2001 Maritime

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October 12, 2001

Family business
With a base pay of a reported $321,324 a year, the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association apparently likes to keep jobs in the family.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that despite the objections of some leaders of the association, the Louisiana Public Service Commission has released a document that shows that 37 of the 44 new pilot apprentices elected to the group this spring are related to existing members of the group.

Members of the association pilot ocean-going ships on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Commissioner Irma Dixon said the results show the group has broken its pledge to bring in more ethnic minorities and women.

Just one of the 44 winning candidates is an African-American. The sole female apprentice is the daughter of the group's president, Clifford E. Clayton.

The Times-Picayune reports that under a rate structure approved by the PSC this year, association pilots are expected to earn a base salary of $321,324 in 2001, a 23 percent increase. In approving the new rate, the Public Service Commission stipulated that it would not approve the creation of more than six pilot positions in any single year. The association said the 44 apprentices would become pilots in groups of eight to 18 over a three-year period.

HDW takes over Hellenic
After some last minute wavering, Germany's HDW-Ferostaal now owns Greece's largest shipyard, Hellenic Shipyards. Yesterday, reports Kathimirini, it signed a deal with the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank. Subject to European Union regulatory approval, HDW-Ferrostaal will pay 2.1 billion drachmas for the 51% of the yard owned by the bank and the 49% owned by a workers cooperative. It will also participate in a 14-billion-drachma share capital increase at the yard ($1 is worth around 377 drachma).

The offer is an improvement of 600 million drachmas on the original bid. HDW-Ferrostaal also reportedly agreed to take on the Greek shipbuilder's obligations, including maintaining the company as a shipyard for 10 years and retaining the 1,400-strong workforce for six years.

The background to all this is a very significant submartine contract involving HDW's new class 214 boat. Earlier this year, Greek Minister of Defense Apostolos-Athanasios Tsochatzopoulos ceremonially started the welding of the first frames for the construction of the first submarine of this class at HDW's Kiel yard in Germany. The boat is the first HDW submarine equipped with a fuel cell for air-independent propulsion that will be exported.

Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, Ferrostaal AG and Hellenic Shipyards signed the contract for the construction of three submarines of this new class in Athens in February 2000. The order value exceeds DM 2 billion—or close to $1 billion. While the first boat is being built in Kiel, the follow on boats will be built by Hellenic Shipyards in Greece. In addition, the order includes an option for one further boat to be constructed in Greece.