Commercial Marine 403

Commercial Marine 402

Riverwijs quartet completed

Riverwijs, the joint venture alliance of Brisbane-based Riverside Marine and Svitzer A/S, has now taken delivery of all four of its new RAmparts 3000 Class tugs for the Port of Dampier, WA. All were built in China by Cheoy Lee.

Riverwijs Fiona (pictured hereabouts) departed from Cheoy Lee’s Kowloon shipyard in late January, followed by the final delivery in the quartet, Riverwijs Maria on February 9. Riverwijs Maryon and Riverwijs Karoline were delivered in September 2009.

All four were delivered to Dampier under their own power by Perth company International Maritime Services. The fuel capacity of almost 100 tonnes enabled them to complete the delivery trip with only one stop. The tugs went to work shortly after arrival; their primary duty is assisting the docking and un-docking of LNG tankers calling at Woodside Energy's Withnell Bay Terminal.

The 5000hp tugs are of all-steel construction, and built to Lloyds Register classification, with the notation + 100A1 Tug, * IWS +LMC, UMS. Principal dimensions are an overall length of 30.8m, beam of 11m and 5.5m draft.

Main propulsion for each tug comprises a pair of Niigata 6L28HX diesel engines, each rated 1838kW at 750rpm, and each driving a Niigata ZP 41 fixed-pitch Z-drive unit, in azimuthing stern-drive configuration.

As well as providing excellent manoeuvrability, the system provides a bollard pull of 68 tonnes, and a maximum free-running speed at full load of 12.5kts. Going astern at full power the tugs can produce 63.5 tonnes pull.

Full-height floor to ceiling windows all around the elevated wheelhouse provide the visibility required to operate these highly agile vessels, with a single control station providing maximum visibility to both fore and aft-deck working areas.

The main hawser winch forward is a single-drum Kraaijeveld Safewinch, containing 150m of high-performance UHMWPE towline. The first two tugs are each fitted with a Kraaijeveld towing winch aft, holding 1000m of wire. The second pair is fitted with an H-bitt and a 65-tonne Mampaey towing hook only.

A significant fire-fighting capability is provided, using FFS pumps and monitors. The single pump, rated 1400m3/h, is driven from the front of the starboard engine through a step-up gearbox. Foam is injected into the system via an educator and deployed via two remote controlled monitors mounted on the wheelhouse roof. External fire protection is also enhanced by a water curtain system that blankets the entire vessel when operating near fires.

Although the normal crew is three, the tugs can operate with up to 10 crew. The main deck features a ship's office and a spacious crew mess/lounge, served by a fully equipped, modern galley. The main deckhouse contains the Master's, Chief Engineer's and single-crew cabins, with a shared lavatory. There is also space for four extra crew in one cabin below deck.

The noise levels throughout the accommodation and control spaces of the tug are in the range of 60 to 63dBA, achieved by utilising advanced methods of isolating main propulsion machinery, as well as high-grade insulations and floating-floor techniques.

As with Cheoy Lee’s Z-Tech tugs, and other RAmparts models in the series, the RAmparts 3000 is designed by Robert Allan Ltd, Naval Architects of Vancouver, Canada.

The designers note, however, that these are the first of what might be considered the MkII version of the RAmparts 3000 design, incorporating a number of refinements and lessons learned from the previous boats built in Asia and in South America.

This updated design has a higher raised fo'c'sle deck, enabling the crew to easily reach the recessed bollards that are common on many of today's high-freeboard LNG ships. The raised fo'c'sle provides ample freeboard for operation in exposed sea conditions, and allows for increased headroom and liveability in the forward accommodation.

Robert Allan Ltd worked closely with the owner to establish the final specification and vessel layout for the demanding service of this tug. The hull form still reflects the very well-proven double chine form with a sweeping "chined" stern that characterises all Robert Allan Ltd designs. A ship-docking skeg is fitted to enhance the manoeuvring capability within the confines of this constricted harbour and entrance channel.

Ship-handling fenders at the bow comprise a 900 by 450 cylindrical fender above a row of 450mm W-block fenders. A 300 x 300 hollow D-fender provides protection at the main and fo’c'sle deck sheer lines, and W-block type fendering is used again at the stern.

NSW Government promises improved ferry services

NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, David Campbell said commuters will benefit from improved services after the NSW Government signed a new contract with Sydney Ferries in April.

The seven-year service agreement was negotiated after the Government announced in December 2009 that it had made the policy decision that Sydney Ferries should run ferry services as a NSW Government agency rather than a private operator. It had previously commenced a market-testing process designed to compare the relative merits of public and private operation. Two private companies had been shortlisted.

Some of the key reforms set for Sydney Ferries in the new contract include:
* Undertaking a significant restructure to ensure more resources are delivered to the front-end;
* The strategic and planning functions of Sydney Ferries will be moved to Transport NSW – to ensure ferry services are fully coordinated with Sydney’s bus and rail networks;
* A review of Sydney Ferries timetables to ensure they remain relevant to passengers’ travel needs;
* Stronger accountability to the Government to meet reliability and safety as well as improving customer satisfaction.

“This new contract provides clear performance standards for Sydney Ferries, focusing on the key areas of safety, reliability, customer service and productivity,” Campbell said.

“Ferry passengers deserve better services and this new service agreement requires Sydney Ferries to deliver on this.

“There is a strong customer focus, with a new requirement for an annual timetable review and new complaint-resolution standards,” he said.

Although details of the evaluations of the private sector bids were not released, Campbell described the market testing process as “a wake up call for Sydney Ferries” and said both services and reliability had improved. The entire market-testing process cost the NSW taxpayers $6 million.

Campbell said service reliability is up to 99.9 per cent and complaints for 100,000 passenger journeys has fallen from 6.2 in 2008-09 to 4.5 so far this financial year.

Under the new agreement, the NSW Government and Sydney Ferries will also start work on a network review and fleet-procurement strategy to ensure Sydney Ferries continue to operate the services that benefit passengers.

The Government also released the Public Sector Comparator (PSC), which was developed during the market-testing process as a benchmark of the anticipated costs and revenues of the Government continuing to operate ferry services.

“The market-testing process reiterated that a substantial government subsidy would be required to continue ferry services on Sydney Harbour — whether it be publicly or privately operated,” Campbell said.

The PSC estimated that the net cost of the government subsidy to continue to publicly operate ferry services was $668.4 million to $670 million over the seven-year term of the contract. The quality evaluation resulted in a score of 56 out of 100 for Sydney Ferries.

The negotiated net-cost to Government over the seven-year contract term is $589.3 million, or $619.3 million when including funding for six replacement ferries announced in the Metropolitan Transport Plan in February.

That plan forecasts a 4.8 per cent fall in ferry patronage, to 38,000 passengers per day, by 2020. In relation to new vessels it states that two Lady Class and four Supercat ferries will be replaced over the next 10 years.

Tasmanian shipyard to close

WA-based shipbuilder Austal has announced its shipyard in Margate, Tasmania, will be closed when work on existing contracts is completed in September this year.

The company said the “rationalisation of its Australian operations and workforce” resulted from changed market demand for smaller sized vessels.

Austal director–sales and Australian operations, Andrew Bellamy commented: “Based on Austal’s current assessment of the global market, the forecast demand for smaller passenger ferries and small patrol boats can be fully serviced out of the Henderson facilities in Western Australia.

“These changes are part of our ongoing effort to improve the level of efficiency and effectiveness of Austal’s operations. We regret, however, that this will result in some reductions to our Australian workforce,” he said.

At the time of the announcement Austal’s Tasmanian shipyard employed 121 people and was building two 41m catamaran ferries for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Austal acquired the shipyard, which was formerly used by North West Bay Ships, for $10 million in February 2007. At that point it employed some 50 staff, a number that had risen to approximately 120 by the time it completed its first contract in August 2008. At that time Austal said the shipyard was “an important member of Austal’s global production capacity”. Those two ferries were followed by three patrol catamarans for the Queensland Police and the Trinidad contract.

Responding to the announcement, Tasmanian Minister for Economic Development, Lara Giddings said she was disappointed by Austal’s decision. “This is terrible news for those workers who will lose their jobs, and their families,” she said.

“Importantly, I have received assurances from Austal that all employees will receive their entitlements and the Government is committed to helping them find alternative job opportunities.

“This is a reality of the global market with demand slowing, due to the Global Financial Crisis, for the size and type of vessel Austal produce.

“While Austal has previously received Government support, the company has advised the Department that any further Government assistance or intervention would not have prevented its decision to close the Margate yard.

“I understand that global conditions affecting Austal may not necessarily relate to other Tasmanian shipbuilders, who are catering to a more diverse market,” Giddings said.

Townsville marine project gains conditional approval

The Queensland Government has given the green light to a new industrial marine precinct in Townsville’s Ross River pending federal approval.

The $110 million Townsville Port Marine Precinct will provide a new home to about a dozen upriver industries, whose businesses will be affected by the completion of a new port-access road across the river’s mouth. It will also provide a purpose-built, sheltered base for other current and future industrial marine businesses in the immediate area.

The Port of Townsville proposes to reclaim 34ha of seabed for the project near the mouth of the Ross River. The project will be constructed in stages, with the first stage, which could be completed as early as November 2011, able to accommodate the marine industries affected by the bridge crossing.

A later stage may also include constructing a breakwater on the eastern side of the Ross River mouth to protect the precinct from waves. In addition, dredging activities will be required to realign the navigation channel and create an inner harbour and swing basin for the facility.

If approved by the Federal Government, industrial marine facilities are expected to include:
* A commercial slipway, barge ramp, ship-lift, docking facility and associated maritime facilities and infrastructure to support vessel fabrication and maintenance;
* Berths for 50 trawlers, scientific and tourist vessels, vehicular barge, provisioning sullage and refuelling for commercial and recreational users;
* Commercial and recreational chandlery;
* Seafood industry cold storage and distribution facilities.

Laing O'Rourke, one of the world's largest construction companies, has been selected as the preferred proponent for construction.

Aussie crewboat for Brazil

Sydney-based Incat Crowther has confirmed it has won a contract to provide the design of a crewboat for Brazilian oil giant, Petrobras. The vessel is one of the first projects to take advantage of Incat Crowther’s new USA office.

The vessel, under construction by ETP Engenharia Ltda in Rio de Janeiro, is a 36m monohull crewboat complying with the Petrobras specifications for the P2 type crewboat. The main cabin contains seating for 60 passengers in large reclining seats, some at tables. There are also generous luggage storage racks, a beverage counter and two toilets.

Aft of the passenger accommodation is the main cargo deck, which is divided to perform two main functions. The aft area is devoted to crew transfer while the forward portion is configured to carry more than 50 tonnes of cargo.

Ship’s crew accommodation is below decks and consists of sleeping quarters for 10, a galley and mess as well as a crew wet room with toilets and showers, as well as laundry facilities.

Aside from its own fuel and water, the vessel is equipped with cargo freshwater and fuel tanks, each capable of holding in excess of 30,000lt.

The wheelhouse is located on the upper deck and includes forward and aft-facing control stations, with all-round visibility. The upper deck also features a rescue boat with slewing davit, firefighting monitor (10,000lt/min), and direct access to both forward and aft decks. A purpose-designed transfer platform has been arranged on the foredeck to further suit the Petrobras P2 vessel requirements.

The vessel will be powered by three Caterpillar C32 main engines, each driving a Hamilton HM721 waterjet to give a service speed of 25kts. The centre driveline will be arranged to provide booster power, while the outboard jets include steering functionality. A ZF3050 gearbox will provide gear reduction and clutching. A single 100hp bowthruster assists station keeping.

Customs to change-up patrol fleet

The Government has announced new measures that will see short and long-term changes in the patrol boat fleet working for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

The first change will be in the vessel to provide the Southern Ocean maritime patrol and response capability previously provided by the P&O operated Oceanic Viking. This follows the signing of a new $157 million contract with Australian company dmaa SeaForce.

SeaForce has been engaged to provide a vessel, crew and all supporting logistics. Norwegian company, DOF Subsea, has provided a vessel under lease, which will undergo modifications in Newcastle to meet the capability requirements for Customs and Border Protection patrols.

The 106m long vessel will be named Ocean Protector for the duration of the contract and is expected to be ready for operations in August this year.

“The Government appreciates the assistance from DOF in securing this state-of-the-art vessel, which has a significant ice capability and meets stringent environmental requirements,” O’Connor said.

Further changes were foreshadowed in the recent Federal Budget. Chief among these was the purchase of eight new patrol vessels with improved surveillance and response capability and greater range, to replace the current ageing Bay Class vessels.

According to the Government, the new Customs patrol vessels will be able to travel farther than the existing craft and the capacity to conduct operations in all parts of Australia’s waters.

This enhanced capability will play a critical role in border security and will address more than one security challenge by providing surveillance and response capabilities across northern Australia to counter illegal people smuggling, illegal foreign fishing, trafficking of illicit goods, as well as search-and-rescue and counter-terrorism activities.

The first vessel is expected to come online in 2012-13 with the full new fleet being operational by 2015-16. The Government will provide $42.6 million over four years to meet project implementation and enhanced operating costs, but has not released estimates of the budgeted acquisition cost.

Other measures highlighted in the Budget affect vessels provided by Gardline Australia. While $15.7 million is provided over two years to ensure the continued presence of Ashmore Guardian at Ashmore Reef, funding for the Australian Customs Vessel Triton is terminated from June 30, 2011.

Local boats patrol European waters

Austal has completed its first European defence contract following the commissioning of four 21.2m inshore patrol craft for the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM).

The shipbuilder describes the vessels as “a fast and versatile platform designed for coastal surveillance and search-and-rescue” that “provides enhanced crew habitability, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency across various operating conditions.”

The aluminium monohulls have a maximum speed of more than 26kts and will assist the AFM with surveillance and border protection throughout Malta’s coastal waters. Powering each vessel are two MAN D2842 LE410 diesel engines, each producing 809kW at 2100rpm and driving fixed-pitch propellers. Auxiliary engines consist of two Cummins MDKBUs.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in March, Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi described the vessels as “the pride of the Maritime Squadron’s fleet” and added: “The modern and cutting-edge technology coupled with the best accommodation facilities will also provide a better working environment for the crew. The patrol boats were purposely built and customised in line with the Squadron’s requirements.”

AFM Lieutenant Colonel Martin Sammut commended Austal for their willingness to ensure client satisfaction.

“Austal’s professionalism has made it possible for all four vessels to be completed on time. Furthermore, their continued assistance is testimony of their intent to seal this successful partnership,” Sammut said.

Each vessel is equipped with a firefighting monitor on the aft flybridge deck, alongside two 7.62mm light machine gun mounts. Mounting for one 12.7mm heavy machine gun is positioned near the vessel’s bow.

Inclusion of a bilge manifold above the main aft deck enables the patrol boats to perform salvage pumping of another vessel if needed. A stern launching ramp allows the safe deployment and retrieval of a rigid hull inflatable boat, with dive operations supported via low-to-the-water platforms located aft.

Two separate amenities blocks are located either side of the main boarding entry. Their accessibility from the external aft deck enables non-crew use without entering the vessel’s main internal areas. A galley and crew mess are located in the lower deck, along with two twin-berth cabins each with lockers and bench. A four-berth cabin is located in the vessel’s bow, along with additional locker storage space.

The vessels are classed by DNV.

ASC restructures

Specialised defence shipbuilding organisation ASC Pty Ltd has announced it will restructure the business to centralise the corporate functions that currently exist in both its submarine and shipbuilding divisions.

Managing director and CEO, Steve Ludlam said the planned restructure would deliver significant cost savings while maximising workplace efficiency.

“Given the size and importance of ASC’s submarine maintenance and destroyer-build programs, we are continually seeking ways to operate more effectively and use money more efficiently across our business,” Ludlam said. “We need to deliver value-for-money to our customer and to the taxpayer, and this restructure is all about ensuring that happens.”

Ludlam said he had conducted an initial review of the ASC business since commencing in the managing director’s role earlier this year.

ASC employs more than 1600 personnel in South Australia and Western Australia.

New port for the Pilbara

The WA Government has identified Anketell, 30km east of Karratha and 10km from Cape Lambert, as the next major deepwater iron-ore port for the Pilbara.

The multi-user deepwater port and industrial precinct will complement Port Hedland and Dampier ports. Anketell was first identified as a potential iron-ore port during the 1970s.

The Government will spend $3.5 million during the next three years to plan and prepare an Industrial Precinct Development Agreement for the project including commercial, legal and engineering advice to negotiate the agreement.

The precinct would ultimately include a port with more than 350 million tonnes annual export capacity and an industrial area of more than 1400ha. A corridor for transport and services would be developed to accommodate a range of users and different mineral commodities.

The port would have a cap placed on it in future to ensure the viability of existing ports and be built by a private proponent under an agreement with the State Government. It is planned that operations will commence by 2015.

New Yanmar man for WA/NT

Power Equipment has appointed Paul Edwards to the position of Marine Sales Manager WA/NT.

Edwards’ previous experience includes working as the marine sales manager with Seapower, a leading WA supplier of marine engines and authorised Yanmar dealer.

“Thanks to my past position at Seapower, I am well familiar with the Yanmar products and the strength of the Yanmar brand,” Edwards said.

“At Seapower I helped customers with their marine propulsion requirements. My role was to ensure that customers had the most appropriate engine for their needs.

“So I was measuring up enginerooms to be certain that the selected engine would fit, to be sure that the power was right for the vessel and then once the fit-up was complete, I was involved in sea trials to see that everything was operating as specified,” he said.

Edwards replaces Brian Macken, who is now overseeing Yanmar Marine sales across New Zealand.

Photos: Riverwijs Fiona, a RAmparts 3000 Class tug built in China by Cheoy Lee, is now based at Dampier, WA; Ferry launches at Austal Tasmania will soon be a thing of the past; Artists impression of the workboat commissioned for Brazilian oil giant, Petrobas; Rendering of the side profile and deck layouts of the Brazilian-bound Incat Crowther 36m monohull crewboat; Oceanic Viking and the Bay Class vessels are to be replaced; One of four 21.2m inshore patrol craft built by Austal for the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM); ASC will undertake a centralised restructuring program; Anketell has been targeted as the next major deepwater iron-ore port for the Pilbara; Paul Edwards.