January 9, 2001

Alabama to build two OSVs for Hornbeck
Atlantic Marine, Inc. has signed a contract with Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. of Mandeville, La., to build two 260 ft, high capacity, Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) to serve the deepwater offshore oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide.

The vessels will be built at Atlantic’s Alabama Shipyard Division in Mobile, Alabama. Both vessels are scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2002. The contract includes options for two additional vessels.

The vessels will be equipped with dynamic positioning capability. They will be U.S. flagged and ABS Classed with dual U.S. Coast Guard certificates for both subchapter I and L. The vessels will be powered by 6,780 hp Caterpillar engines, and have a large cargo capacity, which includes fuel, deck cargo, drill water, dry mud and liquid mud.

These two vessels will expand the Hornbeck fleet in the Gulf to thirteen OSVs. Hornbeck also operates several tugs and barges in the petroleum transportation market in the Northeastern USA and Puerto Rico.

“We are especially pleased to have Hornbeck return to Atlantic Marine for the construction of these two vessels”, said Dick Wells, President of Alabama Shipyard. “This project will add over 100 new jobs to our employment, plus provide stable employment for our current employees throughout 2001.”

This is the second major contract at Alabama Shipyard in the last few months. In September it signed a contract to build a second Articulated Tug and Barge for Reinauer Transportation Company of New York. The 143,000-barrel ATB is scheduled for delivery in October of 2001.

Syncrolift for Nile cruise boats
Syncrolift Inc., a Rolls-Royce company, has been selected by the Suez Canal Authority to supply a shiplift and transfer system valued at more than $7 million for the drydocking of Nile River cruise ferries.

Delivery of the 3,420 ton-lift-capacity Syncrolift is scheduled for the Armant Shipyard on the Upper Nile near Luxor City in March 2002.

Syncrolift president Geoff Stokoe said “This will be the fourth Syncrolift to be operated by the Suez Canal Authority, The authority has who almost 60 years of operating experience with its first three Syncolift installations at Ismailia, Suez and Port Tawfik.

Syncrolift’s long-standing relationship with the Suez Canal Authority began in 1977 and the Armant order follows the 1981 Syncrolift(R) commissioning at Port Tawfik, and the recent installation of an Advanced Technology Loading Articulated Shiplifts (ATLAS) system at Port Tawfik. ATLAS is a load-monitoring analysis system designed to provide information to the Dockmaster on vessel intake. There are two other Syncrolift installations in Egypt -- both operated by the Egyptian Navy.

Maersk orders more OSV's
Maersk Supply Service has ordered two multipurpose anchor handling tug supply vessels from Volkswerft Stralsund, Germany for delivery first half of 2003.

The two vessels will be sister vessels to Maersk Assister and Maersk Attender, which were delivered from Volkswerft Stralsund last year.

Maersk Supply Service has also ordered two 17,500 BHP UT722L type anchor handling tug supply vessels from Langsten AS, Norway for delivery first half of 2002.

Both contracts contain options for additional vessels.

The vessels will join the existing fleet of 55 vessels operated by Maersk Supply Service.

Korean yards target higher value ships
Korean shipbuilders will this year focus on boosting profitability rather than grabbing market share, according to local press reports. Accordingly, sales targets have been set lower

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. (HHI) which won a record of $5.1 billion worth of orders last year has reportedly set its sales target at $3.3 billion this year, 45 percent down.

"We no longer find it meaningful to compete for obtaining more orders in the situation where Korean shipbuilders have already secured work for the next two and a half years," a HHI official is quoted by the Korea Herald as saying

He said that the company will focus on taking orders for high value-added ships to maximize the profitability.

To help gain the technological competitiveness need to build higher value-added products, HHI has set aside $96 million for investments in R&D, up 31.9 percent up from last year.

Samsung Heavy Industries has also lowered its sales target for this year. But while orders for high value-added ships last year accounted for 44 percent of sales, Samsung plans to raise this to over 50 percent this year.

Daewoo has reportedly set its sales target at $2.8 billion this year, down from $3.5 billion of last year.

Coast Guard probes licenses
The U. S. Coast Guard has announced a recall and verification program for merchant mariners’ licenses and documents issued over the past several years from a branch licensing office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Some blank licenses sent to the San Juan office are unaccounted for, and a machine capable of producing merchant mariner documents is missing. Coast Guard marine safety officials now must find out if any licenses or documents were issued improperly and, if they were, if any are being used by mariners.

"The public safety implication of any compromised merchant mariner licenses is our number one concern in this situation. We are tackling the issue with an aggressive plan of action, both in the San Juan area and nationally. We are committed to quickly determining if any invalid licenses were issued, and retrieving them as soon as possible," said Captain Myles Boothe, commanding officer of the Coast Guard National Maritime Center, which runs the merchant mariner licensing and documentation system.

Coast Guard field units in Puerto Rico and around the nation will be checking for suspect licenses and documents. The Coast Guard is asking for assistance from maritime unions, shipping companies, and mariners with legitimate licenses and documents to help with the verification of licenses and merchant mariner documents. The Coast Guard will reissue new licenses to legitimate mariners and confiscate any invalid ones.

In addition to tracking down any invalid licenses and documents, the Coast Guard is conducting a system-wide review of issuing and audit procedures used at the Regional Examination Centers and the National Maritime Center responsible for issuing licenses and verifying mariners' qualifications.

About 500 numbered licenses that were sent to the Puerto Rico licensing facility over the past two years may be subject to revalidation. The Coast Guard is reviewing records to determine if additional licenses should be scrutinized.

Rolls-Royce designs for 53 OSV's
UT-Designs and packages of equipment from Rolls-Royce have been selected for 53 offshore service vessels over the past year. This is the largest batch of orders in this sector the company has won since the mid-1970s.

Twelve of these vessels were ordered just before the end of 2000 and will be worth about $60 million to Rolls-Royce. This will bring the total value of these contracts to Rolls-Royce to about $255 million.

Dr Saul Lanyado, President - Marine, for Rolls-Royce, said: "The increase in demand has come rapidly. After a quiet period in late 1999 and early 2000 caused by uncertainties in the offshore oil and gas industry, owners have started investing for the future. Since the summer of 2000 UT-Designs for 43 offshore service vessels have been chosen by shipowners in many countries including the U.S.A."

The vessels will be built by yards in Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Norway and Singapore. Delivery dates of the vessels extend well into 2003.

Sixteen of the vessels are powerful anchor handlers, with the UT722 variants in strong demand. The market favorite platform supply vessel is the UT755 in standard or long versions, with 19 on order, and the long established UT745 retains its popularity, with diesel electric versions also available. Several of the contracts are for new designs, including the UT710, UT728 and UT738 AHTS.

The demand for vessels to lay and maintain fiber optic cables is also strong, and TyCom has confirmed orders for six of the new and innovative UT757 design, with full marine equipment packages, to be built in Singapore.

$6 million MacGregor equipment package serves Aker Finnyards' largest delivery
Aker Finnyards has placed contracts totalling more than $6 million with MacGregor for RoRo equipment and an outfit of six elevators to serve Irish Ferries' RoPax newbuilding Ulysses, which features over 4 km of car/truck lanes

With an overall length of 208 m and a 31m beam, Irish Ferries' 50,000 gt RoPax Ulysses is the largest vessel built by Aker Finnyards. It has capacity for 1,900 passengers and 4,100 lane meters for cars and freight vehicles.

The vessel is drive-through with vehicle capacity on four fixed decks and one hoistable car deck – Aker Finnyards highlighting the fourth and highest fixed deck as a new feature on RoPax vessels.

MacGregor's RoRo Ship Division's scope of supply comprised:

  • 2 stern ramps/doors with hydraulically folded flaps
  • 1 bow door (2 sections)
  • 1 bow ramp – probably the longest one yet
  • 1 ramp cover complete with barriers, handrails & bulkhead doors underneath
  • 1 hoistable tilting ramp, main/upper deck (flush)
  • 1 hoistable tilting ramp, upper/top deck
  • 8 hoistable car decks
  • 4 hoistable car deck access ramps
  • 3 passenger doors
  • 2 pilot/bunker doors
  • 1 front door
  • 1 upper front door
  • 1 power packs
  • 3 mini power packs.

    MacGregor's Passenger Ship Division supplied six elevators: one scenic, three other passenger elevators, and two service units.

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