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Hempel expands R&D with development of fire protective coatings

With the extensive expansion of R&D in Spain, Hempel’s new state-of-the-art centre focuses on bringing high performing fire protective coatings solutions to the global market.

Intumescent coatings – passive fire protection that lengthens the time a steel structure will remain intact during a fire – provide longer evacuation times and allow emergency personnel more time to respond. That means that these advanced coatings solutions not only help protect investments, but can potentially save lives.

Naturally, as global awareness of intumescents has grown, demand has increased. Worldwide, customers are requesting high quality coating systems for fire protection together with Hempel’s package of anti-corrosive coatings. With the expansion of the state-of-the-art R&D centre in Spain, Hempel now has the opportunity to better serve these customers with a more complete protective system.

The market for passive fire protection through intumescent coatings is expected to increase over the coming years. By expanding their product portfolio to include this important safety solution, Hempel also furthers its strategic goal for growth in the Protective coatings segment.

Says Hempel Group Vice President, Marketing & Business Development Klaus Møller, “This expansion is an important step in Hempel’s growth strategy, One Hempel – One Ambition, to become one of the world’s top ten leading coating’s suppliers by 2015.”

“Along with a state-of-the-art facility, we have also established a team with years of experience in intumescent product development,” says Hempel Business Development Manager Lars Risum. “The key focus of the new team is to develop a range of highly competitive intumescent coatings and protective systems to give our customers more integrated solutions.”

Hempel has worked with fire protection coatings for many years. Now, with the new centre in Spain fully operational, Hempel looks to boost its R&D activities and offer customers some of the best performing and competitive coatings solutions in the industry. The new fire protection laboratory includes an advanced testing area with furnaces, pilot manufacturing and application in an impressive 1000m2 area.

“With the new R&D facility and dedicated team, we have overcome many of the challenges in developing an intumescent product range,” Lars says. “We now look forward to bringing these important products to market and providing even greater value to our customers and stakeholders.”

MCP receive major contract from Corsica & Sardinia Ferries

Maritime Communications Partner (MCP) has strengthened its foothold in the Mediterranean through a major turnkey telecommunications contract with Corsica & Sardinia Ferries, one of Italy’s most prestigious ferry operators. The five-year contract covers Mobile Telephony, Mobile Internet, WiFi and VSAT for eight passenger ferries and plays a key role in supporting Corsica's ongoing aims to provide crew and passengers with competitive wireless communications backed by a highly reliable quality cellular network.

Corsica & Sardinia Ferries are one of the biggest operators on the Western Mediterranean Sea transporting about 3.5 million passengers annually aboard their ferries running to and from France and Italy to Corsica and Sardinia.

MCP, the leading onboard communications partner, will transform Corsica's onboard communication to a premium mobile telecoms service ready for the next generation voice and data services.

"Corsica & Sardinia Ferries is choosing avant-garde communications technology and securing the most reliable end-to-end wireless service available to the passenger ferry market. Upgrading each vessel's communications system will have a positive impact on Corsica's passenger satisfaction and fleet operation" said Pierre Mattei CEO, Corsica & Sardinia Ferries.

The contract includes the supply of network equipment and design, engineering and product management, system integration and operations. MCP's network connects through the VSAT satellite communications system to a terrestrial gateway that routes calls and data to and from the fixed telecommunications network.

MCP's mobile network is switched on and off two nautical miles from shore. Passengers may roam this network, use voice and data services, including messaging, MMS, mail, mobile Internet and Blackberry services.

According to MCP, Mediterranean ferry operators face a growing demand for reliable wireless access by passengers and commuters wishing to take advantage of the Internet and other communication services. Wireless trends are surging and upbeat ferry operators must be highly adaptable to the mobile social networking revolution.

"This contract is a vote of confidence in MCP, giving us a solid platform for expansion in the Mediterranean ferry markets," said Eivind Madsen CEO, MCP.

In keeping with its commitment to be the leading onboard communications partner to the cruise and ferry industry, MCP worked with Corsica & Sardinia Ferries to integrate a reliable, customized network and service for their ferry operation. The Corsica & Sardinia Ferries contract further cements MCP's reputation as the trusted service and technology partner offering reliable service worldwide and hassle free roaming.

"Corsica & Sardinia Ferries is a detailed, professional operator and benchmarked us against other industry competitors. Corsica & Sardinia Ferries contacted our clients to confirm our track record and promise of quality services and equipment needed to run their business. From the start we have been totally transparent and shown - through other European ferry operators - that we deliver top services and what we say," says Eivind Madsen CEO, MCP.

MCP engineers, together with local agent VBS Italy, start site surveys in this month and expect total VSAT, cellular and equipment installation completed and in operation for the first vessels in October.

Pierre Mattei of Corsica & Sardinia Ferries, said: "Our decision to choose MCP as a partner for our wireless communication needs, reaffirms the value of MCP's expertise in maritime wireless technology-orientated solutions and services. I am convinced that their technology and network, along with at-sea mobile convergence solutions and services, will contribute significantly to Corsica's position as a leading ferry operator."

Corsica & Sardinia Ferries will use the MCP network for real-time connection of its headquarters, thereby streamlining fleet operation logistics, monitoring and managing onboard sales and providing even better service management and optimization.

Wärtsilä and Shell sign co-operative agreement to promote use of LNG as a marine fuel

Wärtsilä, the marine industry's leading solutions provider, and Shell Oil Company have signed a Joint Co-operation Agreement aimed at promoting and accelerating the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The agreement was signed in August 2011 and will run for several years.

Supplies of low cost, low emissions LNG fuel will be made available to Wärtsilä natural gas powered vessel operators, and other customers by Shell. The Joint Cooperation Agreement will focus first on supplies from the US Gulf Coast, and then later expand their efforts to cover a broader geographical range.

Gas fuelled marine engines are seen as being a logical means for ship owners and operators to comply with increasingly stringent environmental legislation. This agreement aims at increasing and easing the availability of natural gas for marine engine use, as well as developing the supply chain and infrastructure to facilitate the bunkering of LNG fuel. The two companies will jointly move these developments to marine markets in order to enhance its rapid introduction and use.

Wärtsilä has been at the forefront in the development of dual-fuel engine technology, allowing the same engine to be operated on both gas and diesel fuel. This dual-fuel capability means that when running in gas mode, the environmental impact is minimized since nitrogen oxides (NOx) are reduced by some 85 percent compared to diesel operation, sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions are completely eliminated as gas contains no sulphur, and emissions of CO2 are also lowered. Natural gas has no residuals, and thus the production of particulates is practically non-existent.

In addition to the environmental benefits that LNG fuel offers, the shipping industry is increasingly looking to gas as a means of reducing operating costs. With fossil fuel prices, and especially the cost of low carbon marine fuel, likely to continue to escalate, gas is an obvious economic alternative. In promoting gas propulsion, the two companies aim at reducing client risk, thereby accelerating market demand.

"It's an exciting time for the industry to have Shell, a major player, committed to increasing the availability of clean natural gas as a marine fuel. The marine community is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits provided by Wärtsilä natural gas engines as a means of reducing both costs and the environmental footprint. Natural gas engines represent a rare "win-win", capturing emissions reduction and operational savings," says Christoph Vitzthum, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Services.

Drawing from decades of experience in the development and application of natural gas engines for both the power generation and marine industries, Wärtsilä is the global leader in this advanced technology. "Clean, safe natural gas represents a true shipping paradigm shift; years ago it was sail to steam, then came the move from steam to diesel, and now it's a new era for gas propulsion," says Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

"We are pleased to work with Wärtsilä to move forward with this significant step in introducing LNG-powered vessels into the US market, providing a clean, abundant and affordable fuel option," said David Lawrence, Shell's executive vice president Exploration and Commercial.

Survitec Service and Distribution wins new orders from Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has placed orders with marine safety specialist Survitec Service and Distribution (SSD) for 160 Crewfit Twin 2010 SOLAS approved gas inflation lifejackets and 100 Crewsaver Cell Drysuits, as part of a commitment to provide its crews with state-of-the-art safety gear at all times.

The cruise company, which sets a high priority on crew safety, has always specified SOLAS lifejackets for use on board, even when sailors are performing routine tasks in port. SSD's Crewfit Twin 2010 was designed to meet the stringent performance criteria of the SOLAS 2010 regulations (MSC200(80)). The lifejacket features two completely independent buoyancy chambers, each providing over 275N of buoyancy, with pressure release valves venting off excess gas on inflation.

The unique shaping of the inflation chamber gives improved body angle, mouth freeboard and face plane angles when in the water. Fitted with Hammar hydrostatic automatic inflation mechanisms, the jackets are resistant to accidental firing due to spray and excessive damp, making them ideal for use in lifeboats, rescue boats or ships tenders.  In use the Crewfit Twin 2010 is easy to don, light and flexible. It is ideal for wearing while working as well as for rescue or abandonment situations. The state-of-the-art design takes crew safety to a new level with the high buoyancy level providing added protection when heavy work gear and clothing is worn.

Princess Cruises has also equipped each of its vessels with a supply of Crewsaver Cell Drysuits for use by its Damage Control teams. The suits will provide protection from the wet and cold if crews need to deal with an emergency situation such as water ingress below the water line. The type of challenges that cruise ships might face at sea make it vital that crew have the necessary equipment and experience in place to be able to remedy any damage.

The Crewsaver Cell Drysuit offers total wind and water protection. 'Glideskin' neoprene neck and cuff seals make the suits easy and quick to don, while ensuring there is a tight seal against water ingress, keeping the wearer dry, warm and comfortable. Access is through a front zip for ease of use, while an engineered shape ensures excellent flexibility and freedom of movement. The suit is part of the Crewsaver leisure range, with an established reputation for durability and performance.

Princess is one of the premiere cruise lines in the world. Its fleet carries more than a million passengers each year to more worldwide destinations than any other major line and the safety of its passengers and crew is the company's number one priority. Last year the company equipped all vessels with SSD Man Over Board (MOB) Recovery Systems. The SSD MOB System can be deployed from the ship's pilot door to recover a person if difficult sea conditions prohibit the launch of a rescue boat.

Juha Heikinheimo appointed President of Napa Group

Juha Heikinheimo (54) has been appointed to the position of President of Napa Group (Napa Ltd), a world leading provider of software solutions for the maritime industry. The appointment takes effect on September 1, 2011. Heikinheimo assumes the position from Matti Salo, who successfully served as President of Napa Group for eleven years. Salo will continue as President of the subsidiary, Onboard-Napa Ltd. He will focus his attention on customers and boosting the growth of the NAPA for Operations business.

Juha Heikinheimo has extensive experience of the shipbuilding industry. Most recently, he has served as President of STX Finland Oy. Earlier he worked as President of the Santasalo Group, and he also has about twenty years´ experience of various management positions within the Metso Group in Finland, France and Singapore. Heikinheimo started his career as a naval architect at Rauma Shipyard in 1983.

"The Napa Group is ready to exploit the new growth opportunities facing us," says Ari Elo, Chairman of the Board of Napa Ltd. "Our goal is to grow and further strengthen our position as a leading provider of software solutions and services for the maritime industry. I am very pleased to have Juha Heikinheimo onboard. I believe that his business and management skills combined with his strong background in shipbuilding will be of great value to the Napa Group. I am convinced that with these two experienced leaders, Heikinheimo and Salo, the Napa Group will be able to reach its bold growth targets," Elo continues.

"I am truly delighted to join the dynamic and successful Napa Group. As a global leader and forerunner in its industry, Napa's strength lies in its ability to offer customers user-friendly and reliable software solutions for the vessels entire life cycle  from design to operation. We will work together with the entire Napa team to identify new ideas and business opportunities that will further strengthen Napas position as a leading maritime software solutions provider," Juha Heikinheimo says. 

"We are witnessing remarkable growth in software solutions markets for ship operations. Our intention is to work actively to grow our share of these markets. Napa is committed to developing and delivering solutions and services that will improve the performance of our customers. Energy efficiency and safety together with environment friendly and sustainable solutions will become ever more important, not least due to new, stricter regulations and legislation. Napa can already provide fully compliant solutions for its customers," Matti Salo states.

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