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Maersk Pelican with Norsepower Rotor Sails installed. Image via Marsk Tankers

Finnish clean technology group Norsepower announced Tuesday that its innovative Rotor Sail Solution has received the first-ever type approval design certificate granted to an auxiliary wind propulsion system onboard a commercial ship.

The type approval from leading ship classification society DNV GL was issued in February 2019 after a design assessment of Norsepower’s 30-meter by 5-meter Rotor Sail, two of which have been installed onboard the Maersk Pelican LR2 tanker.

Norsepower says the landmark certification means that vessels operating its Rotor Sail technology are technically capable of safely navigating “all operational and environmental situations”.

The company’s Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor; a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship and enhance fuel-saving.

Rotor Sails have already been installed on three vessels and has achieved over 35,000 hours in operation, saving more than 4,500 tonnes of CO2, according to Norsepower. The solution has also been independently verified to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%.

Commenting on the type approval, Norsepower CEO Tuomas Riski said: “We are very proud to be the first company to have type approval granted to an auxiliary wind propulsion system onboard a commercial ship. Having a type approval design certificate is very important to us. Clearly, it provides shipowners, operators, and charterers with a level of assurance when investing in the Rotor Sail Solution, but in the long term, it removes yet another hurdle to the realization of renewable wind energy propulsion systems at a scale that supports shipping’s transformation to a low carbon transport sector.”

Last month, Norsepower was crowned the winner of the 2018 International Quality Innovation Award in recognition of its Rotor Sail Solution technology’s ability to demonstrate positive environmental contributions.

“To help reduce shipping’s environmental impact we will need many different fuel and technology options, which is why we were very pleased that Norsepower asked us to be part of this innovative wind propulsion project,” said Geir Dugstad, Director of Ship Classification and Technical Director at DNV GL.




  • PdVsA has been made a target of U.S. sanctions and added to the OFAC SDN list.
  • A number of General Licences have been issued with authorisations of varying duration to allow U.S. persons to wind down existing business with PdVSA or its subsidiaries.
  • FAQs issued by OFAC suggest (but do not explicitly confirm) that non-U.S. persons may continue to do business with PdVSA and its subsidiaries without risk of sanctions provided that restrictions on U.S. persons are observed.
  • Members are therefore recommended to exercise caution in dealings with PdVSA and subsidiaries, and to take legal advice if in any doubt as to whether any proposed transactions may incur a risk of U.S. sanctions.



Executive Order 13857 dated 25th January 2019, published by the U.S.Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), amends several previous Executive Orders to include Petroleos deVenezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) within the meaning of “Government of Venezuela”, thereby making PdVSA a sanctions target. PdVSA has also been added to the OFAC SDN list with effect from 28th January 2019.

Alongside the Executive Order, a number of general licenses have been issued, to authorise U.S. persons (both individuals and entities) to wind down or continue commercial activities relating to PdVSA and its subsidiaries, but requiring in some cases that payments can only be made to blocked accounts which PdVSA cannot access.

The following licenses,which it should be noted contain authorisations of varying lengths of validity,may be of particular relevance to Members who have business with PdVSA or its subsidiaries:

General License 7 – authorises (a) up to 27 July 2019, transactions and activities involving PDV Holding Inc (PDVH),CITGO Holding Inc. and their subsidiaries; (b) up to 28 April 2019, PDVH,CITGO Holding Inc. and their subsidiaries to engage in transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the purchase and importation of petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA.

General License 8 – authorises up to 27 July 2019, all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the operations inVenezuela involving PdVSA or its subsidiaries for: Chevron Corporation, Halliburton, Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes, andWeatherford International.

General License 11 – authorises up to 29 March 2019 (a) U.S. person employees and contractors of non-U.S. entities located outside of the U.S. andVenezuela to engage in all transactions and activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the maintenance or wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements involving PdVSA and its subsidiaries, and (b) U.S. Financial institutions to reject funds transfers involving PdVSA and non-U.S. entities located outside of the U.S. orVenezuela.The GL expressly prohibits dealings with ALBA de Nicaragua (ALBANISA).

General License 12 – authorises (a) up to 28 April 2019, all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the purchase and import into the United States of petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA or its subsidiaries, and (b) up to 28 February 2019, all transactions ordinarily incidental and necessary to the wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements, including the importation into the United States of goods, services, or technology not authorised under (a) involving PdVSA or its subsidiaries.

General License 13 – authorises up to 27 July 2019, all transactions where the only PdVSA entities involved are Nynas AB or any of its subsidiaries.

New FAQs providing guidance on the interpretation of the relevant Executive Orders and the General Licences have been published on the OFAC website with effect from 31 January 2019.

FAQ 657, set out below, addresses questions that may be of interest to Members who are non-U.S. persons involved in trade with PdVSA.

657. I am a non-U.S. entity that purchases petroleum and petroleum products from Petróleos deVenezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) or an entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.Am I now prohibited from purchasing petroleum and petroleum products from these companies?

Transactions to purchase petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA or any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, and that involve U.S. persons or any other U.S. nexus (e.g., transactions involving the U.S. financial system or U.S. commodity brokers) must be wound down byApril 28, 2019 pursuant toVenezuela-related General License 12. In addition, under General License 11,U.S. person employees and contractors of non-U.S. companies located in a country other the United States orVenezuela are authorized to engage in certain maintenance or wind-down transactions with PdVSA, or any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time,March 29, 2019. (See FAQ 654.) [01-31-2019]

Members may note that the answer in FAQ 657 suggests, but does not explicitly say, that non-U.S. entities may continue to purchase petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA and its subsidiaries, provided that restrictions on U.S. entities are observed.

FAQ 657 does not, however, address the effect of Section 1 (a) (iii) of EO 13850 which provides for the blocking of all property in the U.S. of “any person” (not limited to U.S. persons) who is determined – “to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of … any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.”

The Club’s legal counsel has therefore been asked whether a non-U.S. shipowner who provides ocean transportation for PdVSA would be at risk of being regarded as providing services in support of a blocked person. The Club’s legal counsel considers it unlikely that the U.S. intends to target non-U.S. persons, bearing in mind the absence of any explicit prohibition on PdVSA shipments to third countries and an absence of wind-down licenses for such shipments. It is also considered significant that there are no specific secondary sanctions directed against insurance of targeted trades or activities.

Members are nevertheless reminded that cover remains subject to the Club’s Rule 5V which would exclude the right of recovery from the Club in circumstances where such recovery may expose the Club to a sanction or other adverse action by a competent authority or government. Members who have trading relationships with PdVSA or its subsidiaries and who could potentially be affected by the sanctions are therefore recommended to exercise caution in their dealings with PdVSA or its subsidiaries and to take legal advice on proposed trades until the situation becomes clearer.



Cleaner Marine Shipping – A global corporation called Wärtsilä is pushing “An Oceanic Awakening,” due in part to all the stuff people order online.

The awakening is taking place around a SEA20 effort, which is calling on major port cities including New York, Singapore, Hamburg, Helsinki and Rotterdam to develop a digitalized marine ecosystem – or Smart Marine – by 2020. “This encompasses connectivity, data-sharing, intelligent automation and intelligent, carbon-free vessels, which feature efficient designs, hybrid propulsion technologies and cleaner fuels for eco-friendly shipping,” says Wärtsilä, which is headquartered in Helsinski, Finland, and makes power plants and marine equipment.

How will they get it done? SEA20 has reportedly assembled key influencers from the targeted cities to participate in an online forum and ongoing series of events and workshops; including FOOD designer/founder Dong-Ping Wong, who has worked on projects for Kanye West and Nike.

How would a “smarter” Big Apple look? SEA20 reimagines it “with offshore ports allowing for pop-up test sites within the city itself – like retail hubs and fresh produce markets,” also taking pointers from ORE Design + Technology Founder/Principal Architect Thomas Kosbau, rePLACE Urban Studio’s Peter Syrett and The Dream Corps CEO Vien Truong.

Wärtsilä President and CEO Jaakko Eskola argues that shipping is the most cost-effective way to move goods and people around the world. Demand is increasing, and so are opportunities to improve operational inefficiencies that hurt profitability and sustainability:

“We simply cannot afford to wait for the marine and energy industries to evolve at their own pace. The calls for greater efficiency, sustainability, and connectivity are simply too strong to be ignored. Rapid acceleration to benefit the entire sector, as well as society at large, is urgently required, and ‘An Oceanic Awakening’ is our wake-up call to everyone, heralding the beginning of our journey to making the future of shipping and energy a reality.”

The wave seems to be growing slowly. A SEA20 Twitter forum has just over 60 followers as of this writing. But a company rep say much more participation and activity is on the horizon, including summits to be held and intelligence reports to be issued. A total of 20 port cities are being targeted.

“Hamburg, Helsinki and Rotterdam have already expressed their keen interest in joining this global initiative,” said Andrew Calzetti, a Wärtsilä spokesman. “We are in active discussions with around 10 cities at the moment and have a great many more on our radar, all of which play an important role in the marine ecosystem, either because of the volume of trade they handle, their history, or because of the investment they are making in innovative solutions which foster more sustainable shipping. We will be making those and other port announcements in due time.”

Calzetti says most issues afflicting port cities and marine industries are open-ended and highly complex, so solving them requires collaboration across disciplines.

Figures from an Energy Transition Outlook estimate that shipping will grow nearly a third by 2050, resulting in the doubling of container cargo.

While initiatives like the Paris Climate Agreement and International Maritime Organization mandates are helping address the environmental impacts of mass urbanization and shipping, few are specifically focused “on bringing a unified design vision to maritime projects that are shaping marine cities,” he said. “That, to us, signaled the need for our initiative, SEA20.”
Source: Forbes


Marine incident reporting

AMSA – Marine Safety Awareness Bulletin  Issue 8 — September 2018

Incident reporting is essential to maritime safety. When you report a marine incident to AMSA, you help shape the way maritime safety is improved.

Benefits of marine incident reporting
The information obtained from marine incidents enable us to:
 identify issues, patterns and trends
 respond to concerns
 share information with the maritime industry
 learn and improve maritime safety

Case study one
Faulty emergency generator
During routine maintenance onboard a bulk carrier, it was discovered that the emergency generator wasn’t working and needed replacing.

Case study two
Knowledge of rescue helicopters
Following a number of incident reports submitted to AMSA from vessels operating in remote areas around Australia, it became clear that the limited range of rescue helicopters was not widely known among vessel operators.

The incident reporting process

Report a marine incident that has affected, or is likely to affect, the safety, operation or seaworthiness of the vessel1. The alerts let us know that a serious event has occured. The incident report provides us detailed information about the incident, in particular the measures put in place to prevent reoccurrence.





Autonomous Ship

Netherlands-based KOTUG has demonstrated what it says is the first sailing of a remotely controlled tugboat from a long-distance location.

For the demonstration, the tug RT Borkum, located in Rotterdam, was controlled from the floor of the International Tug, Salvage & OSV Convention, which was taking place over 700 miles away in Marseille, France.

A KOTUG captain took over control of steering and engine systems using a secured internet connection and live cameras.

KOTUG says it believes that remote-controlled ships are the first step to unmanned and fully autonomous shipping down the road. “Various simple operations in remote locations can already be done from remote controlled stations,” the company stated.

“The real-time sensor technology makes it possible to give the remote control captain the situational awareness that is needed for safe operation,” according to KOTUG. “Combined with the drone technology to connect the towline, unmanned shipping is commercially and technically getting closer.”

One of the hurdles to unmanned shipping, KOTUG says, is establishing rules and regulations specific to autonomous vessels and their operation.

“Unmanned shipping does not yet comply with current rules and regulations. Therefore, rules need to be amended before tugs can actually start doing their tasks fully autonomous,” KOTUG stated.

In May, the International Maritime Organization took what some described as important first steps towards regulating unmanned ships by agreeing to the definition of “Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)” and establishing an initial framework for regulations.

KOTUG notes that the demonstration of the RT Borkum was part of a joint industry project put on by sponsors without the help of subsidies.






WUHAN – The first electric cruise vessel for sightseeing along the Yangtze, China’s longest river, will begin operation before the end of the year, according to the developer China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.

The company said on Wednesday that the development of the 1,000-tonne vessel is the country’s first step in replacing vessels powered with oil fuel with electric ones on the river. The company is also building charging infrastructure along the river to facilitate the move.

Zhou Linghui, with the company’s design institute, said the double-decker vessel, shaped like a white dolphin, is 52.5 meters long with a maximum carrying capacity of 300 passengers.

He said the vessel is powered by 25 tonnes of lithium batteries, equivalent to the battery capacity of 50 family cars.

The vessel discharges no pollution to the river. It also reduces the noise and risks of disturbing aquatic animals in the river with its new propelling system, according to Zhou.

Zhou said a single charge takes six hours, and provides a traveling distance of 120 km.

The vessel, with its glass walls for better views, will operate on the Wuhan section of the river in Central China’s Hubei province.


Asian Gypsy Moth

The UK P&I Club have received the following update from local correspondents, PICC, regarding the high risk season for Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM).


NAPPO Regional Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (RSPM 33) states that all ships which have called an infested area during the period in which AGM is likely to contaminate them, especially from June to September, should be inspected and get an Inspection Certificate of Freedom from AGM before entering the NAPPO region (USA, Canada, Mexico).The Vessel without AGM inspection and certificate may be refused entry to the NAPPO region, redirected to other destinations and may be subject to penalties.


A reminder that during this time it can be expected that Port State inspectors increase their efforts to prevent the spread of this invasive species, especially on the North American Continent.

The Club would like to highlight the upcoming high risk season (1 March ~ 15 October) for Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM). During this time it can be expected that Port State inspectors increase their efforts to prevent the spread this invasive species, especially on the North American Continent. The Club would like to remind Members of previously issued advice as well as newly released documents and guidance.

Asian Gypsy Moth




Digital access on seafarers – 25 June, 2018: A new report looking at crew connectivity on ships has revealed the emotional and operational impact on professional seafarers who are often away for up to six months at a time with limited opportunities to interact digitally with friends and family.

International maritime charity Sailors’ Society, which helps seafarers and their families with welfare and practical support, and Inmarsat, the global mobile satellite company, have worked with researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, to examine the effect on seafarers who have limited or non-existent digital access.

Researchers for this latest study, “Navigating Everyday Connectivities at Sea”, used an immersive study approach on board two container ships for 10 days, one with on board Wi-Fi capabilities and one without.  They looked at how seafarers use mobile phones and other digitally enabled devices in their daily lives during long periods at sea, and the opportunities and risks that such usage introduces.

The results revealed the fundamental importance of reliable connectivity and the impact it has on mental well-being, operational efficiency and safety, as well as its critical role in attracting new talent to the industry.

The report showed that access to Wi-Fi aboard ships – even limited – helped reduce some of the emotional stresses that come with separation from families.  However, the research also showed that where there were weekly limits of connectivity, this forced seafarers to ration their allowance to certain periods or to prioritise contact with friends.  Restricting usage also meant that domestic issues could not be resolved immediately or in real time, adding to personal stress or anxiety.

The ability to connect with family on a regular basis while away was also understood to ease transition into home life when returning from sea. In particular, being in frequent contact allowed people to keep up to date with everyday mundane events and activities at home, minimising the feeling that they were missing out on important life events.

In addition, one of the report’s key findings was how connectivity is becoming a significant factor in recruitment particularly for those entering the industry. Young people – who have been brought up with constant connectivity – are viewing an ability to get online as a significant deciding factor as to whether they commit to a career at sea.

One of the historic arguments from ship owners for not providing on-board connectivity has been that it disrupts work and rest patterns. However, this latest research shows that, in fact, not having reliable on-board internet impacts such patterns. It found that if the only method of digitally engaging with kin and friendship networks is through personal mobile phones, seafarers would connect when the ship was within mobile signal range, regardless of the time of day, external factors, work or rest hours.

“Digital connectivity at sea has been one of the major talking points of the decade in the maritime industry, which has been slow to adopt technology enabling improvements in connectivity across the world’s commercial fleet,” said Dr Rikke Bjerg Jenson, one of the principal researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London. “While several studies have used surveys to try to establish the rate of these improvements and their wide-ranging implications, none – to our knowledge – has taken observations of crew behaviour and conversations with seafarers as their starting point.

Digital access on seafarers

Sailors’ Society CEO Stuart Rivers said: “This study offers valuable insights into the huge impact that connectivity can have on seafarers’ well-being, which is of vast importance to the maritime industry. We all have a duty of care to those who are the foundation of our businesses – and with mental health playing a key role in their decision-making abilities, if we neglect that duty the consequences can be deadly and costly.”

“With 1.65million seafarers employed at sea and an industry which is responsible for carrying 90% of total global trade; improving operational efficiency, impacted by crew welfare, is of global economic concern”, said Drew Brandy, Senior Vice President, Maritime Market Strategy at Inmarsat. “In terms of future sustainability, the industry needs to consider the significant expectations of the next wave of talent into the industry who will see access to online as a major factor in their career decisions.”




The Seafarers Happiness Index is a means of engaging with crews on merchant ships to discuss the key challenges facing them, and
to gauge their levels of satisfaction.

This is an ongoing study measuring how happy people are about the various elements of their working life gives a picture of the real successes
and problems within seafaring.

It also provides learning opportunities to improve and develop.

The Index is made up of a standard set of ten questions and these cover key areas, such as mental and physical health, diet, rest, workload,connectivity, training, access to shore leave, as well as relationships at home and on board.

These are answered anonymously, and seafarers are encouraged to complete their answers during each trip.

The latest Index showed a seafarer happiness result of 6.69 in the first quarter of 2018, a figure averaged across the key areas of seafarers’
work lives.

This shows a rise from the previous Index report- and so we see that seafarer happiness is on the up.

If you are lucky to have a good chief cook,
you will be happy. But if not, all crew will be
affected when performing their duties.

Harmony and unity on board is very
crucial in the safety and success of
operations on the ship.

To ignore or downplay the value of happiness in seafarers is to trample on the concept of these very human

Seafarers prefer a happy life to an unhappy one, hopefully we can all agree on that much, and we need
to be able to make life as happy as possible, within the realities of what it is to be a seafarer.

Female seafarers actually marked
themselves lower than the
general average this time around.
Which was a significant shift from
previous Seafarers’ Happiness Index Results


Deck crew and officers tended to
be happier than their engineering
counterparts – and the middle
cohort of ranks, second officer
and third engineer, chief officer
and second engineer, performed
better. They recorded the highest
results across the board.





Seafarer Mental Health.

The UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)
have jointly agreed the following guidelines to shipping companies on drawing up policies on mental health and mental illness.
Companies are recommended to adopt such policies;

if they already have policies in place, they are recommended to review
them in the light of these guidelines.


The aims of shipping companies’ policies on mental health and mental illness should include:

• To promote the health, safety and welfare of seafarers
• To foster a company culture that is conducive to improving
the mental health of seafarers
• To ensure awareness of the importance of good mental
health among company managers
• To provide support for staff who are identified as having
mental health problems, ensuring that they are treated with
sympathy and respect and in confidence
• To increase awareness among all staff of the potential signs
of mental health problems
• To provide training to staff in having conversations with
others about their mental health.

3.1 The policy should be in writing and should:

• Designate a director as having overall responsibility for the
policy, whilst indicating the commitment from the full
management board to the policy
• Indicate concern for the health, safety and welfare of
seafarers and others in the company
• Promulgate positive messages to staff indicating that the
company promotes the good mental health of all staff, thereby
fostering a supportive company culture
• Provide literature via noticeboards and/or company intranet
to promote awareness of the benefits of personal interaction and
communication to good mental health
• Provide details of persons within and external to the company
who are trained in listening to persons wishing to discuss their
state of mental health.

3.2 The policy should make clear that the company recognises
that mental health problems may be short-term, long-term or

It should not focus solely on remedial measures for
seafarers suffering mental health problems, but on improving the
mental health of all its seafarers.

3.3 The policy should promote to a workplace environment that is
conducive to good mental health, including management styles
that treat seafarers with respect and value their opinions and
eliminating harassment and bullying.

3.4 The policy should promote the organisation of social and
team-building events that are inclusive and open to all and
encourage all employees to contribute ideas for these. It should
also encourage volunteering and other out-of-work activities that
can contribute to improving mental health.

3.5 The policy should also make clear the company’s commitment
to overcoming and eliminating any culture of silence or stigma
that might exist over mental health. This could be done by
discussing the subject openly in individual and staff meetings.