January 10, 2001
Tidewater on $305 million newbuilding spree
Tidewater Inc. announced today that it has signed contracts with two Far East shipyards for the construction of eight vessels as part of Tidewater's new build program announced in January 2000. It has also announced that its subsidiary, Quality Shipyard L.L.C., will build a total of four vessels.
The $305 million in newbuilding commitments ffollows Tidewater's recent purchase of eight similar vessels from The Sanko Steamship Co., Ltd.
The eight vessels to be built in the Far East are five large 280-foot anchor handling towing supply vessels with greater than 20,000 horsepower and three 260-foot platform supply vessels.
The three PSV's are being built by Singapore's ST Marine. According to ST Marine, they have been designed with sophisticated diesel-electric propulsion systems. Each will be powered by two aft azimuth thrusters which also provide the dynamic positioning capability of the vessels when combined with the forward retractable thruster and tunnel thruster.
The highly-automated PSVs also feature the integration of a dual computer Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) with the vessel's propulsion
thruster control system, joystick control system, Power Management System (PMS) and Vessel Automation System (VAS). Linkage of the PMS with the VAS is via a fiber optic network.
The vessels also meet stringent noise and vibration standards in the accommodation and bridge areas to ensure crew comfort.
Design and construction work will commence immediately and ST Marine expects to deliver the three units of PSVs to Tidewater Inc by the end of
The four vessels being built at Quality Shipyard will be similar platform supply vessels and will be built to full Jones Act compliance.
"We are looking forward to introducing a state-of-the-art Tidewater fleet to the world through this new build program,'' said CFO Keith Lousteau. ``The overall new build program is priced exactly in line with our budgeted goal of approximately $300 million in commitments. We anticipate being able to pay for these new boats through present and forecasted cash flows without the need to take on any long-term debt.''
Scheduled delivery of the new vessels will commence in December of 2001 and will continue throughout 2002, with the final delivery expected in January of 2003.
"This is an exciting time at Tidewater, with new vessels being purchased and built over the next few years," said Tidewater's chairman, president and CEO William C. O'Malley. "The demand for the vessels we have previously purchased and that are already operational has been strong. We anticipate that these new ships will be working from delivery if market conditions remain stable or continue to improve as we anticipate."
Patent for Maritrans double hull technique
Maritrans Operating Partners L.P., a subsidiary of Maritrans Inc. has obtained a patent on its proprietary process for rebuilding single hull tank vessels with internal double hulls.
Together with M. Daniel Jones of the Houston-based naval architecture firm Schuller & Allan, Maritrans developed an innovative double-hull manufacturing process to rebuild single-hulled tank vessels with the double hulls required by the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
The process utilizes computer-assisted design for fabricating modular internal hull sections.
In 1998, Maritrans used the process to complete the rebuilding of the 10,549 gross-ton tank barge MARITRANS 192 (formerly OCEAN 192), which marked the first large single hull tank vessel to be rebuilt with a double hull to meet OPA's mandate. In 2000, Maritrans completed the rebuilding of the 16,021 gross-ton tank barge MARITRANS 244 (formerly OCEAN 244). Both vessels, now in full compliance with OPA's requirements, are currently in service transporting petroleum products in the Gulf of Mexico.
Maritrans' patent now grants Maritrans the right to exclude others from practicing its protected process.
Stephen A. Van Dyck, chairman and CEO commented, "By obtaining patent protection for our internal rebuilding process, we believe we will be able to protect the competitive advantage we have gained through our hard work and innovation. Our second vessel rebuild is now complete, and we will continue our efforts to rebuild our fleet to meet OPA's mandate. Module fabrication is already underway for the barge OCEAN CITIES, which is due to enter the shipyard this spring.''
Dominica enters registry market
Latest arrival on the international ship registry scene: the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc. (DMRI), has been appointed to serve as the administrative arm of Dominica's new registry, which is billing itself as "the flag of responsibility."
DMRI is headed by Daniel F. Sheehan, a former top ranking U.S. Coast Guard civilan official. As Director of the National Pollution Funds Center, Sheehan was at the center of the controversy surrounding implementation of the OPA 90 requirement for shipowners entering U.S. waters to be covered by COFR's (Certificates of Financial Responsibility)
Located between the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, Dominica is 29 miles long, 16 miles across, home to 70,000 residents and is a member of the Commonwealth Group of Nations.
Dominicas Parliament last year ratified ten International Maritime Conventions concerning safety of life at sea, pollution prevention, and manning of ships in July, 2000. On September 5, 2000, the Parliament enacted the International Maritime Act, 2000. These steps were a precursor to registering ships.
DMRIs offices are located in Washington, D.C., and opened officially today.DMRI is accountable to the Dominica Maritime Administration, the enforcement agency for all matters concerning seaworthiness, safety, and seafarer qualification.
Vessels must be owned by a Dominica corporation, partnership, or citizen. International owners are eligible to register as Foreign Maritime Entities. In keeping with its mission as "The Flag of Responsibility," Dominica requires applicants to "honor the mariner" by demonstrating their financial capability to sustain their vessels and crews in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
VESSEL ELIGIBILITY AND SURVEY REQUIREMENTS
At the time of registration, a vessel must be classed with one of the following classification societies :
o American Bureau of Shipping
o Det Norske Veritas
o Lloyds Register of Shipping
o Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
Dominica does not levy taxes on the income or assets of its corporations or on Foreign Maritime Entities flying its flag and conducting no other business in Dominica. Annual maintenance fees, payable to DMRI in United States dollars, are assessed on the anniversary of incorporation.
REGISTRATION AND DOCUMENTATION
Companies may register with the DMRI office in Washington, D.C. Electronic registration and incorporation via the Internet are also possible at firstname.lastname@example.org. Service is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Senior DMRI officials are available for consultation Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. U.S. eastern standard time. DMRI recommends submission of facsimile documentation and notarizations for examination one day prior to registration to ensure prompt approval.
In keeping with its mission as "The Flag of Responsibility," DMRI maintains crewing standards that meet ILO and STCW 95 and other IMO regulations, manning certificates are issued by DMRI, and application for manning specifications must be made at the time of application for transfer to DMRI. A true "Flag of Responsibility" depends entirely on a fully trained, competent, responsible maritime staff. All seafarers must demonstrate compliance with the high standards of STCW. Crew nationality is unrestricted.
Mortgage recording service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure timely, uninterrupted operations.
Initial registration and annual maintenance fees are payable to DMRI. Fees must be paid in United States dollars by a check drawn on a bank or branch thereof located in the United States. The Commonwealth of Dominica promises competitive, straightforward rates, with no hidden costs. A fee schedule, quoted in United States dollars, is available upon request.
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