Crisis averted after tanker stuck in Suez Canal is refloated

The 64,000-ton fuel tanker AFFINITY V drifted southbound, blocking the southern segment of the canal at around 7.00 pm local time on 31 August.

Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, Head of the Suez Canal Authority, announced at midnight on 1 September that rescue units and the authority’s tugs had successfully refloated the tanker, with traffic returning to normal.

The vessel failed due to a technical malfunction at the ship’s rudder, which caused the ship to lose the ability to steer and strand.

Immediately after the accident, a working group was formed under the leadership of the Lieutenant-General and the navigation monitors, and coordination was made with the Port Tawfiq Movement Office to take the necessary measures.

The Suez Canal was crippled in March 2021 when the Ever Given ran aground, causing billions in lost trade.

The mega-ship ran aground on 23 March as it travelled through one of the globe’s main trade arteries.

The canal was unblocked after the vessel was fully refloated on 29 March.

Liebherr unveils first all-electric transshipment crane

Liebherr has introduced its first ever all-electric transshipment crane.

The CBG 500 E crane combines drive technologies with Liebherr’s own crane control system “Master V”.

Another highlight is the energy recovery system LiCaTronic®, which makes optimum use of the energy available.

The new all-electric crane CBG 500 E expands the transshipment solutions portfolio with a reliable machine that offers a handling performance of up to 2,000 tonnes per hour.

The all-electric drives inside the crane in combination with the supercapacitors turn the rope luffing CBG 500 E into a unique handling solution in the market.

The supercapacitors used as standard in Liebherr’s own LiCaTronic® energy recovery system support the increasing requirements regarding energy efficiency.

The boom of the CBG 500 E was designed as a lattice boom. This makes it particularly stiff and light, which further improves the turnover performance and at the same time reduces the energy need.

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The result is a lifting capacity of up to 105 tonnes in hook operation and a maximum grab capacity of up to 90 tonnes.

The extension of the cabin and the high positioning ensure that the crane operator has an optimal viewing angle of all processes. The crane operator is supported operationally by the new, integrated “Master V” crane control system.

Together with a more efficient software architecture, it forms the basis for integrating future assistance and automation systems into the crane in the long term.

The crane can be configured with 43 metre and 50 metre boom. The longer boom variant offers the decisive advantage of enabling direct transshipment between two vessels in sheltered and open water.

The modes of operation range from bulk to container handling and are independent of the area of operation.

For installation on a barge, the crane can be equipped with additional counterweights, enabling safe cargo handling. Optional configuration options such as a comfort ascent or additional platforms and boom walkways for maintenance purposes can also be configured.

Port of Singapore to install major 5G network

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a 5G mobile network at the Port of Singapore.

Full maritime 5G coverage will be deployed in major anchorages, fairways, terminals, and boarding grounds.

Delivery is scheduled to be delivered by mid-2025.

The announcement was made as part of the MPA’s 9th edition of the International Safety@Sea Week, launched by Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance.

A 5G network has the potential to unlock a full suite of maritime solutions leveraging complementary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, drones and autonomous vehicles, to improve safety, effectiveness and efficiencies in maritime operations.

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said: “Digitalisation continues to shape and transform the maritime industry, acting as a key driver for global trends such as logistics and supply chain efficiency and decarbonisation.

“MPA is taking the lead to help build a robust digital maritime ecosystem for Maritime Singapore, with fast, secure and high capacity 5G connectivity as one of the cornerstones to support real-time data exchanges in the maritime domain.”

Elsewhere in the port, MPA’s incident response management and safety enforcement capabilities across the full spectrum of operations will be further strengthened through the development of the Integrated Port Operations C3 (Command, Control and Communications) system (IPOC system).

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The system is developed in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and will enhance situational awareness and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of incident responses.

The IPOC system will be progressively phased in from 2023 to 2026 as MPA upgrades its systems.

The port will also further develop its online booking and clearance platform, digitalPORT@SG.

The second phase of the port will include the Active Anchorage Management System (AAMS).

The AAMS taps on various data sources to optimise allocation of limited anchorage space for vessels. It ensures that the vessel is anchored safely taking into consideration various conditions including the wind, tide, depth and proximity to hazards.

The AAMS is scheduled to be launched in in the third quarter of 2023.

Earlier this month the MPA announced that three more berths will come into operation at Singapore’s Tuas Port by the end of the 2022.