2001 Maritime

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July 11, 2001


Big floating dock starts long tow
The ex Portland Dock # 4, now the Grand Bahama Shipyard Dock # 2, has departed Portland Oregon bound for its new home at the Grand Bahama Shipyard Ltd. in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Under a marine management contract with Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBSY), Seaspan (Cyprus) Ltd has chartered the Global Towing Alliance Ocean Going Tug De Yue.

The De Yue is a 20,800 bhp, 200 m B.P., twin screw deep sea salvage tug. It is owned by Guangzhou Salvage of China and is well suited for a tow of this magnitude due to its high BHP and large bunker capacity.

The De Yue is expected to take approximately 170 days covering approximately 20,000 nautical miles at an average tow speed of about 5.5 knots.

Routing is specifically designed to avoid major weather patterns in each of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The tow will stop for bunkering in four locations, currently intended to be Davao, Djibouti or Singapore, Suez or Cape Town, and Gibraltar or Fortaleza, depending on the final routing of the tow and conditions encountered en route.

At this time, the tow route has two options 1) to cross the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope for entry into the Atlantic or 2) to transit the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean for entry into the Atlantic. A final routing decision will be made later in the tow.

The first leg of the tow, a 17 hr transit of the Columbia River and over the Bar at Astoria, was very smooth and completed without incident.

Those involved in the smooth transit of the Columbia River by the De Yue and the dock included Cascade General Shipyard, Foss and its four assist tugs the Daniel Foss 2300 HP Z Drive Tractor, America 2,800 hp VS tractor, P.J. Brix 3,000hp Z drive Pusher and the Lewiston 3,000 hp Pusher, the Columbia River Pilots and the Astoria Bar Pilots.

Details of the Dock :
LOA : 274.93 M
Beam: 69.45 M
Lightship weight : 23,185 LT
Towing draft: 1.85 M

Details of the Tug:
BHP : 20,800 BHP (2 x IHI Pielstick MEs)
LOA : 98.0 M
Beam: 15.8 M

European Commission to probe Dutch
inland waterway operators subsidies
The European Commission decided today to open a formal investigation of the maritime transport aid granted to Dutch tugboat operations on inland waterways and in ports.

The Commission says the aid does not fall into the 1997 Community guidelines on state aid to maritime transport. It is therefore considered as potentially incompatible with the European single market.

On the basis of the information at its disposal, the Commission considers that the Dutch maritime transport aid to tug boat operations in EU inland waterways and ports granted after the application of the 1997 guidelines on state aid to maritime transport(1) may be incompatible with the single market. The Commission has thus decided to formally open an investigation procedure.

The Commission adopted its Community guidelines on state aid to maritime transport in 1997, following intensive consultation with all Member States. The Dutch authorities agreed to adapt their existing maritime transport aid schemes to the guidelines. Since the guidelines do not cover inland waterways or ports, the Commission will examine whether maritime transport aid granted to Dutch tug boat operations in such areas is compatible with the single market.

To limit potential damage to competitors, the Commission is requesting the Netherlands to suspend aid payments until the matter is resolved.