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SeaVolt, a collaboration between Tractebel, DEME, and Jan De Nul, gets ready for its first floating solar energy test platform to be installed offshore. The platform floatation system is currently located in the port of Ostend, on the Belgian North Sea coast, where main contractor Equans is finalizing assembly. The test platform will be the first installation in the Belgian North Sea aimed at the large-scale development of offshore solar energy and is scheduled to be towed offshore, anchored, and put into operation to gather data for at least a year starting in August.
The potential of SeaVolt is unlimited and pioneers the great potential of offshore solar energy. Unlike existing floating solar installations on lakes, SeaVolt has developed a concept specifically tailored to the conditions of rough seas. With its modular design, this technology is highly suitable for installation as a complement to offshore wind farms.
Julie De Nul, CEO Jan De Nul Group: “We are thrilled to launch the SeaVolt technology, which represents the culmination of years of hard work and innovation in offshore PV technology together with our partners. As we enter the offshore test phase, we are excited to see what this technology will become. The floating solar energy test platform is a crucial step in developing a reliable and sustainable solution. It serves as a laboratory to gain knowledge and push the technological development further. We believe SeaVolt has the potential to play a crucial role in optimizing the use of space on the sea by complementing offshore wind farms. We are excited to shape the future of renewable energy and contribute to a more sustainable future.”
Testing the solar panels
Under the framework of the Blue Cluster funded research project MPVAQUA and additional support from the federal government via BELSPO, the partners within SeaVolt together with UGent are ready to conduct a year-round open-sea testing inside the POM-West-Vlaanderen owned ‘Blue Accelerator offshore test zone’. This proof of concept installation will gather crucial data on the impact of waves, rain and salt sprays on various solar panels with different PV panel configurations. In addition, the impact of varying inclinations, caused by waves and wind, on the energy output will be closely monitored. The test aims to determine the level of protection required to shield the solar panels from seawater and bird droppings.
Testing the floater
Amongst other materials suitable for this floating technology, SeaVolt has chosen to use novel light-weight carbon fiber material in this test installation. This material presents potential benefits for offshore use however is not often used in such harsh marine conditions yet.
Optical embedded fibers and sensors attached to the structure will assess if the structural integrity (vibrations/fatigue) of the material is in line with the numerical models and results obtained from the ocean wave tank and wind tunnel tests. Since the floating structure and solar panels are driving the cost, these measurements are indispensable for further financial assessment.
Testing the ecological impact
In addition to technical tests, the SeaVolt test installation will also address ecological aspects. Various materials will be evaluated based on prevention of adverse effects on the marine environment. The test results will determine the selection of materials for further development. It is important not only to minimize the attachment of excessive marine growth to the floater to maintain its buoyancy, but also to attract and repel the appropriate species to achieve optimal interaction with the ecosystem, creating an “artificial reef.” Lastly, specific tests will be conducted to assess combining the floater systems with mussel cultivation and oyster farming, which present specific challenges.
This crucial test, targeting all aspects of SeaVolt technology to develop a reliable, cost-efficient, and sustainable solution, will be the first installation in the Belgian North Sea aimed at the large-scale development of offshore solar energy. Since this test is only containing a few solar panels for a rather large floater construction, it is not to be seen as a first prototype of the full scale. It is rather a laboratory to gain knowledge and push the technological development further. The expectations for this new application of solar energy are high. Offshore solar energy provides an additional opportunity to produce local green energy. Combined with offshore wind, it aligns with the strategy of multi-use sites and can optimize the use of existing electrical infrastructure.
Promising European market
The significant potential of offshore solar energy is also recognized internationally. It has captured the attention of the European Green Deal plans, with an announcement by the Dutch government to have 3 GW of offshore solar energy in operation by 2030, and concrete projects under development up to 100 MW. Technology development is essential to achieve these ambitions. With this offshore test, SeaVolt is taking the critical initial step to further advance large-scale marine floating solar energy. Based on the experience gained so far, the developed technology and the consortium behind it are today viewed as amongst most promising by the market.
Next steps for SeaVolt
Meanwhile, ecological research and economic research is ongoing amongst others covering future LCOE evolutions analysis. To ensure further development, Seavolt is preparing for a large-scale demonstration project within an offshore wind farm. As such the potential of integrating offshore floating solar inside an offshore windfarm will be further assessed. If all goes well, large-scale offshore solar energy is expected to become a reality and in this case, Seavolt hopes to secure a significant share in this new development of the already strong Belgian offshore sector.
The Port of Valencia begins electrification of its docks
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A new step in the decarbonisation of the Port of Valencia and its firm commitment to be an emission neutral site by 2030. The Port Authority of Valencia (APV) has put out to tender the drafting and execution of the works for the electrical connection to ships for the Transversal Costa-MSC quay. This is the first electrification or Onshore Power Supply (OPS) project to be carried out by Valenciaport in the Valencian precinct.
The APV is thus initiating the procedure for the award of the contract for the drafting and execution of the project for the installation of electrical connections for ships and the maintenance of the same at the Transversal de Costa quay. To this end, Valenciaport has jointly launched the drafting of the construction project, the execution of its works and the maintenance of the installations in the same procedure for an amount of 12,468,626.8 euros (VAT included).
Onshore Power Supply (OPS) electrification infrastructures have been consolidated as a very useful tool for the decarbonisation of ports, as this system avoids the use of auxiliary engines of ships when they are docked in the enclosures. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions – due to the use of electricity that eliminates the consumption of fossil fuels used in these auxiliary engines – and stops the emission of particles and polluting gases.
This OPS initiative in the Port of Valencia will be carried out in parallel with the works on the new electrical substation – a second substation is also planned – which was put out to tender last month with a base budget of around 11 million euros and a completion period of 24 months. This infrastructure will be responsible for supplying green energy to the first OPS electrification project of the Transversal de Costa-MSC quay.
In this regard, Joan Calabuig, president of Valenciaport, stressed that “these are just two examples of real projects in the execution phase that confirm the firm commitment that Valenciaport is making to achieve the goal of being a zero-emissions port by 2030, twenty years ahead of the European Green Pact. It is a commitment to sustainability and to the society of our environment that is supported by initiatives such as the electrification of the docks, the use of hydrogen in port operations, the installation of photovoltaic plants or the commitment to intermodality with the railway. We are committed to sustainable growth that reinforces our position as a port of reference in the Mediterranean”.
Project included in the Next Generation Funds
The joint contracting of the preparation of the project and the execution of the corresponding works in the same procedure is carried out in response to the fact that there are no references in Europe compatible with the ISO/IEC/IEEE 80005 standard and in Spain there is currently no previous experience of OPS projects in operation with the characteristics of the pilot project defined by the Port Authority of Valencia. The combination of the individual components required for this type of installation (transformers, protection cells, disconnectors, frequency converters, etc.) with infrastructures for supplying electricity to ships requires specific projects, with technically complex solutions that have to be designed specifically for each location. In addition, and given that the execution of the construction project is subsidised by the European Union’s Next Generation funds and the Spanish Government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the joint tender is the only way to meet the established deadlines, since if two separate contracts were launched, the one for the execution of the construction project could not be launched until the one for the drafting of the construction project had been awarded, which would mean that the work would be completed beyond the deadline for the execution of the works to meet the target set by Europe.
MOL joins GCMD as impact partner to accelerate decarbonisation
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The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation GCMD and MOL announced the signing of a five-year Impact Partnership agreement. On the same day, both parties held a signing ceremony at the GCMD office in Singapore.
Decarbonisation in the maritime industry is a challenge that needs to be achieved through accelerating collaboration and increasing investment by shipping companies, their customers, ports, energy suppliers and public sector actors. As an Impact Partner of GCMD, MOL will utilise its expertise developed over their long history and make various contributions and collaborations through its participation in GCMD’s projects, including providing access to vessels, operating data and evaluation reports so that internal learnings can be shared publicly and used for future trials.
MOL is one of the world’s leaders in the maritime industry and has been leading worldwide discussions on achieving decarbonisation. The carbon budget concept imposes a ceiling to the cumulative amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) that can be emitted globally in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius by 2050. Intermediate targets to reduce emissions, in addition to a net-zero target, are necessary. While plans are in place to adopt low or zero emissions vessels in the future, it is important to deploy measures to reduce emissions now. Such measures include the use of low-carbon and transition fuels that are available today, and deploying energy savings devices onboard vessels. MOL will bring its extensive capabilities and experience to bear as it joins GCMD and existing partners to accelerate international shipping’s decarbonisation.
Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, said: “We are proud to have MOL, one of the leading shipowners in Japan, come onboard as an Impact Partner. We are excited to tap on MOL’s track record in developing technical energy efficiency measures to broaden our perspective as we scope an initiative to help increase industry adoption of measures that can increase fuel efficiency of ships.”
Toshiaki Tanaka, Representative Director, Executive Vice President Executive Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of MOL, said: “We are very pleased to be a partner of one of the most important global coalitions. We will make our biggest effort to contribute and accelerate progress towards the net zero future in maritime industry, together with GCMD and all its partners.”
About the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) was set up on 1 August 2021 as a non-profit organisation. Our strategic partners include the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP, BW Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, Ocean Network Express, Seatrium, bp, Hapag-Lloyd and NYK. Beyond the strategic partners, GCMD has brought on board 15 partners that engage at the centre level, in addition to more than 80 partners that engage at the project level.
Strategically located in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub and second largest container port, GCMD aims to help the industry eliminate GHG emissions by shaping standards for future fuels, piloting low-carbon solutions in an end-to-end manner under real-world operations conditions, financing first-of-a-kind projects, and fostering collaboration across sectors.
Wan Hai Lines establishes its new office in India
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Aiming to further enhance service quality and gain a stronger foothold in the Indian sub-continent, Wan Hai Lines has established its India new office in Kolkata in July 2023. Contact details for the new office are as follows: WAN HAI LINES (INDIA) PVT. LTD 3rd Floor, Block C, Apeejay House, 15 Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700016 TEL: 91-33-4450 4500 According to the 2023 Foreign Trade Policy announced by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s export trade volume will reach 2 trillion US dollars in 2030.
Therefore, benefiting from government policy incentives and the shifting trend of the global supply chain, India’s status in global manufacturing and international trade is increasing, which is conducive to maintaining long-term high economic growth. And the proportion of global exports has increased significantly. In addition, the continuous economic stimulus policy will help revitalize the domestic economy, and domestic demand is expected to increase significantly. Therefore, Wan Hai is optimistic about India’s future import and export situation. And also through the establishment of a new office to improve the overall operating efficiency.
Wan Hai India Kolkata office held a grand opening reception in the evening of 27th July. During the banquet, there were many important customers & guests. The Kolkata Port Authority, Kolkata terminal operators, feeder operators and important local customers were invited to send representatives to attend the meeting to express their blessings to Wan Hai’s opening of the Kolkata market. At present, Wan Hai has six owned offices in India, namely Mumbai, Chennai, Mundra, and Vizag, Delhi and the sixth office Kolkata office. In addition to directly providing river port services, it will also simultaneously strengthen service links between India and neighboring countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan. It is expected to pursue customer first through continuous expansion in the future and sustainable business philosophy.