Nearly a dozen German Pensionskassen have failed the stress set by local supervisor BaFin, the body has announcedHowever, the supervisor added that it was not concerned about the short-term risk-bearing capacity of Pensionskassen.Of the 146 Pensionskassen supervised by the German supervisor BaFin, 131 filed the results for the issued stress test.Some 11 Pensionskassen failed the test in 2013, compared to seven in the previous year. Only three of those Pensionskassen failed all scenarios and the supervisor added none of the eleven institutions were among the 20 largest in the sector in Germany.Additionally, five of those that failed the test are already closed for new entries. The BaFin added the underfunding level was “generally low” and the Pensionskassen concerned had already put in place measures to improve risk tolerance and achieve the necessary solvency levels – or will do so soon.As part of its internal prognosis on the impact of a continued low interest rate scenario, the German supervisor calculated the average net interest rate granted by Pensionskassen for 2013 at 4.3%, slightly below the 4.4% granted the year before.The supervisor said in its annual report: “With some Pensionskassen, BaFin had to raise awareness last year that in times in which capital gains will most likely continue to decline it is more important to strengthen buffers than to increase member payouts.”Overall, German Pensionskassen reported a solvency level of 134%, which was similar to that of the previous year and “generally speaking” fulfilled the solvency requirements, BaFin pointed out.“This obviously continues to ensure the short-term risk-bearing capacity in the sector,” the supervisor added.Based on projections, BaFin calculated an increase in contributions to Pensionskassen by €6.4bn in 2013, bringing the total number of assets managed in the sector to €131bn – although the increase was also aided by capital gains.However, the increase in contributions at 2.6% last year was less pronounced than in 2012 when it amounted to 5.9%.Regarding the 31 Pensionsfonds, the other major vehicle in the German occupational retirement landscape which is less strictly regulated in its investment and liability management, BaFin also noted a decrease in contributions from €831m in 2012 to €742m last year.“The fluctuations in contributions are mostly down to the fact that with a Pensionsfonds, depending on the contract, contributions are often made as one-off lump sum payments,” the supervisor explained.It added all Pensionsfonds passed the BaFin’s internal stress test and fully covered their liabilities.Assets managed by Pensionsfonds increased from €1.4bn to €1.6bn year-on-year.
However, the routes involve navigating under multiple bridges and powerlines which require the technology to have a tilting function. Based on the analysis of the ship’s routes, Norsepower estimates that its technology would be able to achieve a carbon emissions reduction of 25% for this vessel. “We are delighted to be working with SEA-CARGO, not only as they are keen to demonstrate their commitment to maximising the propulsive power of wind to reduce emissions, but also for their cooperation and innovation in making tilting Rotor Sails a realisation,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said. Preparations for the retrofit on the SC Connector are currently taking place with the installation scheduled for Q4 2020, Norsepower said. “With a growing international focus on reducing CO2 emissions and other gases/particles – the ability to harness wind to generate energy, reduce fuel consumption and emissions is a natural next step for the maritime transport industry,” Ole Sævild, Managing Director, SEA-CARGO, added. The SC Connector, a 12,251 gross tonne (GT) Ro-Ro cargo vessel operates in the North Sea, which allows for some of the most favourable wind conditions for Rotor Sails. Developed in tandem by the two companies, the 35m high and 5m wide Rotor Sails are able to tilt to almost horizontal when required. The agreement also heralds the installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, an innovation that has resulted from the need to adapt the technology to the sailing requirements of the ship. It is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to thrust a ship. “Rotor Sails are particularly well suited to Ro-Ro vessels and working with SEA-CARGO to deliver a tilting Rotor Sail ensures we are providing an adaptable solution which fits with particular vessel requirements, specifically demonstrating vessels with height restrictions to benefit from the Rotor Sail solution.” “The goal of this project has been to design more environmentally friendly vessels by combining several existing technologies. In good wind conditions, the sailing hybrid vessel will maintain regular service speed by sail alone.” The Norsepower Rotor Sail is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the Rotor Sails start automatically. Finnish cleantech company Norsepower and logistics provider SEA-CARGO have inked a deal to install two of Norsepower’s largest Rotor Sails onboard the SC Connector, a side door Ro-Ro. It can be fitted on both new ships and those already in operation.