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Merganser: BV Certifies World’s First Solar Solution Prototype for SolarDuck’s Floating Offshore



Bureau Veritas (BV), a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), has awarded the Dutch-Norwegian renewable energy company SolarDuck the world’s first Prototype Certification for a floating offshore solar technology, as applied in SolarDuck’s 0.5 MW pilot “Merganser”.

This certification represents a significant step forward in the development of marine renewable energy technologies for offshore applications.

The Merganser project, developed by SolarDuck and supported by RWE, features an offshore floating solar pilot with a capacity of 520 kWp. Comprising six interconnected platforms, the solution is designed to withstand challenging offshore conditions, including high waves, strong winds, and corrosive environments. The design has been certified to withstand a maximum wave height of 11.6 meters (with a directional 10-year return period) at a water depth of 21.5 meters (MSL) at the North Sea Farmers test site. It will be deployed off the coast of The Hague, Netherlands, providing a real-world operational environment to evaluate its performance and resilience in the dynamic North Sea.

Bureau Veritas has been actively supporting SolarDuck in its pioneering efforts to develop floating solar solutions. The certification of the Merganser prototype follows the Approval in Principle (AiP) granted for its floating structure.

Throughout the certification process, Bureau Veritas meticulously evaluated the prototype against rules and standards, including guidance note NI631 on the Certification Scheme for Marine Renewable Energy Technologies. These assessments covered various aspects such as the floating structure, mooring system, stability analysis, materials, and electrical safety systems. Moving forward, the technology will be further evaluated for a type certification.   

Don Hoogendoorn, CTO of SolarDuck, commented: “A key step in making the technology bankable is obtaining certification of the technology. As long-standing-partners, SolarDuck has cooperated closely with Bureau Veritas to verify the technology for the harsh North Sea conditions, marking a significant milestone in the development of our offshore floating solar technology”.

“The certification of SolarDuck’s prototype Merganser reflects the collaborative efforts between Bureau Veritas and industry innovators in advancing sustainable energy solutions. Our expertise in assessing structural integrity and conducting design evaluations played an important role in meeting technical standards, highlighting our commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring safety and reliability in offshore renewable energy projects”, says Martijn Nieuwenhuijs, Country Chief Executive, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Netherlands.

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Zoe Maritime Roundtable Targets Improved Passenger Safety, Using Chinese Experience



…Edodo-Emore refocuses Stakeholders’ attention on Security and new technologies in inland waterways

Significant progress will be achieved in the area boat -passenger safety amongst other gains, as Nigeria gets an infrequent opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience in improving general service delivery in-country.

The Chinese Consul-General in Nigeria, Madam Yan Yuqing, one of the key speakers at a Zoe Maritime Summit is expected, in addition to dissecting the topic of improving services delivery, to also offer, useful ideas and lessons on safe inland waterways operations in Nigeria.

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Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

The Summit promoter,  and CEO of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore told Maritime First that the discussion is designed to inland waterways operators the knowledge to better manage the sector, particularly, towards improving boat passenger safety.

 Consequently, a major highlight of the Summit is a presentation on the Chinese experience in the management of inland waterways.

The Barrister highlighted that with the theme: “Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation”, the Zoe Resources Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting h places at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos should be a must-to-attend Summit. 

*Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore

Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore noted that prominent maritime personalities and revered industry players have confirmed readiness to grace the occasion.

Among these are the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,. Adegboyega Oyetola is scheduled to unveil the Ministry’s focus and plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services, an intervention that has agitated the minds of inland waterway operators since his appointment last year.

Others are Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Company Ltd (NBTC), and Rhoda Olofu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Marine Police Command.


Industry technocrats, heads of security agencies and regulatory authorities expected to feature in panel discussions on the theme include the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Managing Director/CEO, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji.

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NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

Also billed to participate in the breakfast summit are port users, heads of maritime desks of banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Others are ship owners, boat owners, boat captains, log byistic companies, barge operators and any other entity whose operations are inland waterway-based.

Freight forwarders, importers and oil and gas companies will also grace the occasion.

Foreign entities from maritime nations will also feature and make interventions especially as concerns experiences in their respective nations to enable Nigerians benefit from global inland waterways visibility, network, growth and exchange of knowledge.

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FG Approves Cancelation Of 25% Penalty On Improperly Imported Vehicles



The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the cancellation of the 25 per cent penalty previously imposed on improperly imported vehicles by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) under the directives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

A 90-day window, effective from 4th March 2024 to 5th July 2024, for the regularisation of import duties on specific categories of vehicles, was approved by the minister with a 25% penalty.

According to a press statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of NCS, CSC Abdullahi Maiwada, to ease economic hardship and encourage compliance, the Honourable Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the suspension of the 25% penalty previously imposed in addition to import duty on improperly imported vehicles.

 “Stakeholders, including vehicle owners, importers, and agents, are therefore encouraged to seize this opportunity to regularise import duty payments within the designated 90-day time frame,” the release noted.

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Bleste: Latvian Equipment Manufacturer Introduces New Bulk Handling ‘Bucket’



Bleste Sia has introduced a new ‘Bleste Bucket’ bulk handling solution, a modern iteration of the traditional bulk grab container, which though is a simple innovation, yet productively improves dry bulk handling, for companies looking for efficiency, cost and speed gains. 

According to Dinis Hruscovs, Managing Director of the Latvian company, the Bleste Bucket speeds up bulk cargo logistics, especially for terminals, and in a durable way: the bucket is manufactured of a very sturdy quality and with dimensions that suit terminals, trucks, vessels, and (mobile) cranes. “Dump trucks can drive right into the bucket, a unique feature. This means there is no spillover onto the pier, reducing waste, dirt and dust in addition to less time and cost spent on cleaning up afterwards. The crane operator then lifts the bucket from the pier onto the vessel to discharge, again with less dust than caused by, for example, orange-peel grabs.”

As MPP vessels often have 30t cranes and the bucket container weighs 10t, its carrying capacity is kept to 20t standard. The Bleste Bucket comes with standard links and chains for immediate hook-up with a crane. However, as the bucket can actually take up 30t of bulk, stronger links and chains can be installed if clients wish to use it at that capacity.

Due to its smart design, there is no need for extra employees or equipment when using the Bleste Bucket – only a crane operator and dump truck driver are needed, perfect for environments where infrastructure or port handling equipment is scarce. Traditionally a bulk grab would need to make multiple rounds to move cargo from a dump truck to a container. Also, when loading a vessel hold, the crane capacity is not fully used. Per cubic meter, the Bleste Bucket provides savings on time spent on loading and discharging, clean-up time and cost, and the use of personnel.

Parallel loading

The Bleste Bucket is especially useful for scarcely or non-equipped piers, as the Bucket can be handled on a vessel that already has a boom crane which makes for easier handling in those circumstances.  In fact, multiple cranes can be used for parallel loading, making it even more cost and time-efficient.  

High Load Capacity Due to Hardox® Steel

This easy-to-clean container is made from Hardox® steel, a high-quality abrasion and impact-resistant material sourced in Sweden and known for its strength and resilience. The steel and its structural properties give the Bleste Bucket excellent strength and durability. 

Positive impact on African ports and terminals

In the African market where many piers and quaysides tend not to be equipped with a crane, the Bleste Bucket is an excellent solution.  As the crane and bucket are already on the vessel, all that is needed is for the crane to move the Bleste Bucket on the pier for loading.  It’s simple, efficient and fills a need in an emerging market.  

After testing, the first Bleste Buckets have already been delivered to launching customers. The company is now ready to ship them to customers worldwide. Bleste Buckets can be produced on demand within one month.  

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