Posts Tagged ‘Finland’

Rolls Royce leads Finnish project to develop autonomous (drone) ships

August 8, 2015

After flying drones and the coming of driverless cars it is the turn of autonomous ships. The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) is funding an €6.6 million project called the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative, which Rolls-Royce has been appointed to lead. The project aims to produce the specification and preliminary designs for the next generation of advanced ship solutions – the unmanned, “drone” cargo ship.

drone ship 1 Rolls Royce

drone ship 1 Rolls Royce

RR Press Release:

…… The project will run until the end of 2017 and will pave the way for solutions – designed to validate the project’s research. The project will combine the expertise of some of Finland’s top academic researchers from Tampere University of Technology; VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd; Åbo Akademi University; Aalto University; the University of Turku; and leading members of the maritime cluster including Rolls-Royce, NAPA, Deltamarin, DNV GL and Inmarsat.

Rauli Hulkkonen, Tekes, Chief Advisor, said: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to establish the Finnish maritime cluster as the world leader in maritime remote control technology.

Esa Jokioinen, Rolls-Royce, Head of Blue Ocean Team, said: “Rolls-Royce has extensive experience of successfully coordinating multi-disciplinary teams developing complex technologies. We bring a world leading range of capabilities in the marine market to the project including vessel design, the integration of complex systems and the supply and support of power and propulsion equipment. We are excited to be taking the first concrete steps towards making remote controlled and autonomous ship applications a reality. 

The wide ranging project will look at research carried out to date before exploring the business case for autonomous applications, the safety and security implications of designing and operating remotely operated ships, the legal and regulatory implications and the existence and readiness of a supplier network able to deliver commercially applicable products in the short to medium term. The technological work stream, which will be led by Rolls-Royce, will encompass the implications of  remote control and autonomy of ships for propulsion, deck machinery and automation and control, using, where possible, established technology for rapid commercialisation.

The Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team is responsible for research and development of future maritime technologies and focuses on disruptive game-changing innovations. By combining new technologies with new approaches to ship design and system integration, the team aims to reduce operational costs, minimise emissions and enhance the earning capability of vessels. The team has developed a range of autonomous ship concepts as well as innovative designs for various ship types.

An autonomous tanker -- image rolls royce

An autonomous tanker — image rolls royce

Robot ships are currently illegal and the whole maritime regulatory environment would need to be changed to suit. If driverless cars become a reality by 2020, then there is no reason why robot fleets of cargo ships could not be in use by 2030. Bureaucracy will probably be a bigger barrier than technology.

robot fleet image rolls royce

robot fleet image rolls royce

Finland approves new Russian nuclear plant

December 5, 2014

Russia’s Rosatom had offered a to supply the reactor for the 1,200 megawatt Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant for Fennovoima at Pyhäjoki in north-east Finland. The Finnish government had required Finnish ownership of greater than 60% as a condition for granting a license for construction. Construction is planned to start in 2015 for the plant to be in operation in 2024. With Finnish Fortum now taking a 15% share in the project, Finnish ownership now exceeds 65%.

The Finnish parliament has this morning has given the basic approval for construction to start.


Finland’s parliament on Friday approved plans to build a new nuclear plant supplied by Russia’s state-owned Rosatom despite East-West tensions over the Ukraine crisis.

With support from 115 parliamentarians against 74 opposed, the vote comes at a time when the European Union has called for EU member states to curb energy deals with Russia.

The Fennovoima reactor in northern Finland, which will be supplied and fuelled by Rosatom, is expected to begin output in 2024.

Hanhikivi 1

The AES-2006 model proposed for the Hanhikivi site (source: Fennovoima)

NEI: Finland’s Fennovoima and Rusatom Overseas have signed a Project Development Agreement aiming at a nuclear power plant supply contract for Hanhikivi 1 to be signed by the end of 2013.

The companies have set “common targets,” according to which negotiations will be carried out. They are also in talks over the possibility of Rusatom Overseas acquiring a 34% stake in Fennovoima.

The Russian 1200 MW AES-2006 pressurized water reactor (VVER) is being considered for the Hanhikivi 1 project, in northern Finland. The plant corresponds with IAEA and EUR requirements, according to Rusatom Overseas. However, for licensing purposes it “will be adapted to be in accordance with Finnish national safety standards.”

Direct negotiations with Rusatom Overseas begun in April 2013. Talks also started with Toshiba in February 2013, but will now only continue with the Russian firm.

Fennovoima, which is owned by 60 companies representing industry, trade, and energy sectors from all around Finland, said that before a plant supply contract is signed, all of Fennovoima’s owners must decide on their continuation in the project.

Foto: Fennovoima

Image Fennovoima



Dirty Football: Another corruption trail from Singapore to Finland

June 11, 2011

Dirty football

The corruption that is endemic at the highest levels with the FIFA administrators  is also evident at lower levels and with players involved in match fixing and the betting industry. The BBC reports:

Finnish football has been rocked by a match-fixing scandal which has implications across the world. Nine former members of one team and a Singapore national accused of organising the scams have been put on trial.

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation has begun into another club suspected of money-laundering. Betting syndicates have been said to make as much as $1.5m (£0.9m) from fixed games. The Finnish League, which began its new season in May, usually commands a low profile in the global game.

But events over the past few months have brought it to the attention of football’s world governing body, and its fight against corruption. Tampere, Finland’s former champions, have been suspended. The club received $435,000 from a Singapore company, but officials could not explain why they had been given such a large sum. Money-laundering is suspected.

Finnish police have said the case is linked to the trial of seven Zambians and two Georgians who used to play for a different club in the north of the country. They are accused of accepting bribes worth more than $750,000 to affect the outcome of matches.

In the same trial Wilson Raj Perumal, a Singaporean, is charged with arranging the payments. Fifa also want to speak to Mr Perumal about international friendly matches involving Asian and African teams that are suspected of being fixed.

Last month, two Zambian brothers who played for another Finnish side were convicted of taking bribes from Mr Perumal. The officer leading the investigation in Finland said there was serious speculation this was only the tip of the iceberg.

Meanwhile further details about the FIFA shenanigans continues. From The Guardian:

Another Caribbean football association has come forward to allege receiving $40,000 (£24,440) in cash at the meeting arranged by Fifa‘s presidential challenger Mohamed bin Hammam and one of its vice-presidents Jack Warner at the heart of the bribery scandal that has rocked the world football governing body.

Blatter: FIFA Corruption supervisor

The president of the Surinam FA has now claimed it received the cash in $100 bills in a brown paper envelope on arrival in Trinidad for the meeting with Bin Hammam on 10 May. …. 

The new evidence from Surinam appears to back up the version of events outlined by other CFU members in the evidence file compiled by the US lawyer John Collins at the behest of the Fifa executive committee member and Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer.

The civil war within Concacaf further intensified as Fifa imposed a worldwide ban on Lisle Austin, who claimed to be acting president of the federation in the wake of the suspension of Warner and attempted to fire Blazer.

The whistleblowers were led by the Bahamas FA president Anton Sealey and vice-president Fred Lunn, whose claims were backed by statements from the Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands FAs. According to Lunn’s affidavit, he was given $40,000 in cash and after photographing the notes he returned the money and set in train the bribery investigation.

A split has formed in the CFU between those who have backed the claims in the evidence file, which also includes text messages and email traffic, and those who insist no inducements were offered.


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