Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Shareholders approve carve up of Daewoo Heavy Industries

According to the Korea Development Bank, shareholders in Daewoo Heavy Industries have now approved splitting Daewoo Heavy Industries into separate shipbuilding, machinery and heavy industry units.

The bank, which is Daewoo Heavy Industries' largest creditor, said it had now secured the agreement of minority shareholders by promising them 39.42% of new shares to be issued rather than the 27% proposed earlier. A court injunction against the split had prevented creditors from proceeding with a debt restructuring program.

Separation of the units will now take place on August 1, according to the Korea Development Bank.

South Africa spill worse than at first thought
A massive clean-up operation is underway in Cape Town to contain the damage caused by an oil spill following the sinking of the 143,731 dwt bulk ore carrier Treasure last week.

Military helicopters are taking oil-contaminated penguins from Robben Island to the South African National Conservation of Coastal Birds SANCOBB rehabilitation center More than 2,000 "oiled"penguins have been removed from the island and are being cleaned at a reported cost of almost US $100 US dollars each at the center.

The ship was carrying 1,300 tons of fuel oil and 130,000 tons of iron ore when it sank shortly after 3 am last Friday. All the crew were airlifted to safety.

The Equasis data base shows that the 76,705 gt bulker was built in 1983. Classed with Bureau Veritas it is owned by Universal Pearls of Piraeus and managed by Good Faith Shipping which shares the same Bouboulinas Street, Piraeus address as Universal Pearls.

The Equasis data base records two Port State Control interventions on the ship. An inspection in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 20 last year found 20 deficiencies but resulted in no detention. An inspection in Rotterdam on August 12, 1998 resulted in 16 deficiencies being noted. One of these, related to the oil discharge monitoring and control system, resulted in a two day detention.

Equasis shows that Good Faith Shipping manages 40 vessels, predominantly bulkers and predominantly under the Panamanian flag , though five are on the Malta Register and one flies the Cyprus flag.

BV TO INVESTIGATE : Bureau Veritas says it has begun a technical investigation into the damage suffered by the Treasure.

"We want to find out quickly if there is anything which can be learnt from this, and to pass that information on to our colleagues in IACS and to the flag and coastal states," says BV's Bernard Anne. "This ship is one of a series which we are acting to identify in order to inform relevant IACS members."

Anne says that structural issues are only one part of the cause of this loss, and that BV can only investigate that aspect.

"There are three elements to the causes of the pollution from this incident," says Anne. "One is the origin of the initial crack, the second is the fact the ship was refused shelter which would have hopefully stopped the damage spreading, and the third is that she was towed offshore, so making a loss inevitable, when she could have been taken into port, debunkered and repaired. These are questions for the flag and coastal state to address. We will co-operate fully with those inquiries and look forward to swift action by all parties. We share the concern of the South African authorities over potential pollution but in this case the effort to tow the ship offshore failed, resulting in the ship drifting and sinking close to the shore."

According to Anne, it is too early to establish causes of the initial cracking.

"We know a crack happened, which led to progressive flooding of cargo hold No 4 and No 2 ballast tank. There was no sudden irredeemable failure, and the ship was capable of reaching a safe port even in that condition. The loss of the side plate which followed the flooding was the consequence of the sixty per cent overload bending moments, and extreme shear forces on the vessel. By that time the ship had reached a safe port and BV recommended that the ship be maintained in sheltered waters. We will focus on the origins of the crack and on any follow up."

Bureau Veritas has particular experience with bulk carriers, and Anne says, "We are confident in the present class rules for bulk carriers, and with inspection and survey programs. We are also confident that this ship was in good condition and that BV has acted correctly in all its dealings with the vessel. But accidents happen and we will work diligently to find the technical cause of this one. We regret that what could have been a small incident has caused pollution on this scale."

Changes to bulk carrier survey routines brought in during 1993 by IACS as part of the Enhanced Survey Program, and implemented in 1995 by IMO as IMO A744, have had a dramatic effect on cutting bulk carrier losses. Reported incidents involving bulk carriers at sea fell from 0.64 per cent of world tonnage in 1990 to 0.2 per cent eight years later in 1998.

USCG final rule on OPA 90 phase out
The U.S. Coast Guard has published a final rule regarding the conversion of single hull tank vessels to include double bottoms or double sides. Under the rule a single hull tank vessel may not be converted to include a double bottom or double sides and receive an extension of its phase-out date in oil transportation under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) unless the conversion was complete prior to the law's effective date of August 18, 1990.

OPA 90 provides a phase-out schedule for the operation of single hull tank vessels carrying oil in U.S. waters. The phase-out schedule differentiates between a tank vessel with a single hull and one with a single hull that includes only a double bottom or only double sides. Tank vessels with double sides or a double bottom may continue to operate for up to 5 additional years longer by OPA 90, based on their hull configuration.

This issue arose when the marine industry requested the Coast Guard to make a determination on whether a conversion of a single hull tank vessel after August 18, 1990, to add only a double bottom or double sides, would extend the tank vessels operating phase-out date for 5 years. The Coast Guard published a notice on November 16, 1998, requesting comments on the issue, and a notice of policy determination on April 21, 1999, discussing the 32 comments it received on the matter. The Coast Guard policy determination was that such a conversion after August 18, 1990, would not be allowed to extend the tank vessel's original phase-out date.

The notice of policy stated that the Coast Guard would initiate a rulemaking on this matter to ensure a clear understanding of the regulations for the OPA 90 phase-out schedule in Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 157 (33 CFR 157).

France to boost second register
The French Government has taken steps to combat the use of flags of convenience and to boost the French flag fleet , now down to some 210 ships employing around 7,200 seafarers. They include boosting the TAAF (Terres australes et antarctiques française) fleet, often known as the Kerguelen register. For shipowners, the chief attraction of this register is that up to 65% of ships crews can be non-French nationals. Measures being taken include changes in social benefits that amount to a 140 million franc cost savings for shipowners and opening the TAAF register to cruise ships

Deepwater spar contract for Vastar
Aker Maritime has been awarded a contract for delivery of a spar floating production platform for the Horn Mountain field operated by Vastar Resources, Inc. in the Gulf of Mexico.

Aker Maritime, Houston, Texas will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, fabrication and delivery of the complete spar hull and mooring system. The hull will be built at Aker Maritime's yard in Finland. Final project sanctioning is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2000, with proposed delivery of the spar scheduled for the second quarter of 2002.Vastar holds a two-thirds working interest in Horn Mountain field and serves as operator, with Occidental Petroleum holding a one-third interest.

The Horn Mountain field will be the fifth Gulf of Mexico deepwater field to be developed using spar technology. Aker Maritime has provided the hulls for all three spar platforms currently operating and has recently begun construction on the fourth unit.

Located in Mississippi Canyon Block 127, in water depth of approx 1,600 meters (5,400 feet), the Horn Mountain field represents a new water depth record for a floating production system. Daily production from the field is currently anticipated to peak at 65,000 barrels of oil and 50 million cubic feet of gas.

The hull for Horn Mountain will be 170 meters (555 ft) tall, with a diameter of 32 meters (106 ft) and a displacement of 37,000 metric tons. The selected truss spar hull concept features a tubular truss system replacing the lower part of the cylindrical hull compared to a caisson spar, which has a cylindrical hull from top to keel.

Cal Dive vessel damaged by fire
Cal Dive International, Inc. said yesterday that one of its vessels, the DPDSV Balmoral Sea, was extensively damaged by a fire while dockside in New Orleans, LA. The fire apparently broke out as the vessel was being prepared to enter drydock for an extended period. The vessel crew was evacuated and no injuries were reported. During the fire fighting operation conducted by the City of New Orleans, the vessel listed and is now resting in approximately 30 feet of water.

CFO S. James Nelson, Jr.,, stated ``The vessel was fully insured and expected to be out of service a good portion of the third quarter so the potential financial impact is immaterial. CDI is cooperating with the City of New Orleans, the Coast Guard and insurance underwriters to develop a plan to re-float the vessel and determine the extent of damage.''

Cal Dive International, Inc. operates a fleet of technically advanced marine construction support vessels and conducts salvage operations in theGulf of Mexico

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