expectations and operational objectives will help you select a lubricant that will improve operations and lower your overall costs.Lubrication benefitsThe basic function of a lubricant is to reduce friction by separating interacting surfaces.

18 Mar 2020

Rewrite the Rules: The Path to Zero Emissions

First-of-its-kind cargo vessel Captain Ben Moore delivers local produce and food across Long Island Sound. Built by Derecktor Shipyards, the aluminum catamaran is powered by two Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels, and lithium batteries connected to a pair of BAE Systems HybriDrive electric motors.  (Credit: Harbor Harvest)

With social media updates and conference agendas addressing the subjects of climate change, emissions reductions and alternative fuels, it’s a wonder we are not climbing the Himalayans in search of the Jedi Master that will provide us with the magic potion. Yoda’s blessing with a calming breath, “You have chosen wisely.”Government emissions intervention started with a move to reduce energy and fuel consumption measured in greenhouse gas (GHG), at a time when the world and our politicians spoke about global warming.

21 Feb 2020

Branson: Virgin Cruise Line Will Overcome Coronavirus Fears

Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages

British entrepreneur Richard Branson heralded his first cruise ship "Scarlet Lady" on Friday as targeting a younger generation of holidaymakers with a range of attractions that he believes will outweigh any fears around coronavirus.Despite the unfortunate timing, with passengers on one ship quarantined in Japan after hundreds caught the virus and another turned away by five countries over fears someone on board may be ill, Branson sees cruises as a growth area.In an event at Dover…

18 Feb 2020

GE Appoints Grid Solutions Chief

Image: GE Renewable Energy

GE Renewable Energy has announced that Heiner Markhoff has been named vice-president and CEO of Grid Solutions, effective March 20, 2020.According to a press release, Markhoff has a track record of growth, transformation and operational performance in diverse global businesses. He will be based in Paris, France. Markhoff replaces Reinaldo Garcia, who is retiring at the end of March after 35 years at GE.Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, said: “Building a strong Grid business is vital to our mission to make renewable energy affordable, reliable and accessible.

20 Dec 2019

Maersk India Trade Report Q3 2019

Photo: Maersk

India’s import and export container trade in Q3 2019 (July-September) remained flat as compared to global growth of 1.5%. The slowdown is aligned closely with the weaker domestic demand, as well as a reflection of the broad-based cyclical weakening of the economic environment in all the main global economies. The negative effects from escalating trade restrictions also weighed on trade growth in the quarter. The trade restrictions have reduced bilateral trade between the United States of America and China…

20 Nov 2019

Robotic Hull Cleaning Advances in Dutch Ports

Recent acceptance to operate in Rotterdam and proof of sustainability claims after more than 500 hull cleaning operations help propel ECOsubsea, the robotic hull cleaning system. Photo: Ecosubsea

Recent acceptance to operate in Rotterdam and proof of sustainability claims after more than 500 hull cleaning operations help propel ECOsubsea, the robotic hull cleaning system.The Dutch national regulatory body Rijkswaterstaat gave the Norwegian company the green light to start offering hull cleaning services to vessels at all Dutch Ports including Europe’s biggest port, the Port of Rotterdam, a move that is helping the firm solidify its position in Europe following similar permissions in Antwerp…

16 Oct 2019

IBM Joins Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project

Pic: IBM

International technology giant IBM has joined a global consortium of partners, led by marine research organisation ProMare, that are building an unmanned, fully-autonomous ship that will cross the Atlantic on the fourth centenary of the original Mayflower voyage in September 2020.A new Mayflower will set sail 400 years after the historic voyage, this time using AI and other advanced technologies, the American IT major said.The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will use IBM’s AI…

10 Oct 2019

Study: Sunlight Degrades Polystyrene Faster than Expected

Polystyrene pollution at the tide’s edge. Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A study published by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that polystyrene, one of the world’s most ubiquitous plastics, may degrade in decades or centuries when exposed to sunlight, rather than thousands of years as previously thought. The study published October 10, 2019, in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.“Right now, policy makers generally assume that polystyrene lasts forever in the environment,” says Collin Ward, a marine chemist at WHOI and lead author of the study. “That’s part of justification for writing policy that bans it.

26 Sep 2019

Armstrong Delivers Dive Boat to DNR

Photo: Maddie Hunt/Armstrong Marine

A new monohull dive compliance vessel Salish Scout was recently accepted by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after successful launch and sea trials in Port Angeles Harbor.In a competitive solicitation process last year, DNR selected Armstrong Marine’s proposal to design and build multiple vessels for their Marine Law Enforcement program. Salish Scout is a sister ship to the vessel Sentry, completed earlier this summer.Salish Scout is customized for efficient geoduck fishery management along with other marine law enforcement operations.

02 Sep 2019

Austal, Fred. Olsen Partner on Trimarans

Image: Austal

Australian-based global ship building company Austal and the UK-based, Norwegian-owned cruise shipping line Fred. Olsen have partnered on two next generation trimarans with advanced environmental credentials.Starting with the design process, Austal’s R&D team used optimized lightweight structures and the benefits of Austal’s ongoing weight reduction program to reduce the power required to achieve the vessel’s high speed.This results in significantly lower emissions from the main engines compared to a steel vessel equivalent.

19 Aug 2019

Seabulk Completes First Methanol Shipment

Seabulk Tankers, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings, has announced the successful delivery of its first methanol parcel chemical shipment aboard the articulated tug-barge (“ATB”) Sea-Power/Sea-Chem I.The Sea-Power/Sea-Chem I loaded a 10,500 metric ton methanol parcel in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and discharged the parcel in Charleston, South Carolina and Chesapeake, Virginia. The vessel can load up to 30,000 metric tons of cargo into eleven segregations and is equipped with stainless steel cargo piping and MarineLINE 784 cargo tank coating. She is one of the most modern, fuel efficient, and capable chemical parcel vessels in the Jones Act fleet today.Methanol is a liquid chemical produced from conventional fossil sources as well as sustainable raw materials like biomass…

13 Aug 2019

Cruise Ships Dump 90% of Grey Water in BC

A southern resident Killer whale leaping out of the waters of Haro Strait, British Columbia, Canada © Natalie Bowes

1.54 billion liters of grey water were generated by ships off the British Columbia coast in 2017 - the equivalent of more than 600 Olympic-size swimming pools, said a study.World Wildlife Fund Canada says cruise ships traveling between Washington state and Alaska are responsible for dumping "the vast majority" of the potentially toxic grey water that ends up off the B.C. coast each year.Cruise ships accounted for 1.37 billion (almost 90%) of the 1.54 billion liters of grey water generated off the B.C.

10 Jul 2019

IMO's Ghost Gear Initiative

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working on best practices to prevent and reduce abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear."Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear can continue to capture and kill marine animals and may cause navigational hazards – as well as contributing to the global marine litter problem," the UN body pointed out.IMO is working closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on reducing marine plastic litter from fishing vessels, including fishing gear, as part of the IMO Action Plan on the Reduction of Marine Plastic Litter.

06 May 2019

Natural Gas Liquid Market to Cross 14 mbl/day by 2025

Pic: Gazprom Neft

Global Natural Gas Liquid Market is poised to cross 14 million barrels per day by 2025, said a study.Japan natural gas liquid market is projected to surpass an annual consumption of 0.2 mbl/day said the latest study by Global Market Insights.Accelerating funding’s toward chemical industry along with the manufacturing of high value-added petrochemicals will augment the industry growth.In addition, up-surge in investments toward automotive sector coupled with expansion of various industrial base including manufacturing…

13 Aug 2019

UAE Presence Grows in the Maritime World

DP World currently has five terminals in Dubai, three at the flagship Jebel Ali Port. Photo Credit: DP World

Over recent years the United Arab Emirates has emerged as an important maritime hub with grand ambitions. Mark Venables visited the region to discover what is driving that growth.When the UAE was elected to the IMO Council as a Category B member, it immediately raised its profile within the maritime community. The Emirates have taken a significant step forward in the maritime world.Despite this success, the region remains a challenging market for shipping and logistics. One of…

27 May 2019

SENER Names Álvaro Lorente as MD

Alvaro Lorente. Photo: SENER

Spanish engineering and technology group SENER has appointed Alvaro Lorente, former Operations Manager in the energy division as Managing Director.He graduated in Industrial Engineering from the Pontificia Comillas University (ICAI), majoring in Electrical Engineering, and joined SENER in 1991. Among other posts, he has been head of SENER's Mechanics Section, Operations Manager for Renewables, Power, Oil & Gas and International General Manager at SENER.He was also appointed General…

07 May 2019

Amsterdam Port Post Record Profit

Image: Port of Amsterdam

Port of Amsterdam realised net profit of EUR 68.5 million in 2018, which represents a 12.5% increase compared to 2017 (net profit of EUR 60.9 million).Revenue rose slightly in 2018, rising 5 percent to EUR 157.4 million, primarily due to a record amount of land allocations totalling 45.1 hectares (2017: 18 hectares) and an increase in harbour dues owing to a record level of transhipment totalling 82.3 million tonnes of cargo (2017: 81.3 million tonnes).The annual figures show a financially healthy position for Port of Amsterdam, which is benefitting from the favourable economic climate.

10 May 2019

Wilhelmsen Reduces Plastic Usage Onboard

Pic: WSM

Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM), a global maritime industry group, headquartered in Lysaker, Norway, is taking measures to reduce plastic waste from its ships enforcing new criteria for its vendors in its selection process,  as part of their commitment to make maritime trade sustainable."Vendors supplying spare parts, stores and consumables will be required to demonstrate that they have a viable plan to reduce plastic usage on the products delivered to us. This will apply to all existing and new vendors…

31 Jul 2019

Fire Erupts at Exxon's Baytown complex; 37 Hurt

An aerial view of the houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Exxon Mobil Corp said it was fighting a fire that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant complex injuring 37 people and sending nearby residents indoors.As many as 37 people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries amid efforts to put out the fire, according to Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Available air monitoring information showed "no adverse impact at this time," she said.More than three dozen people were treated for minor burns, none requiring hospitalization, said plant manager Jason Duncan in an afternoon media briefing.

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