2001 Maritime

Reserve your copy now!

Also available on

March 29, 2001

More contracts for FGH
Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. has announced new projects with a combined value of over $56 million.

Friede & Goldman, Ltd., (FGL), has been awarded a contract by PPL Shipyard Pte. Ltd., of Singapore, for the design of two high-performance "JU 2000" jackup drilling rigs to be built by PPL for Santa Fe International Corporation . FGL will also supply PPL with its patented "Rack Chock" leg locking system. The contract includes options for the design and rack chocks for up to four additional JU-2000 jackups.

FGH Engineered Products has been awarded a contract by PPL Shipyard for the manufacture of the jacking system for the JU2000 jackup drilling rig to be built by PPL for Santa Fe, with a provisional order for a second system. This jacking system includes 36 of BLM-Offshore's Model C-150 high-capacity jacking units, which will be built at BLM-Offshore's plant in Nantes, France.

FGH Engineered Products has been awarded a contract by Hyundai Heavy Industries, of South Korea, for the manufacture of the jacking system for a second ultra-harsh-environment jackup drilling rig to be built by Hyundai for Maersk Contractors, of Denmark. This rig will be suitable for operation in water depths up to 625 feet and will require 54 of BLM-Offshore's highest-capacity Model C-170 jacking units.

FGH Engineered Products has received an order from Heerema Marine Contractors of Leiden, the Netherlands, for the development of an AmClyde Mooring Line Deployment Winch for use as installation equipment on Heerema's derrick crane vessels. The winch will be a central component of Heerema's system for deploying approximately 6,000 foot lengths of 7-inch diameter "jacket spiral strand wire rope," interspersed with lengths of chain, for the permanent mooring of floating production vessels in deep water. The very large mooring line size dictates a winch-drum diameter of 34 1/2 feet and a lengthof 38-feet: it is believed that this will be the largest drum winch in the world.

FGH Engineered Products has also received several recent orders for BLM deck winches, for AmClyde pedestal cranes and for after-market conversion projects.

Halter Marine, Inc., has signed a contract with Tugs Unlimited, Inc., of Rhode Island, for the construction of an 80,000-barrel, oceangoing, double-hulled tank barge. The barge will be built at Halter's Gulfport shipyard in Gulfport, Mississippi.

ETG to advise on China LNG project
Energy Transportation Group, Inc. (ETG) of New York has been selected as the LNG Shipping Advisor to the Guangdong LNG Transportation Project Office of the People's Republic of China, say Kimball and Kendall Chen, Co-Chairmen of ETG.

The project's anticipated annual volume of LNG imports into the Guangdong Province region is three million tons per year. These energy imports will feed into a market of Guangdong and Hong Kong gas and electric utilities.

ETG advisory responsibilities include counsel on technical specification, financing, insurance, vessel specification, shipyard identification, shipbuilding contracts, transportation agreement and cost. The Guangdong LNG Transportation Project Office, composed of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), and China Merchants Transportation Holding Company (China Merchants), officially appointed ETG.

"The Guangdong LNG Transportation Project Office announced that we were chosen as the advisor because of our impartiality and our extensive knowledge. The recognition of our absolute focus on China's interests was gratifying, and we look forward to creation of an effective and efficient Project," noted Kimball C. Chen, Co-Chairman of ETG.

Norwegian fleet at all time high
The Norwegian Shipowners Association says the Norwegian-owned and -controlled foreign-going fleet has never been more numerous than it was at New Year, when it numbered 1,730 vessels, an increase of 70 units compared to one year earlier.

Looking back on the year 2000, Norway consolidated her position as the world's third largest shipping nation, and the shipping industry's contribution to the Norwegian economy reached an historic high level.

The association says the future, too, looks promising. Norwegian shipowners have placed newbuilding contracts for a total of 120 vessels and six mobile offshore constructions, with a total value of NOK 50.2 billion. This amount equals total Norwegian investments on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2000.

Of the 126 newbuilding contracts, 39 will be built in Norway, 28 in Japan and 22 in South Korea

Carnival switches Westerdam to Costa
Carnival Corporation's Holland America Line unit will transfer its 1,494-passenger Westerdam to sister company Costa Cruises in spring 2002, at the conclusion of the vessel's winter Caribbean cruise season.

The vessel will then immediately reposition to Europe where it will undergo a short drydocking for minor interior renovations and exterior modifications followed by a program of Mediterranean cruises beginning in June 2002.

Westerdam will be the second Carnival Corporation vessel to be transferred to the Italian cruise operator in a span of 14 months. Last month, the 1,022-passenger Costa Tropicale, formerly Carnival Cruise Lines' Tropicale, joined the Costa fleet and will begin seven-night Mediterranean voyages from Venice in June.

"While we will continue to expand Costa with an aggressive newbuilding program with three ships currently under contract, the transfer of these two vessels provides Carnival the unique opportunity to quickly build upon Costa's leadership position in the fast-growing European market," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation chairman and CEO.

"Although our primary focus will be to expand our core brands through new tonnage, we will also continue to analyze potential transfers of ships within our various operating companies to maximize the earnings potential of our cruise ship assets," Arison added. For example, just last week it was announced that Seabourn Cruise Line's 758-passenger Seabourn Sun will be transferred to Holland America Line on April 23, 2002, becoming the newest member of the premium cruise operator's fleet.

Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Cruises chairman and CEO called the Westerdam "a perfect fit for Costa" and said that following the transfer, the vessel will undergo some minor renovations and emerge with the physical characteristics of a typical Costa ship, including a white hull and the company's signature funnel emblazoned with the company's giant "C" logo. Further details, including a new name and European homeport and itinerary, will be announced in the near future.

The Westerdam is noteworthy for being the only ship in Holland America's 127-year history to undergo an extensive lengthening and redesign. The ship was built in 1986 at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard as the 1,000-passenger MV Homeric for now-defunct Home Lines and was acquired by Holland America two years later.

In 1989, the vessel underwent an $84 million renovation and refit during which it was "stretched" by a then-cruise industry record 130 feet, increasing its capacity to 1,494 and tonnage to 53,872. Since its first cruise under the Holland America banner in 1988, the Westerdam has sailed on close to 600 voyages, carrying nearly a million guests.

Central Gulf lease saleattracts $505.4 million in high bids
The U. S. Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) in New Orleans latest sale of offshore oil and natural gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, attracting $505,468,501 in high bids from 90 companies. There was strong interest in shallow as well as deepwater tracts and the number of tracts bid on was up 60% on last year's Central Gulf sale.

Of 4,390 tracts comprising approximately 23.19 million acres offshore Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi that were offered, the MMS received 780 bids on 547 tracts. The total of all bids was $663,406,963.

Bidding activity was very heavy in the shallow water; 338 tracts in less than 200 meters of water received 502 bids. This amounts to 64 percent of the sale. The highest bid received on a block was $26,115,000, submitted by Exxon Asset Management Company for Mississippi Canyon (NH16-10) Block 912.

Approximately 9 percent of the tracts receiving bids are in ultra-deep water (more than 800 meters). The deepest tract bid on was Walker Ridge (NG15-06) Block 146 in 2,365 meters of water.

"We are very pleased with this sale," said Acting MMS Director Tom Kitsos. "Strong bidding by the independent oil and gas companies was a major part of the sale, and we are particularly pleased with the high interest shown in the shallow water area where deep gas deposits may be present."

Kitsos noted that there were 11 companies who were first-time bidders.

The high bid on a block (each approximately nine square miles) will go through an evaluation process to ensure the public receives fair market value before a lease is awarded.