Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Expedition Fleet to Stop Using HFO

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced that it will only be burning low-sulfur marine gas oil (MGO) on the Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Inspiration and Bremen from July 2020, as well as the Hanseatic Spirit, set to join the fleet in 2021.

In particularly vulnerable areas such as the Arctic, Antarctica and Kamchatka, Hapag-Lloyd said in a prepared statement that it has been using MGO for a number of years, before the corresponding legal regulations have taken effect.

The new expedition ships are also equipped with SCR catalysts, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 95 per cent, and shore power connectors.


Experimental desalination&solar facility inaugurated Borg El Arab – Egypt

The Multipurpose Applications by Thermodynamic Solar (MATS) plant in Borg El Arab, Egypt has been inaugurated. A research and development initiative aimed at advancing solar energy technology in Egypt and the Middle East, the project was led by a consortium of 11 partners from Italy, France, Egypt, Germany, and the UK, Orascom Construction said in a statement. According to the company, it participated in the funding and the construction of the project. The European Union reportedly co-financed the initiative. The MAT plant comprises an integrated concentrated solar power (CSP) and water desalination facility that can serve a community of 1,000 people in a desert area, Orascom added. Describing the plant as “experimental”, Orascom said that the project will serve as a “launching pad for scaling [the] technology and developing the project into a full-fledged research and development centre for renewable energy”.

The MATS plant is not Orascom’s only renewable energy project in Egypt. The company constructed and installed the country’s first CSP parabolic trough solar field in Kuraymat, Egypt from 2008 to 2010. It is also currently developing a 250MW wind farm on a build-own-operate basis, the first project of its type and size in Egypt


Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is an osmotic process that uses a semi-permeable membrane to separate water from dissolved matter. Applying a pressure greater than the osmotic pressure (determined by the TDS), feed water is forced through RO-membranes which hold back diluted ions and only allow water molecules to pass through. This divides the feed water into a brine stream with a high TDS concentration and permeate stream with pure water (Fichtner, 2011), (Trieb, 2007). Reverse Osmosis plants are used as well for seawater as for brackish water desalination (Fichtner, 2011). As the driving force of the process is the pressure, which rises with increasing feed water salinity, a suitable high-pressure pump is needed. And due to the fact that RO membranes typically are very sensitive to organic matter, several pre-treatment steps like chlorination, cartridge filtration, dissolved air floatation and ultra-/ microfiltration are necessary (Fichtner, 2011). The main advantages of reverse osmosis desalination are the wide range of feed water quality, the flexibility of the location because of independence of adjacent power plants and the scalability (The World Bank, 2012). On the other hand, the membranes high susceptibility for fouling and the subsequent comprehensive need for pre-treatment as well as the complex setup and the required skills for the staff are the main disadvantages (The World Bank, 2012). On the one hand, current research and development focus on the improvement of the membrane technologies (e.g. incorporation of nanocomposites, large diameter spiral wound elements, low bio-fouling feed spacers). On the other hand, efforts are made to improve the overall process performance (better energy recovery, application of renewable energies, new chemical products for anti-scaling and membrane cleaning, reducing maintenance efforts) (Peñate & Garcí­a-Rodrí­guez, 2012).


Multiple-Effect Distillation (MED)

Multiple-Effect Distillation (also Multi Effect Distillation or MED) is a thermal distillation technology based on evaporation and condensation processes in multiple stages, called effects, that is mainly used for desalination. In most MED plants, the seawater enters all the effects in parallel and is raised to the boiling point after being preheated on tubes. The seawater is either sprayed or otherwise distributed onto the surface of the evaporator tubes in a thin film to further rapid boiling and evaporation. The tubes are heated by steam from a boiler or some other source, which is condensed on the opposite side of the tubes (inside). The condensate from the boiler steam is recycled to the boiler for reuse. Only a portion of the seawater applied to the tubes in the effects evaporates. The remaining feed water is collected and fed to the last effect, from where it is removed by a brine pump. The tubes in the various effects are heated in turn by the vapours arose from the previous effect. This vapour is condensed to a fresh water product, while giving off heat to evaporate a portion of the seawater feed in the effects. This continues for several effects, with 4 or 16 effects being found in a typical large plant. The remaining seawater of each effect flows to the next effect through pipes by gravity. Generally, these plants are powered by low temperature heat leading to Top Brine Temperatures (TBT) of 55-70°C and are combined with mechanical vapour compressors or thermal vapour compressors. The number of effects directly correlating with the Performance Ratio (PR). In contrast to this, the PR is not significantly influenced by TBT. Depending on the TBT, pre-treatment of the feed and usage of anti-scalants is necessary. Furthermore, corrosion problems limit the usage of cheap construction materials.