The Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) has revealed the nominees for the KVNR Shipping Award 2019. The first is Heerema Marine Contractors for a shorepower solution in Rotterdam. The second is perhaps a bit unusual as it is not a maritime organisation: the political parties behind the Merchant Shipping Protection Act.

Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) has been nominated for a green shorepower business case. The project was carried out in collaboration with energy supplier Eneco and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The project includes the plan to build an electrical infrastructure with a capacity of twenty megawatts in the Caland Canal in Rotterdam. This infrastructure is to supply the HMC fleet with energy when the ships are in the port allowing them to stay in port without generating noise or emissions, while the vessels' systems including their cranes can be operated. The energy will be generated by means of Eneco's wind turbines. 

Getting the business case right is a prerequisite for connecting HMC's vessels to shorepower. It is now a matter of implementing the theory in order to test it in practice in hopes of setting an example for others. Ultimate goal is to create multiple shorepower connections along the Caland Canal.

Law for the Protection of Merchant Shipping

Normally, KVNR Shipping Award nominees consist of maritime companies. This time, however, Dutch political parties have been nominated for their efforts to improve safety in shipping. Members of the VVD and CDA were nominated for their Merchant Shipping Protection Act (Wet ter Bescherming Koopvaardij), which was adopted by the Dutch Senate in 2019. For more than ten years, Dutch shipowners, together with numerous maritime and logistics organisations, have called on the Dutch government to take measures to provide Dutch seagoing vessels with adequate protection against piracy. The deployment of Defence personnel and equipment is not always an option. Armed private maritime security offers a solution, but was not allowed up until now. 

The Act developed by Members of Parliament Han ten Broeke (VVD) and Raymond Knops (CDA) and defended by Sven Koopmans (VVD) and Martijn van Helvert (CDA), provides for this. In Dutch terms, this is a policy innovation as the government in the past felt that all combat force should be wielded by the government. 

Once the law enters into force, seafarers on board Dutch seagoing vessels will be able to sail safely in pirate-infested waters. Such regulations have been in place for some time in neighbouring countries. This means the law also prevents Dutch seagoing vessels from leaving the Dutch flag to be able to make use of private security and as such the level playing field in this area has been restored. 

Maritime Awards Gala

The KVNR Shipping Award jury determines the winner on the basis of which nominee has helped the Dutch shipowners the most in the past year. The winner will be announced at the Maritime Awards Gala on 4 November. At the Gala, four other awards will be presented: the Maritime Award KNVTS Ship of the Year, the Maritime Innovation Award, the Maritime Designer Award and the Royal Netherlands Navy Van Hengel-Spengler Award. 

Picture: Heerema's shorepower solution in the Caland Canal (still from the video below).