Commercial Marine 401

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All the commercial marine business news from <I>Trade-a-Boat</I> issue 401

Commercial Marine 401
Commercial Marine 401

BIG OSV COMING TO AUSTRALIA
Local company Go Marine Group has announced that the first of the Go Hartmann joint venture’s 200t bollard pull, DP2 anchor-handling tug supply vessels is coming to Australia.

Recently completed by major Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, UOS Discovery will certainly be one of the newest and most technically advanced anchor handlers in the region. It will be managed and operated by Go Marine Group as part of its joint venture with the Hartmann Group (Go Hartmann Pty Ltd).

Garrick Stanley, managing director of Go Marine Group, said the vessel has been bid for a number of contracts.

The 67.4m, 3000 gross ton UOS Discovery is the fourth of a series of 12 AHTS vessels ordered by Hartmann Offshore from Fincantieri’s naval business division. It was delivered to Hartmann on February 16.

GOOD PROGRESS ON AMPHIBS
Prime contractor BAE Systems has confirmed that construction of the first of Australia's two new Canberra Class amphibious warships, Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) 01, is progressing well.

Graeme Ormiston, the project's general manager, said that work in Spain was well advanced with main subcontractor Navantia having started construction over 80 of the 105 blocks that will make up the hull platform (up to the flight deck) of each of the 27,000-tonne LHDs.

Ormiston said that production at Navantia's Ferrol and Fene shipyards began on schedule in September 2008, with the keel laying ceremony for LHD 01 taking place at Ferrol exactly a year later as planned. He said: "The build strategy requires that each of the 105 blocks, each weighing more than 100 tonnes, have all steelwork completed, painted and outfit maximised before transfer to the Ferrol slipway."

Two major shipbuilding milestones had been achieved on time in the period around Christmas with levels of completeness in excess of the required 85 per cent, said Ormiston.

Navantia has also commenced construction of the second ship (LHD 02) at the Ferrol yard, while the ship launch for LHD 01 is scheduled for March 2011 with arrival at BAE’s shipyard at Williamstown, Victoria, in 2012. LHD 02 will arrive in 2014.

After completion of the hulls, they will be transported to Williamstown where the locally produced superstructures will be integrated with the hulls and the combat system installed by SAAB Systems Australia.

Ormiston confirmed that Australian manufacturing-work to build the superstructures and mast blocks, and then integrate these with the warships, was scheduled to commence at the company's Williamstown shipyard in the second half of 2010.

"Work has already begun on the refurbishment and expansion of key facilities and equipment at Williamstown that will be needed to accommodate these huge ships, including provision for a ground-based slipway crane needed to lift blocks of up to 250 tonnes onto the hulls," said Ormiston.

The ships are due to be taken through acceptance into service by the Royal Australian Navy from January 2014 (LHD 01) and August 2015 (LHD 02).

NEW CONTRACT FOR RDM
Tasmanian shipbuilder Richardson Devine Marine has announced the signing of a new contract that further cements the company’s position in the offshore/workboat market.

Designated as Hull 052, the new vessel is a 28m utility catamaran and has been ordered by a new customer, Weipa Hire Pty Ltd. The company trades as Carpentaria Contracting and currently operates two catamarans, two small landing barges, two dumb barges and a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter.

The larger of the current catamarans is the 19.6m Sea Stryder, built in 2007 by Xtreme Marine to a Gavin Mair design. In 1B survey for 35 passengers it has accommodation for 12 people, has a top speed of 21kts and a range of up to 600nm. It has a large open aft deck, with associated deck crane and a lifting dive platform.

The smaller catamaran is just over 10m in length and named Cape Crusader.

Due for delivery towards the end of this year the new vessel will be a near sister ship to Offshore Unlimited’s Limitless (pictured). A few subtle enhancements will be made to suit the owner’s operational requirements. Once delivered the aluminium catamaran will be used for general service in the Gulf of Carpenteria.

HIGH-SPEED CARIBBEAN PATROL BOATS COMPLETED
Maritime security in the Caribbean region has been bolstered with the delivery of six Australian designed and built high-speed aluminium patrol craft to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).

Capable of speeds greater than 40kts and armed with general purpose machine guns and a 20mm cannon, the 30m vessels will expand the TTCG’s surveillance and enforcement capability. The fleet was delivered to its homeport on schedule and on budget by Austal less than two years from the initial order.

Director of Trinidad’s Defence Transformation and Integration Secretariat, Commodore Garnet Best, said the vessels would be used to create a security blanket around the waters of Trinidad and Tobago.

"We are confident that the speed of the vessels will contribute to their effectiveness in the interdiction of illegal drugs," said Best.

"These vessels have been very well designed to perform numerous roles including customs and immigration border control, fire services, prisoner transport, protection of our marine environment as well as protection of our oil and gas resources," he said.

The 30m deep-vee monohulls have a waterline length of 24.6m, a beam of 6.4m and draw 1.5m, and are designed for operation in up to Sea State 6.


Propulsion consists of two Kamewa 56A3 waterjets featuring mixed-flow pump geometry, which is said to deliver higher speeds, lower fuel consumption, and the capability to operate in shallow debris-laden water. Advanced electronic controls provide a high level of manoeuvring precision at all speeds.

Powering the jets are two MTU 16V 2000 M92 diesel engines, rated specifically for patrol craft with low load factors and producing 1630kW at 2450rpm. In addition to a maximum speed of more than 40kts, the vessel and propulsion package deliver a range of 1000nm (at 10kts), a small tactical diameter and short crash-stop distance.

As well as providing superior visibility, each vessel’s flybridge features a control station, equipment monitoring, two general-purpose lockers, a signal light and access to the vessel’s PA system and main bridge intercom. Located on each side of the flybridge are the vessel’s secondary weapons — .50 calibre fixed-mount general-purpose machine guns — with a third located on a removable mount at the vessel’s stern.

The primary weapon is a 20mm cannon mounted on the foredeck and supported by a dedicated magazine locker situated underneath.

Reinforcing its surveillance capability, the vessel’s main bridge features a Northrop Grumman Integrated Bridge System (IBS) utilising Sperry Marine Visionmaster FT navigation technology, including an X-Band radar system with high-speed scanner. Integrated multifunction consoles enhance situational awareness for the bridge watch team. A HF, V/UHF military communications package was supplied by Canberra-based CEA Technologies, which also provided crew familiarisation training for the equipment.

Located aft on the main deck is a 4.8m rigid inflatable boat that is launched and recovered using a hydraulic knuckle-boom crane.

Accommodation includes a captain’s cabin and a two-berth officer’s cabin both situated on main deck, along with bathroom and locker facilities. Improving crew habitability during long-term surveillance missions are a spacious crew mess, fully equipped galley and laundry facilities. These are all situated on the lower deck along with four two-berth cabins.

The vessels are classed by Det Norske Veritas and named TTS Scarlet Ibis, TTS Hibiscus, TTS Humming Bird, TTS Chaconia, TTS Poui and TTS Teak.

Austal is now set to deliver a five-year comprehensive maintenance and support services program for the vessels as part of an additional contract. Included in this will be scheduled planned and preventative maintenance support, unscheduled maintenance, management and performance of annual surveys and maintenance periods, as well as shore-based engineering support.

"Ensuring that the right support structures are in place can be as important as the vessels themselves," said Andrew Bellamy, Austal’s director of sales and Australian operations. "From pre-delivery crew training to ongoing vessel maintenance via our newly established service hub in Trinidad, Austal is pleased to be providing an all-inclusive support package to the TTCG."

ABA DELIVERS ANOTHER FAST CAT TO SUNFERRIES
Aluminium Boats Australia (ABA) has delivered its latest high-speed ferry, a 30.7m catamaran designed by Sydney-based One2three Naval Architects.

Sunferries accepted delivery of Fantome Cat just in time for the busy Magnetic Island and Palm Island Easter period. The ferry is a near sister ship to Palm Cat. The Townsville company now has four One2Three designed vessels including two built by ABA. However, the new vessel’s arrival was followed by the repositioning of Palm Cat to take up a new role with Sydney Fast Ferries, operating between Manly and Circular Quay.

Delivered two months ahead of schedule due to operator requirements, Fantome Cat is, according to ABA founder Roy Whitewood, a real example of understanding the needs of the customer.

"ABA places great emphasis on providing a high level of personal service and attention to customer needs, as Sunferries discovered when we built our first vessel for them, Palm Cat, in 2008. The result was a repeat order and we are delighted to enjoy a very positive and co-operative working relationship with Sunferries CEO Terry Dodd and his team," Whitewood said.

Following sea trials, One2three principal Stephen Quigley commented: "Fantome Cat meets and exceeds the contract speed of 27kts, exceeding the fully loaded contractual requirement by 1.5kts." Two 820kW Caterpillar C32 diesels each drive a five-bladed propeller via Twin Disc Quick Shift MGX 6599 SC transmissions providing 2.45:1 reduction. A service speed of 26kts will enable the Townsville to Magnetic Island crossing to be completed in approximately 20 minutes.

Sunferries general manager Darin McDonald said: "We are very excited with the quality of this vessel and to induct her as the latest edition to our fleet.

"With the expected fuel savings, lower maintenance costs and the ongoing supportive relationship with ABA, I am happy to recommend any new vessel built involving Roy and his team," he said.

The new catamaran is well appointed, being built with improvements adopted through the operational experience gained with Palm Cat. With a strong focus on passenger comfort the cabin areas have been enhanced with carpet fitted throughout, while the ride-control system is in the form of active interceptors.

In fact the vessel is the first in Australasia to use the system from Scandinavian company Humphree. The system consists of four transom-mounted interceptor assemblies that automatically control and reduce vessel motions and optimise dynamic trim for improved comfort and reduced fuel consumption. Motion reductions of 30 per cent in pitch and 50 per cent in roll were recorded during trials.

Fantome Cat can accommodate 308 passengers in NSCV 1C survey (or 320 for 1D). Of these, 112 are carried on the upper deck, which in additional to a lounge also offers an external sheltered area seating 61 persons. An external area houses eight luggage bins.

Seating by Evolution is fitted throughout the open-plan passenger areas that also feature large windows for panoramic views and an abundance of natural light. LCD monitors allow passengers on both decks to view either local television or DVD entertainment.

Passengers enter the vessel through wide doors on the port side amidships, or through port and staboardside gates aft.

REVENUE AND PROFIT DOWN FOR AUSTAL
Austal released its half-yearly results in February, announcing a profit of $15.5 million after income tax. Group profit before tax was $20.3 million, down by 15 per cent over the corresponding prior half-year period, with revenue decreasing by 25.5 per cent to $221 million.

Revenue was lower as a result of reduced commercial sales orders for Austal’s Australian operations resulting from the Global Financial Crisis. The US operation generated $94.9 million compared to $106.7 million in Australia and $26.6 million for the service business.


Austal managing director Bob Browning commented: "Although sales at our Australian operations slowed, we currently have a number of near-term opportunities well-suited to our Australian facilities. Interest in the stock trimaran continues to build and we remain confident about its imminent sale.

"Meanwhile, Austal is well positioned to capitalise on major US Defence programs following the completion of Phase One of a new Modular Manufacturing Facility (pictured) at our US facility," he said.

Austal maintains a strong order-book position, closing the half-year with work in hand of $776.6m. This position was subsequently augmented with the award in January 2010 of a further two Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) for the US Department of Defence, taking the total to three committed JHSV orders. These subsequent orders took the value of work in hand to $968.4 million as of February.

PUTTING REALITY INTO NPF RESEARCH
According to a case study of the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) there is a large gap between theory and practice when it comes to achieving the major goal of many of the world’s leading commercial fisheries — maximum economic yield (MEY).

Conducted by CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans flagship, the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Washington, the study found that sustainable fisheries management relies on four factors: information; a clear social grouping; strong institutional arrangements; and, appropriate incentives. A paper on the study’s findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said "a dose of reality" was an equally critical factor.

The $74.1 million NPF produces banana prawns and tiger prawns from a fishing ground extending from Weipa, Queensland to Cape Londonderry in northern Western Australia.

One of the paper’s lead authors, CSIRO scientist Dr Cathy Dichmont, says the NPF is among the first major fisheries in the world to fully embrace both economic efficiency and environmental sustainability in an operational management system.

"Underpinning this is a bioeconomic model developed by CSIRO, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and ANU to set harvest levels in a way that joins industry profit with prawn biology so the fishery can be managed in real time," Dichmont said. "What was known only in theory has now been applied to a ‘real life’ situation."

This required researchers to mathematically and statistically describe the growth and survival rates of the NPF’s four main prawn species, how they interacted with the fishing fleet, and how this influenced industry costs such as fuel consumption.

"All this, while considering that costs, price and biology are dynamic in the short to medium-term," Dichmont continued. "But a model is only a starting point for decision making. It isn’t a crystal ball that predicts exactly what will happen. Fisheries management is described as a ‘wicked problem’ because interactions within and among the social, economic and ecological systems are highly complex, non-linear and, to a large degree, unknown. There is no one right answer that will solve the problem forever."

She said the study made it clear that the participation of all relevant parties — fishers, boat owners, managers and scientists — is essential to ensure the model incorporates accurate data and as many viewpoints as possible.

"Having all the stakeholders involved from the beginning also means they will understand the limitations of the model, as well as its value in adaptive management, allowing the partners to evaluate the outcomes from previous decisions and adjust subsequent actions accordingly," Dichmont said.

The CEO of NPF operator Austral Fisheries, David Carter, said continuing collaboration between the industry, scientists and fishery managers should ensure the NPF’s future success.

"Extensive research in the NPF has helped us address market downturns, over-fishing of tiger prawn stocks, and the environmental impacts of fishing," Carter said.

"The NPF experience moves us along the line of changing theory. There is a lot we can learn from it, which will help to identify how the approach can be adapted for and applied to other fisheries around the world," said Dichmont. "One thing is clear, however, MEY won’t be achievable unless the fishery already has the four crucial elements of information, identity, institutions and incentives."

For copies of the report, go to www.pnas.org/search?fulltext=dichmont&submit=yes (external link)

NATIONAL SURVEY-ADMINISTRATION STANDARD REALISED
The National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) has published the National Standard for Administration of Marine Safety (NSAMS) for commercial vessel surveys.

Approved by the Australian Transport Council, NSAMS Section 4 – Survey of Vessels will be a key element of the proposed new single national jurisdiction approach to maritime safety in Australia.

NMSC’s CEO, Margie O’Tarpey, noted that achieving a national standard for domestic vessel survey has been particularly challenging as there is currently a range of approaches to surveying between states and territories including how often periodic inspections of different elements of a vessel are carried out and exemptions granted for certain types of vessels.

"Harmonising those differences was always going to be a challenge under the existing state and territory regulatory regime, however, the COAG initiative to develop a single national legal framework for maritime-safety regulation provided an opportunity for NMSC to work with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to take a fresh look at this question from first principles," O’Tarpey said.

She explained that this made way for a risk-based approach, drawing upon international practice without being restricted by historical practice.

"In preparing the standard, consideration was given to a number of factors including current vessel designs, practices and materials; relevant national and international standards — and limiting discretionary requirements that rely on approval from an authority," O’Tarpey said.

The Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the National Approach to Maritime Safety Reform (NAMSR) in 2009 included a proposal for both initial and periodic survey. The new standard amplifies this proposal with added detail.

"The intent is that the NSAMS for survey of vessels will not be applied yet, but will be referenced in law once the single national jurisdiction comes into force around the Year 2013," O’Tarpey said. "Having the standard available now will greatly assist in the design of the new delivery models for survey services currently being considered by AMSA and the state and territory authorities."

POWER EQUIPMENT EXPANDS INTO NEW ZEALAND
Yanmar has appointed privately owned Melbourne-based company Power Equipment as the sole authorised distributor of Yanmar Marine and Industrial diesel engines in New Zealand. The company was already the exclusive dealer for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific.

"A change of authorised distributors in a market as significant as New Zealand is not taken lightly," said Power Equipment’s MD, Allan Foster.

"While we see our new appointment as a huge opportunity, it also comes with significant commitment from everyone at Power Equipment to deliver exceptional product support to our NZ customers. We have the people and the proven systems in place to achieve this," he said.

In addition to the distribution of the Yanmar brand in NZ, Power Equipment has also secured the NZ distribution rights to several brands already handled by Power Equipment in Australia. These include the new JCB industrial engines, Yanmar-owered MASE diesel marine generators range and Gori high-quality folding sailboat propellers.

To facilitate the move into the NZ market, Power Equipment has purchased the Auckland-based company Whiting Power Systems (WPS) as well as all of the relevant stock and assets from the prior NZ distributor Power and Marine. Additionally, all the relevant Power and Marine staff have transferred into the new entity.

WPS is an existing and prominent Yanmar dealer with a presence on both the North and South Islands of NZ.
Concurrently, WPS holds the distribution rights to a range of quality marine products.

"This is an excellent fit for us to integrate seamlessly into the NZ market," Foster said.

SHIPPING AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS WEBB DOCK DEVELOPMENT
"The members of Shipping Australia Limited (SAL) are urging the Victorian Government to accelerate the development of a new container terminal at Webb Dock," according to Llew Russell, the industry association’s CEO.


"SAL has been a strong advocate of the Victorian Government bringing forward this development, because it is timely to prepare now for the recovery of container throughput, which is already showing signs of an upturn" he said.

Russell pointed out that the development of a new container terminal at Webb Dock will provide the potential for the increased capacity being dedicated to a third stevedore similar to the new berths under construction in Brisbane and Sydney for operation by Hutchinson Port Holdings.


"Shipping Australia continues to support the introduction of a third major container stevedore where it is commercially viable to do so and where it would not have a negative impact on future investment," Russell said. "It is important to ensure that the sea-land interface in Melbourne was up to the task of coping with the forecast growth in container throughput."

Photos: UOS Discover just prior to launch; Richardson Devine Marine built Limitless for Offshore Unlimited; An Australian-built Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard high-speed patrol boat powers into a turn; Two 820kW Caterpillar C32 diesels power the Fantome Cat to more than 27kts; Phase One of the new Modular Manufacturing Facility has been completed at Austal's US facility; Melbourne company Power Equipment is now the sole NZ distributor of Yanmar marine and industrial engines.

 


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