Vessel Response Plan Archives - SHIP IP LTD

The use of wind-assisted propulsion technology is growing with the partnership between BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies reporting their second project with large bulk carriers in a week. Singapore-based Berge Bulk will install the WindWings technology on one of its dry bulk carriers. As an early adopter of wind-assisted propulsion technology, Berge will be evaluating what it is calling a pivotal technology to reduce the emissions of its bulker fleet.

“At Berge Bulk, we believe in the results that can be achieved by harnessing wind power. Evaluating this groundbreaking technology, the estimated impact on reducing emissions can be at least as significant as transitional fuels,” said James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk.

Berge Bulk has agreed to equip its Newcastlemax bulker Berge Olympus with BAR Tech WindWings supplied by Yara Marine Technologies. The four-year-old bulker that will be used to evaluate the technology is 984 feet long and 211,150 dwt. The vessel is registered in the UK. According to the companies, the WindWings will be installed on board Berge Bulk’s vessel in the second quarter of 2023.

“A successful transition to a lower-carbon future can only be achieved through an inclusive approach,” said Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine Technologies. “Wind has been the most evident ship propulsion for centuries. We are excited that industry-leading companies like Berge Bulk have the vision and commitment to equip their vessels with wind-assisted propulsion technologies.”

To date, most of the shipping industry’s installations of wind-assisted propulsion have focused on wind rotor technology. Several companies have reported achieving meaningful fuel savings and reductions in emissions deploying the rotors while the solid wind sail technology has also been progressing in development. BAR Technologies is leveraging its experience in developed world-class racing sailboats to develop its technologies for the WindWings. Japan’s Mitsui O.S. K. Lines is partnered with Oshima Shipbuilding to commercialize a similar telescoping rigid wind sail that they plan to deploy on a bulker for the first time by the end of 2022.

Barr Technologies’ WindWings are large, solid wing sails that will measure up to 160 feet in height. The design calls for four of the sails to be installed on the Berge Olympus. According to the companies, the sail technology will be capable of reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 30 percent through a combination of wind propulsion and route optimization. The system is fully automated.




“By retrofitting WindWings technology to existing vessels, firms like Berge Bulk can begin to make an immediate impact on decarbonizing their fleets while at the same time seeing significant efficiencies in current fuel use,” said John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies. “With Berge Bulk joining a pipeline of WindWings installations through 2023, we look forward to working with our partners to make significant inroads into reducing vessel carbon emissions.”

BAR Technologies announced in November 2021 an Approval-in-Principle (AiP) by DNV for BAR Tech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies. This AiP assessed the system’s design specifications, safety and usability considerations, and general applicability to sea-going vessels. The AiP also examined the deployment and functionality of WindWings in operation, use in extreme weather conditions, and system redundancy.

Last week, BAR and Yara announced their first agreement for the installation of the technology. Early in 2023, they will install two WindWings aboard the Singapore-flagged Pyxis Ocean, an 80,962 dwt bulk carrier. The five-year-old vessel, which is 751 feet in length, is owned by Mitsubishi and operates under a long-term charter to Cargill.


ECA Group has opened its new factory in Ostend, Belgium, which will be dedicated to the production and support of Mine Warfare Drones. The hundreds of drones contracted by the Belgian and Dutch navies for their new Mine Countermeasure Vessels will be manufactured here.

The official opening took place on 10 June in the presence of Hilde Crevits, Deputy Prime Minister of the Flemish Government and Admiral Hofman, Chief of Defence.

The production of the drones will start in September and the first complete toolbox will be delivered to the Belgian Navy in 2024. In parallel, the new ECA Group facility will also serve other contracts and prospects. Lean manufacturing of AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and USVs (Unmanned Surface Vehicles), efficient supply chain management, and demonstrations to customers will be the core of its activities.


The new facility is to strengthen the ties with the Belgian and Dutch navies, the Naval Academy (with a.o. Naval Mine Warfare NATO Centre of Excellence), local industries and academic players in Belgium. ECA Group will partner with local companies and contribute to the development of local skills and industrial capabilities.

The ECA Group Ostend factory has a direct access to the waterfront. The drones will be sea tested and customers will be able to see them evolve directly under normal conditions of use.

The support received from the city of Ostend, the Port of Ostend, the Flemish government and Belgium Defence has helped the timely construction of this new facility. This represents a multimillion euros investment of ECA Group and its shareholder Groupe Gorgé.

In the short term, 25 positions are being created and the team will grow to fifty people in the coming years.

Mine Countermeasure Vessels

The Netherlands and Belgium are purchasing a total of twelve Mine Countermeasure Vessels together, six for each nation. These ships and their toolboxes, extensive packages of unmanned surface and underwater systems, will be delivered by Naval Group and ECA.

The first one, the Oostende, will be delivered to the Belgian Navy at the end of 2024. The Netherlands will receive its first ship, the Vlissingen, in 2025. The keel of the first vessel was laid on 30 November 2021.

These Mine Countermeasure Vessels have the following characteristics:

  • Length: 82.6 m
  • Width: 17 m
  • Displacement: 2800 t
  • Maximum speed: 15.3 knots
  • Range: >3500 nautical miles
  • Crew: 63 people
  • Drone capabilities: ECA Group’s UMISOFT System, two unmanned surface vehicles (ECA Group’s Inspector 125), three autonomous underwater vehicles (A-18 equipped with ECA Group’s UMISAS 120 sonar), two towed sonars (T-18 equipped with ECA Group’s UMISAS 240 sonar), two Mine Identification & Destruction Systems (MIDS) systems (ECA Group’s Seascan et K-Ster C), two unmanned aerial vessels (UMS Skeldar’s V200), one ECA Group influence dredger integrating five CTM magnetic modules and one PATRIA acoustic module.
  • Embarkation capacity: two SOLAS rigid hull inflatable boats of 7 m.
  • Handling: two side gantries with floating cradle for surface drones and commando boats, a 15-t rear crane and a 3-t overhead crane.

Activating a Vessel Response Plan
U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 01/23/2018 02:15 PM EST
The following information is provided to clarify activation of a vessel response plan (VRP), and
when and how deviation from listed response resources may occur.
An increasing number of responses in which VRPs have been used, have resulted in confusion as
to what action taken activates a VRP. Activation is not defined in 33 CFR Part 155.
When a Coast Guard FOSC is told that a VRP has been activated, the assumption is that certain resources identified in the plan have been consulted or mobilized. Once a VRP is activated, the resources identified in the plan must be used unless a deviation is approved by the FOSC.
The implications of VRP activation are significant and a clear understanding of what action activates a VRP is
essential. Failure to activate a plan quickly or failure to use pre-contracted resources can result in
delayed response and exacerbate potential environmental damages.
A VRP must be activated once the vessel’s Master has determined on board resources and
personnel cannot meet the needs of an actual or potential incident. VRP activation occurs when
the person in charge of the vessel contacts the Qualified Individual (QI) identified in the VRP.
The QI and alternate QI are defined in regulation as having the authority to mobilize resources
and consultative services identified in the VRP and to act as the liaison with the FOSC.
Contacting the QI and/or alternate QI activates the VRP.
The QI then assess the situation through consultative services and mobilizes response resources identified in the VRP if the incident
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