Commercial Marine 427

West Australian shipbuilder Strategic Marine has signed contracts to build eight 20m offshore windfarm crew-transfer vessels (including options) for the European market.

The company will also be establishing a Service Network in Europe to support the vessels it will be supplying to clients in the region.

The vessels will be managed by Njord Offshore, a subsidiary of Norse Management UK, which has a long history in the marine industry.

Strategic Marine's Chief Marketing Officer, Terry O'Connor said the catamarans were designed by UK-based ship designer BMT Nigel Gee and will be built at the company's Singapore shipyard.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the management team at Njord Offshore chose Strategic Marine to build their fleet of offshore windfarm support vessels," said O'Connor.

"The signing of these contracts fulfils our aim of entering the rapidly expanding offshore windfarm support vessel market in Europe and sets us on our ultimate path to become the market leader for this type of vessel.

"Strategic Marine has a vast amount of experience in building boats for the offshore oil and gas sector, which we can draw-on to provide high-quality, high-speed, reliable vessels to meet the needs of the offshore wind farm industry," he said.

When delivered later this year, the multipurpose craft will be among the most sophisticated in the market, built to DNV Class Rules. Each will be powered by twin MTU 8V 2000 M72 engines and be capable of speeds in excess of 25kts.

Tom Mehew, commercial director of Njord Offshore said the company was delighted to be building its vessels with Strategic Marine.

"The vessels' design and features incorporate feedback from all levels of the European offshore windfarm industry and we believe that Strategic Marine's experience in building high-speed, high-quality aluminium craft, makes it the ideal partner to deliver these vessels," Mehew said.

BMT Nigel Gee's technical director, Ed Dudson said: "The signing of these contracts cements the Teaming Agreement between Strategic Marine and BMT Nigel Gee in September 2011.

"This 20m boat is the first in a range of offshore windfarm support vessels developed specifically for Strategic Marine. The design is based on a well proven hull form that encompasses excellent fuel economy as well as superior seakeeping," he said.

Top photo: A 20m offshore windfarm crew-transfer boat.

WA’s Strategic Marine has signed contracts to build eight aluminium 20m offshore windfarm crew-transfer vessels for the Euro market, seen here under construction (above and below).

Tasmanian marine industry identity Mike Grainger has been elevated to the position of Chairman of the State Government owned cross-Bass Strait ferry operator TT-Line.

Tasmania’s Minister for Infrastructure, David O’Byrne, welcomed the appointment.

“Mike has considerable experience and expertise, having been a TT-Line director since 2005, and Deputy Chairman more recently,” O’Byrne said.

“He’s a respected Tasmanian businessman, with more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry.

“Mike’s the managing director of Liferaft Systems Australia, which is recognised as a world leader in marine evacuation equipment.

“He was elected to the Tasmanian Development Board in 2004, and was elected as Chairman of the Brand Tasmania Council two years ago.

“Mike Grainger has already made a telling contribution to the Tasmanian community and economy, and I’m confident the TT-Line will continue to strengthen under his experienced leadership,” he said.

O’Byrne also paid tribute to the leadership and commitment of the outgoing Chairman, Denis Rogers, who retired.

“Denis Rogers has had a profoundly positive impact on the TT-Line during his seven years in charge,” said Rogers.

“He’s significantly improved the GBE’s financial performance — completely clearing its $75 million debt in less than four years.

“He also oversaw the successful sale of the Spirit of Tasmania III ship to Corsica Ferries.

“Passenger numbers have grown strongly, and so has their satisfaction with the Bass Strait ferry service.

“Under Denis’s passionate and energetic leadership, the TT-Line has cemented its reputation as a strong, modern and dynamic enterprise. He’s been great to work with in my two years as Infrastructure Minister, and I wish him well in his future pursuits,” he said.

WA-based shipbuilder Austal picked-up contracts worth more than $1 billion for six new ships in two months, commencing with a 27m trimaran workboat in January and rounding out with two 127m trimaran combat ships in March.

The first contract is for a fourth windfarm support vessel for UK-based Turbine Transfers Limited. The order is the first for a new Austal design that the company says will enable safer and more efficient offshore wind turbine service.

Welcoming the follow-up order, Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said the shipbuilder had continued to refine and enhance its Wind Express vessel range following its launch in mid-2010 as part of a strategy to pursue new commercial vessel markets.

“There is clearly an increasing desire in the industry for vessels with enhanced capability, particularly in terms of performance in rough conditions,” said Bellamy.

“This is a challenge that we have already successfully addressed in the ferry and naval markets with our unique trimaran technology. We have now applied that expertise to develop and prove a new hullform that provides a step change in capability for the offshore industry,” he said.

The new design combines a trimaran hull configuration with a small waterplane area at rest, to deliver low vessel motions both in transit and when alongside turbines. According to Austal this enables windfarm personnel to be successfully transferred in considerably higher sea states than is practical with catamarans of similar size.

Windfarms head offshore
Managing director of Turbine Transfers, capt Mark Meade, said his company was using Austal technology to support the next phase of windfarm development, which would see a much larger number of turbines installed farther offshore and in other areas with rougher sea conditions.

“To do that we need to be able to transfer further, and in larger waves, while still providing the technicians we carry with comfortable transits and safe turbine step-offs,” said Meade.

“The extensive analysis and tank testing that Austal has done makes me very confident that this new boat will enable us to do that, and provide us with a competitive advantage,” he said.

The order is part of Turbine Transfers’ ongoing fleet expansion plans, which already includes three 21m catamarans ordered from Austal in July 2011.

The 27.4m long, 10.5m wide vessel will be operated by three crew and be able to transfer 12 windfarm technicians, their effects and more than four tonnes of deck cargo, stores and miscellaneous equipment. It is designed to operate in up to 3m significant wave height.

Two 900kW MTU diesels coupled to waterjets will provide a service speed of 23kts, with the directional thrust of the waterjets being supplemented by a bowthruster for low-speed manoeuvring and station keeping. With an operating range in excess of 360nm, the vessel will be able to operate up to 75nm offshore, well beyond the distances of current windfarms.

More ferries
In early February Austal secured an order for a medium-speed ferry with French Polynesian operator and existing customer, SNC Aremiti Ferry. The 80m vehicle-passenger catamaran is scheduled for delivery in October 2013. It is the fourth vessel Austal has sold to Aremiti and its associated companies.

With a fully loaded speed of 20kts, Austal claims the new design brings efficiency and other operating cost advantages as a result of the shipbuilder’s expertise in aluminium construction and multihull vessel design.

Bellamy said the contract provided further evidence that the company’s strategy was working.

“Austal has identified medium-speed ferries and windfarm vessels as areas where we can apply our skills to create growth within the business. These two new orders show that our strategy of continuing to apply and expand our portfolio of intellectual property through product development and research is paying dividends,” Bellamy noted.

With a capacity for up to 967 passengers and up to 146 cars, or a mix of cars and trucks, the new ferry will be French-flagged and is designed to meet EU domestic voyage rule requirements. Featuring bow and stern ramps enabling drive-through operation, the vehicle deck
has elevating mezzanine decks and nearly 230 freight lane-metres suitable for trucks weighing up to 50 tonnes. The vessel will be certified to carry dangerous goods including flammable gasses and flammable liquids.

The ferry will be powered by four MTU 16V 4000 M53R engines coupled to fixed-pitch propellers.

US Navy extensions
The other four ships ordered are all extensions of existing contracts with the US Navy and will be built at Austal’s US shipyard.

The US Navy exercised contract options funding the construction of the eighth and ninth Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), as part of a 10-ship program potentially worth more than $US1.6 billion. The construction contract for these 103m catamarans is valued at approximately $US321.7 million.

A further $US691 million will flow into Austal’s coffers as a result of two additional Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) contract options being exercised by the US Navy.

The contract options fund construction of the Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Omaha (LCS 12), the third and fourth 127m trimarans in the 10-ship block buy award made to an Austal-led team in December 2010. That 10-ship program is potentially worth more than $US3.5 billion.

Reflecting Austal’s growing stature in naval shipbuilding, Austal USA now holds confirmed contracts for 14 US Navy ships and a contract to build and support eight patrol boats for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Windfarms are heading farther offshore, and crew-transfer boats like this 27.4m trimaran are designed to operate in rougher conditions.

Austral is also targeting the medium-speed ferry market. This 80m vehicle-passenger catamaran is scheduled for delivery to a French Polynesian operator in October next year.

Offshore service vessel operator Offshore Unlimited has taken delivery of a new 35m catamaran utility vessel built in its hometown of Hobart.

With its 34.4m waterline length and 11.5m beam, Outer Limit is the third and largest Incat Crowther design built for the operator by Richardson Devine Marine, following on from 2008’s Unlimited and 2010’s Limitless.
Offshore Unlimited says its new vessel is easily configured for multiple roles, including survey, construction support, and crew and stores transfers.

The workboat can carry 125t of deadweight, with capacity for up to 56 passengers on day operations and 32 berths for overnight operations. Drawing on operational experience of Unlimited and Limitless, Outer Limit features numerous work spaces, with desks in every cabin and an upper deck workspace with 14 seats.

This workspace is fitted with direct wireways to the aft deck to allow for quick installation and configuration of deck-mounted equipment, while an adjacent bathroom improves functionality.

Two large cabins on the upper deck feature half-height glass bulkheads with blinds to allow interaction between the workstations and the helm.

The main deck cabin houses a wet-room with lockers and bathroom, lounge, galley, mess, medical room and six cabins. A pair of these cabins can be joined by retracting a dividing wall, creating a large four-berth cabin.

The vessel’s hulls house a further six cabins, four of which also feature a sliding joining partition. In addition to these cabins, the hulls house refrigerator and freezer rooms, as well as service and storage spaces that offer increased range and operational flexibility.

The aft working deck features more than 160m² of work space — enough to accommodate a quartet of 20ft containers. A Heila HLM 35-4S 12-tonne deck crane is fitted with wireless remote control. A moon pool is also fitted and there are mounts for a removable luffing A-frame with 20-tonne capacity.

The vessel is powered by a pair of Caterpillar C32 ACERT main engines, each producing 1600hp. Propulsion is by a pair of five-bladed propellers. In trials, Outer Limit achieved a loaded speed in excess of 22kts.

Service speed will be 20kts and the range will be 1800nm. Manoeuvring is enhanced by a pair of Wesmar bowthrusters. Manoeuvring and station keeping is enhanced by a Kongsberg C-Joy DP0 positioning system.

The catamaran’s fuel tanks can hold up to 37,000lt, while freshwater and sullage capacities are 2000lt and 6000lt respectively.

The workboat is equipped with the latest communications equipment from Thrane & Thrane including the new VSat900 terminal, Fleet Broadband 250 terminal and a Sat90 satellite TV aerial.

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings attended the vessel’s naming ceremony and paid credit to the team at Offshore Unlimited.

“I congratulate Richard and Edward Fader and Greg Prescott at Offshore Unlimited for what they have achieved, and for their contribution to the State’s future,” said Giddings. “The type of vision and private investment they have provided is exactly what our economy needs if we are to keep creating jobs and building economic growth.”

Giddings also acknowledged the skilful workmanship of Richardson Devine Marine. “Ron and Toby and their hard-working team have done a great job on this and the other projects,” she said.

Below photos: Offshore Unlimited's new 35m catamaran utility

In Turkey for ANZAC Day cermonies, Prime Minister Julia Gillard took the time to ride on an Australian-built fast-ferry.
Commenting on the Austal produced car ferry, Gillard said: “This is a great Australian manufacturing success story.

“There is a fashionable view that with manufacturing under pressure because of the high Australian dollar… we aren’t seeing success in manufacturing.

“Here in Turkey, through the Austal ferry, we can be very much making the point that there are success stories.

“This is a company (in) high-end manufacturing, that has sold 10 vessels to Turkey in recent years and has also had export success in Europe, the US and the Middle East,” said Gillard.

The ferry inspected by the Prime Minister was an 88m catamaran delivered by Austal in 2007.

Austal-made ferry in Turkey.

Farstad Shipping ASA has been awarded a range of new charter contracts in Australia worth approximately $51 million (excluding options).

Origin Energy has awarded contracts to anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels Far Fosna and Lady Sandra to support its Bass Strait drilling campaign. The duration of the contracts, which commenced in April, is approximately nine months. Far Fosna is a 14,400hp UT 722 design built in 1993, while Lady Sandra is a KMAR 404 built five years later and with 15,014hp on tap.

Woodside Energy has awarded the UT 755 design platform supply vessel (PSV) Lady Grace a 12-month contract with two yearly options. The 2001-vintage, 2936dwt vessel will continue to service Woodside’s production facilities on the North West Shelf.

Woodside has also extended the contract for Far Strait — a 14,688hp UT712L AHTS built in 2006 — for another year from June 2012.

Esso has declared its option to extend the contract for Lady Kari-Ann with an additional two-month option, which will extend the vessel’s deployment well into the third quarter of 2012. Lady Kari-Ann is a 2972dwt PSV built in 1982.

BHP Billiton awarded a three-month contract for the AHTS Far Saltire. The 10-year-old UT728L design commenced supporting BHP Billiton’s drilling campaign on the North West Shelf in April.

The AHTS Far Saltire.

The WA Government has promised $14.5 million across the next four years on a program to seek third-party sustainability certification for the State’s commercial fisheries.

Initial funding of $6.5 million will establish the program, while a further $2 million per year will support additional research and management to support the program.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the program was important to provide public confidence that WA’s commercial fisheries could deliver sustainable wild-caught seafood.

“Independent certification will be required to meet the emerging retail trend to only sell fish from fisheries independently assessed as sustainable,” said Moore.

“The State Government knows how important third-party certification has been to our western rock lobster fishery, which was the first in the world to receive such accreditation from the international Marine Stewardship Council.

“We are confident that this best-practice process will confirm the State’s fisheries rate among the world’s best, and worthy of the tick of approval that independent certification bodies can provide,” he said.

The Minister said major Australian supermarkets recently announced that third-party certification would be required for the wild-caught fish they sold.

“We must embrace this as an opportunity for our commercial fisheries,” said Moore. “European and US fisheries are already well down this path and we must ensure the State keeps pace with how our fisheries are managed and critiqued.”

The State’s peak body representing commercial fisheries, the WA Fishing Industry Council, supports the project.

International Paint has achieved full type approval and proven in-service performance for the anticorrosive coating Intershield 300.

Intershield 300 was recently awarded the first Lloyd’s Register IMO PSPC Type Approval Certificate for Cargo Oil Tanks.

Barry Robison, worldwide marine market manager, International Paint said: “Type approval in cargo oil tanks is a very important achievement for us. We recognise the importance of the IMO PSPC in extending the reliability and lifetime of cargo oil tanks in crude oil tankers and have been working hard to ensure our coating systems are compliant.

“We’re particularly pleased that the first Lloyd’s Register Certificate has been awarded to our premium anticorrosive, Intershield 300 and are confident that with an existing, proven track record, this product will continue to provide very high levels of newbuilding productivity and in service performance,” he said.

The certification is the latest in a series of ‘firsts’ for Intershield 300, which includes not only regulatory approvals but also proven 15-year in-service performance.

In 2008 it was the first anticorrosive coating to be awarded Lloyd’s Register type approval, under the IMO’s PSPC regulations for seawater ballast tanks.

In 2010 the performance and durability of Intershield 300 was proven in service at the third special survey of the panamax bulk carrier Eleranta, when a surveyor confirmed the ship’s double bottom tanks were in “good condition”. The 15-year-old bulk carrier had Intershield 300 applied when she was built.

In March 2012, impressive 15-year cargo oil tank protection became evident onboard the 301,653dwt crude oil tanker, Samco Raven, which underwent her third special survey.

“After 15 years, the coating is in very good condition, in fact better than good,” said Francois Rascle, the V Ships France SAS Superintendent who oversaw the tanker’s drydocking. “The tanktops are in excellent condition with very few areas of breakdown,” he commented.

Intershield 300 has been applied to more than 12,000 vessels since 1988.

International Paint has gained type approval in cargo oil tanks with its Intershield 300 anticorrosive coating.

Professional fishermen Rocky Musumeci of Bermagui understands that performance, economy and reliability are essential when choosing a commercial marine engine.

When he and his father had their new fishing boat built a little more than four years ago, Musumeci now wishes that they had specified Yanmar from the outset. Instead, a competitive brand of engine was installed in the 41ft trawler and it just didn’t perform.

“The cost of running the old motor was nearly sending us broke,” Musumeci lamented. “The original engine was only four years-old, was rich on fuel and gutless. I don’t change engines for fun. When the boat is not operating I don’t get paid so changing the heart of the boat to a Yanmar was a big decision to make.”

Musumeci, a third generation trawl fisherman, listened to the talk on the wharves and then approached Craigh Hurst for advice. Hurst is something of a legend among professional fisherman along the NSW coast.

After discussions, Musumeci placed an order for the Yanmar 6CHM-HTE3 diesel engine. The direct injected, heat exchanger cooled turbocharger and intercooled straight six-cylinder engine produces 170hp at 2550rpm at the flywheel. Yanmar has actively promoted new fuel technologies implemented in the 6CH-HTE3, an engine that runs economically and is IMO Tier 2 emission compliant with no need for electronic governors or injectors.

The tricky engine transplant was achieved by taking the side out of the boat alongside the engineroom. The old engine was removed and the new Yanmar 6CHM was rolled in on a makeshift overhead gantry.

When Musumeci’s trawler, Consolato, was relaunched, the improvement was immediately apparent.
The Yanmar 6CHM was using 6lt/h less than the old engine, with plenty of torque to spare.

“The savings to our weekly fuel bill is massive thanks to the Yanmar. The engine will pay for itself within a year or so. We couldn’t be happier since I started using the Yanmar,” said Musumeci.

“Not only is my Yanmar saving us money, but the engine is also performing a lot better than what I had. It’s doing the job easily, which is surprising considering I was quoted less on the Yanmar than what I was for the newer model of the brand that was giving us grief,” he said.

Consolato is used year round, chasing king fish, blue eye and trawling for prawns, and typically logs 10 engine hours per day.

Rocky Musumeci relaunched his trawler Consolato with a Yanmar 6CHM, and noted a saving of 6lt/h compared to the old engine.