In 2019, the maritime industry demonstrated its resilience and adaptability in the face of continuing challenges and tectonic shifts. Growth in demand for seaborne trade declined from the year before, but freight rates were generally strong as fleet growth slowed. For DNV GL, our priority was to ensure that our customers kept their focus on operating safely and sustainable as commercial and regulatory pressures continued to increase.
The ROMAS research project, established by DNV GL together with Høglund, Fjord1 and the NMA, is a project to develop technical solutions and establish a framework of regulations, rules and verification methods to enable the remote, shore-based operation of ship machinery and systems. The first testing campaign used the Fjord1 ferry Fannefjord, with the engine control centre established at Fjord1’s office in Molde.
The long-term plan is to use the experience obtained to develop new products and services, including a ‘remote ready’ integrated automation system (IAS) from Høglund, the applicable rules and Approval in Principle programmes from DNV GL, and regulations from the Norwegian Maritime Authority, to enable Fjord1 and other ship owners to deploy the technology commercially.
Cruise operator RCL, technology group Wärtsilä, and DNV GL initiated a joint industry project to improve engine room fire prevention. Running since 2016, the partners worked with stakeholders across the whole industry to collect data, analyse key risks, and develop safety barriers to manage the most significant fire risk factors. As a result of this cooperative effort, RCL launched a programme to enhance engine room fire prevention across its entire fleet and Wärtsilä offered technical solutions and procedures for engine maintenance to lower the fire risk.
DNV GL introduced a new class notation F(M-P) which focuses on not only the systems, but also the processes and people to enhance the main safety barriers in order to prevent fires in machinery spaces. The F(M-P) notation will also be implemented in RCL’s Navigator of the Seas, putting in place standards and processes focused on the prevention, detection and containment of oil leakage, the system shutdown system, and ignition prevention.
The shipping industry is looking to take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, to print spare parts, thereby reducing lead times, costs, stock requirements, and environmental impacts. Certification ensures that AM part users can have the same confidence in an additive manufactured product as a conventionally produced one. DNV GL awarded its first ever Additive Manufacturing Approval of Manufacturer certificate to thyssenkrupp.
The newly issued certificate makes the thyssenkrupp TechCenter the world’s first producer of 3D printed parts for maritime applications to obtain manufacturer approval from DNV GL, making it a DNV GL approved supplier for maritime and general industrial applications. Certification was important for thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the company is working closely with international customers on the integration of additive manufactured parts on ships and submarines.
In recent years, China’s LNG imports have been growing rapidly, increasing by 42% from 2017 to 2018. Transporting large amounts, from diverse suppliers, will require new vessels and greater efficiency. A new joint development project will see Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard and DNV GL bring their expertise and experience in research and development, engineering, classification, and construction, to the development of a modern ultra large LNG carrier with a capacity of 270,000 m3. A vessel of this size could transport enough LNG to provide gas for 4.7 million Shanghai homes for a month, and do so 25% more efficiently than a 170,000 m3 vessel. In addition, a single 270k vessel increases LNG terminal capacity by 50% without any expansion in terminal size.
In 2019, StormGeo and DNV GL agreed to consolidate their fleet performance solutions under one banner. Bringing together DNV GL’s ECO Insight and Navigator Insight solutions with StormGeo’s FleetDSS and ship reporting solutions creates a new industry leader in fleet performance management.
DNV GL will retain a strong connection to the new solution through the 26.4% share in StormGeo it has held since 2014, as well as continuing to provide technical support to ECO Insight customers. Users will also be able to share data through DNV GL’s open industry platform Veracity.
Oshima Shipbuilding and DNV GL signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement to conduct joint research and development work on new bulk carrier designs. The first design to result from the cooperation, the Oshima Ultramax 2030, was launched at the Nor-Shipping trade fair. With an Energy Efficiency Design Index close to 50% lower than comparable vessels, this Ultramax design is one of the most efficient bulk carrier designs to date. It maximizes operational performance while minimizing emissions by utilizing LNG as fuel, an optimized hull shape and a sail to generate extra propulsion.
The design also offers ultra-low emissions in port by using solar panels and a battery to cover the hotel load. The partners aim to continue developing and updating a road map towards the IMO zero emissions scenario through annual open JIPs. In November, the project won the Environmental Protection Award at the prestigious IBJ Awards in Hamburg.
Visual inspections and steel thickness measurements are key elements of renewal surveys. DNV GL has continued to develop its drone survey offerings to provide owners and operators with a fast-track solution. Building from an off-the-shelf drone and high-resolution camera, DNV GL now has drones capable of taking ultrasonic steel thickness measurements, bringing the structure to the surveyor for real-time inspection.
The design for the ultrasonic camera attachment is compact and ‘universal’, allowing surveyors to interchange the close-up inspection camera for the ultrasonic measurement head on a drone at any time, or attach the frame to another drone in case the original one is damaged.
The key parts of the attachment frame are 3D printed, which means the team can manufacture any number of identical frames in a repeatable process, whether for their colleagues at other DNV GL offices or for spare parts.
DNV GL’s Cyber Secure class notation establishes a baseline to identify cyber security levels for the main functions of a vessel, either in operation or during construction, and offers owners and operators a framework to improve and demonstrate their cyber resilience. It gives owners and operators the flexibility to identify the threats and to assess and secure extra systems which are of particular importance to their operations. In 2019, DNV GL signed a contract for the first Cyber Secure class notation with Stena Drilling.
The contract covers the application of the ‘Basic+’ notation to the drillship Stena IceMAX and includes the vessel’s dynamic positioning, drilling, and blowout prevention systems. It will be integrated with Stena Drilling’s own safety management systems. Later that year, DNV GL awarded Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) the world’s first Approval in Principle (AIP) for the Cyber Secure (Advanced) class notation on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers.