October 12, 2004

Stolt-Nielsen equips fleet with Iridium

Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group is equipping its entire fleet of chemical and parcel tankers with Iridium satellite telephone systems under a service agreement with Marlink.

Stolt-Nielsen is fitting 74 ships with Thrane & Thrane IMF1000 Iridium terminals, which Sperry Marine is supplying. Stolt-Nielsen is also installing Iridium satellite terminals at headquarters buildings in Houston and Rotterdam, for low-cost communications with ships at sea, taking advantage of the very low rates for communications between two Iridium satellite phones.

"Unlike geostationary satellite systems, there are no additional charges for calls between two Iridium terminals, since the calls are not routed through ground connections or third-party landline carriers," said Don Thoma, executive vice president, Iridium Satellite. "The transmission path for Iridium-to-Iridium calls is highly secure, making it ideal for confidential or sensitive communications between ships and shoreside offices."

The Iridium installations will make the ships compliant with the IMO carriage requirements for Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS), which came into effect July 1, 2004, and will also be used for prepaid Crew Calling services.

Luis Valencia, sales director for Marlink said, "Stolt-Nielsen is in the vanguard of shipping companies looking to Iridium as a highly cost-effective solution for ship-to-shore calling. The Iridium phones are expected to have a very rapid return on investment from savings in communication costs.

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