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Environmental Monitoring


March 2014 Issue

Japanese Companies Participate In Joint SOx, PCC Project
Class society ClassNK (Tokyo, Japan) announced that it will participate in a new joint development project to install and verify the effectiveness of new sulfur oxide (SOx) scrubber technology onboard a pure car carrier (PCC) being carried out by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line of Tokyo), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI of Tokyo), Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha Ltd. (MKK of Kawasaki, Japan) and Japan Marine United Corp. (JMU of Tokyo).

This joint research project is being implemented as part of K-Line's Drive Green Project, which aims to protect the environment and reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the use of maritime technogy. As part of the Drive Green Project, K-Line will install a variety of new green technologies, including a new Hybrid SOx Scrubber System developed by MHI and MKK, on a 7,500 unit PCC being built at JMU for delivery in 2016. The vessel will be the flagship of a series of eight new PCCs currently on order by K-line. In addition to carbon dioxide emissions, SOx emissions are a major concern for shipowners and operators. Under amendments to MARPOL Annex VI which regulate harmful emissions from ships, the IMO will lower the cap on sulfur emissions for vessels in Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECA) such as the Baltic and North Seas to 0.10 percent from January 1, 2015.

Station Papa Prelim Data Available at OOI Website
The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) has made preliminary data available on the OOI website from Station Papa in the Gulf of Alaska at http://oceanobservatories.org/data/station-papa-preliminary-data.

A team led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with their partners at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in July 2013 deployed the Station Papa equipment, including one global hybrid profiler mooring, two mesoscale flanking moorings and three global gliders. These data were collected by the OOI project purely for internal system development purposes during the construction phase of the project and are offered for release to the public with no assurance of data quality, consistency or additional support.

Restoring Wetlands Helps Mitigate Climate Change
Restore America's Estuaries has released the findings of a study that confirms the climate mitigation benefits of restoring tidal wetland habitat in the Snohomish Estuary, located within the U.S.'s second largest estuary: Puget Sound. The study finds major climate mitigation benefits from wetland restoration and provides an approach for assessing carbon fluxes for historic drained and future restored wetlands, which can now be transferred and applied to other geographies.

The study, 'Coastal Blue Carbon Opportunity Assessment for Snohomish Estuary: The Climate Benefits of Estuary Restoration' finds that currently planned and in-construction restoration projects in the Snohomish estuary will result in at least 2.55 million tons of carbon dioxide sequestered from the atmosphere over the next 100 years. This is equivalent to the one-year emissions for 500,000 average passenger cars. If Snohomish estuary were fully restored, the sequestration potential jumps to 8.9 million tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the one-year emissions of about 1.7 million passenger cars.

In addition to the climate benefits outlined by the study, healthy and restored estuaries act as spawning grounds and nurseries for commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish species, provide storm buffers for coastal communities, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife, as well as recreational opportunities.

Kongsberg Unveils Leak Detection, Environmental Monitoring System
Leak detection and environmental monitoring within the offshore renewables and oil and gas sectors are a key focus for Kongsberg Maritime (Kongsberg, Norway) at Oceanology International 2014, with the world launch of a new approach to subsea monitoring. The Modular Subsea Monitoring-Network (MSM) is a flexible solution deployable on projects of all types and scales and is designed to offer continuous monitoring of the subsea environment and alerting of events such as oil and gas leakages from subsea installations, pipelines and risers. The first MSM systems will be delivered in 2014.

'The global demand for energy challenges the offshore oil and gas industry to push the boundaries and seek resources in extreme environments,' said S'ren Themann, managing director of Kongsberg Maritime Embient GmbH (Halstenbek, Germany). 'Increasing environmental awareness within the public and industry bodies and more enthusiasm within the industry itself to minimize environmental impact is driving new requirements for effective monitoring and safe process control systems. With the MSM we are meeting these requirements in a straightforward, modular package, meaning that the same core framework can be used regardless of the project or location.'

The MSM is built on a foundation of field-proven technology, including Kongsberg cNODE for underwater acoustic positioning and data link, a range of Kongsberg hydroacoustic sensors and third-party sensors, and chemical sensors and hydrocarbon sniffers from Kongsberg Maritime partner CONTROS Systems & Solutions GmbH (Kiel, Germany). Advanced data processing and power management strategies ensure MSM's ability to deliver sensor data continuously for long-duration missions. The modularity and scalability of the MSM allows for easy deployment and adaptation to different monitoring tasks, ranging from very early leak detection and condition monitoring around subsea structures to environmental monitoring on the seabed and in the water column.

The MSM was developed in cooperation with Kongsberg's newly acquired company, Embient, which has developed a strong in-house competence in underwater inspection and monitoring, as well as subsea leak detection. Also key to MSM's development was the inclusion of technology from CONTROS, a developer of underwater sensor systems to detect dissolved gasses such as hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and oxygen, as well as oil in water. Kongsberg Maritime acquired 10 percent of the shares in CONTROS in December 2013.


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