2001 Maritime

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August 16, 2001

$69 million "total cost" tag on Santa Maria containerships
The two 450-foot long, 11,120 dwt ships that Bender Shipbuilding is to build for Santa Maria Shipping will cost the owner a total of $69 million. That total is shown in a Title XI application filed with the U.S. Maritime Administration as the "actual cost to owner" of the two vessels. This figure in Title XI filings includes various costs of acquiring the vessels that are additional to the shipbuilder's contract price

Tug/barge contract for Manitowoc
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. has received a contract from Vessel Management Services, Inc. of Seattle, Washington, to construct two double-hull tank barges and ocean tugs, plus an option to purchase two additional tug/barge units. The resulting vessels will comply with the provisions of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA '90), which has created a growing market for double- hulled tank carriers. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Terry D. Growcock, Manitowoc's president and chief executive officer. says the new vessels will be among the largest and most sophisticated of their type ever constructed in the United States.''

Tom Byrne, president of Manitowoc's Marine Group, added: "We expect that these contracts will create a backlog of work that could extend over 30 months. The four shipyards comprising Manitowoc Marine Group possess an industry-leading breadth of skills, which will be employed to construct these vessels efficiently and to the high-quality standards for which our yards are well known. For example, we will rely on Marinette's outfitting skills for constructing the tugs, while Bay Shipbuilding's expertise in steel fabricating, large-scale construction, and systems installation is ideal for building the double-hull tank barges.''

The initial units under contract consist of two 155,000-barrel, double-hulled tank barges and two 9,280-horsepower, twin-screw ocean tugs. .

Smedvig to buy Keppel interest in rig
Smedvig, Stavanger, Norway, has told Singapore's Keppel Shipyards that it will exercise its option to purchase the yard's 72% ownership interest in the semi-submersible tender rig West Allianc.

The rig is still under construction. Smedvig intends to exercise the option after delivery and after commencement of operations under a contract with Esso Malaysia. Start-up of the drilling operations is scheduled for early November this year. The agreed purchase price is approximately $61.5 million.

Smedvig's option to purchase Keppel's ownership interest is part of a cooperation agreement that the two parties entered into last summer. After exercising the option, Smedvig will own 100 percent of the West Alliance. The purchase will increase Smedvig's total capital expenditure on the rig to approximately $85 million.

The construction of the West Alliance is proceeding according to plan and budget. The unit is based on a design and specification similar to that of Smedvig's newest semi-tender West Menang, but with increased deckload capacity, larger accommodation facilities and off-line drilling activities. Capable of shallow water drilling, the unit is also designed for deepwater drilling operations in combination with floating wellhead platforms in benign waters.

The recently secured contract for the West Alliance is for a firm period of one year plus one optional year.

"Hit and run" tanker suspects get bail
Three Russians who face U.S. charges in the August 5 ramming of the American trawler Starbound off Massachusetts were released on bail Wednesday after they appeared in a Newfoundland court.

The three had been arrested earlier in the day by the RCMP when they tried to board a flight for home at the St. John's airport.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the tanker Virgo, which has been detained in Newfoundland's Placentia Bay since last week, is the prime suspect in the ramming of the trawler. The collision resulted in the deaths of thee U.S. citizens.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it is continuing to work closely with Canadian authorities, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice in the investigation of the STARBOUND sinking.

The Canadian arrests were made after a criminal complaint was filed August 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and arrest warrants were issued for Vladimir Ivanov, Dmitry Bogdanov and Mikhail Gerasimenko, who served as captain, second officer and able bodied seaman, respectively, aboard the VIRGO.

The complaint charged each man with one count each under 18 USC 1115 (Misconduct or Neglect of Ship Officers Resulting in Death) and 18 USC 1112 (Involuntary Manslaughter). The VIRGO is currently docked in Newfoundland, Canada.

Immediately after issuance, the arrest warrant and supporting documents were telefaxed to Canadian officials. An official of the Canadian courts issued an arrest warrant under Canada's Extradition Act, which was subsequently executed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Coast Guard has formed a team of technical and investigative experts to assist the Department of Justice, which has the lead in the prosecution of the case.

Canadian press reports say that a judge with the Supreme Court of Newfoundland set bail for each man at $16,000. He also ordered them to surrender their passports, remain in Newfoundland and report to local police every Wednesday. They are to appear again in court September 13, when a judge will set a date for an extradition hearing.

The U.S. government has 60 days to make a formal request for extradition.

The Virgo, which flies the Cyprus flag, is owned by Russia's Primorsk Shipping