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January 30 & 31, 2002

January 8, 2002

RO/RO's to be ordered to ferry Airbus components
The decision by Europe's Airbus Industrie to go ahead with the the 550-passenger A380 superjumbo aircraft has created a need for up to two specialized RO/RO ships. Flying the French flag, they will be used to carry components of the aircat from various points in Europe.

A joint venture between FR.E.T S.A., a French subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA), and CETAM, a French subsidiary of Norway's Leif Höegh & Co ASA (LHC), has been selected to provide maritime transportation services for the Airbus A380 program.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been entered into with a view to ordering one vessel for delivery beginning 2004 with an optional second vessel for delivery in 2007. Both vessels will be on 20 year timecharters to Airbus with five two-year options. The joint venture between LDA and LHC brings to bear skills and knowhow from several areas of shipping, particularly RO/RO and over-dimensioned cargoes

Leif Hoegh is heavily involved in the RO/RO sector through its HUAL unit which controls 40-45 large deep-sea going vessels. In Europe, Leif Hoegh's interests include not only CETAM but also Euro Marine Carrier B.V. in Amsterdam, a joint venture with Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co. Ltd. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. The agreement with Airbus, says Hoegh, will provide "interesting opportunities for combining Airbus' needs for transportation of aircraft components with increasing needs for short-sea transportation capacity by HUAL's customers."

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs has a strong background in industrial projects. Its FR.E.T, unit specializes in heavy lift and over-dimensioned cargoes.

$191 million Navy contract for Newport News
Northrop Grumman Corporation says that the U.S. Navy has awarded it a $191 million contract for an Extended Drydock Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) on the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). Northrop Grumman's Newport News sector is the prime contractor for this award.

Work will include routine dry dock work, tank blasting and coating, hull preservation, propulsion and ship system repairs and limited enhancements to various hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

The work will take place at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. Northrop Grumman Newport News is coordinating this availability with Norfolk Naval Shipyard which is responsible for a portion of the work to be performed. The work will last approximately one year.

TTS on acquisition trail
Norway's TTS Technology ASA has signed an agreement for the acquisition of part of the business of Britain's Hamworthy KSE. The acquisition comprises the dry cargo division consisting of the companies Hamworthy KSE AB in Gothenburg, Sweden and Hamworthy KSE GmbH in Bremen, Germany.

This follows an earlier announcement that TTS Technology had signed an agreement with Hydralift ASA to take over its subsidiary Hydralift Marine in return for the transfer of TTS-Aktro to Hydralift ASA.

Hamworthy KSE is a leading manufacturer and supplier of ships equipment which operates in several countries in Europe and Asia. Three years ago, Hamworthy took over Kvaerner Ships Equipment ("KSE"). The division being acquired by TTS Technology designs and supplies RO/RO equipment and hatch covers. Among the products it supplies are bow doors, stern doors, ramps and car decks. The division has its main office in Gothenburg and an office in Bremen with 81 and 41 employees respectively, mainly engineers. The division has a 50 % stake in a joint venture in Shanghai with 36 employees.

Hydralift Marine AS in Kristiansand, Norway, has 70 employees and delivers 150 - 200 ships cranes per year as well as some equipment for land-based industry. Some 80% of its production is exported, shipyards in Korea and China being its most important customers. Hydralift Marine and TTS's established Norlift subsidiary will have a combined share of approx. 30% of the market for hose-handling cranes.

Chemical tanker firms cooperate to beat U.S. Gulf port congestion
Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. and Jo Tankers have announced a "co-service agreement" for operational matters for the carriage of bulk liquids from ports in the U.S. Gulf to ports in Asia.

The purpose is said to be to improve service levels for customers and to increase operational efficiencies while maintaining the commercial independence of the two companies.

To accomplish this, the two will identify ports and berths where safety improvements and operational efficiencies such as more efficient loading, discharging, transshipping or barging operations can be achieved by working together to allocate cargoes to particular ships. Both companies will continue to market their ships and services independent of each other, and the contractual relationship between individual carriers and their respective customers will remain private and confidential.

In a joint statement, Richard Wingfield, managing director tanker trading, SNTG, and Rick van Westenbrugge, managing director, JOT said, "We recognize that the operational overlap between the various chemical carriers on this route, combined with frequent port congestion, has resulted in delays and inefficiencies in servicing chemical export requirements. We anticipate that this co-service agreement will generate significant efficiency improvements for our customers including improved ship positioning and sailing frequency, shortened delays and voyage lengths, reduced incidence of demurrage and better berth utilization."