Updates and announcements from land, sea and air – warehousing & logistics, aviation, maritime, storage, transportation and more

Welcome Voltaire
The world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank Wind Farms, is delighted to welcome the world’s largest jack-up installation vessel – Jan De Nul’s Voltaire – to the project.

The Voltaire will transport and install the world’s largest offshore wind turbines, GE’s Haliade-X, at Dogger Bank, which sits 130km off the Yorkshire coast. When complete, Dogger Bank will generate enough energy to power over 4.5 million homes every year – around five per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.

The announcement marks the first contract placed for Voltaire, which will enter into service in 2022. The vessel, named after the pioneering European Enlightenment philosopher, is fitted with a highly-advanced exhaust filtering system by means of a Selective Catalytic Reduction system and a Diesel Particulate Filter, making it the very first seagoing installation vessel of its kind to be an Ultra-Low Emission vessel.

Steve Wilson, Project Director of Dogger Bank Wind Farms, highlighted that delivering Dogger Bank will be a testament to the skills and expertise of all of the entire supply chain. “Bringing the Voltaire vessel into the Dogger Bank project means we now have the most innovative turbines on the market being installed by the largest jack-up vessel ever seen in the industry,” he added.

Carrying the load
Maritime Transport Ltd. (Maritime)’s expansion into the rail sector continues with the unveiling of two new Konecranes Noell NSC 644 E straddle carriers at its Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT). Both carriers will improve service reliability for its customer-base as well as terminal efficiency.

The new diesel-electric straddle carriers have a four-high capacity with Konecranes Noell single-lift spreaders, replacing previous units at the terminal to provide a faster, more reliable process of loading and unloading containers. Two years’ remote service support is also included in Maritime’s latest contract with Konecranes, as well as scope for two additional carriers.

This news is the latest in a number of asset acquisitions Maritime is making across its network, including new vehicles, trailers and container lifting equipment. In addition to these investments, Maritime has recently announced depot moves in Tilbury and Doncaster, and has completed the refurbishment of its newly-acquired rail terminal in Wakefield, all whilst securing new services for its intermodal customers and preparing to launch its latest intermodal rail freight terminal, East Midlands Gateway (EMG).

Expert support
Rolls-Royce has opened its new Yacht Competence Center (YCC) and Yacht Customer Care Center (Y-CCC) in La Spezia, on Italy’s northern Riviera. Taking the company closer to its yacht customers, the Yacht Competence Center is intended to strengthen contact with shipyards, offering technical support in the development and integration of the entire propulsion strand including automation, and promoting innovation. At the same time, the Customer Care Center supports yacht customer round the clock in service requests.

“Most of the world’s production yachts are built in Italy. The Yacht Competence Center puts us right there on-site with the customers, able to share information, ideas and trends with the shipyards,” explains Nicola Camuffo, who heads up the YCC.

The Yacht Competence Center and the Customer Care Center are located in the same office building, in close proximity to the shipyard industry. This provides the opportunity for a close exchange on new and existing projects, but the co-operation goes beyond Italy: “Every morning, at a stand-up meeting, we exchange ideas with our colleagues from the CCC in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and with experts from development, application technology and quality. This enables us to provide our premium yacht service efficiently and quickly,” adds Stefano Gibelli, Duty Manager of the Yacht CCC.

Smart about the climate
Thanks to its advanced solutions and technical innovations, M/S Viking Glory will be one of the most climate-smart passenger ships in the world. It is estimated that the ship will consume up to ten per cent less fuel than M/S Viking Grace, which is smaller and was hailed as the world’s most eco-friendly ship of its time.

“Viking Glory will have six Wärtsilä 31DF engines for efficient optimisation of fuel consumption. These engines have the lowest fuel consumption, but at the same time, the highest cylinder output in their segment (550 kW/cylinder),” explains Project Manager Kari Granberg, who is in charge of the new construction at Viking Line.

As with Viking Grace, Viking Glory will also have the ability to run on biogas, once it becomes a viable fuel alternative in the future. Viking Glory will also, as the first in the world, recover the waste cold from the use of LNG and recycle it for use in cold counters, cold rooms and other special rooms.

Air taxi plans
Bristol-based start-up Vertical Aerospace has revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg – the first company in the world to do so. The footage can be viewed on Vertical Aerospace’s YouTube channel.

The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales on August 22. It follows the successful flight of Vertical Aerospace’s first full-scale prototype in May 2018, the UK’s first eVTOL aircraft to be granted flight permission by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Working closely with global aviation regulators, including EASA, Vertical Aerospace will begin with piloted air taxi services on city-to-city routes. Over time, as the technology and regulatory framework develops, it will expand the number of chartered routes served, introduce elements of autonomy, and ultimately, make completely on-demand air taxis a reality.

The successful test flight comes as Vertical Aerospace announces the acquisition of MGI, an F1 engineering consultancy led by British motorsport veteran Mike Gascoyne. Gascoyne and his team of 20 specialists will form Vertical Advanced Engineering, bringing the total Vertical team to more than 70.

Flagship redevelopment
The adi Group has strengthened its credentials in the interior fit-out and distribution markets after securing a major deal with logistics experts Menzies Distribution. The contract sees the adi Building and Refurbishment business undertake work at Menzies’ largest distribution centre, in Coventry.

The new state-of-the-art 165,000 sq ft media and distribution hub has been designed to be an integral part of Menzies’ UK & Ireland operation.

Serving the firm’s network of 65 regional hubs, adi Building & Refurbishment was brought in to play a key role in the development process, delivering both internal and external work to tight deadlines and quick turnaround times.

Fitting out offices, reception areas and the main warehouse, adi has been heavily involved in the Menzies project, engaging with architects, local authorities and planning parties on behalf of the client.

External work has included new barriers, turnstiles and halogen fencing, as Menzies significantly steps up its portfolio of print media haulage in the UK.

Fully operational
Dachser UK’s key investment in the northwest of England is fully operational. After announcing the development of a new logistics centre at the beginning of the year, the logistics service provider, part of the international Dachser group, has moved rapidly to complete the newly built 5175 square metre hub.

The development of the 3.7-hectare site represents a £14.4m investment by the company and is evidence of Dachser’s commitment to the UK market. In particular, it strengthens the company’s presence in the northern UK region and will further improve its transport and distribution services in one of British industry’s heartlands.

The location is optimally situated from a logistics viewpoint, adjacent to the Trans-Pennine motorway, which is an important artery of the UK’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’. The new facility has 49 dock loading doors and an additional four level access doors, and the build is nearly 7000 square metres, including office space.

Next step in construction
Nexans hosted the grand block ceremony for their new cable installation vessel, the ‘Nexans Aurora’ in October 2019. The vessel will be completed at Ulstein Verft in Norway. The grand blocks for the hull are currently being assembled at CRIST, Poland, and representatives from the owner, shipbuilders, ship designer and other partnering companies were present at the celebration.

The design is based on the combined experience of Nexans, Skipsteknisk, Ulstein Verft and MAATS Tech, each among the world leading in producing subsea cables, umbilical systems and installation vessels for worldwide operations.

With a large 10,000-tonne capacity split turntable, the DP3 cable laying vessel represents a next step in offshore renewables. She will be outfitted for power cable laying, including bundle laying, cable jointing and repair and cable system protection and trenching. The vessel is developed for operations in rough weather and has high manoeuvrability and station keeping capabilities.

Smart ship plus satcom
Intellian has launched a satcom package for smart ships with marine engineering and service provider Hyundai Global Service (HGS), a subsidiary of the world’s number one shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) group.

This world-first service is a combination of HHI’s ‘Integrated Smart Ship (ISS)’ solution – a digital ecosystem for vessel and fleet management which incorporates a powerful data analysis platform – and Intellian’s satellite communications antenna systems. HGS selected Intellian as partner due to its broad range of innovative, resilient antennas, and its flexibility to operate with global service providers to provide comprehensive service to customers.

The new package will provide HGS with a standardised smart ship package to supply for newly-built HHI ships, while Intellian will secure new customers. Moreover, as it offers internet provision right from the sea trial, customers are freed from the inconvenience of fitting network services to the vessel. HGS will also provide customer support for any smart ship solution issues, guaranteeing faster response times and trustworthy service.