2001 Maritime

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July 18, 2001

World's first 5,000 hp HTS electric motor
American Superconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: AMSC) says it has built and demonstrated the world's first 5,000-horsepower (hp), high temperature superconductor (HTS) electric motor. The company's patented, ultra-compact HTS electric motors are designed to reduce manufacturing costs of industrial and ship propulsion motors by up to 40 percent compared with conventional motors. The electrical losses of HTS motors, which utilize HTS wires instead of copper wires on the rotor, are also much lower, which should translate into significant fuel savings and lower operating costs.

American Superconductor's prototype 5,000-hp HTS motor is about the size of a household refrigerator--about half the size and weight of a conventional 5,000-hp moto. Its net electrical losses, including losses associated with cryogenic cooling of the HTS wires, are up to half the electrical losses of a conventional motor.

Ship propulsion is emerging as a major new market for high-power electric motors is electric ship propulsion. The current annual global market for electric motors utilized for electric propulsion in commercial cruise and cargo ships is approximately $250 million. This is expected to grow rapidly to over $1 billion per year by 2010.

American Superconductor is currently working under a contract from the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research to design and develop HTS ship propulsion motors up to 33,500 hp for application in electric warships ). The company expects sea trials of its HTS ship propulsion motors by the end of 2003.

Japanese shipbuilding chief warns on newbuilding prices
Newbuilding prices still continue to remain at a low level overall due to aggressive order taking by some shipbuilders. The most important issue for shipbuilders world-wide is maintaining the appropriate price level rather than the amounts on orderbooks said Toshimichi Okano, Chairman of the Shipbuilders' Association of Japan at his regular press conference in Tokyo yesterday. If Korean shipbuilders fail to maintain a responsible attitude, he said, world shipbuilders will face increased financial difficulties.

Okano noted that this month there was no bilateral consultation between the EU and Korea on their long simmering shipbuilding dispute. It thus seems that the EU is likely to launch its WTO action against Korea. .Okasno confirmed that the SAJ will request the Japanese government to participate in the WTO dispute settlement procedure on the Korean shipbuilding case as "a third party" when the EU launches the procedure. "We are currently watching every move concerning this issue," he said.

Okano noted that the top leaders of major shipyards in Japan, Europe, Korea and the U.S. (JEKU) will meet in Cadiz, Spain, from October 17th to 19th. At the last JEKU meeting in Yokohama a year ago, the delegates confirmed that each company should endeavor to


a) Build an environment for free and fair competition,
b) Avoid production-volume-oriented competition resulting in premature exhaustion of future demand in view of the supply-demand situation, and
c) Maintain reasonable profit returns on investment.

Okano hopes that "implementation of the aforementioned principles will be diligently examined and necessary actions to resolve current problems will be discussed in a frank manner among the top executives."