Who has made the biggest difference for the Dutch shipping industry; Heerema’s shorepower solution or the political parties behind the Merchant Shipping Protection Act? One of these will be presented with the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners’ (KVNR’s) annual Shipping Award.

Earlier this year, the KVNR amended the criterion for its annual Shipping Award from ‘exemplary company management concerning ship, social organisational and environmental innovation in ocean shipping’ to ‘the organisation or person that has made a real difference for the Dutch shipping industry’. This change has allowed for a remarkable nominee outside of the maritime industry: Dutch political parties. The winner of the award will be announced at the Maritime Awards Gala on 4 November in Rijswijk, the Netherlands. The Maritime Awards Foundation has now also released the official nominee videos. Watch them below.

Shorepower for Offshore Vessels

The first nominated group of companies do have ties to the maritime industry: Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC), the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Eneco have been nominated for a green shorepower business case. The project includes the plan to build an electrical infrastructure with a capacity of twenty megawatts in the Caland Canal in Rotterdam. The energy will be generated by means of Eneco’s wind turbines. It will be the largest shorepower connection for offshore vessels in the world.

This infrastructure is to supply the HMC fleet (Sleipnir, Thialf and Aegir) 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. It is estimated that 100 tonnes of CO2 will be saved per ship per day.

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 (Han ten Broeke and Sven Koopmans) and CDA (Raymond Knops and Martijn van Helvert) were nominated for their Merchant Shipping Protection Act (Wet ter Bescherming Koopvaardij), which was adopted by the Dutch Senate in 2019.

This Act allows for the use of armed private maritime security on Dutch flagged ships in piracy infested areas. 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. At the same time, the Act ensures a level playing field among maritime companies as other countries already allowed private security on board.

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