Top Naval Architects To Assist In Designing Cost Effective Vessels

Siegfried Wagner and Sascha Strasser from the Hochschule Emden/Leer (HE/L) Maritime Sciences programme are currently visiting Marshall Islands.
30 Jan 2020 12:48
Top Naval Architects To Assist In Designing Cost Effective Vessels
An artist’s impression of the NYK Super Eco Ship 2050 that will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells produced by renewable energy sources.

Two leading naval architectures from Germany will be in Fiji next month to help design a 200-tonne renewable energy freighter.

Siegfried Wagner and Sascha Strasser from the Hochschule Emden/Leer (HE/L) Maritime Sciences programme are currently visiting the Marshall Islands.

Climate Change specialist Andrew Irvin yesterday said the duo won’t be holding lectures but provide technical assistance and conduct preparatory research in support of both the Cerulean Project, and the Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport (TLCSeaT) Project

The Cerulean Project is to develop a new class of small cargo freighters, which, once proven to be commercially and operationally viable, can be scaled up to provide a cost-effective solution for currently marginalised communities in the Pacific Island Communities and Territories (PICT).

The project is a joint research initiative through the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport (MCST), University of the South Pacific (USP) and  CNCo.

The three had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to research new-generation, low-carbon ships for the Pacific region two years ago.

PICT countries are almost wholly reliant on sea transport for essential imports and other vital transfer of people and goods.

Sea transport, especially at the domestic level, has always presented a particularly difficult issue for PICT to find long-term, sustainable, cost-viable solutions for periods of low energy costs.

Further 30 per cent of Fiji’s imports by value is fuel, so anything this project can do to reduce the reliance on imported fossil fuel is a win for PICT’s economies and a win for the global climate in addition to supporting capacity building in remote communities.

“The intended route for the vessel will involve departure from Lautoka, stopping through Rotuma on the way to the islands of Tuvalu, the Gilbert Island group of Kiribati, and concluding its route in Majuro, RMI,” Mr Irvin said.

“As it is a joint research initiative, the opportunities are readily apparent for a multi-year market assessment and quantification of both domestic and international trade potential in these countries. I’m currently composing a PhD. proposal to survey, document, and evaluate impacts of the two-year trial period during which the Project Cerulean vessel is meant to operate.

“There is the additional opportunity for other researchers to participate in voyages to conduct fieldwork in marine biology, geography, and hydrology, as well as the opportunity for maritime cadets from within the region to get hands-on experience working on a new generation of sailing vessel.

HE/L is providing naval architecture and marine engineering expertise, inclusive of modelling efficiency and performance of various vessel design elements, to MCST.

“We’ve included the HE/L personnel in the Design Review Team dialogue throughout Phase 1 of the Cerulean Project, and have maintained a regular dialogue through skype calls and correspondence.

“Professor Captain Michael Vahs has been to Fiji in the past, and we’re looking forward to having some of his colleagues visit the region, with the opportunity for additional face-to-face discussions and planning sessions.

“Phase 2 of the Cerulean Project is meant to launch in Q3 2020 upon presentation and approval of the business case by Swire Shipping/China Navigation Co., and we will continue working with HE/L through the construction and commissioning of the vessel.

Mr Irvin and Alison Newell are the focal points for this project; they are based at the USP in Suva and are working on a number of projects for Government.


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