Paul Bartlett

Paul Bartlett

Correspondent


Paul Bartlett is a maritime consultant and editor of Seatrade's annual Green Guide and twice-yearly Middle East Workboat and Offshore marine publications, as well as being a former editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. Paul's vast experience of the maritime industry spans three decades and all the continents, and has included spells working in specialised ship finance companies.

Global shipping took a giant leap forward earlier this week as Rolls-Royce Marine and Finferries successfully completed the world’s first truly autonomous voyage, deploying the car ferry Falco in the congested waters of the archipelago, just south of the city of Turku in western Finland.

In what Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce President, Commercial – Marine, described as a ‘ground breaker’, close to 100 VIP guests attended the voyage of Falco, a 54-metre double-ended car ferry, between Parainen and Nauvo in Finland yesterday, the world’s first fully autonomous voyage.

A smart end-to-end digital procurement and logistics set-up for marine stores and spares could transform the old-fashioned and inefficient approach to spare part inventories, ship maintenance and global supply arrangements.

Norwegian paint manufacturer Jotun AS believes there is huge scope to raise hull and propeller operating efficiency by using shipboard data more effectively. According to Global Concept Director Stein Kjølberg, pictured, only about 15% of the world fleet is equipped with high-frequency performance monitoring equipment and only around 7-8% are using the data efficiently.

Firmer oil prices and improving sentiment have been catalysts for several key strategic moves in recent days, as offshore contractors align themselves to make the most of the imminent upturn.

Shipowners will neeed to do more than simply tweak existing vessel designs and business models if they are to meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) by 50%.

A Norwegian start-up, Fostech, part funded by government-backed Innovation Norway, is in the final stages of developing a new ‘mixed reality’ technology with far-reaching implications for ship construction and through-life maintenance and repairs.

For tanker owners, there is much at stake on 22 June when OPEC oil ministers gather in Vienna for what is likely to be a particularly bad-tempered meeting.

A new hand-held fuel-testing device, the XRF Analyser, unveiled by Parker Kittiwake is set to dispel much of the growing concern relating to off-spec bunker stems, new blends of untested marine fuels, compliance with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap and existing sulphur limits in emission control areas.

Hamburg-based Becker Marine Systems has won a range of new contracts for its fuel-saving devices as ship operators once again face higher bunker bills and renewed calls for improvements in ship efficiency.

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