Wednesday, June 6, 2000

Millennium is late

Chantiers de L'Atlantique, the French shipyard building Celebrity Cruises' Millennium, informed Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today that it could not complete work on the new ship in time for Millennium's June 17 maiden voyage. As a result, the company is canceling one cruise and is re-accommodating those guests on other sailings. Millennium's second cruise will take place, as originally scheduled, on July 1, following a naming ceremony at an earlier date.

Celebrity Cruises President Richard E. Sasso said: "We built a cushion into our schedule and, up until today, we were assured this cushion would be sufficient."

Sasso explained that the primary cause of the delay is the completion of some staterooms. He is confident that this work can be accomplished in time for Millennium to enter service on July 1.

Due to delay-delivery penalties to be paid by the yard, the financial impact on Royal Caribbean is expected to be about $.01 per share.


Hvide Marine unit christens new U.S.-built
landing craft type freight vessel

Hvide Marine Inc. and its subsidiary Sun State Marine Services, Inc., recently christened the first in a series of landing craft type cargo ships at Sun State's shipyard facility in Green Cove Springs, Fla.

Constructed entirely on-site by Sun State Marine Services, Inc., the
190-foot vessel is specially designed for conducting trade with Bahamian and Caribbean markets that have minimal or unimproved facilities.

"The landing craft has a reinforced hull that allows use of unimproved landing sites such as beaches or boat ramps by actually grounding the forward part of the vessel," notes Robert J. Coppedge, VP of Sun State Marine Services, Inc. "This 'ability-with-stability' gives the operator tremendous flexibility in accessing a wider diversity of service areas."

Christened the M/V Caribbean Express , the vessel was built for G & G Marine, Inc., a Dania Beach-based ocean freight carrier located adjacent to Port Everglades in Southeast Florida.

Steven Ganoe, president and CEO of G & G Marine, said: "We're proud of the fact that we've added a new U.S.-built vessel to our freight service, but this particular ship design is also extremely practical with a ramped bow for roll-on/roll-off cargo
and more than 6,100 square feet of open cargo deck."

G & G Marine, Inc. services fifteen ports in the northern Caribbean and Bahamas.

In addition to new vessel construction, Sun State Marine Services also offers ship repair services with a 1,000-ton marine railway and three dry docks that can handle vessels up to 300 and 600 tons. By combining drydock resources, the facility has the ability to handle vessels as large as 300 feet and 960 tons.

In a separate operation, Sun State operates nine push tugs and seventeen oil barges in the Jones Act market, making it one of the largest oil barging companies in the southeast United States.

Specifications of Caribbean Express

Design/Engineering Entech and Associates, Houma, Louisiana
Vessel Type Landing craft type freight vessel
Tonnage 700 deadweight tons
Length 190 feet
Beam 38 feet
Draft 7 feet at mean load displacement.

Engines Two 720 horsepower Caterpillar 3412 DITA main diesel engines
Propulsion Twin Disc MG5202 reduction / reverse gears
Max. Speed 12 knots
Maneuvering/Docking Wesmar bow thruster, 200 horsepower
Ship's Power Two John Deere generator sets rated at 60 kW each.
Special Features Ramped bow 6,152 square feet of open cargo deck
Kedging stern anchor & spud


BP Marine and Unitor form alliance
Two leading international marine suppliers are to join forces in a move that , they say, could shortly allow a ship's master to order all a vessel's marine supply requirements, from lubricants and gases to safety and environmental services, via a single source.

U.K.-based BP Marine and Unitor ASA of Norway said they have agreed to form a marketing alliance that will offer their combined range of products to ship
operators on a global basis. As a next step, they will add new partners that will make the alliance a "one-stop-shop" for marine supplies anywhere in the world.

"New members will be actively encouraged to participate, in order to bring even greater benefits to our customers," said Unitor's president, Frode Berg. "In principle, all product and service transactions to a ship could ultimately be co-ordinated in a single operation, resulting in better service for customers and cost savings for everyone."

Called "The Marine Alliance," the initiative will be rolled out to the 18,000 vessels currently supplied by BP Marine and Unitor during the remainder of 2000. Deliveries are being co-ordinated through Unitor's existing global logistics system which covers over 80 countries around the world.

The IT systems of BP Marine and Unitor will be integrated to provide a technical platform for seamless transactions, from order to payment, and deliver synergies
with e-business developments such as e4marine.com.

The alliance also intends to offer tailored service 'packages' that meet the distinctive technical and commercial requirements of different shipowners, with a flexibility that reflects the rapidly changing nature of the marine market.

"The Marine Alliance will provide a distinctively different offer for the marine market," says BP Marine's chief operating officer, Steve Wright. "Our approach is not only to provide improved efficiency and savings but also to work with our customers to enhance their own business performance."


Singapore repairer moves into conversions
Singapore Technologies Marine (a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd) has secured two major conversion contracts. The first is from a Dutch dredging company, Hollandsche Aanneming Maatschappij B.V. (Ham B.V.) to lengthen and modify the trailing suction hopper dredge, Ham 310. This project will involve lengthening of the dredge by 30 meters involving some 1,300 tons of steel as well as modification of the jet piping system, dredge pipings, dredge pump motors and self emptying channels.

ST Marine's successful bid for this project represents a significant feat for the yard as this will be the first dredger jumboisation project in the shiprepair industry in Singapore. Despite the stiff competition which ST Marine faced from several local big yards in the bidding process, ST Marine has emerged as a prominent forerunner in a market which the yard views as possessing great potential as the massive reclamation project at Jurong Island is underway.

The second contract has been awarded by another Dutch dredging company, Van Oord ACZ B.V. It covers conversion work on the construction / side stone dumping vessel, Jan Steen.Itwill involve the insertion of one new deck level below the bridge to increase the accommodations as well as the installation of a new aft construction deck, a new A-frame and a knuckle boom crane. The Dynamic Positioning system will also be upgraded from DP class 1 to DP class 2 with two new thrusters and a new diesel generator.

In recent months, ST Marine has successively completed several major conversion projects for a whole host of world-renowned, international customers. These projects include the jumboization of a livestock carrier, Bison Express for Vroon B.V. and similiarly for Western Tug & Barge's general ore and fuel oil carrier, Western Star. The yard is currently in the process of completing the lengthening of a second vessel, Western Flyer, for Western Tug & Barge. All these projects, including the most recent for Ham B.V. and Van Oord ACZ B.V. total over S$20m - a significant achievement for ST Marine, a medium-sized yard, in the shiprepair industry in Singapore.

"ST Marine has successfully moved into higher value-added commercial repairs and conversion. Although our yard's physical capacity may be much smaller than our major competitors here, we are able to differentiate our products and services and re-position ourselves in the highly competitive market. This is made possible by leveraging on the company's expertise in the design and construction
of highly-sophisticated naval and commercial vessels and its commitment to deliver to customers high quality products and services", said Mr M.S. Tan, President (Commercial Business Group).

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