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February 15, 2002

Cracks found in aluminum hulls
The Seattle Times reports that the Coast Guard is investigating faulty aluminum used by Puget Sound shipbuilders. The newspaper says that one passenger vessel in Hawaii and one from Southern California have been found with hull cracks and corrosion inconsistent with normal use.

According to the Seattle Times, the aluminum plates were manufactured by Montreal-based Alcan, while Minneapolis-based Integris supplied the plates to the builders.

In both cases, cracks were in aluminum plates near the engine room, an area subject to heat and vibration.

The newspaper identifies the yards involved as Nichols Bros. Boat Builders and Kvichak Marine Industries. It says that both builders are bearing the replacement costs for their customers but are hoping for relief from the aluminum companies, said Kvichak spokeswoman Jeanne Muir.

Security concerns bring IMO Secretariat changes
The IMO Secretariat has been restructured to "ensure a systematic and consistent approach to maritime security issues." 

The Navigation Section of the Maritime Safety Division (MSD) has been re-designated as the Navigational Safety and Maritime Security Section. 

The renamed section will now be responsible for regulatory matters relating to the prevention and suppression of acts of terrorism against shipping. It will retain its traditional duties in support of the subcommittees on Safety of Navigation (NAV) and on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR).. 

It will continue to bear responsibility for matters relating to piracy and armed robbery against ships. In cooperation with the MSD's Technical Cooperation Implementation and Project Management Section of the Maritime Safety Division, it will in the delivery of technical cooperation projects relevant to maritime security.

It will also act as the focal point in MSD for the implementation, from the safety point of view, of resolution A.920(22) on the review of safety measures and procedures for the treatment of persons rescued at sea.

IMO says the restructuring reflects its continuing proactive approach to the issue of maritime security. Security has been the subject of a special Intersessional Working Group of the Maritime Safety Committee this week (11- 15 February).

Wartsila buys Singapore reconditioner
Wärtsilä is acquiring the engine reconditioning business of Metalock (Singapore) Ltd. The acquisition will consist of the marine engine repair and recondition business and the workshop. Wärtsilä will pay a consideration of EUR 5.4 million. The sales volume of the acquired business is EUR 8.8 million and number of employees is 87.

"This acquisition will further strengthen Wärtsilä as a total service provider. We have an opportunity to increase our market share especially in the low speed engines," says Tage Blomberg, group VP and head of the service division.

The focus of the acquired business--which is to be given the Ciserve name-- is on marine engine reconditioning, with a special know how in low speed engines.

"We will now have a possibility to provide reconditioning service for our customers in South East Asia region, a service which we earlier didn´t have in-house", says Jukka Murtoaro, managing director of Wärtsilä Singapore.