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TTS to supply shell doors and platforms for Star Cruises newbuilds

TTS Marine AB, part of the international TTS Group, has been chosen to provide electric shell door solutions and complete electric drive systems for two mega cruise ships built at the German shipyard Meyer Werft. The sister ships, commissioned by the leading Asia-Pacific cruise line Star Cruises, will be the first large cruise vessels with all-electric shell doors.

"We appreciate this opportunity to develop further our important relationship with Meyer Werft and of course take great pride in providing energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions for the next generation of cruise ships," says Mats Olsson, Sales Manager Cruise at TTS.

TTS’ scope of supply for the Star Cruises project includes all-electric shell doors, cargo elevators, loading platforms and tender embarkation platforms with electrically operated aluminium stairs for crew and passengers. According to Olsson, TTS’ electric systems have a number of obvious advantages over hydraulic ones.

"They are more energy-efficient and quieter and require less maintenance as there is no need to maintain hydraulic hoses or cylinder seals. The system is very compact and will save space in the ship compared to a central hydraulic power system.. Since installing electric cables is easier than fitting pipes, electric systems also save time and cost during shipbuilding. Add the fact that electric systems eliminate the risk of spillage of hydraulic oil and there is no doubt that they both contribute to a greener cruise industry and reduce the vessels’ lifetime costs."

The electric solution developed by TTS runs on standard marine voltage and have a robust mechanical design with quick and simple installation of the electric actuators, which creates easy service access and redundancy. All installations will be fully integrated with a data bus system in a user-friendly interface. The solutions are also designed to facilitate a remote monitoring and fault- finding system via satellite or 3G.

The 151,000 ton 21-deck cruise ships will each accommodate some 5,000 passengers.

"We will of course do our uttermost to facilitate smooth and efficient handling of passengers and cargo and ensure that our solutions in detail match the expectations of modern cruise passengers," Olsson says.

The first ship, to be named Genting World, is due for delivery to Star Cruises in fall 2016; its sister ship a year later. They will both be put in service in the rapidly growing Asian cruise market.

MCP CEO: Coming 4G networks can revolutionize cruise ship passenger experience

The days of the thoroughly immersed and mobile-connected passenger are not on the horizon. Instead, those days have already arrived, says Maritime Communications Partner CEO Frode Stoldal.

Stoldal, who has been at the helm of MCP as its CEO for six months, worked hard trying during his time at Cruise Shipping Miami to convince major cruise lines that they need to start "thinking more outside of the box" as far as how to optimize the benefits of Internet connectivity on their ships.

MCP has signed a six-year contract with Norwegian oil company Statoil to build the world's largest 4G network at sea. The offshore network -- on the Norwegian Continental Shelf – uses oil rigs, platforms and supply vessels to expand coverage.  This type of project, which is in its pilot phase now and expected to be fully ready by the end of the year, will be used by ferries initially.
But Stoldal says the implications of this expanding technology and connectivity speeds can be a game-changer for cruise ships. MCP has options to build similar networks off South America and Africa.

"The cruise industry is still in a 2G and 3G world," Stoldal said. "They are decades behind. Their customers want a better experience for Facebook and other ways of being connected.
"You have to invest in digital technology."

MCP has more than 60 cruise ship clients. The company signed a contract in January to provide advanced mobile communication services for 33 Carnival Corp. vessels. But MCP thinks the lines can do more to interact with their customers who increasingly want to remain attached to their mobile phones while cruising.

In Stoldal's vision: the cruise line gives passengers faster speeds onboard and continues to have conversations with them throughout the cruise (text messages announce specials and onshore activities, for example), provides services (ticketing for events onshore) and stays in touch after their holidays are over (marketing). For MCP, the "connected passenger experience" works along a spectrum that connects, informs, interacts, analyzes and personalizes.

Stoldal says virtualized software packages placed on ships with the new system would enable ships to cache content and save bandwidth, which improves speed and the overall customer experience. Such upgrades can also improve how equipment communicates with equipment within ship systems, Stoldal says.

"You have to make your ship intelligent," he said. "You have to invest in digital technology. The industry is a little conservative … it needs a refresher when it comes to technology. Not just 'Give me cheaper bandwidth.' "

GE to propel new MSC Cruises 'Seaside' ships

When it comes to taking thousands of passengers on the luxury cruise of a lifetime, it’s reassuring to have a name like GE ensuring you a smooth and pleasant journey.  While MSC with its next generation ships may be setting off to conquer more distant waters, it won’t be making the voyage alone:  GE Marine will continue to propel the way.

Since confirming in 2014 the order for two new cruise liners to be delivered by Fincantieri in 2017 and 2018, GE has now been selected to lead the Italian consortium that will power MSC Crociere’s planned ‘Seaside’ platform. The two new cruise ships will join the existing fleet of 12 vessels, all of which use electrical propulsion from GE.

Fincantieri once again is employing sea proven technology from GE Marine that has eliminated the need for harmonic filters and reactive power compensation and therefore offers improved safety among other benefits. The GE solution will also ensure a less complicated installation and cabling process while the reduced weight on board ships brings fuel savings and altogether lowers MSC’s operating costs.

“In an increasingly competitive market it is crucial to keep advancing with safer and more efficient solutions,” said Massimo Costa, VP Head of Purchasing Cruise BU, Fincantieri. “GE Power Conversion produces the right technology to simplify our operation,” added Emilio La Scala, General Manager, MSC Cruisetech.

Leading the project consortium with other Italian partners, GE will provide on-board technology that includes propulsion control along with transformers, VFDs core components, slow speed propulsion motors and distribution transformers.

“We are extremely pleased that Fincantieri and MSC Crociere have once again chosen GE for the propulsion of their ships, and we feel confident that with GE Power Conversion heading up the project we will see a successful outcome.” said Paul English, Marine Leader, GE Power Conversion, “As the popularity of cruise holidays continues to grow,we anticipate the demand for cruise ships to virtually double within a decade.  We are excited to be part of this fast growing industry.”

ABB's marine solutions to boost efficiency, reliability and flexibility of Tallink's first LNG-powered ferry

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, today announced that the company has won an order to deliver complete electric power plant, electrical propulsion systems and an energy management solution for Estonia-based Tallink Grupp´s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered fast ferry. This deliver will strengthen ABB´s position as the leading supplier of electrical propulsion systems for LNG-powered ferries.

The large-scale ferry will be built at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland for delivery in the beginning of 2017. The vessel will be about 212 meters in length with a gross tonnage of 49,000. The ferry, planned to carry 2,800 passengers, will operate between Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The ferry route, when measured in annual passenger volumes, is the one of the most significant in the Baltic Sea region with approximately 7.4 million passengers in 2013. The passengers on the route between Helsinki and Tallinn represent the vast majority (over 80%) of the passenger traffic in the Port of Tallinn.

ABB’s delivery will help the new ship to minimize fuel and power consumption while providing reliable power supply for all the electrical power equipment and systems in the LNG powered ferry. ABB will deliver the complete power plant and propulsion systems, including efficient, well-proven synchronous propulsion motors and ACS600SD drives, medium voltage generators, the main switchboard, propulsion transformers, and thruster motors. ABB will also provide engineering, project management and commissioning services including remote diagnostic services, comprehensive training for the crew and an access to ABB´s worldwide marine service network that will guarantee a professional service contacts in both ports.

The new vessel’s energy efficiency will be taken one step further with ABB’s energy management system EMMA, which will support the vessels’ crew in managing energy-related processes, practices and decision-making, minimizing the vessels’ overall energy costs.

LNG as a shipping fuel can help significantly reduce the environmental impacts of maritime transport. With this fuel, NOx, SOx and particulate emissions can be reduced by 85-100% in comparison with heavy fuel oil (HFO). As an LNG-powered ship, the new ferry will comply with the new strict emission regulations for the Emission Control Areas (ECA), which include the Baltic Sea.

 “Meyer Turku is one of Europe’s leading shipyards and we are happy to continue working with them on this advanced newbuild for Tallink Grupp,” says Heikki Soljama, Managing Director for ABB’s Marine and Ports business. “Electrical propulsion is a natural choice for modern LNG-powered ferries that require efficient and reliable solutions that increase the vessel’s flexibility. With a full delivery of power and propulsion solutions, an energy management system and service support, ABB can help Tallink Grupp optimize the operational efficiency of this new generation LNG ferry.”

“When designing the new LNG-powered ferry, we selected world-class solutions and suppliers that will make the vessel environmentally sustainable throughout and operationally efficient for many years to come. As the market leader in the Tallinn-Helsinki route, we are proud to set the standard for the next generation of passenger ferries,” says Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik, Head of Ship management from AS Tallink Grupp. “As ABB is the world´s leading supplier of propulsion and power systems for passenger vessels, we also expect first class support on operation.”

During the last two decades, ABB has delivered marine solutions to 34 passenger vessels built by Meyer Group, which is renowned for building many of the world’s most advanced cruise vessels.

New Tallink ferry to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines

 A new fast ropax ferry ordered by the Estonia based Tallink Grupp for its Tallinn - Helsinki route, will feature Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines running primarily on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship is to be built at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and is scheduled to be in operation from the beginning of 2017. The contract with Wärtsilä was signed in February.

By opting for Wärtsilä's industry leading dual-fuel (DF) engine technology with LNG used as the main fuel, the ship will comply with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) latest sulphur emissions legislation which came into force in January 2015. The Baltic Sea is designated as a Sulphur Emissions Control Area (SECA). When operating in gas mode, the sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions from the Wärtsilä DF engines are negligible at almost zero percent. Furthermore, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are at least 85 percent below those specified in the current IMO regulations, and CO2 emissions are some 25 percent less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel.

 The full scope of supply includes three 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 50DF and two 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 50DF main engines, as well as two Wärtsilä fixed pitch propellers and propeller shaft lines. The equipment will be delivered to the yard in early 2016.

 "The ferry will operate at fairly high speed and to very tight schedules. It is, therefore, important to the customer that the main engine propulsion is highly efficient and extremely reliable. Wärtsilä's extensive track record is proof of our ability to meet these criteria. At the same time, we are the leading supplier of gas fuelled solutions to the marine industry and this was another reason for being awarded this important contract," says Mika Ojutkangas, General manager, Sales, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

 "The Wärtsilä engines are more energy efficient and thus consume less fuel, and for a next generation environmentally sustainable ferry that is what we were especially looking for," says Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik, Head of Shipmanagement of AS Tallink Grupp.

 The new 212 metre long ferry will have a gross tonnage of 49,000 and will carry 2800 passengers.