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January 30 & 31, 2002

January 18, 2002

Drillship suspends operations
Smedvig says it has temporarily halted operations by its drillship West Navion. The decision was taken after cracks were discovered in the wire sheaves in the hoisting system of the dual derrick set (Ram Rig) during minor repair work.

It is expected that the suspension will last for another 2-3 weeks before operations are resumed.

Maritime Hydraulics, the supplier of the dual derrick set, has issued a request to "All users of Maritime Hydraulics' Ram Rigs" to inspect all drilling units equipped with the dual Ram Rig.

Consequently, Smedvig will initiate inspection of the drilling rig West Venture, which is also equipped with the Ram Rig derrick set.

West Navion is contracted to Marathon Oil Company offshore Canada.

MARAD offers war risk insurance
U.S. Maritime Administrator William G. Schubert says that the Maritime Administration is now accepting applications for war risk insurance to cover commercial ship operations in the Middle East.  President Bush authorized the Department of Transportation to provide the insurance at the request of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

U.S.-flag vessels are eligible, as are ships owned by U.S. companies.

Other vessels may be covered if their cargoes are considered to be in the security interests of the United States. 

The insurance covers cargoes as well as the ships and crews. It is underwritten by DOT in return for a premium from shipowners. 

"War Risk Insurance, which protects vessel operators and seafarers against losses resulting from war or war-like actions, will be provided only if commercial insurance is not available to them on reasonable terms," said Schubert.

He added that applications must be made on an individual-vessel basis, and that each case will be considered separately.  Additionally, applicants must provide full details from insurance brokers or underwriters of the amounts, terms, and rates of the commercial insurance and justification for the conclusion that the rates are not fair or reasonable.

The insurance is available only for areas currently excluded in commercial war risk trading warranties: the Persian or Arabian Gulf and adjacent waters, Israel,Lebanon, Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea, Yemen, Pakistan, Oman, Syria, and Egypt.

Interested shipowners should apply to or request additional information from:  Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Attn:  Edmond J. Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Insurance and Shipping Analysis, MAR-780, Room 8117, 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC  20590-0001, Phone: 202/366-2400, fax 202/366-7901.

MARAD suggests that applications be submitted by courier or by fax, and that delivery be confirmed by telephone.

Algerian order for IZAR
Algerian state-owned shipowner ENTMV (Enterprise Nationale de Transports Maritimes de Voyageurs) has finalized an order with Spain's IZAR for two ro-ro passenger ferries.

Initial plans were to split the order between IZAR and its former subsidiary H.J. Barreras. Now, both vessels will be built by IZAR at its Seville yard.

The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in January 2004 and the second, four months later.

ENTMV will operate the ships between Algiers and Marseilles, with a call on the way at Alicante.

Each vessel will accommodate up to 1,300 passengers and up to 130 crew, with a 1,350 lineal meter lane - equivalent to 300 cars or 42 truckss.

There will be 132 first class cabins plus 77 tourist class cabins, plus 85 crew cabins. Passenger public spaces will total 4,900 sq m.

Dimensions will be 145.00 m length ( length b.p.), 24.00m breadth, 8.55 m depth to main deck, a design draft of 6.00 m and a deadweight of . Two main engines, each of 12,600 kW, will be installed for a speed of 22 knots.