Commercial Marine 396


Reef named after charter operator

A passionate reef charter boat operator and diving legend has been recognised with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) announcing a reef named in his honour.

Ron Isbel was a charter boat operator whose great love and commitment to the Reef's wise use has been formally recognised with a previously unnamed reef now bearing his name.

GBRMPA chairman, Russell Reichelt said Ron Isbel, who passed away in 2008, had an immense knowledge of the Reef, in particular the Mackay/Capricorn area.

"Ron was a well respected operator and an avid promoter of wise use of the Reef," said Reichelt.

"Ron's reef knowledge was highly sought after and his vessel was regularly chartered by film and documentary crews and researchers who appreciated his insights.

"He travelled to many other reefs world-wide and it was these trips that strengthened his love and commitment to the Great Barrier Reef.

"Those who knew Ron personally and professionally admired his dedication to the Reef," he said.

Ron Isbel Reef is located in the Mackay/Capricorn Management Area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Hong Kong Fleet Complete

Hong Kong’s Venetian Marketing Services Limited (VMSL) now has a fleet of 14 high-speed passenger ferries following the on-schedule delivery of the final four vessels ordered from Australian shipbuilder Austal.

The 47.5m aluminium CotaiJets are now performaing more than 60 sailings per day between Hong Kong and Macao. Each vessel can carry 413 passengers at a speed of 42kts and are powered by four MTU 16V 4000 diesels driving Kamewa waterjets. All are fitted with transom-mounted interceptors which provide active ride control. The final four vessels have been further enhanced with the addition of forward mounted T-foils, and aft mounted T-Max, an auxiliary steering system proprietary to Austal.

Construction of the first vessels began in 2007 and the completion of the contract means Austal has now delivered more than 50 vessels into the Pearl River Delta region.

Birdon to build new Newcastle pilot boat

Port Macquarie based company Birdon has been awarded the contract to build a new pilot boat for the Port of Newcastle. The project is valued at approximately $2.5 million.

The 16m vessel will be built in aluminium at the company’s Hastings River shipyard and is scheduled for commissioning in late 2010. The decision to commission a new pilot boat followed a review by Newcastle Port Corporation of its Vessel Strategic Plan.

The new vessel will have a top speed of 28kts and will replace the current pilot boat, EC Close, which was built in 1989. EC Close will be sold with the port’s second pilot cutter, Governor Macquarie, becoming the back-up to the new vessel.

The Port of Newcastle introduced helicopter transfers for marine pilots in 1999. However, about 20 per cent of transfers are still conducted by boat because many ships, especially general cargo ships, do not have on-deck helicopter landing pads.

Construction of the new RTA ferry for Sackville, NSW, is also well underway at Birdon. Constructed in steel, the 15-car vehicular ferry will measure 41m in length with a beam of 10m.

$10 million Maritime Research Facility opened

The new Cavitation Research Laboratory at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston has been officially opened.

The new facility is unique in Australia and one of only a few maritime experimental laboratories in the world used to test the hydrodynamic behaviour of structures submerged in flowing water, such as submarines, ship hulls and underwater vehicles.

Among other tasks, the new $10 million facility will be used by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to undertake maritime experiments in support of new capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy.

Hydrodynamic research conducted in the new facility will also help students undertaking maritime studies at the University of Tasmania as well as organisations such as the DSTO and Australian industry to address technology and performance issues that might arise in current and future ship design.

Plans to change maritime enforcement legislation

The Australian Government has announced legislative reforms it says will enhance Australia’s ability to respond to maritime security threats.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland said the Government will introduce new legislation to provide a “clear and simple set of maritime enforcement powers”.

Currently there are more than 35 separate pieces of Commonwealth legislation that contain maritime enforcement powers. These Acts often differ from one another in terms of the types of powers they contain, the form of those powers, and the procedures associated with them.

The proposed Maritime Powers Bill will bring together these disparate powers and bring Australia’s operational and legal arrangements into alignment, by:
* Establishing comprehensive powers, including interdiction, boarding, search, seizure and retention of vessels;
* Ensuring a common enforcement approach to promote coordination between agencies; and,
* Creating a mechanism to implement and enforce international agreements that have a maritime aspect.

The Bill will provide a suite of powers that will be available to enforce a diverse range of Australia’s laws, including illegal foreign fishing, customs, quarantine and drug trafficking. It is anticipated that the legislation will be developed for introduction in the first half of 2010.

Amphib ship’s keel laid

The keel of the Royal Australia Navy’s first Amphibious Ship (LHD 01) has been officially laid at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol, Spain.

Under Project JP2048 Phase 4A/B Australia is acquiring two new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious ships to provide sustainment support for deployed forces.

BAE Systems Australia Defence is the prime contractor for the $3.3 billion project. Navantia is subcontracted to BAE as the design authority and is required to construct and fit out the hulls of the two ships.

Navantia is on schedule, having laid the first keel exactly one year after cutting the first steel.

After completion of the hulls they will be transported to Australia. The superstructures will then be constructed, fitted out and integrated with the hulls at BAE Systems’ dockyard in Williamstown, Victoria.

The next major milestone will be the launch of LHD 01 in Spain in March 2011. It is scheduled to arrive in Williamstown in 2012 with LHD 02 arriving in 2014.

Police boat takes on new job

The Tasmanian Police Services former patrol boat Freycinet may be close to 30 years-old, but it has taken a new job with the St Helens Marine Rescue Association on Tasmania’s east coast.

Freycinet will provide the Association with a rescue vessel that has greater capabilities and operating range than its former vessel, Sea Guardian. It was originally part of the former Tasmania Fisheries Development Authority and was transferred to Tasmania Police in 1985 and recently decommissioned.

The vessel was presented to the Association by the Member for Lyons, David Llewellyn.

“Although the Freycinet is 29 years-old, it has been meticulously maintained and will greatly enhance the St Helens Marine Rescue Association’s capabilities and ongoing operations,” he said.

“The Freycinet will expand the rescue capabilities of the group with its range of 500nm, radar and an array of navigational equipment.

“I am pleased that this hard-working group of volunteers is able to take on such a reliable and sturdy vessel.
It should provide years of service,” Llewellyn said.

Trimaran rolls out

Austal removed its next large ferry from its construction hall in Hendersron, WA, in early November in preparation for launch.

The 102m aluminium trimaran is being built on speculation and is currently available for purchase. It has a maximum deadweight of 700 tonnes, can operate at speeds up to 39kts and can carry 1165 passengers and 245 cars.

Austal said the launch would take place at the end of November, some weeks later than had previously been announced. It is due for completion in February.

New AKVA group RAS Project for Tuna

Norwegian company AKVA group has signed a new contract with Clean Seas Tuna (Stehr Group) for the delivery of a complete UNI-recirculation marine hatchery for Southern Bluefin Tuna. The facility will be located at Clean Sea's Arno Bay facility in South Australia.

The new recirculation system will consist of broodstock facilities, hatchery, nursery and live feed production. Construction will start immediately, and will be commissioned before the end of the year. The hatchery is tailored to the advanced Southern Bluefin Tuna rearing technology, and is the result of long-term cooperation between biologists and engineers from both Stehr and AKVA group.

"This contract with Stehr Group is a follow-up on the historical breakthrough made last year of reproducing the first farmed Southern Bluefin Tuna fry. It is the result of a long-term cooperation with Clean Seas Tuna, and we are excited to be a part of developing this new species in aquaculture,” said the president and CEO of AKVA group, Knut Molaug.

AKVA group has more than 30 years of aquaculture engineering experience and has successfully delivered systems for more than 15 different species, globally.

Strategic Marine signs contract with Bhagwan Marine

WA shipbuilder Strategic Marine has signed a contract with a local marine operations company, Bhagwan Marine, to build a 48.5m landing craft for use in the Australian offshore oil and gas industry.

The vessel will be used in Western Australian’s northwest hydrocarbon province and has been designed by International Maritime Consultants, to accommodate for low-incline beach landings. The craft’s design features a low-angle bow to enable heavy equipment to be driven over the ramp door.

With a 12.8m beam, the vessel can accommodate up to 10 20-foot containers with a maximum payload of 400 tonnes.

An added advantage is its economical fuel consumption of about 150lt/h at 10kts cruising speed.

The vessel, which its owner plans to name Bhagwan Shaker, will be built at Strategic Marine’s largest shipyard at Vung Tau in Vietnam.

Strategic Marine will be working around the clock to complete the contract in time for the vessel’s first scheduled contract, in mid-February.

Strategic Marine chairman, Mark Newbold said the contract represented an exciting threshold in broadening the company’s services and expertise.

“Although we have vast experience building landing craft, the design and dimensions are a first for Strategic Marine as is the contract with the Bhagwan Marine Group which we are looking forward to working with more and more into the future,” said Newbold.

Loui Kannikoski, managing director of Bhagwan Marine said: “We have chosen to build with Strategic due to their quality of build and also commitment to the very tight build time.”

Although a multi-cargo vessel, it will be primarily used to transfer building and construction equipment in the areas around Dampier, Onslow and Barrow Island.

“We would like to think this landing craft will have an advantage over other vessels, with the specialised ability to land on the beach, in these locations,” Kannikoski said.

“This will be the 27th vessel for the Bhagwan Marine Group’s combined fleet, and we expect to start another similar vessel within three months as well as some shallow-draft azmithing tugs,” he said.

Strategic Marine also announced that it had officially purchased the lease for its Singapore shipyard, further adding to the company’s commitment of becoming a global industry player. The news comes only months after the decision was taken to double the yard’s capacity to meet anticipated demand for their highly regarded crew boats and offshore service vessels.

The company is currently constructing over 80 fully-financed vessels at its yards in Australia, Vietnam, Mexico and Singapore, equating to approximately $175 million of orders.

IMS busy with deliveries and more

International Maritime Services (IMS) continues to stake its claim to be one of the world’s premier maritime logistics companies with a number of significant international contracts recently secured or completed.

The Perth-based company was contracted to deliver Sea SA’s 61.5m catamaran ferry Sea Spirit 1 from Adelaide to its new owners in Venezuela and has also undertaken the delivery of the first two of four tugs built by Cheoy Lee in China for Riverside Marine. Riverwijs Maryon was the first to depart Hong Kong for Dampier, WA, and was followed by Riverwijs Karoline . Both deliveries were fully crewed and managed during the deliveries by IMS. IMS subsequently signed contracts to deliver Riverwijs Fiona and Riverwijs Maria. Both tugs will depart from Hong Kong and head for Dampier during the first quarter of 2010.

IMS will also crew and manage the delivery of a 51.5m ferry from Korea to Mexico. The ferry was sold through Queensland company International Broking Services and is undergoing a refit in the Korean port of Busan prior to the journey to Central America, which is scheduled to take six weeks. The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport has contracted IMS to deliver two newly acquired ferries. The 52m Seaway and the 54m Sea Scape were due to depart from South Australia and NSW respectively before the end of November 2009.

The company has also been contracted to supply a captain for the newly built 74m motor yacht, Silver Zwei, which was recently completed by Hanseatic Yachts in WA. Captains Kim Cleggett and Brendan Cooley shared the duties on the initial trip to Abu Dhabi. IMS was also entrusted with the delivery to Australia of Samson Maritime’s new crewboat Samson Supporter, which was designed and built by Strategic Marine in Singapore.

Away from deliveries, IMS has been contracted by a leading Nigerian company to oversee the building and commissioning of four crew/supply vessels, which are to be built by SBF in WA. It was also contracted by Austal to carry out an intensive training program on six new fast-patrol boats for more than 90 crew members from Trinidad and Tobago. The first phase of the training was held in WA and included classroom and practical sessions. The second phase will be held in Trinidad and Tobago early in 2010.

Trouble-free 10 for Tramboat

Melbourne’s Tramboat has been carrying tourists and party groups up and down the Yarra River for 10 years now, a decade in which Yamaha outboards have proved their reliability.

The 12m by 4.8m boat displaces some 17 tonnes and is licensed to carry 50 passengers and two crew. The hull is constructed from steel while the superstructure is aluminium.

According to Anthony Purcell, the owner of Melbourne Tramboat Cruises, the outboards have been exceptional engines.

“When we built the Tramboat in Queensland 10 years ago, our marine surveyor recommended the Yamaha F80 engines and they have proven themselves to be the perfect match over and again,” he said.

The dual Yamaha F80 engines typically operate at about 2500rpm to deliver the legal speed limit on the Yarra River of 5kts. At this speed, the engines consume a miniscule 3.5lt/h per engine.

“Our cost of operation is ridiculously low,” said Purcell. “How many commercial operators can carry around 50 guests and use only $10 of fuel per hour?

“We also get a huge number of people commenting on how quiet the Yamaha engines are. The Yamaha outboards just tick over and guests on board can barely hear them,” he said.

After the original Yamaha F80 engines had been on Tramboat for four years, they had clocked more than 2500 hours of trouble-free operation. Purcell was advised that this was an economical time to re-power.

‘We had no issues with the Yamaha engines whatsoever,” Purcell said. “But with the Tramboat on the slip for routine maintenance, it was as good a time as any to re-power so we fitted a new pair of Yamaha F80 engines.”

Earlier this year, and with a further 4000 hours logged, the boat was up on the slip for its routine two-year hull refurbishment.

“We again found ourselves in the position of having the Yamaha engines performing really well, but with the next opportunity to change the engines two years away, we got Geelong Boating to repower with our third set of Yamaha F80 outboards,” Purcell said.

“I’m continually impressed that the Yamaha F80 engines don’t burn oil, the waterpump impellers have not shown any signs of wear and the props have similarly gone the distance without replacement,” he said.

EFIC and ANZ fund ferry contract

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), Australia’s export credit agency, has helped Austal to win a $74.7 million contract to provide four high-speed passenger-catamaran ferries to the Trinidad and Tobago Government’s National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO).

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Austal’s
Australian bank for the transaction, has provided a loan facility to NIDCO to fund the purchase of the ferries. EFIC has provided ANZ with an export finance guarantee (EFG) for $61.3 million to guarantee repayment of the loan.

EFIC’s ability to work with the Austal and ANZ to structure a buyer finance package was key to the shipbuilder’s success.

Austal’s managing director, Bob Browning said: “Given the size of the order, being able to offer NIDCO a finance package, which included EFIC’s guarantee was a crucial part of our bid.”

Angus Armour, EFIC’s managing director and CEO said: “We’re delighted to continue our association with Austal and to contribute to the international expansion of this successful Australian company.”

Paul Richards, ANZ’s Global Head of Structured Export Finance said: “Austal is a highly valued customer of ANZ. We are pleased to support Austal’s export business and to work with EFIC again.”

The four vessels will be constructed at Austal’s Tasmanian and Western Australian shipyards, with delivery scheduled for late 2010.

Workboat operators choose Mobilarm

Two leading Australian workboat operators, Bhagwan Marine and Neptune Marine, have placed multiple vessel orders for the supply of Mobilarm's crew safety solutions for offshore applications.

"Crew safety is critical in all maritime industries, but these orders reflect the fact that offshore oil and gas is one of the primary segments that may benefit from improved man overboard alerting and location, and continuous crew monitoring," said Mobilarm CEO, Lindsay Lyon.

Bhagwan Marine, which operates in the Western Australia offshore oil and gas sector, will install Crewsafe across its fleet. It was chosen primarily to provide an extra level of safety during machinery and crew transfers and because it fulfils the strict industry safety standards within the offshore oil and gas industry.

Neptune Marine Services has chosen Crewsafe and the Mobilarm V100 Digital PLB for use aboard a ROV support vessel with 25 crew and an anchor handling, towing and supply (AHTS) vessel with a crew of 35. The Mobilarm V100 was chosen in addition to Crewsafe as it provides the crew added safety during operations that require them to leave the vessel while at sea.

Crewsafe is a wireless safety network, which provides marine employee safety and security through crew location monitoring and by automatically initiating a network-wide alert to all personnel within seconds of an incident occurring. The active crew monitoring and reporting system immediately detects emergency events such as man overboard, providing a GPS waypoint, range and bearing in order to facilitate a quick, effective rescue. Additional security and communication functionality includes crew location monitoring, covert alarm capability, crew paging, First Aid training, and rescue asset and safety equipment management.

The Mobilarm V100 is a pocket-sized Marine Survivor Locating Device that is attached to clothing or lifejackets and will automatically activate when the wearer has gone overboard, sending out a Mayday message and real time GPS coordinates of the casualty's current position via VHF DSC. It requires no onboard infrastructure, apart from a VHF DSC.

ADF chooses RFD for immersion suits

The Defence Material Organisation has awarded a major supply contract to RFD Australia. The $3.15m contract is for the supply of highly specialised immersion clothing to protect ADF pilots and aircrew from possible death or injury, resulting from an aircraft being forced to ditch into cold water.

Unprepared immersion may result in the death of personnel due to hypothermia, shock and cardiac arrest. Further, fuel leaking from a damaged aircraft may also present a hazard to pilots and aircrew through fire and chemical burns.

The new protective clothing is a one-piece, fire-resistant suit, manufactured from a breathable, lightweight and waterproof laminated fabric. The suit covers the lower legs and feet to make it a one-piece garment, which has latex seals at the neck and wrists.

RFD was selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive and open industry tender that incorporated extensive trial and evaluation.
RFD Australia has committed to significant capital expenditure in new equipment and the up-skilling of staff to support these protective suits in service with the ADF.

Captions: Ron Isbel Reef; Search and destroy... authorities are gaining greater powers to stop illegal fishing and drug trafficking; WA shipbuilder Strategic Marine has signed a contract with Bhagwan Marine to build a 48.5m landing craft for use in the Australian offshore oil and gas industry; Riverwijs Karoline; Riverwijs Maryon; Tramboat; Austal has won a $74.7 million contract to provide four high-speed passenger ferries to the Trinidad and Tobago Government's National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO); Bhagwan Marine's Ocean Quest; RFD's Mark Barker (left) with Mark O'Brien, director of the DMO's Aerospace Equipment Systems Support Office.