Schubert testifies on port security
U.S. Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert, yesterday gave details on how grants to upgrade seaport security are to be awarded. He was testifying at hearings of the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Schubert said the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2002 . appropriated $93.3 million to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to award competitive grants to critical national seaports to finance the cost of enhancing facility and operational security. The grants are to be awarded based on the need for security assessments and enhancements as determined by the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security, the Administrator of the Maritime Administration, and the Commandant of the Coast Guard (USCG).
The implementation plan is for MARAD and USCG to act as "agents" of TSA for the distribution of grants from the $93.3 millionappropriation. The final grant approval body, said Schubert, will consist of himself, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security. Determination of grant awards will be based on consideration of the most urgent needs from a homeland security perspective. It is anticipated that initial awards will commence in June 2002." We are moving very quickly to put this money to work," said Schubert.
EC approves Spanish "tonnage tax"
The European Commission decided to approve the Spanish tonnage tax scheme. Under this scheme, tax due from a maritime shipping company is calculated on the basis of the capacity (tonnage) of the ships used by that company rather than being based on its profit or loss.
The Commission decided to approve the scheme in line with its maritime policy. This aims at preserving employment and shipping activities in the EU and at improving safety in that sector.
Spanish shipping companies will be able to opt for the open ended tonnage tax scheme for 10-year renewable periods. This will allow them to pay taxes at a fixed daily rate proportional to the capacity of their ships employed and thus reduce their tax burden.
The Commission has already approved similar schemes in several other Member States (The Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom) where first results show a positive impact on the national shipping sectors.
Bergesen in final negotiations on LNG-contract
Norway's Bergesen has reached a preliminary agreement with Nigeria LNG Limited for the employment of four LNG-carriers for minimum 20 1&Mac218;2 years from delivery. The contract is subject to NLNG's final investment decision, expected shortly. NLNG is owned 49% by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, and 51% by the oil companies Shell, Total/Fina/Elf and Agip.
Subject to NLNG's investment decision, Bergesen will enter into an agreement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Korea, to build the vessels. Delivery will take place in first, third and fourth quarter 2005, and in first quarter 2006. Total project price will be about $710 million, including interest and other expenses during construction period.
The agreement is based on four vessels of 140.500 cu.m each, but the vessels' capacity can be increased to 145.000 cu. bm at NLNG's option.
The capital element of the charter rate is fixed for the entire period, while the operating element is subject to an annual adjustment. When all four vessels are delivered, the annual charter income will amount to about $100 million.
Bergesen may invite partners to take up to 49% equity in vessels 3 and/or 4.
NLNG has an option to purchase each of the four vessels at agreed stages during the contract period, the first of these stages being five years after delivery of the vessel from the yard.
Provided final agreement is concluded, Bergesen will have seven LNG-carriers under construction at Daewoo, of which six are employed for minimum 20 years from delivery.
EMFF offers 500 cSt heavy fuel in Singapore
In response to customer demand, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels (EMMF) is now able to supply a heavier grade of bunker fuel at the port of Singapore.
EMFF says it can now supply fuel of up to 500 centiStokes at the port. It says that customers can benefit from cost savings in using this new fuel without impairing the performance of their vessels, "as most modern ships are designed to burn fuel with viscosity above the conventional 380 centiStokes."
The new grade has typical spec properties similar to the 380 product, with the exception that it has a maximum density of 0.998 and a viscosity of 500 cSt. EMMF technical manager Steve Walker says, "As always, quality and safety are the prime considerations with all fuel supplied by EMMF. We are satisfied that there are now sufficient numbers of our customers who have the necessary equipment and expertise to enable them to use this heavier grade of fuel oil that we can supply.
"The two crucial requirements for the shipowner are the ability to heat the heavier fuel to a sufficiently high temperature to inject it into their vessels' engines, and the provision of purification equipment able to deal with the higher specific gravity of this product.
EMMF recently equipped its facilities at Singapore to provide for custody sampling of bunkers a full six weeks ahead of new local bunkering regulations.
GE power for Italian carrier
GE Marine Engines LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbines and main reduction gears have been selected for use aboard the Italian Navys new Andrea Doria aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier is being designed by Fincantieri Direzione Navi Militari in Genoa, Italy and built at Fincantieri's Riva Trigoso, Italy, shipyard.
Four LM2500 gas turbines will be used in a COmbined Gas turbine and Gas (COGAG) turbine configuration aboard the Andrea Doria. Each of the two gear units will provide approximately 60,000 shaft horsepower and will be driven by two LM2500 gas turbines. Similar configurations will be in the port and starboard engine rooms.
GE designed the complete main reduction gears and will manufacture the rotating gear elements using its new 1.6- and 4.0-meter CNC form grinding equipment. Installed in mid-2000 and late 2001 respectively, at GEs Lynn, Mass. facility, this new equipment replaces the generation grinding equipment from the 1980s. These high precision (DIN 1) machines enable the use of a CBN cutting wheel technology to profile grind marine gearing. To augment the grinders, a CNC gear inspection machine sits adjacent to the grinders in the same climate controlled facility. Together, these machine tools manufacture quality gearing for the Italian aircraft carrier as well as other marine applications.Fincantieri will manufacture the Andrea Doria gear casings under GE license, and will assemble and perform running tests of the complete gear units at its mechanical workshop in Riva Trigoso.