Commercial Marine 428

ABA set for huge Nigerian deal
An historic agreement recently between the Government of Lagos State and Queensland shipbuilder Aluminium Boats Australia (ABA) is set to result in $150 million in exports and create 140 jobs.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade, Tim Nicholls, said that under the arrangement, Aluminium Boats Australia will supply the Lagos State Government with 60 passenger ferries to transport the city’s workers to and from work and around the region’s islands.

“This is a huge boost for the Queensland economy, ABA and the local marine industry. The construction of these ferries will also provide additional work for around 18 Queensland companies, which supply to the marine industry,” said Nicholls.

The passenger ferries are expected to reduce a four hour average commute time for the millions of people living in Lagos to less than 20 minutes.

“The project will create around 140 jobs and provide a great confidence boost to our local marine and manufacturing industry,” said Nicholls.

“This great result is the culmination of a significant amount of work by ABA’s CEO Stuart Pascoe, State and Federal departments both in Australia and Nigeria, in particular Trade Queensland.

“We are delighted with the Lagos Government’s investment in our local boat manufacturing industry,” he added.

In addition to the export of the ferries, training will be provided for 350 to 400 Nigerian boat crew operators in Queensland, coordinated by TAFE and Skills Tech at a value of around $80 million.

The contract was signed at ABA’s headquarters in Hemmant, Brisbane in the presence of Nicholls and the Governor of the State of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola.

Top photo: ABA’s facility and staff will be busier than ever as a result of the new deal.

Next stage of future subs project announced
The Australian Government has announced it will provide $214
million for the next stage of the Future Submarine Project. This funding will go towards further detailed studies and analysis to inform the Government’s decision on the design of Australia’s next submarine.

The 2009 White Paper outlined the Government’s commitment to acquire 12 new Future Submarines in what would be the largest and most complex Defence project ever undertaken by Australia.

The Government is considering four broad options for the Future Submarines:
* An existing submarine design available off-the-shelf, modified only to meet Australia’s regulatory requirements;
* An existing off-the-shelf design modified to incorporate Australia’s specific requirements, including in relation to combat systems and weapons;
* An evolved design that enhances the capabilities of existing off-the-shelf designs, including the Collins Class; and,
* An entirely new developmental submarine.
* The Government has ruled out the option of a nuclear submarine.

According to current planning this year the Government will make a decision on design and test facilities including the Land Based Test Site and will receive the Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan. Next year will see the results of newly funded studies presented and a decision on the combat systems, torpedos, sensors and other weapons systems. First Pass approval is scheduled for late 2013/early 2014, with second pass approval in around 2017.

The new funding will inform the final decision on the design and workforce requirements for the Future Submarine, and identify and address risks in this complex project.

The studies announced today will be conducted across three broad areas:
* Design studies;
* Scientific and technological studies; and,
* Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan.
* These studies are in addition to the Government’s announcement in December that it had approved the release of Requests for Information to three overseas submarine designers and that Defence had entered into a contract with Babcock for a study into a land-based propulsion site.

Plans to replace the Collins Class are taking shape.

Harbour City Ferries appointed for Sydney Ferries franchise
A Transfield Services–Veolia Transdev 50-50 partnership, Harbour City Ferries, has been appointed by the NSW Government to maintain and operate Sydney Ferries. The estimated contract value over the seven-year period is $800 million with the possibility of an extension if performance targets are met.

The contract is a franchise to operate and maintain the Sydney Ferries service, which consists of a fleet of 31 vessels and 37 wharves, transporting 14.5 million passengers each year and is operated by 560 staff.

“We want to operate a world-class ferry service on what is often cited as the world’s most beautiful harbour,” said Harbour City Ferries CEO, Steffen Faurby.

“We acknowledge and respect Sydney Ferries’ rich history and, accordingly, there will be a steady transition into capable hands and only minor changes will be noticed over the short term.

“Our goal is to gradually raise the customer experience to another level by listening to customers and tailor making improvements around their expectations.

“We look forward to working closely with customers and the NSW Government to evolve this iconic service,” he said.

Harbour City Ferries said service efficiency, reliability, safety, cleanliness and staff friendliness were priorities, along with welcoming and integrating Sydney Ferries employees into the new organisation.

The partnership is a collaboration of two substantial companies, Veolia Transdev and Transfield Services, with experience in public transport, essential services and asset management.

“Transfield Services has been working on this project for several years and we are delighted to have now been given the opportunity to improve one of Sydney’s proudest institutions,’ said Peter Goode, managing director and CEO of Transfield Services.

“Like Transfield Services, Veolia Transdev has been working on the Sydney Ferries opportunity for five years and is ready to begin the transformation as soon as possible,” said Jonathan Metcalfe, CEO of Transdev Australasia.

“The key to success will be putting customers at the centre of our decision making process. We have done this with many public transport operations around the world, including here in Sydney, and relish the chance to do so on Sydney Harbour,” said Metcalfe.

The contract is expected to commence at the end of July 2012.

The State Government retains ownership of the vessels, the wharves and the other assets of Sydney Ferries.

Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian said: “Veolia Transdev and Transfield Services won the contract from an experienced field of local and international transport operators.

“A key responsibility for the new operator will be to improve the customer experience for the 14 million trips carried out on ferries each year.

“Sydney Harbour is an international icon, and it deserves to have a world-class ferry service.

“The new operator was selected based on the best package of approaches to improving customer service, safety, operations, maintenance and management of the Sydney Ferries workforce,” she said.

Harbour City Ferries promises world-class ferry service for Sydney Harbour.

Melbourne port to get $1.2 billion redevelopment
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has announced a $1.2 billion re-development of the Port of Melbourne. The centrepiece of the project will be the construction of a new container terminal at Webb Dock, while infrastructure upgrades at Swanson Dock will increase capacity at the port’s existing container terminals.

“This major infrastructure project is an exciting opportunity to cement Victoria's reputation as the freight and logistics capital of Australia,” said Baillieu. “The project will provide 700 direct jobs and 1900 indirect jobs across Victoria, in addition to ensuring we are well placed to cater for the forecast demand in container freight.”

In 2010/11 the port handled a record 2.5 million 20-foot equivalent containers (TEU) and has continued to set new trade records in recent months.

“With container movements in and out of Melbourne increasing in excess of six per cent every year and tipped to reach eight million TEU by 2035, this announcement is an important part of the Coalition Government’s plan to provide the infrastructure required to meet growing demand,” Baillieu said.

Minister for Ports Denis Napthine said there has been “a significant amount of interest from those in the private sector, who are excited by the opportunities a third container terminal brings to the port.

“The competitive bidding process for the right to build and operate a new facility at what is already Australia's busiest container port is expected to attract significant interest from industry,” he said.

Close sisters join Queensland fleet
Incat Crowther’s 24m catamaran design is establishing itself as the contemporary solution for Queensland passenger ferries, with another two examples recently entering service.

Both Freedom Sovereign and Riverside Avalon follow on from Fantasea Sunrise, which was launched last year.

Built by Aluminium Marine, Freedom Sovereign is a near sister ship to Fantasea Sunrise and has been delivered to Freedom Fast Cats.

Max Allen and his family have been operating Freedom Fast Cats since 1967. Based in Yeppoon, the company offers several cruise options and individual charters. It has had considerable success with earlier the earlier Incat Crowther designs Freedom Flyer (built 1980) and Freedom Monarch (built 2010).

Freedom Sovereign is configured to carry 195 passengers over two decks. The main passenger cabin seats 121 passengers, arranged in booths with tables. There is a large bar and kiosk at the aft end of the cabin. Two toilets are located aft on the main deck, one of which is wheelchair accessible.

The upper deck consists of a lounge space, slightly smaller than that of Fantasea Sunrise, which seats 20 passengers. Two additional toilets are provided on this deck, and there are 54 exterior seats.
Loading is facilitated by aft side gates and midship boarding doors on the main deck. Additionally, an hydraulically operated telescopic ramp is mounted on the foredeck. This allows Freedom Fast Cats to operate the vessel to beaches without infrastructure.

Powered by a pair of 618kW Yanmar 6ATM-GTE engines, Freedom Sovereign recorded a loaded speed of 24kts and has a top speed more than 27kts.

In addition to its regular service tanks, the vessel also features transfer tanks totaling 2100lt, which are fitted to allow for transferring sullage in future operations.

“Incat Crowther believes Freedom Sovereign is a prime example of the long-term relationships Incat Crowther builds with its clients,” said the company’s managing director, Brett Crowther. “In Freedom Sovereign, Freedom Fast Cats has gained a rugged, efficient and dependable vessel.”

Constructed by Marine Engineering Consultants, Riverside Avalon is the first of three vessels contracted by Riverside Marine to ferry construction workers on the QCLNG project at Curtis Island, Gladstone.

Riverside Marine is the parent company of Fantasea Cruises, owner of Fantasea Sunrise.

As delivered, Riverside Avalon carries 246 passengers over two decks, with seats arranged in forward-facing rows. Three toilets, including one handicap toilet, are located on the main deck. An additional toilet is located on the upper deck.

Vessel boarding is via folding ramps midships and aft on both sides. These ramps are designed to interact with the ferry terminal pontoons in Gladstone and on Curtis Island. Incat Crowther says these ramps allow much faster turnaround times and ease of berthing operations for crew.

This vessel has a number of features that are designed to give the ferry a second life upon conclusion of operation at the QCLNG plant.

For example, Riverside Avalon features large aft swimplatforms and additional support structure for an offshore rescue boat or for a reef transfer vessel. Additional sullage tanks are fitted to the hulls to facilitate waste pump-out from reef pontoons.

As delivered, Riverside Avalon is in USL/NSCV 2010 1D survey, but has been designed to be easily transferred to USL/NSCV 1C survey for its second life.

A second-life seating layout has also been developed, which will feature lounges and booth seating.

Riverside Avalon is powered by a pair of Yanmar 6AYM-WET main engines, each producing 610kW at 1900rpm. On sea trials, the catamaran easily achieved its governed service speed of 25kts.

Propellers were selected following studies that showed this was the most efficient propulsion package for the vessel at that service speed. Skegs have been fitted that have been specifically designed to protect marine life in the sensitive Gladstone environment.

Riverside Avalon not only provides the core Incat Crowther values of efficiency and robustness in its first life, but also possesses versatility that will add value to the operator throughout its ongoing life,” said Crowther.

Both catamarans have the same principal dimensions, notably a 24m length overall, 23.8m waterline length, 8.5m beam, 2.75m depth and 1.1m hull draft.

Riverside Avalon has larger fuel tanks (6000lt versus 5100lt) but only 500lt for sullage.

Incat Crowther’s 24m catamaran design is now the preferred passenger ferry blueprint for Queensland — Freedom Sovereign (above) and Riverside Avalon (below) two recently launched examples.

Austal opens WA Marine Support Base
To meet the growing demand for its marine services and facilities, Austal has officially announced the opening of its Marine Support Base in Henderson, Western Australia.

Located adjacent to Austal’s Henderson shipyard, the Henderson Marine Support Base provides comprehensive refit, repair and maintenance services to private, commercial and defence operators. The site boasts four 90m berths, six sheds ranging between 85m and 120m in length, workshop and fabrication facilities, 11,200m2 of hardstand and capacity to lift vessels up 1800 tonnes.

Regional service manager, Beau McCormack said: “We have unique facilities and extensive in-house capabilities and this is becoming of increasing interest to a market that is highly constrained, especially in the defence and oil and gas sectors.

“The comprehensive nature of our business has also attracted the interest of the resources and oil and gas industries, who we work with locally and in the North West of Australia. With our engineering, fabrication, welding and modular manufacturing capability, we have built accommodation units, industrial cooling towers and more,” he added.

The launching of Austal’s existing site as a dedicated Marine Support Base is a continuation of the company’s regionalisation strategy, which involves providing local services to local operators.

Chief operating officer–systems and support, Charles McGill said: “We are committed to serving our customers in the region. The Henderson Marine Support Base complements our facilities in Darwin, Singapore and the Philippines, offering a truly comprehensive solution to the defence, commercial, and oil and gas markets within the Asia-Pacific region.”

One of the first customers for the facility was the US Navy research vessel Roger Revelle. Owned by the US Office of Naval Research and operated by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the 84m ship docked for maintenance and crew change out.

“The arrival of Roger Revelle is a true endorsement of the quality of our facility and the strength of Austal’s relationship with the US Navy,” said McGill.

The US Navy's research ship Roger Revelle was one of the first customers to utiles Austal's new Marine Support Base at Henderson, WA.

Construction starts on Darwin supply base
Construction has started on a Marine Supply Base in Darwin to service and supply the growing offshore gas industry.

NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson joined ShoreASCO managing director Ashley Harrison turning the first sod to start work on the $110 million Marine Supply Base at East Arm Wharf. The Marine Supply Base will be constructed by the end of 2013 and will service vessels that support offshore gas projects.

“This Marine Supply Base will be Northern Australia’s first dedicated marine supply base, and will give Territory businesses the opportunity to service and supply offshore gas projects in the region,” said Henderson.

“This Marine Supply Base will give hundreds of Territory businesses the opportunity to capitalise on the multimillion-dollar gas service industry.

“It will create an opportunity for small businesses across the Territory to provide everything from specialised pieces of equipment to laundry and catering services.

“To put this massive project in perspective Darwin provides approximately $150 million in services and supplies per year to support the gas industry — with the help of this new Base, this figure is expected to increase to $420 million over the next 20 years,” he said.

Henderson said the Marine Supply Base is expected to attract more offshore service companies to Darwin and is part of the Territory 2030 target to establish Darwin as a key centre for gas operations and maintenance.

Macmahon Holdings has the contract to design and construct the base. It is the construction partner in the ShoreASCO Consortium — which includes Asco Holdings, Macmahon Contractors and Capella Capital.

Macmahon will build the special-purpose wharf and dockside infrastructure to service the provisioning of offshore supply vessels but will have no equity or operating involvement in the project.

The contract will see Macmahon construct a new wharf dedicated to the offshore industry, plus establish undercover warehouse and open hardstand storage areas with inbuilt fuel, water and drilling bulks provisioning capacity, in addition to waste management and dangerous goods transit services across the secure facility.

The Marine Supply Base is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson (centre) officiated at the official start of construction.

Better definition for maritime zone
Australia has confirmed the limits of 11,000,000km2 of continental shelf providing certainty over areas to which it has exclusive rights.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr and Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson welcomed the making of the Seas and Submerged Lands (Limits of Continental Shelf) Proclamation 2012, which defines an area larger than the Australian mainland.

“This proclamation represents an historic milestone in confirming the areas where Australia has the exclusive right to explore and exploit marine resources,” said Roxon.

“Proclaiming the outer limit of the continental shelf provides more certainty in the geographic application of legislation applying to the continental shelf.

“This is a major step towards the completion of defining the totality of Australia’s maritime zones under the Seas and Submerged Lands Act,” she said.

Ferguson explained: “Australia has the exclusive right to explore and utilise the resources of the seabed within our continental shelf, including oil, gas, minerals and biological resources.

“The proclamation includes large areas of continental shelf beyond 200nm, which are based on the 2008 recommendations of the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf,” he said.

The proclamation is the culmination of nearly 20 years of persistent scientific, legal and diplomatic work by government agencies.

“The proclamation demonstrates the practical benefits of Australia’s international engagement in Law of the Sea matters and with the United Nations and its agencies,” Carr said.

Map detailing the boundaries of areas where Australia has the exclusive right to explore and exploit marine resources.

Pilbara Common Use Facility funded
Feasibility studies and planning will be undertaken for the development of a Pilbara Maritime Common Use Facility (CUF), thanks to $5 million in funding from the WA Government’s Royalties for Regions program.

WA Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said that, with the amount of economic activity taking place in the Pilbara, existing marine-based infrastructure was inadequate.

“A study conducted last year identified possible sites in the Pilbara for the facility and work will now commence on planning and developing the best location for the project,” said Grylls.

“The facility we are planning would be much more than a supply base for the offshore oil and gas industry — it would be designed to enable the development of a range of business sectors including marine, defence and paramilitary support industries, and the housing, building and construction industries. This would reduce the cost of building and construction, which is a major issue in the Pilbara.

“In addition, the facility would diversify the economy and provide employment opportunities, which are also key factors in achieving the State Government’s Pilbara Cities Vision to see workers and families settling down in the region,” he said.

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said the Pilbara Maritime CUF built on the State Government’s drive to strengthen local industry participation in Western Australia.

“There is already significant demand for CUF infrastructure in the region, and as more projects in the State become a reality this demand will grow even further,” said O’Brien.

“Upcoming major resource projects will require this type of infrastructure for subsea installation and ongoing inspection, maintenance and repair work for more than 30 years. The proposed capabilities at the Pilbara Maritime CUF were also outlined in the State’s submission to the Federal Government’s Defence Force Posture Review.

“By investing in common-use infrastructure, the State is encouraging the development of local industries to service these strategic projects,” he said.

O’Brien said the project will be modelled on the CUF at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) south of Perth, and would potentially consist of wharves, lifting lay down areas, repair and maintenance and load-out facilities for these important industries to work closer to their developments.

Electrotech to supply VTS for Newcastle Port
Electrotech has been awarded the contract to supply and install a new Vessel Traffic System for Newcastle Port Corporation.

This is the third Transas VTS to be installed by Electrotech in Australia, with other installations at the busy ports of Fremantle and Port Hedland.

The Newcastle Port VTS system will include the following sensors:
* Two Sperry Marine VisionMaster FT X-band Radars (Nobbys Head and Kooragang)
* Dual redundant Transas T214 AIS Base Stations (Nobbys Head)
* Two Bosch CCTVs (Nobbys Head)

Sensor control and data transfer will be achieved via dual redundant microwave links to the new Newcastle Port Corporation Vessel Traffic Information Centre and Pilot Station.

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 428, June-July, 2012.