Bollinger in deal with Incat Australia
Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, La. has signed an agreement with Incat Australia to market and build high speed craft to Incat Australia's designs in the U.S.

Incat Australia Pty Ltd, based in Tasmania, is not the same company as Phil Hercus's Incat Designs, based in Sydney, whose licensees include Nichols Brothers and Gladding-Hearn in the U.S.

Incat Australia has built over 30 (about 40%) of the world fleet of high speed catamarans of over 70 m (230 ft) in length. It currently offers 12 models ranging from 74 m to 120 m in length.

Bollinger and Incat Australia have been working closely on on a proposal to an undisclosed customer for a wave piercing vessel that can carry 500 passengers and a variety of vehicles at speeds of more than 40 knots. The design is similar to that of the Incat Tasmania that was chartered by the Australian Trade Commission during the Summer 2000 Olympics. The design includes two slender, aluminum hulls connected by a bridging section with a center bow section at the forward end.

Aker Maritime to acquire 17.8% shareholding in Kværner
Aker Maritime says that, after consulting the European Commissio), has it will now acquire just 17.8 per cent of Kværner's shares later this month. This will make it Kværner’s largest shareholder, but does not represent a controlling interest according to the EC’s definition. The matter therefore falls outside the commission’s authority according to the European Union’s merger regulations and means, says Aker Maritime, that the EC will close the ongoing investigation into the effects on competition of a possible combination of Aker Maritime and Kværner.

Aker Maritime says it "sees many interesting long-term opportunities for value creation in Kværner, and through its shareholding wishes to contribute to the further development and strengthening of Kværner’s activities both in Norway and internationally. Aker Maritime sees interesting prospects in a possible combination of the two companies’ oil and gas operations."

Aker Maritime had previously entered into agreements to acquire a total of 28.5 million shares in Kværner, corresponding to 26.7 per cent of its shares. It now intends to acquire 11.6 million of these shares from Bergesen on December 19 and a further 7.4 million shares, through the exercise of options, on December 22. The company will then own 19.0 million Kværner shares.

Aker Maritime has agreed with the EC that, within an undisclosed period, it will sell the remaining 9.5 million Kværner shares that it has an option to acquire. Until then, Aker Maritime has agreed not to vote its 17.8 per cent of Kværner shares.

Since last summer, says Aker Maritime, Kværner's share price has performed poorly. If Aker Maritime were to sell the 9.5 million shares now, it would make a loss of the order of NOK 240 million.

Sulzer slow speed orders strengthen
Wärtsilä Corporation has reported a healthy increase in orders for Sulzer RTA-series low-speed engines to be built in its Trieste factory in Italy. This year orders have been booked for 16 engines with an aggregate power of 351.7 MW for delivery to European shipyards.

The Trieste factory also builds a wide range of four-stroke types from the Wärtsilä 26X through the Sulzer ZA40S up to the Wärtsilä 64 type. Since the factory came under Wärtsilä management in 1997, considerable efforts have been put into making the factory more competitive, not just within Europe but on a world basis.

The first order this year was for four Sulzer 7RTA72U-B low-speed engines for the Aker MTW Werft GmbH in Wismar, Germany. The engines will be installed in four 2,500 TEU containerships contracted by Neptune Orient Line (NOL) for deliveries between October 2001 and July 2002. The engines have a maximum continuous power of 21,560 kW at 99 rev/min. The ships will also be supplied with three Wärtsilä 9L20C auxiliary engines, each of 1530 kW output, manufactured at the Vaasa factory in Finland.

A further two 7RTA72U-B engines were ordered by Aker MTW for a pair of 2,500 TEU container ships for the German owner NSB (Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft Buxtehude) and the German ship financing house Gebab. The ships are due for delivery in October and December 2002. They will again each include three Wärtsilä 9L20C auxiliary engines.

A further four 2,500 TEU ships to the same design were later contracted at Aker MTW by another German shipowner Egon Oldendorff. Again they will have Sulzer 7RTA72U-B main engines from Trieste and Wärtsilä 9L20C auxiliary engines from the Vaasa factory in Finland.

This run of sales success was continued with the signing of a contract for the Trieste factory to supply five 7RTA72U-B engines to another German shipyard SSW Fähr- und Spezialschiffbau GmbH, formerly known as Schichau Seebeckwerft, in Bremerhaven. The engines will be installed in five 2,492 TEU container ships ordered at SSW by the German owner E.R. Schiffahrt, owned by Erik Rickmers The ships are for delivery in 2002, and there are options for further ships to the same design.

A second Sulzer 7RTA84C engine was recently ordered from the Trieste factory by the Kleven Florø shipyard in Norway. It will be installed in the second of two 42,500 tdw fruit juice carriers which the yard is building for the Brazilian owner Aleuropa GmbH, with delivery of both ships due in 2002. The Sulzer 7RTA84C engine has a maximum continuous output of 28350 kW.

Major FPSO vessel conversion for Tunisian contract
Brøvig ASA has via Aberdeen-based Brøvig RDS placed construction orders worth a total of $22 million for the conversion of the tanker Northia into a Floating Production Storage and Offload (FPSO) vessel.

The FPSO, purchased in June this year, will be handed over to Brøvig in January 2001 and is to be renamed "Ikdam". The ship will be directly transferred to Malta for conversion into an FPSO vessel. On completion of the conversion in Malta in late spring 2001, the ship which is to be operated by Brøvig, will enter a minimum of four years' service under contract to Coparex Netherlands B.V., licence-holders of the ISIS oilfield offshore Tunisia.

The Ikdam will be Brøvig's third owned FPSO, joining her advanced sister vessels, the custom-built "Crystal Ocean" and "Crystal Sea".

The vessel conversion workscope covers hull modifications, installation and hook-up of topside process equipment, installation of a helideck and safety and accommodation upgrades.

Major contractors for the Ikdam conversion are:

Shipyard modifications - Malta Dry Docks

* Subsea control equipment - Kvaerner Group, Aberdeen

* Topsides processing equipment - Expro Group, Aberdeen

* Manufacture of TCMS(TM) - VICINAY, Spain

* Subsea installation - Smit Marine Contractors.

Brøvig RDS has confirmed that all the Ikdam conversion contracts are within budget for the ISIS project, and are scheduled to be delivered within the project timescale.

The ISIS contract will also feature the deployment of Brøvig's proprietary Tripod Catenary Mooring and offloading System (TCMS(TM)), serving a complex multi-riser installation of three production wells with the second-phase capability to accommodate a further three production wells and one water-injection well.

The ISIS project is the second major field development contract awarded to the Brøvig Group since its formation following the acquisition of technical oilfield consultancy RDS Resource by Brøvig ASA in January this year.

In September, Brøvig ASA could confirm that it had been awarded a development and production contract on the UKCS Chestnut field with Premier Oil and its partners. This demonstrated the ability of the Brøvig Group to reach economic innovative solutions so it can be able to develop and produce marginal oilfields at sea.

IOS takes over Woodside supply vessels
International Offshore Services ANS (IOS), which is owned 50% by Farstad Shipping ASA and 50% by P&O, Australia, has entered into a contract with Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia, that will see it take over Woodside's supply vessels.

Presently Woodside owns two supply vessels and a third is chartered on a bareboat contract. IOS has reached an agreement with the owners to buy the three vessels.

The vessels are as follows:

Shelf Challenger - anchor handling tug supply vessel, design ME 505, built in 1993, 8.850 bhp.

Shelf Supporter - plattform supply vessel, design ME 202, built in 1985, 2.500 dwt.

Shelf Ranger - anchor handling tug supply vessel, design HF270, built in 1987, 8.600 bhp.

Total investment for IOS is approx. $25 million and delivery of the vessels is scheduled to take place at the end of February 2001.

The agreement with Woodside further means that Woodside is chartering Shelf Supporter for a period of seven years plus 2x3 years options. A charter agreement with Woodside has also been reached for the newbuild (UT755) which IOS has recently orderd at Brevik Construction AS for delivery in March 2002. This charter agreement is also for 7 years with 2x3 years options. In addition Lady Valisia will be chartered to Woodside until the delivery of the newbuild. Total value of the firm charter agreements is approx. USD 54 million.

The two anchor handling tug supply vessels are presently unemployed, and they will be marketed in the Far East/Australia. The market in the region has improved during the year.

More orders for Warnow
Kvaerner Warnow in Rostock, Germany, has won two newbuilding contracts worth a total of about $70 million from Oskar Wehr KG (GmbH & Co.), of Hamburg which previously ordered two vessels in August this year. The two new vessels - which are of the Warnow CV2500 design - are due for completion in the first and second quarters of 2002.

With these two new contracts, the order reserve at the yard now comprises one CS 30 Semi Submersible DP Drilling Rig and six container vessels of the Warnow CV 2500 design. All six vessels have been ordered by German shipowners. Between 1997 and 1999, Kvaerner Warnow delivered five vessels of the same design.

The type CV2500 container vessel developed by Kvaerner Warnow has an overall length of 208.3 m and is 29.8 m. With a deadweight of 33,600 tons it has a total stowage capacity of 2,524 TEU and includes 400 reefer sockets.

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