Commercial Marine 425

BSE acquires Cairns Slipways

Queensland-based BSE Maritime Solutions’ acquisition of the Cairns Slipways facility will “breathe new life” into the slipway, which had been placed into receivership in July 2010, Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Andrew Fraser said.

Cairns Slipways has been providing ship repair services to defence, luxury and commercial vessels for more than 30 years, and will now be renamed BSE Cairns Slipways. The BSE Maritime Solutions group currently operates BSE Brisbane Slipways, a ship-repair facility with a 2500-tonne slipway at Colmslie on the Brisbane River. The BSE Cairns Slipway marine repair and refit facility has a 1200-tonne slipway, 60m drydock, 300m of fit-out wharfage, refit sheds and a skilled work force.

At the end of January, the Queensland Government announced it had collaborated with BSE to secure the future of the facility. Fraser said BSE and Ports North had concluded a deal to reinvigorate the slipway.

“The Bligh Government and BSE have signed an agreement… that will see Ports North invest more than $2.5 million to purchase part of the slipway land, and BSE invest substantially more for the remaining land, including buildings and equipment located on the site,” said Fraser.

“It is great news for the future of the marine industry in Cairns that BSE’s investment also includes substantial remediation works to the site and water leases as a condition of its successful bid.

“By combining our efforts we are making a solid commitment to the long-term growth of the marine industry, which employs 20,000 people in Cairns,” he said.

The Ports North investment to purchase the freehold land on which part of the slipway operates means there is land for the slipway to operate and grow.

Speaking at the time Maher said: “We at BSE are confident that under our management of the iconic Cairns Slipways facility will continue to set new standards in the repair and refit of luxury yachts, defence and commercial vessels for many years to come.

“We are pleased that Ports North saw the importance in our proposition to expand and sustain such a tremendous site.

“We are looking forward to working with the local marine industries and our intention is to support the positive approach that has been directed towards further development of the marine industries in Cairns.

“BSE also appreciates the support and active encouragement shown by various Cairns associations and groups. They have been very helpful,” he said.

Big Cat exiting the refit sheds at BSE Cairns Slipways after completing a major refit.

Construction starts on new patrol boats
Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, Jason Clare announced that construction has started on Customs and Border Protection’s eight new Cape Class patrol boats, when visiting Austal’s Henderson facility in late February.

“Construction has now started on some of the components for the first boat,” said Clare.

“Detailed design work and construction of the first boat will roll out over the next 12 months and it is expected to be ready for operational trials in March next year.

“Austal currently has about 140 people working on the design and build of the new patrol boats. That number will increase to 450 when the project is at its peak,” he said.

The new patrol boats will help protect Australia’s borders from maritime threats like illegal fishing, piracy, marine pollution, irregular maritime arrivals and prohibited imports and exports.

“They will be faster and bigger than our current Bay Class patrol boats — 58.1m long compared with the current vessels that are 38.2m long,” said Clare.

“They will also be equipped with better surveillance technology and communications and will be capable of patrolling for 28 days at a time and travelling 4000nm before refuelling.

“They will also be able to operate in higher sea states, which means they will be able to sail as far south as the 50-degree South mark in the Southern Ocean and as far north as the Cocos (Keeling) Islands,” he said.

Clare was joined by local MP Gary Gray, who said he was proud the boats were being built in Western Australia.

“Austal is a terrific company and a great Western Australian employer,” said Grey. “This contract will support about 450 jobs at Austal and the jobs of 1000 other local workers at various stages of the contract.”

Detailed design work is being finalised, with the first of the vessels expected to be ready for operational trials by March 2013 and the last in late 2015. Austal will provide support to the boats until August 2019.

Construction has begun on eight Cape Class patrol boats for Customs and Border Protection.

Preferred tenderer announced for frigate maintenance
A $300 million maintenance and repair contract for the Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class Frigates will be negotiated with Naval Ship Management Australia, following its selection as preferred tenderer.

Recently replaced Minister for Defence Materiel, Senator Kim Carr said the new five-year contract was expected to provide better outcomes for industry and more effective, value-for-money outcomes for the Navy.

“In June of last year my predecessor Minister Jason Clare announced the Government’s intention to reform the naval ship-repair sector — commencing with the release of the tender for the repair and maintenance of the Navy’s eight Anzac Class frigates,” said Carr. “I am pleased to announce the outcome of the tender evaluation.

“I congratulate Naval Ship Management Australia, a joint venture of Babcock Australia and United Group Infrastructure, for being selected as the preferred tenderer,” he said.

Carr said the announcement follows extensive consultation with industry on a new approach to contracts for repair and maintenance work.

“In contrast to the previous arrangements, which required every new maintenance activity to be individually contracted out, the grouping of ship repair and maintenance tasks offers the potential for significant cost savings,” said Carr.

“These savings are achieved through reductions in contracting activity, greater ability to forecast work effort, and productivity gains through greater investment in workforce skills and infrastructure.

“This initiative will provide industry with the predictability, certainty and stability that it needs to achieve efficiencies and provide job security for, and investment in, its workforce.

“This new contracting approach is good for industry, it is good for job security and development, it is good for Navy, and it is good for Australian taxpayers who rightly demand maximum efficiency from every dollar spent on Australia’s defence,” he said.

Contract negotiations are expected to be finalised by June.

Unsuccessful shortlisted bidders included BAE Systems, Thales and DMS Maritime/Transfield.

Naval Ship Management Australia has won a five-year repair and maintenance contract of the Navy’s eight Anzac Class frigates.

Mermaid earnings continue to grow
Mermaid Marine Australia (MMA) has announced a 39 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to $37.6 million for the six months ended December 31, 2011.
As compared to the previous corresponding period, revenue increased by 44 per cent to a total of $193.1 million and net profit after tax (NPAT) increased by 35 per cent to $27.6 million.
The WA-based company says the result was driven primarily by an exceptional performance from the Australian vessel fleet, as investment in additional vessels and the successful tendering and execution of a number of short-term projects resulted in higher revenue and earnings.
As far as vessel operations were concerned, revenue increased by 55 per cent to $155.8 million, while earnings before interest and tax rose 52 per cent to $33.6 million. Utilisation across the fleet was 77 per cent.

Those short-term projects included a major seismic project for Geokinetics in the Browse Basin and the others related to construction activities in the northwest of Australia. The Geokinetics Project involved MMA chartering and operating a large dive-support vessel as primarily an accommodation and work platform for the project.
The company remains active on the Gorgon Project, with a number of vessels currently on charter. The company was also recently awarded a contract by Sapura Acergy for three vessels to support the Montara Development Project, which is currently in progress.

Commenting on the result, MMA’s chairman Tony Howarth said: “The Australian oil and gas market remains buoyant, driving demand for MMA’s services and delivering strong earnings growth.

“Competition, however, continues to increase as international vessel operators move in to take advantage of strong activity in the region.
“Doing business in the North West of Australia continues to present its challenges, with increasing costs and industrial action on the Dampier Supply Base impacting our first half result.
“MMA, with its modern fleet and recently expanded Supply Base offering, remains well placed to continue to grow earnings and benefit from activity in the region,” he said.

MMA continues to invest in its fleet with two new offshore supply vessels under construction. The first will be delivered in April and the second in November. The first vessel will go into a three-year production-support contract with Woodside, which is already underway with a front-running vessel.

In line with its Strategic Plan, MMA expanded into the platform supply-vessel (PSV) market with the purchase a 75m PSV in June 2011. The company has also entered into a contract to build one new STX05 PSV, with an option to purchase a second vessel. This PSV will be built in Singapore and is due to deliver in late 2013. MMA says it “continues to consider other opportunities to expand the PSV fleet”.

MMA’s managing director, Jeffrey Weber commented: “The company delivered a strong first-half result.

“Our vessel business had an exceptional first-half performance, with strong utilisation across the fleet, particularly on our larger vessels,” said Weber.

“The company successfully completed a number of significant short-term projects during the first half, boosting earnings for the period.

“The Dampier Supply Base experienced lower earnings in the first half. However, activity is expected to increase in the second half, with a number of drilling campaigns planned, which will increase activity across the wharf. In addition, a new three-year Enterprise Bargaining Agreement was finalised for the Dampier Supply Base in November 2011, bringing an end to protracted industrial activity and uncertainty for MMA’s customers. MMA expects a stronger second-half performance from the Supply Base as a result.

“The company remains well positioned in the Australian market and continues to bid new work on a range of major new projects in the pipeline.

“Overall, our FY2012 performance is expected to deliver continuing growth,” he said.

With a number of short-term Australian vessel-related projects completed in the first half, combined with lower rates being experienced in the international vessel market, a softer second-half performance from the fleet is anticipated. This will be offset to some degree by an expected improvement in Supply Base earnings both in Dampier and Broome.

MMA has a 75m PSV on order.

Trans-Tasman cat delivered
Designed in Australia and built in New Zealand, the 24m catamaran ferry Titiroa has been delivered to Real Journeys, which operates the vessel on NZ’s South Island.
The delivery of the boat is a story in itself. Titiroa operates on landlocked Lake Manipouri, in the middle of the South Island near Queenstown. The delivery journey entailed sailing Titiroa from Wanganui (where it was built by Q-West Boatbuilders) to Bluff, on the southern tip of the island, removing the roof and transporting the vessel to the lake by truck. The ferry was specifically designed and built with the removal of the roof and upper deck side structure in mind.

Titiroa is the fourth Incat Crowther-designed vessel to be built for Real Journeys, following on from Fiordland Flyer, Patea Explorer and Luminosa.

As well as considerations for transporting the vessel, it was designed with three priorities.

Real Journeys wanted to maximise passengers’ experience of the outside environment. Incat Crowther implemented design features such as low window sills, large forward windows and a polycarbonate roof on the upper exterior deck. All windows are double glazed to minimise fogging, while the main-deck windows also feature gutters above to keep them clear of rainwater.

The second goal was to create a vessel that has minimal impact on the environment in which it is operating.

Incat Crowther says significant steps were taken to reduce the wash generated by the vessel, as well as the fuel used in operation. All waste is stored onboard and discharged shore-side.

The third goal was to have the vessel be as reliable as possible and minimise maintenance. Due to the remote location of the operation, breakdowns can have a disastrous effect on the operation. The main engines and other equipment were selected on the basis of their track record and availability of parts and are operated well below 100 per cent MCR. The boat’s systems have been simplified and the structure has been over-designed to reduce structural fatigue.

The ferry is fitted with a pair of MTU 12V 2000 M70 main engines, each producing 1055hp. On trials, Titiroa easily achieved its service speed of 25kts fully loaded at 66 per cent MCR, as well as exceeding 30kts in a light-load condition.

The 24m aluminium catamaran has a waterline length of 22m and overall beam of 7.5m. It carries up to 150 passengers and operates with a crew of seven.

The ferry was delivered with the roof off.

A polycarbonate roof provides an indoor-outdoor feel.

Western lobsters step toward quota
Western’s Australia commercial lobster fishery will take the final steps to a full-quota management system by January next year, under proposals released for comment by the Department of Fisheries WA.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore approved the transition to quota in the West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery during 2010.

The Government says the shift towards quota “has been instrumental in enabling the fishery to prosper, despite reductions in the catch due to low juvenile lobster numbers”.

Manager of the West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery, Jo Kennedy said implementing a new management plan based on quotas meant that it was possible to consider relaxing or removing a variety of controls, which were essential under input controls.

“The western rock lobster industry has already benefited from increased flexibility, such as extensions to the season, under the transition to quota,” said Kennedy.

“Industry is now being asked to provide its views on whether even greater flexibility should be provided under the new management plan.

“The commercial rock lobster fishery has undergone significant changes over the last few years and it is important that we know what industry want before decisions are made about any more changes,” she said.

Apart from two discussion papers on the new management plan, the department has also released a draft harvest strategy for the fishery.

The harvest strategy aims to maintain rock lobster sustainability and provide industry with certainty about the factors that will be taken into account when determining how much can be caught.

BAE ramps-up in the west
BAE Systems has started work ramping-up in preparation for production to commence later this year on the recently awarded Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) contract.

Following the contract announcement in November last year and the recent contract signing, BAE Systems has begun project planning, recruitment and material procurement in readiness for fabrication to commence at the Henderson-Western Australia shipyard in June this year. The company also announced the launch of an apprenticeship program at its Henderson facility taking on two electrical and seven boilermaker apprentices as part of the overall recruitment drive for ASMD.

BAE Systems was awarded the $270 million contract to upgrade the seven remaining Royal Australian Navy ANZAC Class frigates, with the ASMD capability already implemented on the first of class, HMAS Perth (pictured).

The new contract followed the successful upgrade of HMAS Perth last year, which was completed on time and budget with completion of sea trials and acceptance taking place in June.

Like that upgrade the new contract is also being completed through the ANZAC Ship Integrated Material Support Program Alliance comprising BAE Systems, Saab Systems and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).

BAE Systems Australia chief executive, David Allott said the scope of the project included ship integration of the CEA Phased Array Radar, the Vampir NG Infrared Search & Track system, the Sharpeye Navigation Radar System, and an upgraded Saab Combat Management System including an improved operations room layout.

“The platform integration of these systems will again require significant structural modifications and we will be able to implement process improvements gained from the work on HMAS Perth,” he said.

Allott said the facilities available at the company’s Henderson yard in Western Australia meant that BAE Systems had the capability to carry out this large project to its completion in 2017.

“Our Henderson shipyard has the ability to dry-dock two ships simultaneously and this enables the fleet-upgrade program to be accelerated with operational and cost benefits to the Commonwealth,” he said.

Allott said the ASMD project would create an additional 240 jobs with 90 per cent of those based at Henderson. The remainder will be at the BAE Systems Williamstown yard.

BAE Systems was awarded a $270 million contract on the remaining RAN Anzac Class frigates, following the successful upgrade HMAS Perth with Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) capability.

Kongsberg to simulate LHD enginerooms
Kongsberg Maritime will provide a custom engineroom simulator for the training of engineers aboard Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships.

The new LHD Engineering System Trainer (LEST) will enhance the Navy’s ability to train LHD vessel engineering personnel, an important and critical factor in operational availability.

The LEST project is scheduled for delivery February 2013 and includes both full-mission and desktop-simulation systems, with integrated e-Learning facilities. The LEST will simulate operational control of all marine engineering (ME) systems and equipment installed on the LHD, enabling training for the operation of ME systems and equipment in remote, local, manual and emergency/casualty modes.

The simulators will be developed to provide a highly realistic simulation of the onboard ME systems. A core objective is to cover the operation and system understanding of the combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAGE) configuration on the ships; with electrical transmission where an electric motor is in the pod itself, connected directly to the propeller without gears.

The full-mission part of the delivery will include control room operator stations with software mimics and panels; electrical switchboard mimic and panels; local control engineroom mimics; and bridge control and steering panels. Konsberg will integrate its BigView touchscreen software mimic to provide the Australian Defence Force with the latest simulation technology and high flexibility.

“We have a strong presence in Australia with several maritime institutes using our simulators and we experience a longstanding relationship with the RAN, having provided extensive ship-bridge simulation systems to upgrade its training centre, located at HMAS Watson in Sydney,” says Mark Stuart Treen, sales and marketing manager, Kongsberg Maritime, Simulation Department.

“The LEST system will enable ME sailors posted to an LHD the capability of being assessed certified and competent to perform their billeted job in the shortest possible time,” said Treen. “With basic and advanced remote or on-campus training it will significantly reduce the training load placed on the vessels, and will be configured to meet the RAN’s expected student throughput.”

Kongsberg Maritime'e BigView touchscreen is part of the delivery.

Industry figures share AMC award
The Australian Maritime College celebrated the hard work and achievements of its graduating students at the 2011 Graduation and Awards Dinner, with 44 prizes awarded to the high-achieving students and distinguished alumni.

Among the prizes announced was the Peter Morris Medal, awarded to an AMC Alumnus who has made a significant contribution to the enhancement of the maritime industry in the area of safety, environmental responsibility or the development of international merchant shipping operations and standards.

The 2011 Peter Morris Medal was jointly awarded to Teresa Hatch, executive director of the Australian Shipowners Association (ASA) and Derek Gill, of Austal.

Hatch’s work has covered a variety of topics including shipping policy, employment, health and safety, and vessel operations. She is also the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, Environmental Panel. Hatch studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Naval Architecture) at AMC between 1997 and 2006.

“I am delighted to have been nominated given the many and very impressive alumni AMC has produced. I am very grateful that I am able to serve the shipping industry and help our industry thrive in Australia,” said Hatch.

Gill is currently the general manager–Projects at Austal and is credited with a sustained, innovative approach to ship design and production. His design ideas have been demonstrated in the design of the Australian Navy’s Armidale Class patrol boats and the design and support of the successful LCS trimaran design for the US Navy. He studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Naval Architecture) at AMC between 1989 and 1992.

“My relationship with AMC is ongoing. I have maintained contact with a lot of staff at AMC and have sat on the industry-liaison committee and visited regularly. It is an honour to be nominated for recognition in such a dynamic and innovative industry,” said Gill.

This year the medal was presented in person by Peter Morris himself.

Morris is a former member of the Australian Parliament. During his 26 years in Parliament, he held a range of portfolios that encompassed responsibility for major national initiatives in shipping, aviation, airport management, interstate road and rail transport, road construction and maintenance, industrial relations and work and transport safety.

Teresa Hatch.

Derek Gill.

Vestdavit for new Customs patrol boats
Norway-based boat-handling system and specialised davit supplier Vestdavit has been contracted to supply its state-of-the-art PLAR-6500 davits to eight new Cape Class patrol boats (CCPBs) to be built for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

The sixteen PLAR-6500 davits covered by the order perform an important role in the operational capability of the vessels. Made of lightweight aluminium and capable of lifting Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) of 6500kg, the SOLAS-compliant, self-tensioned davits are fully equipped with the latest safety accessories, including shock absorbers, guiding rails, wire haulers, hydraulic end stops, and independent HPUs. Their advanced functionality ensures safe operation in rough weather conditions, and permits the safe deployment and recovery of boats in speeds of up to 10kts.

Vestdavit managing director Rolf Andreas Wigand said: “For Vestdavit, this contract demonstrates the global appeal of our custom-made davit systems, and underlines the quality of our products and services.

“The Australian authorities already have several Vestdavit units in operation in Australian waters, specifically 16 PLA-2000 davits for Customs and Border Protection; 28 PLAR-4500 davits for the Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale Class, and two PAP-6000 davits also for the Royal Australian Navy.

“We are very proud to have been chosen yet again for this prestigious delivery to Australia. The contract is confirmation of the Australian Government’s satisfaction with our systems.

“Vestdavit is committed to providing support services for the davit systems throughout their operational life. To help us achieve this objective, we have several partners in place in Australia, including Antelope Engineering — our Australian agent, which was instrumental in helping Vestdavit to secure this latest order from Australia — as well as our service partner, Hydraulink NT, which will provide service to the davits,” he said.

Norway’s Vestdavit will supply state-of-the-art PLAR-6500 davits to eight new Cape Class patrol boats for Australia’s Customs and Border Protection Service.