Monday, June 7, 2010

Project Forwarder And Specialist Shipping Line Continues To Innovate

Beluga Continue to Push the Barriers
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – Few companies in the shipping industry demonstrate the innovation and willingness to research develop and undertake new methods and techniques to speed the throughput of goods, particularly out of gauge and heavy lift consignments like Beluga Shipping of Bremen. We have highlighted before some of the spectacular innovations and logistics problems which they have become involved with and the project forwarder and specialist fleet owner continues in the same vein.

Now the company is moving two complete car ferries, bound for Africa, aboard their own vessel the MV “Beluga Singapore” and has taken part in the research into an award winning artificial “sharkskin” coating for the hulls of vessels.

The two German built ferries , each designed to transport 1500 passengers or up to 65 cars several times a day from their home port of Mombasa, were themselves loaded from the port basin in Hamburg directly onto the deck of the 166 metres long MV “Beluga Singapore“. The loading of the brand new ferries was a custom made masterpiece. The freight hold, in which the “Kwale” is going to travel the 9000 nautical miles to Mombasa, measures just a few decimetres more than the cargo itself. Accurate to the centimetre, two on-board NMF-cranes of the “Beluga Singapore” had to place the vessel precisely in its hold. The second ferry “ Likoni” was then lowered onto the deck of the multi purpose heavy lift project carrier.

Loading the two ships aboard their host took two days with a voyage of four weeks, before being delivered to their new owners the state-owned Kenya Ferry Service, whose representatives flew to Hamburg to witness the loading. East African media has been commenting on each step of the two urgently needed ferries` construction in Germany for almost two years. As Mombasa is located on an island the smallest disturbance of the ferry connection between the second largest city of Kenya and the mainland immediately leads to enormous traffic jams and tremendous logistical problems. Because of that people and economy have to suffer and “Likoni” and “Kwale” shall finally solve this problem as substitutes for two pre existing very old ferries .

As far as the hull coating is concerned the innovative “sharkskin” paint system, which reduces the flow resistance of ships and thereby saves fuel, was awarded with the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2010 at the annual conference of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Leipzig last month. This technical innovation is sustainable and offers high potential, as tests in the Hamburg Ship Model Basin HSVA have already shown. By using the innovative bionic paint system, flow resistance was reduced by more than five percent. If the system is consequently applied, a reduction of fuel consumption by two percent will be possible.

Beluga volunteered one of its vessels to test the product under practical conditions which also contains antifouling products that minimise growth of algae and barnacles on the hulls of vessels which impair flow characteristics over the hull. Manifold application possibilities of sharkskin paint exist, besides ships, airplanes and wind energy plants can benefit from the new technique.

Photo: “Kwale” gets stowed away.