October 2014 - Kemplon Engineering

eLearning in the Maritime Industry

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eLearning or distance learning has become an ubiquitous part of our very mobile, tech-driven society. A wide range of courses and certifications from all kinds of learning institutions are available in this format, giving people the flexibility to complete their chosen fields of study pretty much anytime, anywhere. Distance learning is available for courses relevant to many industries. How is this educational option applied in the maritime industry?

What is eLearning?

Distance learning or eLearning are remote, formalized learning systems delivered through technologies like audio recordings, videos, webcasts, video conferences, computer programs, online forums and the Internet. As opposed to traditional educational formats, distance learning provides more flexibility in terms of geography and time, allowing students to complete educational requirements remotely and in many cases, according to their own schedules.

eLearning in the Maritime Industry

In the decade or so since eLearning was introduced to the world and gained momentum, the format has reportedly produced good learning results on top of the benefits of flexibility, remote availability, and more often than not, affordability.

In 2010, for example, Lloyd’s Maritime Academy claimed that the recession led to a 9% bump in applications for distance learning courses. This is likely from people seeking cost-efficient education, and/or to improve their skills and knowledge in an effort to be more “recession proof.” Lloyd’s is one of several choices maritime professionals have for e-learning. According to their website, they expect to see 2,000 international enrollees this year to their distance learning programs, taking up such courses as Marine Surveying, Ship Management and others, from short certificate courses to diplomas and postgraduate diplomas. A video, shared via link above, shows the school’s explanation of the benefits of distance learning, and gives examples of features available in their programs.

Marine Training Solutions is another source of eLearning options for professionals in the maritime industry, offering staff training courses in Fire Safety, Food Safety, and others.

If you are an organization seeking to continuously improve the knowledge and skill sets of your employees, or an individual seeking further education or qualifications, distance learning provides a wide range of options that may be worthwhile for you to explore. As in all things, what is important is that you research the programmes best suited for your learning objectives, capabilities, and budget, and those that are conducted by reputable institutions.

We at Kemplon Engineering believe that the strongest asset of our company is our people—individuals who have the expertise and qualifications to provide our clients the best possible solutions for their engineering needs. We are great believers in acquiring knowledge through studies and practice, and are happy to hear that distance learning options are available for companies and individuals in the maritime industry.

^ “distance learning (e-learning).” WhatIs.com. Web. Accessed 02 Oct 2014. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/distance-learning-e-learning
^ Goldberg, Murray. “Does eLearning Work in the Maritime Industry?” Maritime Professional, 08 Oct 2012. Web. 02 Oct 2014. http://www.maritimeprofessional.com/Blogs/Maritime-Training-Issues/October-2012/Does-eLearning-Work-.aspx
^ Haun, Eric. “eLearning for the Maritime Industry.” MarineLink.com, 12 Sep 2014. Web. 02 Oct 2014. http://www.marinelink.com/news/elearning-maritime377033.aspx
^ “Lloyd’s Maritime Academy: for all your training and education needs …” Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Website. Accessed 02 Oct 2014. http://www.lloydsmaritimeacademy.com/page/about-us
^ Marine Testing Solutions. “Why eLearning Courses are Taking the Maritime Industry by Storm.” Hellenic Shipping News, 16 Sep 2014. Web. 02 Oct 2014. http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/why-elearning-courses-are-taking-the-maritime-industry-by-storm/
“Shipping industry embraces long distance learning.” World Maritime News, 15 Jan 2010. Web. 02 Oct 2014. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/14268/httpwww-worldmaritimenews-comarticleremarkable14385shipping-industry-embraces-long-distance-learning/

Green Ship Technology Conference 2015: Winds of Green Change

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GST: The Top Green Ship Technology Event (Source: http://www.informamaritimeevents.com/event/greenshiptechnology)

As Green As It Gets
For an industry known to be largely conservative, the Green Ship Technology (GST) Conference is a ground breaking development. Rising fuel costs and increasingly demanding emission norms create a dire need for more eco-friendly and less expensive ships. And considering the speed of tightening of regulations, there isn’t much time left.

Held annually, the GST Conference is the foremost environment-friendly technology event for the maritime industry. It is organized by the Informa Plc and focuses on the burning environmental challenges that affect the industry. The who’s who of the shipping world attend the event that never fails to dazzle and enlighten them.

Twelfth edition of the GST Conference is scheduled for March 10-13, 2015 at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia in Copenhagen. As always, there are the highly anticipated GST Awards presented annually to the most innovative technology with demonstrated benefits in the maritime environment over the preceding twelve months.

GST Conference 2015

In order to put things in a better perspective, steadily rising fuel costs and not so steadily rising costs of compliance with increasingly complex emission regulations have eaten away the profit margins of shipping. Things have reached a point where freight rates are only slightly greater than operational costs.

Now, to the event. Over 250 decision makers representing a cross section of the global maritime industry will attend the event. The conference invites high caliber, cutting edge technical papers and the Advisory Committee screens them to ensure that only the most relevant papers of the highest technical standards are presented.

From-PI-to-KPI-to-SPIFloor Plan for Expanded GST 2015
(Source: http://www.informamaritimeevents.com/event/greenshiptechnology)

That apart, the event offers unparalleled networking opportunities, practical workshops, roundtable groups, interactive panel discussions, breakout sessions, and breakfast briefings. Organizers finalize the program after months of fastidious research to pick only the most compelling issues making the conference the principal global eco-friendly shipping event.

Attendees include representatives of shipping companies, shipbuilders, charterers, and manufacturers and suppliers of marine equipment. Then, there are the marine engineers and naval architects who with academics and marine administrators complete the spectrum of maritime professionals at the event.
GST Conference 2015 will focus on the following technical issues:

  • latest innovations for sustainable shipping
  • emission controls
  • fuel efficiency and energy management
  • alternative sources of energy
  • frontline designs for maximum operational ship efficiency
  • retrofitting solutions: technical and financial
  • codifying practically feasible benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs)

Apart from these areas, organizers have invited papers on:

  • shipping related international environmental regulations, emissions norms in ports and terminals, and practical guides to energy efficiency design index (EEDI) and ship energy efficiency management plan (SEEMP)
  • hydrodynamics, ship-lifecycle management, sustainable recycling, antifouling technology, and ecologically sustainable ships
  • technology for oily water treatment and for cutting down carbon emission, ballast pollution, and wastewater contamination
  • advances in engine and propulsion technology
  • LNG as ship fuel
  • finance for green technology
  • corporate social responsibility (CSR) for sustainable shipping
  • crew training for sensitization of personnel on green shipping

GST Awards seek to identify and acknowledge all the efforts that have proved their mettle in reducing the toxic impact of shipping on marine environment. Winners for 2014 include:

  • ECOsubsea AS: Green Ship Technology of the Year
  • DFDS Seaways: Green Ship-owner of the Year

Measurement: The Foundation of Evaluation
Any system hoping to improve the state of affairs has to be based on measurement. Otherwise it cannot quantify the level of current performance. Neither can it check if the steps undertaken to boost performance have produced the desired effect.

HierarchyThe Hierarchy: From PI to KPI to SPI
(Source: https://www.shipping-kpi.org/book/page/2)

Shipping KPI is a system that measures the defined parameters related to operational performance. It then reports the measurements in order to vastly improve the performance of ship-operating companies and to provide an avenue for efficient communication to all shipping related stakeholders.

And yes, these KPIs are very effective. In the three years to June 2012, the largest container shipping company in the world Maersk Line saved a stunning $90 million by implementing measures similar to KPIs.

KPIs are a part of the industry-wide Shipping Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Project currently named as the KPI Association Ltd. InterManager, Wilhelmsen ASA, Research Council of Norway, and MARINTEK started the project by compiling operational performance data from 1158 vessels (as of June 2012).

This system comprises of three levels – 7 Shipping Performance Indexes (SPI) at the top followed by 34 Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and 66 Performance Indicators (PI). The seven SPIs measure performance on:

  • health safety
  • human resource management
  • environment-friendliness
  • navigational safety
  • operations
  • security
  • technology


Environment is common global property. We are all equally liable to maintain and improve it for we all enjoy its fruits. Everybody’s business, unfortunately, becomes nobody’s business. With events such as the GST Conference, everyone’s business remains everyone’s business.

Textron to Build New Ship-to-Shore Connector for the U.S. Navy

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^ Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) of the SSC Program (Source: http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1978)

Major Modernization

Multi-Industry Company Textron Inc. won a $21.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract from the United States Navy on August 28, 2014 to build Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 101 as part of the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Program.

Under the SSC program, Air Cushion Vehicles (ACV) designed with a 30 year service life will gradually replace the U.S. Navy’s present LCAC fleet. ACVs will modernize the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps by enabling them to land on over 80% of the world’s shorelines for the next 30 years. SSC improves craft availability while reducing total ownership costs.

As of 2013, the SSC program budget was at $4 billion. The current LCAC fleet will be phased out shortly as their service lives end. Deliveries under SSC will begin in 2017 with initial operational capability from 2020. SSC requires 73 crafts, one for test and training and 72 for operations.

This is the first time in over 15 years that the U.S. Navy has provided an in-house design for a major naval acquisition program. The design team of the navy adopted an evolutionary design process. Each module was designed separately and this served as the basis for the preliminary design.

Operating Principle of Hovercrafts

Both LCACs and ACVs are hovercrafts. LCACs are presently used as landing crafts for ship to shore transport by the U.S. Navy’s Assault Craft Units and by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

parts-of-hovercraftParts of a Hovercraft
(Source: http://visual.merriam-webster.com/transport-machinery/maritime-transport/examples-boats-ships/hovercraft_2.php)

Hovercrafts are hybrid vessels that travel over land, water, ice, and mud. Also known as Ground Effect Machines, they use downward directed blowers to produce large volumes of air above atmospheric pressure underneath the hovercraft. The pressure creates the lift enabling the craft to float above the surface.

Although the concept was first mooted in the 1870s by John Thornycroft, the first working model was made only in 1955 when Christopher Cockerel managed to keep the air cushion escaping from underneath the craft. Hovercrafts have a peculiar rounded-rectangular shape because air has to be blown around the outside of a disk-shaped platform for stability.

SSC Program

LCACs and SSC serve primarily to transport heavy equipment, vehicles, and supplies from amphibious ships to the beach. With an additional enclosed transport module, they can carry 108 casualty professionals or 145 Marines equipped for combat.

Till date, LCACs have repeatedly proved their utility in humanitarian relief operations over the world by delivering medical provisions, life-saving devices, food, and water. LCACs have also supported non-hostile amphibious operations. SSCs are expected to deliver similarly.

Putting into practice the finer details amassed from over twenty years of dealing with LCAC operations and maintenance, air cushion vehicles under the program will land surface assault elements to support Operational Maneuvers from the Sea (OMFTS) while being based on mobile landing platforms and amphibious ships at over-the-horizon distances.
Air Cushion Vehicles under the SSC have a service life of 30 years and can carry 74 tons of payloads at speeds exceeding 35 knots during days and nights. Plus they are designed to operate reliably in the toughest of coastal conditions. They can therefore rapidly deliver personnel and heavy equipment for Marine Expeditionary Force operations from the sea base to trafficable terrain far beyond the beach.

parts-of-hovercraftHovercraft in Action
(Source: http://www.griffonhoverwork.com/news/archive/first-three-craft-for-the-colombian-navy.aspx)

The amphibious lift requirement of the SSC takes care of the surface assault part of the tactical plan of the U.S. Joint Expeditionary Maneuver Welfare – they can launch and sustain military missions from the sea irrespective of underwater hurdles, tides, beach gradient, and water depth.

With these vessels, the Navy and Marine Corps vastly improve their ability to execute a whole range of operations from multidimensional amphibious assault and emergency-disaster response to humanitarian support.

Most importantly, the SSC looks proactively into the estimated nature of future missions and develops operational capability to deal with them. Towards this end, it cuts down maintenance through existing shore-based infrastructure, vastly improves fuel efficiency, brings in better technology, and boots performance.

Company Profile & the Peculiar Contract

Founded in 1923 and incorporated in 1967, Textron Inc. serves the defense, homeland security, aerospace, and general aviation markets. A multi-industry company, it is engaged in defense, aircraft, industrial, and finance business. It is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, United States with revenues of $12.1 billion from operations in over 25 countries.

Textron was selected after a process of full and open competition under which the Navy’s in-house design was released to the industry. Mid-level players without ACV experience were allowed to bid. While the Navy provides the technical acumen, Textron will deal with the design details and select parts with optimum performance and lowest costs.


With the U.S. maintaining a military presence across the globe and with its defense products highly sought in the international arms market, the SSC program is a great way to stay ahead of the times.

Bimini, Bahamas: The Latest Developments

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Last June, our blog shared a report about controversial plans for a resort development in idyllic Bimini, the Bahamas. The issue of dredging in the area was particularly contentious, pitting local environmentalists and conservationists against a global corporation, in a battle dubbed by some observers as “David vs. Goliath.” A lot of things have happened in the few months since—like expanded services from our very own Port Everglades and more land acquisitions by the resort developers. Kemplon gives a quick rundown of updates.

Resorts World Completes First Phase of Port
Resorts World Bimini is just one of many resorts located all over the world that are operated by global company, Genting Group. The Bimini destination includes a new Port, the first phase of which has been completed. This development, which includes Customs and Immigration facilities, allows vacationers to disembark directly on the island. This is much more convenient than prior arrangements, which involved ferries via tender from Bimini’s ocean side to its bayside, a process that took about 45 minutes away from precious beach time. Direct disembarkation, on the other hand, can give day trippers as much as six hours on Bimini.

Expanded Service from Port Everglades

In response to increasing demand, beginning mid-October, the Bimini SuperFast will be offering select weekday services disembarking from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. These round-trip cruises are slated for Tuesday-Thursday 9am departures, for return at 9pm. Day cruise weekend departures, on the other hand, will continue to come from PortMiami.

Continuing Concerns

While developments are well on the way and the market is expected to be responsive to the resort, concerns from environmentalists and conservationists continue to haunt the project. Activists say that fishing, diving and snorkeling in the area are under threat and coral reefs are in danger, with some of the clearest waters in the Bahamas turning into a “disgusting plume of mud and silt.” Local businessmen are also worried that the massive resort development may end up monopolizing the tourism that comes in, which will not be as helpful to the local economy as the developers claim. Grassroots group Bimini Blue Coalition, however, has been “priced out” of the legal battle, leaving the concerned citizens and stakeholders limited to just a close watch of further developments.

Genting Buys More Property in the Bahamas

Genting Malaysia is reportedly acquiring more land in Bimini, particularly a 16.2-acre area next to Resorts World Bimini, via its indirect 70% owned subsidiary BB Entertainment Ltd (BBEL), which owns and operates the Bimini Casino in Resorts World Bimini. The acquisition, according to the company, will allow them to have better control of future plans and developments.

We at Kemplon Engineering believe in sharing all the wealth and beauty of our planet’s waters. Oftentimes this involves a degree of development, in order to provide access for more people. At the same time, we also understand the concerns of conservationists, and we admire their commitment to the environment and to the well-being of local communities. It is our sincere hope that continuing developments at this resort, and at any other of the Earth’s beautiful destinations, be done in a sustainable and responsible manner. With any luck, we may all come to solutions that work well for all the stakeholders.

To see our previous blog post, click here: http://www.kemplon.com/dredging-bimini-bahamas/

^ Batchelor, Amanda. “Bimini SuperFast expands service from Port Everglades.” Local10.com, 04 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.local10.com/news/bimini-superfast-expands-service-from-port-everglades/27874270
^ Caribbean Journal Staff. “The Caribbean’s Newest cruise Dock.” Caribbean Journal, 4 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.caribjournal.com/2014/09/04/the-caribbeans-newest-cruise-dock/
^ Diane Phillips & Associates. “International experts alarmed over Bimini development.” TheBahamasWeekly.com, 11 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/news/International_experts_alarmed_over_Bimini_development36934.shtml
^ Editor, CNS Business. “Bimini cruise dock putting reefs in peril.” CNS Business, 10 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://cnsbusiness.com/archives/1981
^ The Malay Mail Online. “Genting Malaysia unit pays US$24.6m for land in Bahamas.” The Malay Mail Online, 12 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/genting-malaysia-unit-pays-us24.6m-for-land-in-bahamas
^ Resorts World. “RESORTS WORLD BIMINI OPENS PORT IN BIMINI; EXPANDS SERVICE FROM FORT LAUDERDALE.” Resorts World Bimini, Press Release 04 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://rwbimini.com/about/press-releases
^ Sun Media Corporation. “Genting buy land next to Resorts World Bimini for RM78.7m.” The Sun Daily, 15 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1169334
^ Young, Susan. “Bimini SuperFast Adds Port Everglades Cruises, Bimini Port Project Completes 1st Phase.” Travel Agent Central, 04 Sep 2014. Web. 17 Sep 2014. http://www.travelagentcentral.com/bahamas/bimini-superfast-adds-port-everglades-cruises-bimini-port-project-completes-1st-phase-47669