Thursday, January 7, 2000

Aker Finnyards to build ferry for Greece
GA ferries of Greece has signed a letter of intent with Finland's Aker Finnyards. It covers construction of a 150 m car passenger ferry for delivery in Spring 2001. It includes an option for a second vessel.
The ferry is designed for short international routes and Greek domestic service. With a beam of 25 m, it will be propelled by four diesels with a total output of 50,000 kW, giving it a speed of 29 knots.

GA Ferries currently operates ten vessels. It intends to go public, on the Athens stock exchange, this summer.

Federal ferry grants awarded
The PVA today alerted members that the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued $31.4 million in discretionary grants under TEA-21 for ferryboats and terminals in 21 states. Another six awards will be announced soon. Meantime, you can get details on the current awards here.

Electric drive for new-generation destroyers
Taking a leaf, perhaps, from the cruise industries book, the U.S. Department of the Navy has announced today that the Land Attack Destroyer (DD 21) will be its first class of ships designed and built during the 21st century to be powered by electric drive featuring an integrated power architecture. The first of the DD 21 class of destroyers is expected to be in commission by the end of this

Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig said, " Electric drive will reduce the cost, noise and maintenance demands of how our ships are driven. More importantly, electric drive, like other propulsion changes, will open immense opportunities for redesigning ship architecture, reducing manpower, improving shipboard life, reducing vulnerability and allocating a great deal more power to
warfighting applications."

Major benefits related to electric drive are derived in two areas, warfighting capability and quality of life for sailors. In terms of warfighting, this technology represents significant increases in stealth capability through signature reduction, and a large increase in available power that is seen as critical to future weapons systems that will be aboard Navy ships. Electric drive technology also represents great potential to improve the quality of life for embarked sailors. It will free up large amounts of internal space, leaving room for significant habitability improvements.

The key design element of integrated power and electric drive is a single source generator for the requirements of all ship's power needs, including propulsion. One of the most attractive elements of the design is the resultant elimination of the drive shaft and reduction gears found in traditional Navy ships. The Department of the Navy decision to team DD 21 with electric drive for its propulsion comes after careful consideration among several possibilities studied by the two contractor teams involved.

Secretary Danzig said also, "This is a long sought and much desired goal. DD 21 will truly be the first 'Smart Ship' built from the keel up. Electric drive technology is integral to that. The warfighting and quality of life benefits that can be derived from this will mean that our sailors can walk aboard a ship that is unlike any other they have known... this shift in propulsion reflects our wider efforts to change the very culture of the Navy. With DD 21, sailors will live, work, and fight aboard a ship that values them like never before."

NASSCO awarded $2 million for first phase of
$25 million conversion

National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a General Dynamics company, has received $2 million for the first phase of an estimated $25 million contract to convert a U.S. Navy Strategic Sealift Program ship to meet the readiness capabilities of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Phase I will include development of design changes, material specifications and planning for the Phase II conversion effort and will begin immediately. The ship to be converted, the USNS Soderman (T-AKR 299), will arrive at NASSCO this summer of 2000 and work is to be completed by March 1, 2001.

Among other changes, the conversion includes

  • adding living quarters for 50 additional personnel,
  • changing the stern ramp to an in-water ramp, and
  • upgrading the helicopter landing deck to an all-weather flight deck,

The Soderman is no stranger to NASSCO. It was originally converted by the yard from a commercial containership to a large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) vessel and delivered to the Navy in November 1997. Funding for construction of a new LMSR
to replace the Soderman in the Navy's combat prepositioning squadron of LMSRs was included in the FY-2001 Defense Appropriations bill approved by Congress in October.

"NASSCO is gratified to have been chosen to provide the Marine Corps with the third ship for its enhanced Maritime Prepositioning Force," said Richard Vortmann, President of NASSCO. "Conversion of an existing sealift shift will add to the Marines' readiness capability much sooner than construction of a new ship."

The Soderman currently carries U.S. Army equipment, vehicles and supplies and has been strategically propositioned near potential areas of conflict such as Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. It will fulfill this same role for the Marine Corps, carrying a primary cargo of vehicles, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, tractor-trailers and high-mobility military vehicles.

Drew Marine to supply automated water treatment system for RCL newbuilding
An AWT (Automated Water Treatment) system from the Drew Marine Division of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company is scheduled for January installation in Royal Caribbean International's first Vantage Class newbuilding, currently under construction at Meyer Werft GmbH in Germany. Delivery will be made to contractor GE Packaged Power Inc. of Houston, Texas, under a purchase agreement effective Aug. 30, 1999.

The AWT system continuously monitors boiler water conditions and automatically doses chemical treatments to required
levels for optimizing the performance of the steam-generating system. By optimizing the application of those chemicals, as well as the schedule for automated boiler system blowdowns, the AWT system minimizes the volume of chemicals for disposal. Real-time remediation of harmful water chemistry through the AWT system also extends equipment life by minimizing corrosion. The system's computerized operation adds value by monitoring critical shipboard systems efficiently, even for vessels operating with reduced crew.

After automatically taking samples from the boilers and feedwater, the AWT system cools, pressure-reduces and measures them for pH, conductivity and dissolved oxygen. The system then feeds results from a local controller to dosing pumps controlling the rate of chemical injection to maintain optimal levels.

The system responds promptly to variations in steam demands and water values caused by normal shipboard operations. It also sounds an alarm that warns operators to initiate immediate actions to prevent boiler failure from major problems, such as condensate contamination from leaking heat exchangers. In addition to LCD displays of system readings at the boiler and in the engine control room, alarms are sounded when conditions deviate from programmed target ranges for key parameters. An automated interface that routes alarms directly to the ship's central network is included in the system ordered for Royal Caribbean.

An innovative PC Data Report Software module available with the system provides historical, trend and statistical data, which can be used with any IBM-compatible computer, typically located in the chief engineer's office. This time-saving software can also be used to generate and print out monthly log reports. Data can be easily transmitted via e-mail to the shipowner's head office.

Optional system features specified for Royal Caribbean will help optimize long-term boiler protection. For example, the Dissolved Oxygen Measurement module monitors the effectiveness of treatment chemicals in removing oxygen. Measuring make-up feedwater flow, combined with hotwell-temperature monitoring, enhances control of oxygen and corrosion. In addition, the Automatic Continuous Blowdown feature controls boiler water conductivity. With timely action prompted by these features, the AWT system can pay for itself many times over by avoiding costs of chemical cleaning, repairs and, in extreme cases, equipment replacement.

Drew Marine also offers the ACWT(TM) Automated Cooling Water Treatment System, providing similar automated functions and benefits for diesel engine cooling water plants.


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