Riverside cats for Gladstone

Riverside Marine is building three new catamarans to transport workers between Gladstone, QLD, and the new LNG plant on Curtis Island. Construction of the two 32m and one 24m ferries, which are all from the drawing board of Incat Crowther, is well advanced.

The first of the 32m ferries is being built at Brisbane Ship Constructions. These vessels will be configured to carry 399 passengers for the Curtis Island operation. The layout of the boat has been developed to allow it to be converted to a more spacious cabin layout in its second life, making it suitable for longer duration transfers and tours.

The ferries will feature a large main-deck cabin with forward and midship boarding doors and ramps. The cabin accommodates 268 passengers in forward-facing seats.

The aft deck will be configured with a cargo zone for carrying items such as tool boxes and supplies. Five toilets are also located on the aft deck, one of which is wheelchair-accessible. The upper deck is accessible via both internal and external stairs, and will feature a cabin with 132 seats. Outdoor seats are also to be fitted to the aft end of this deck and will be protected from the sun by a large roof overhang.

The boats will be powered by a pair of Caterpillar C32 main engines, each rated at 970kW at 2100rpm. Power is transmitted via ZF3050 gearboxes to a pair of five-bladed propellers, giving a service speed of 25kts at 85 per cent MCR.

Meanwhile, construction is underway at Marine Engineering Consultants on a 24m vessel. Incat Crowther says that by utilising this craft in conjunction with the large vessel, Riverside Marine can minimise operating costs when passenger numbers fluctuate. The boat is a high-capacity variant of Fantasea Sunrise, and can be converted to operate on any of Riverside Marine’s routes, both on the Great Barrier Reef and in Sydney.

This catamaran will have seats for 180 passengers in the main-deck cabin and 46 passengers in the upper-deck cabin, with an additional 20 outdoor passenger seats on the upper deck. A total of four toilets will be fitted, with one located on the upper deck. Like the 32m ferries, midship boarding doors will be fitted, as well as boarding ramps.

The 24m craft will be powered by a pair of Yanmar 6AYM-WET main engines each producing 610kW at 1900rpm, giving a service speed of 25kts at 85 per cent MCR.
All three ferries are due to be delivered this year.

1). Two of these Incat Crowther 34m ferries are under construction for Gladstone-Curtis Island LNG plant transfers.

2). On the drawing board, Incat Crowther’s designs of the 24m catamaran ferry for Riverside Marine.

Semisubs for gas project
Danish shipping company Combi Lift has signed a contract with Schenker for two of its semisubmersible ships for the Gorgon LNG project. The one-year contract has an option of two years and is for delivery of supplies to the start-up of the project.

Combi Lift says the ships,
Combi Dock I and Combi Dock III, were selected because they are the only type capable of continuously delivering goods via the cranes (LO/LO) and stern ramp (RO/RO) in spite of the tide at Barrow Island.

“This contract proves that the Combi Dock type is one of the most flexible and complex ship types within the heavy lift segment,” said Combi Lift COO, Anders Poulsen.

“The ships have been refitted in order to roll cargo directly from the tween deck and for us to meet the environmental requirements for calling Barrow Island,” he said.

Both of the two ships have been delivered into the project and Combi Dock III was the first ship to call at the newly established quay of Barrow Island.

Austal confirms ferry for miner
Austal has confirmed that a 41m catamaran fast-ferry it is building is destined for the New Caledonian operations of global mining company Vale. Austal announced the contract in June last year but would not disclose the client.

Due for delivery in May 2012, the vessel is designed to provide members of the company’s 1000-strong workforce a fast and comfortable commute between Noumea and the Goro mine site’s Prony Port.

With four MTU diesels and Kamewa waterjets, the high-speed catamaran will have the capacity to carry up to 439 passengers at 37.5kts with journey time expected to be less than an hour each way.

Visiting the shipyard, Vale New Caledonia’s maritime section manager, Olivier Rousseau, commented on the rapid pace of construction.

“It is exciting to see the rate at which the aluminium fabrication and outfitting of the vessel is progressing, and we are looking forward to taking delivery of this catamaran in mid-2012,” said Rousseau.

“We have worked very closely with the Austal team throughout this project, and we are confident that this vessel was designed in line with all of our quality, technical and operational requirements,” he said.

3). (L-R) Austal naval architect Anthony Livanos; Connexnav's Francois Bougault; Vale New Caledonia’s Olivier Rousseau; and Austal sales manager Dan Fisher in front of the 41m vessel currently under construction.

First female Admiral for the RAN
The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, has promoted Commodore Robyn Walker to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Admiral Walker is the first female in the Navy to attain the rank of Rear Admiral and to take on the job of Surgeon General for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“This is an outstanding achievement personally for Admiral Walker,” said Griggs. “Her promotion reflects her outstanding service and dedication to Defence health services, the RAN and the ADF.”

Admiral Walker joined the RAN from Brisbane as a Direct Entry Lieutenant in 1991, and has continued to work in the field of medicine ever since. Admiral Walker has served on HMAS Westralia and with the Sea Training Group, and has been involved in the planning of health support for several military operations.

Some of the highlights of the Admiral’s career include leading the health planning and assembly for Australia’s military medical response to the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, leading further developments to the ADF’s Mental Health Strategy between 2005 and 2008, and receiving the Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year Award this year.

Admiral Walker said she is honoured and humbled by her promotion.

“Navy and Defence have provided me with every opportunity to learn and develop as an individual; and if you take the opportunities that are provided and work hard, your efforts will be noticed and rewarded,” said Walker. “I am looking forward to the challenges that I will face and continuing to make a positive difference in my new role.”

4). Admiral Walker is the first female in the RAN to attain the rank of Rear Admiral.

Svitzer wins Gorgon Contract
Chevron Australia and Svitzer Australia have signed a contract for the marine services required for the Gorgon Project LNG terminal at Barrow Island, Western Australia.

Svitzer will supply four 33m 80-tonne bollard-pull azimuthing sterndrive (ASD) tugs and a 16m Pantocarere pilot boat which will be built in Victoria by Hart Marine.

“As the largest maritime employer in Australia, Svitzer will draw on a wealth of knowledge available within the existing business to ensure locally-employed crews are secured and trained to operate these state-of-the-art tugs,” said Svitzer Australia managing director Mark Malone.

“This will include a program to employ and train local indigenous people with an interest in pursuing marine qualifications,” he said.

The tugs are said to be the first of their kind in the world and designed by Svitzer specifically for the Gorgon Project. Each vessel has a power-management system, enabling electricity to be stored from the diesel system into batteries. The batteries can in turn be used to either supplement the diesel power or replace it, reducing carbon emissions and noise.

Unlike conventional tugs, Svitzer says the hybrids can operate on only one engine when lower levels of power are required or exclusively on battery power, while maintaining full steering and manoeuvrability.

Svitzer will soon enter into construction partnership arrangements and select a shipyard where the tugs can be built.

“Svitzer is pleased to set yet another maritime-industry benchmark through its involvement with the Gorgon Project,” said Malone.

“The priorities are two-pronged: looking after the environment, and providing opportunities for Australian industries.

“Existing relationships with local suppliers will be expanded to ensure further benefit from the project requirements,” he said.

The Gorgon contract will start in 2014 and run for 20 years.

Strategic busy at home and abroad
WA-headquartered international shipbuilder Strategic Marine has had a busy few months, with patrol boats delivered, crewboat contracts signed and new operations in two Australian states.

In December, it was announced that three high-speed patrol boats built for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had been successfully delivered to the Indonesian National Police (INP).

The 16m patrol boats, constructed at Strategic Marine's Singapore shipyard, were specifically designed for maritime conditions in Indonesia and surrounding waters. They have the capability to pursue at high-speed, intercept and board other vessels.

The aluminium boats are equipped for high-level surveillance and can operate covertly, taking to the ocean without lighting using night-vision equipment and infrared spotlights to light-up boats without alerting the suspect vessel.

Four INP crews undertook familiarisation training courses, including ship handling, maintenance, operations and safety. Strategic Marine COO Scott Nicholls said his team would be providing the Indonesian Police with training on key design features and operation of the vessels.

“We are excited to have been provided this opportunity by the AFP and have delivered world-class patrol vessels, designed to take on the operational challenges faced by today’s law enforcement and defence departments,” said Nicholls.

Then Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, presented the three boats to the INP in Jakarta, and said they would enhance the region’s joint capability in the fight against people smuggling.

“These high-speed patrol boats will be based at strategic locations across Indonesia as an active force in the ongoing fight against people smuggling,” said O’Connor.

The project was worth a total of $7.1 million, including $1 million for ongoing operational costs of the vessels until November 2012. The funding was provided through a grant to the AFP in July 2010, part of a new policy initiative to Enhancing Regional Law Enforcement Capability.

In the same month, Strategic Marine secured contracts to build two 40m crewboats for a repeat customer from Malaysia. Each can transport 58 oil rig personnel and 44 tonnes of cargo. When they are delivered in the middle of this year Borcos Shipping will boast 11 Strategic Marine crewboats in its fleet, the first one launched in 2005.

Strategic Marine chief marketing officer Terry O'Connor said: “We pride ourselves on developing long-term relationships with our clients, which has lead to many repeat orders. These contracts were signed by Ron Anderson, one of our executive directors who has a wonderful relationship with Sidqi Ahmad, executive director at Syarikat Borcos, built-up over many years.

“We are of course delighted that Mr Ahmad has chosen Strategic Marine to build these new crewboats and this is testament to the quality of our products and the service which we provide. These contracts reinforce Strategic Marine's position as a world-leading manufacturer of crewboats, especially in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

O'Connor said that Strategic Marine’s reputation in the crewboat market had allowed the company to fast-track its shipbuilding diversification plans and establish regional operations in WA's North West and Queensland.

“We have finalised plans to expand our fast-response repair and servicing operation in Karratha and secured contracts for fabrication and design work for John Holland's construction works in Gladstone (QLD),” he said.

Under the contracts, Strategic Marine will provide design, fabrication and engineering works for John Holland's material offloading facilities at the Queensland Curtis LNG Project (QCLNG) and the Gladstone LNG Project (GLNG).

Strategic Marine chairman Mark Newbold said the company's goal to become a key supplier in the booming Australian resource and energy sectors, both in WA and QLD was now very much a reality.

“These contracts have enabled us to accelerate plans for establishing a facility in QLD to service the CSG industry, as well as the regional oil and gas industry, including neighbouring countries like Papua New Guinea,” said Newbold.

“We have also recently established a new operation in Karratha, in the northwest of WA, which will provide clients with rapid-response marine services around the clock.

“We are very excited by our progress to date and we anticipate further growth in the regional market as more and more gas and infrastructure projects in WA and QLD come online,” he said.

The new facility in Karratha is at the SINWA site.

“This new facility will provide rapid-response marine services for the oil and gas sector, fabrication facilities and through-life support for all vessels operating in the region,” said Nicholls.

5). One of the three new INP patrol boats.

6). Sidqi Ahmad (left) and Strategic’s Ron Anderson seal the crewboat deal.

Founding director sails from Austal
WA-based shipbuilder Austal has announced the resignation from its board of founding director and major shareholder Chris Norman.

The company’s technical director before becoming sales director in 1993, Norman held that role until 2002 when he retired from his executive position with the company.

Austal chairman John Rothwell paid tribute to his fellow founding shareholder.

“I understand and support Chris’s decision and recognise that his many skills contributed significantly to where we are today,” said Rothwell.

“During our formative years, Chris was instrumental in the development, marketing and sales of the commercial vessel technology that positioned us for the move into defence arena, in particular our US Navy programs. Over the last decade he has continued to provide valuable input as a non-executive director as the company has continued to grow and diversify.

“Whilst our working relationship will diminish, our personal friendship will not,” Rothwell said.

Norman said he was stepping back from some of his business commitments in order to have more time with his family.

“My involvement with Austal has been a fantastic journey. I am very thankful to John for selecting me to join his team, way back in 1987, and to everyone else who helped make the journey such an enjoyable and successful one,” said Norman.

“From our very early strategy sessions to selling, designing and building the biggest and best fast-ferries in the world, to then becoming the prime contractor for the next generation of US Navy ships, it has been a fantastic 24 years,” he said.

Coinciding with the resignation, Austal announced the appointment of David Singleton as a non-executive director. Rothwell said Singleton brings a wealth of highly relevant business expertise and experience to the Austal board.

“In particular, David has extensive executive leadership credentials in international defence contracting and the Australian resources sector, both of which are areas of strategic focus for Austal,” said Rothwell.

Prior to moving to Australia, Singleton held numerous senior roles with BAE Systems (formerly British Aerospace), which is one of the world’s largest defence companies.

Singleton is also currently a non-executive director of ASX-listed Quickstep Holdings, which is currently manufacturing advanced composite components for the international F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.

He has been CEO and managing director of Perth-based mineral exploration company Poseidon Nickel Limited since July 2007 and is also a non-executive director of Triton Gold Limited.

Tassie aquaculture company expands
Petuna Seafoods’ $7.4 million investment in its trout and salmon processing facility at East Devonport has been described as a vote of confidence in the future of Tasmania’s aquaculture industry.

The facility expansion will enable the company to double production and create up to 50 new jobs.

“The rapid rise of Tasmania’s aquaculture industry has been a great success story and its potential is extremely positive news for the Tasmanian economy,” the state’s Deputy Premier Bryan Green said. “Petuna is one of our leading seafood companies and is playing a very significant part in the growth of the industry.”

Green acknowledged the hard work and vision of Peter and Una Rockliff
in more than 50 years involvement in fishing and fish processing.

“Petuna has a long and proud history and this development is another important milestone for the company,” said Green.

The State and Federal Governments supported the expansion with $1 million from the jointly funded $20 million North-West Innovation and Investment Fund.

The Tasmanian salmon and trout industry now employs around 1200 people and is worth approximately $380 million per annum.

Petuna is a key player in expansion plans for salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast.

7). Petuna is expanding its aquaculture activities to double production.

Mermaid completes Dampier Supply Base acquisition
Mermaid Marine Australia Ltd (MMA) has purchased the Bis Industries Limited (Bis) Dampier Supply Base.

The Bis Supply Base is located in the King Bay Industrial Estate, adjacent to MMA’s existing Dampier Supply Base facility. The Bis Supply Base covers an area of 11.7 hectares and comprises open laydown area, undercover storage and office space. The acquisition increases MMA’s total Supply Base land area in Dampier by approximately 60 per cent.

MMA plans to use the newly acquired facility to support new and existing offshore oil and gas clients in the North West Shelf.

The total consideration payable by MMA was $24 million, which was funded from existing cash reserves and debt facilities.

MMA’s chairman Tony Howarth said: “The acquisition of the Bis Dampier Supply Base is strategically significant in that it provides MMA with access to substantial extra land and facilities directly adjacent to our current operations. This will enable MMA to continue to grow and expand its supply base service offering to the growing offshore oil and gas industry in the North West Shelf.”

MMA’s managing director Jeffrey Weber said: “The Bis Dampier Supply Base is a logical acquisition for MMA, bringing with it a number of new opportunities as well as providing MMA with additional capacity to service its current Supply Base clients. The Bis facility was one of the earliest Supply Bases on the Burrup Peninsula and as such is located on prime land that is ideally located in relation to MMA’s current Supply Base facility.”

Fisheries repower improves performance
The 10-year-old Fisheries Victoria Kevlacat 720 that operates out of Apollo Bay has followed in the wake of another Kevlacat in the fleet and been repowered with Yamaha outboards.

“The Fisheries boat from Apollo Bay arrived at our workshop with a pair of four-stroke outboards from a competitive brand, on the transom,” said Cameron MacDonald, dealer principal at Geelong Boating Centre.

“Even though they had logged just 280 hours with these engines, the outboard performance and configuration was poor, particularly when compared to the other Kevlacat on their fleet that had just been repowered with Yamaha F250 engines,” he said.

The engine swap and other associated work were executed in three days. The existing engines were removed, along with the extension pods, resulting in a gain of 50hp and weight saving of 160kg.

Sea trials reflected the benefits of the repower, with maximum speed increasing from 42 to 48kts. Trials showed fuel consumption of 24.5lt/h per engine at 25kts.

8). It will be harder to escape Fisheries Victoria’s 10-year-old Kevlacat 720 following a recent repowering, resulting in the boat’s top speed jumping from 42 to 48kts.

Investors sought for world-first lobster hatchery
Scientists at the world's first commercial tropical rock lobster hatchery in Cairns are hoping their specially grown baby lobsters will make a huge splash with investors.

Queensland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies, Tim Mulherin said scientists had spent 10 years perfecting innovative lobster life-cycle technology at the Northern Fisheries Centre.

"They are now seeking investors to expand the pilot hatchery into a full-scale commercial operation at an appropriate location in north Queensland," said Mulherin.

"There is increasing local and international demand for Australian tropical rock lobsters.

"In particular, Asian markets prefer tropical rock lobster’s attractive flesh texture, flavour and colour over other lobsters.

"This breakthrough technology adds a new product to the Queensland aquaculture industry and will help to grow the $91 million industry," he said.

Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) senior principal scientist, Dr Clive Jones, said he and his team had developed this breakthrough technology to meet growing world demand for seafood.

"Aquaculture is becoming more and more important to the global food chain, given diminishing fish supplies in many parts of the world and increasing demand," said Dr Jones.

“Our technology enables us to produce lobsters from egg through larval stages to juvenile size, with a high percentage guaranteed to survive and grow to market size,” he said.

Mulherin said the Queensland Government had signed an agreement with Sydney-based company, Harvest Capital Partners, to seek investors, mainly from Asia.\

Mobilarm gets WA marine-rescue contract
Perth-headquartered marine safety equipment provider, Mobilarm has secured a contract with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA) to supply 218 Crewsafe V100 Maritime Survivor Locating Devices.

As part of its safety strategy to protect its marine volunteers, FESA will supply each of the 36 Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) groups in Western Australia with Crewsafe V100 units for use during patrols, rescue operations and training exercises.

FESA awarded Mobilarm the supply contract following a tender process, and can exercise an option to extend over four one-year periods.

Mobilarm’s then chief executive officer Lindsay Lyon commented: “Mobilarm is pleased to have secured the contract to supply our leading emergency locating devices to FESA following a successful bid for the contract.

“The contract reflects the growing demand for the unique value provided by Mobilarm’s Crewsafe devices in the local market. The use of the Crewsafe V100 in Western Australia VMR operations sets a precedent for safety for all VMR groups nationally.

“Mobilarm is gaining good momentum in key market segments in Australia, the USA and in Europe. This important contract win with FESA follows the first order for our Crewsafe V200 submarine escape-and-rescue device from the Royal Netherlands Navy,” Lyon said.

The Dutch Navy deal is the first production order for 90 Crewsafe V200 Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (pictured). The order forms part of a Royal Netherlands Navy upgrade of all submarine escape-and-rescue equipment, including new escape systems, escape suits and emergency locating beacons.

The order was secured following successful field trials of the Crewsafe V200 for the United States Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in June and July 2011.

9). Crewsafe V200 Maritime Survivor Locating Devices.

New CEO for AMC Search
The Australian Maritime College announced a replacement for its AMC Search chief executive officer six months after John Foster’s death.

AMC Search chairman Geoff Wilson announced that Dean Cook would replace John Foster as head of the successful international maritime business.

Wilson also announced that Cathy Wilson would be the new AMC Search deputy CEO. He said that Cook and Wilson had shared the top job since the death of Foster, the AMC Search inaugural chief executive.

“They have done an outstanding job,” said Wilson. “Course enrolments have continued to grow, preparation for our tender for an extension of the Pacific patrol boat contract is well advanced and several other major, new initiatives are progressing well.”

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 424, Feb-March, 2012