2001 Maritime

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April 5, 2001

World's largest FPSO completedGirassol FPSO at Hyundai Heavy Industries
Stolt Offshore S.A. and Bouygues Offshore S.A. announced today that they have achieved a major milestone in their contract with TotalFinaElf for the Engineering and Construction of the Girassol FPSO.

The world's largest Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit has now been completed and left Korea on March 30 en route to Angola. Transit is expected to take three months. The FPSO, with a displacement of 400,000 tonnes will arrive at the Girassol site in early July.

Construction of the FPSO has been carried out at Hyundai Heavy Industries for the Mar Profundo Girassol (MPG) 50/50 joint venture between Stolt Offshore and Bouygues Offshore. The partners have completed construction of the topsides within 21 months to the satisfaction of their client TotalFinaElf, thus making a major contribution to the construction and delivery of the FPSO.

The Girassol FPSO will be moored in a water depth of 1,400 m and first oil is due to flow towards the end of 2001. The 50,000 tonne hull supports 24,000 tonnes of topsides. The FPSO has oil production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day and a 2 million barrel storage capacity. It also features the largest desulfatation unit in the world, allowing treatment of 400,000 barrels of seawater per day for water injection.

Kiewit to re-enter offshore fab market
Giant Omaha, Nebraska, based construction company Peter Kiewit will next week formally announce that it is re-entering the offshore market with a "new, state-of-the-art Gulf Coast fabrication facility."

Until last year, when its stake was bought out by Aker Maritime, Kiewit was a partner in Aker Gulf Marine.

Peter Kiewit will next Wednesday, April 11, make a presentation at the Petroleum Club, Houston, to announce a new Gulf of Mexico-based company to pursue offshore fabrication opportunities worldwide.

Kiewit expects to successfully compete in the offshore fabrication arena, especially on large complex deepwater projects.

Kiewit says its new facility is managed by a highly experienced team, which has built some of the world’s largest, most complex offshore platforms.

FGH: "we haven't filed"
Troubled Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. yesterday that it is "actively pursuing and negotiating options" that it thinks are in the best interest of its creditors, shareholders, employees, and customers.

"The Company has not filed for any reorganization," said the statement, adding that "at this time, the company does not believe a filing is in the best interest of their creditors, shareholders, employees, or customers. Viable alternatives are being pursued by the company."

Downgrade from Moody's
Meantime, Moody's Investors Service yesterday downgraded to Ca from Caa3 Friede Goldman Halter, Inc.'s (FGH) $185 million par value of 4.5% convertible subordinated notes due 2004 and issued by predecessor Halter Marine.

Moody's also downgraded the senior implied rating to Caa2 from Caa1 and the senior unsecured issuer rating to Caa3 from Caa2.

To see how Moody's defines its ratings click here

Moody's first placed FGH's ratings on negative outlook in Juine 1999. It placed FGH under review for downgrade January 14, 2000 then downgraded FGH on April 17, 2000, retaining a negative outlook. It again downgraded FGH on March 8, 2001.

In a statement announcing yesterday's downgrade, Moody's notes that "FGH continues to be in serious negotiations to arrange intermediate term senior secured debt funding designed to provide sufficient liquidity for funding needed to operate the business in a stabilized manner." However, even assuming the negotiations are successful, "the financing may not close before the April 14 expiration of the 30 day grace period on FGH's note coupon payment," says Moody's

"The downgrades," says Moody's, "reflect asset coverage in light of the junior and unsecured status of the notes, FGH's inability so far to complete waiver negotiations on covenant violations in its bank credit agreements, the company's current severe liquidity shortfall, and covenant violations in its debt agreements guaranteed by the U.S. Maritime Administration."

This condition results from the cumulative effects and erosion of FGH's liquidity and overall credit condition due to long-standing cost overruns and delays encountered on four deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig newbuild projects, says Moody's.

"Liquidity is very thin and FGH may be prohibited from drawing under the remaining undrawn portion of its revolver to make its $4.2 million note coupon payment that was due March 14, 2001 and is now in its 30 day grace period," says Moody's.

Ocean Rig seeks to increase capitalization
Ocean Rig ASA is holding its general meeting in Oslo on Friday 20 April, 2001

On the agend is authorization for the board for increase the company's share capital. At the general meeting on May 18,2000, the board was authorized to increase the share capital by up to NOK 300 million. Now the board wants shareholders to revoke that authorization and instead authorize it to increase the company's share capital by up to NOK 400 million.

The board authorisation can be used for share capital increases against payments in cash or for share capital increases for issuing shares in mergers or as consideration in acquisitions.

Wärtsilä 200 main engines for Finnish Frontier Guard’s patrol vessels
  Wärtsilä Corporation has received the contract to deliver four Wärtsilä 12V200 diesel engines for two patrol vessels of a new class for the Finnish Frontier Guard.

The new Telkkä-class vessels are part of a fleet renewal program. They are multi-purpose vessels capable of carrying out search and rescue, and anti-pollution missions in the Baltic in addition to traditional maritime surveillance.
Recently ordered from Finland's UKI Workboat Ltd, they vesselsare due to be commissioned in 2002 and 2004. Each will have a pair of Wärtsilä 12V200 diesel engines, with a combined maximum continuous output of 5000 kW at 1500 rev/min.

The size of the vessels, overall length 50 m and 400 tonnes displacement, sets restrictions on the weight and size of the engines hence high speed engines such as the Wärtsilä 200 were specified. On the other hand, speed requirements called for a relatively large installed power.

Wärtsilä is hailing the order as "a major breakthrough" for the Wärtsilä 200 engine into the naval/governmental ship market.

Several features of the Wärtsilä 200 engines favored of their selection, says Wärtsilä. The engine represents modern technology, "and they have a high maximum continuous output without time limitation, a high level of automation with a ready interface for remote monitoring, full compliance with the IMO NOx emission regulation, long times between overhauls, the possibility to do any overhaul without removing the engine from its seating. Another important contributing factor was that Wärtsilä’s after-sales service network has good coverage in the vessels’ intended operating areas."