Commercial Marine 430

Operation targets Gladstone ferry safety
Passenger ferries carrying construction workers on Gladstone Harbour have been the focus of a Queensland Government safety blitz.

Transport and Main Roads Minister, Scott Emerson, foreshadowed the Maritime Safety Queensland operation, named Oracle, in June.

“With the construction of LNG projects in the Port of Gladstone and on Curtis Island, there has been a significant increase in commercial ship activity and much of this includes passenger ferries,” said Emerson. “The sheer volume of vessel movements in the harbour increases the potential risk for serious marine incidents to occur.”

Emerson said about 170 commercial vessels associated with LNG projects were operating out of Gladstone Marina and nearby facilities, including about 35 passenger transfer vessels.

“While the majority of operators understand the high risk of commercial passenger transfer operations in the busy Gladstone harbour, it is essential that all crews exercise safe management practices during voyages,” said Emerson. “It is concerning there have been reports this is not always the case.”

The operation, running over a period of weeks, involved MSQ personnel, assisted by Water Police and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, working with passenger transfer shipping to identify and rectify risk issues. This included checking documentation and onboard inspections.

No results of the operation had been released at the time of going to press.

Top photo: One of the many passenger vessels now operating in Gladstone waters.

Thai cats heading to WA
Thai shipbuilder Gold Coast Ships has commenced work on two new offshore transfer vessels for operation in Western Australia.

The 14m catamarans are among the latest designs from Sea Speed Design and are being built to NSCV 1C survey at the Thai builder’s waterfront facility just south of Pattaya.

The workboats will carry 32 passengers and crew plus pallets of cargo in coastal operations. The design is new, but based on the Bue Tekes hull that has been successfully operating in the Caspian Sea for more than five years.

Complete computer-cut aluminium kits were supplied and construction has commenced on schedule for an expected launching later in 2012.

The new Thai shipyard has recently completed two smaller high-speed catamarans, also designed by Sea Speed. The 12.3m Blu Anda 121 and Blu Anda 122 are powered by four 250hp Suzuki outboards giving a top speed of more than 40kts and a fully loaded speed of 38kts with 35 passengers.

The new powercats are configured as charter vessels, setup to do day trips in coastal water operations. The seating is custom made by GCS to a new Sea Speed design and are a fully fabricated bench type with cushions, tray, table and hand rests. The seating is configured in a back-to-back arrangement with lightweight honeycomb tables between them allowing for dining in comfort during rough trips. The deck layout also has a small galley forward and large central table amidships aft.
Sea Speed’s Paul Birgan says the design can be configured for day and evening cruises, as a dive and party boat and for ferry making it
is “the perfect outboard-driven catamaran”.

General arrangement of the new cats for WA.

NSW Government orders new patrol boats
NSW Government agencies have recently awarded contracts for five new patrol boats.

Yamba Welding and Engineering has signed a three-boat contract with the NSW Police Marine Area Command. The boats will be built to a Naiad design and feature a 9.5m stepped hull, with a hardtop cabin, forward raking windows and foam fenders.

The NSW Police Marine Area Command is responsible for all coastal area’s of the State to 200nm out to sea.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has awarded Seatamer Marine the tender for the build of two patrol boats to be used in the Sydney region.

Acting general manager for Maritime Operations, Trevor Williams said two 7.5m patrol boats would be built by the Lake Macquarie-based boatbuilder for a combined cost of $473,500.

The RMS patrol boats are due for completion ahead of the new boating season, aound October.

Strategic Marine wins offshore cargo catamaran contract
Shipbuilder Strategic Marine has signed a contract for the construction of a 24m heavy-duty offshore cargo catamaran with repeat client and fellow Western Australian company Offshore Plant Hire.

The catamaran will be built at Strategic Marine’s Singapore facility, which is nearing the end of a major expansion program that will see the shipyard more than double its capacity. The workboat will be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and is expected to operate in WA’s North West.

The contract follows the delivery of the 27m work barge Alamo (pictured below) to Offshore Plant Hire earlier in 2012.

Designed by WA company Global Marine Design, the vessel will service the burgeoning energy and resources sector and be used to transport cargo and personnel to and from inshore and offshore projects in the region.

Strategic Marine chief marketing officer Terry O’Connor said he was extremely encouraged by the trend of winning repeat contracts with highly valued clients like Offshore Plant Hire.

“It demonstrates confidence in our ability to deliver quality products,” said O’Connor. “Australia is one of our focus markets and continues to provide increased opportunities in vessel construction, heavy fabrication and engineering projects, as well as providing supply base and maritime logistic support to local markets, which is all part of our diversification strategy."

This latest announcement follows contracts awarded to Strategic Marine for fabrication and design work at John Holland’s coal seam gas (CSG) operations in Queensland on the QLNG and GLNG gas terminal projects and another to build pontoon structures for the Sydney Harbour Wharf Upgrade project.

Alamo was delivered from Strategic Marine’s Vietnamese shipyard to Gladstone, Queensland by Perth-based International Maritime Services. Its experienced crew of six, living in two 20ft containers chained to the main deck, completed the 3600nm delivery in 21 days at just under 8kts.

Strategic Marine has also established a fast-response repair and servicing operation in Karratha, to provide through-life maintenance support for its vessels operating in WA’s North West.

Tender called for fleet maintenance and engine supply
NSW’s Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has called for tenders to supply the Maritime division with vessel fleet maintenance.

Acting general manager for Maritime Operations, Trevor Williams said RMS was seeking maintenance services for 83 patrol boats, 133 outboard engines, 17 personal watercraft and 95 trailers across the State.

“The scope of work includes preventative and breakdown maintenance of vessels, outboard engines and trailers, including outboard engine replacement,” said Williams. “The successful tenderer must have manufacturers’ accreditation with at least one outboard engine brand and must have manufacturers’ accreditation for the rest of the fleet engine brands in place within one month of the contract starting.”

The successful tenderer is expected to be appointed for the contract to start in September.

The tender is worth $3.85 million for three years with a one-year option.

Study into Mornington Peninsula marine industry
A feasibility study supported by the Australian Government will identify new growth opportunities for Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula marine industry.

Commonwealth funding totalling $71,000 has been allocated for the study, which aims to help the region’s marine industry expand, including creating a marine precinct containing businesses and training operations.

The funding is part of the Government’s package of support to assist communities affected by the BlueScope Steel retrenchments on the Peninsula.

The study aims to identify prospects for the expansion of the local marine industry, training gaps and employment opportunities in sectors such as boatbuilding, marine supply, and dive and fishing operations.

The study is a joint initiative between the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Economic Unit, the Mornington Peninsula Marine Alliance and the Chisholm Institute of TAFE.

The Mornington Peninsula has about 200km of coastline extending into Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, where the major development of the Port of Hastings is planned.

The Peninsula’s marine industry already has around 200 enterprises employing 1500 people, with an estimated turnover of $200 million a year.

The report is expected to be released in September.

New cat for Cocos
Residents and visitors to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands have a brand-new inter-island ferry to transport them between West, Home and Direction Islands.

The 20m aluminium catamaran was acquired for just under $2.9 million by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. The contract was awarded to Tasmanian boatbuilder Richardson Devine Marine last September following an open tender process.

Now completed and named Cahaya Baru, the ferry is another product of the partnership between Richardson Devine Marine and naval architects Incat Crowther. The team has now produced 34 vessels, with more to come.

The Sydney-based firm designed Cahaya Baru to integrate with the islands’ existing infrastructure to ensure ease of access across a broad range of tides and vessel-loading conditions. Waterjet propulsion was selected to meet the draft requirement of the operation.

Reflecting the remoteness of the islands’ location in the Indian Ocean, key focus areas were reliability, ruggedness and ease of maintenance.

The vessel’s air-conditioned main deck cabin has seating for 70 passengers in forward-facing seats. Aft of the main passenger cabin are a pair of toilets, one of which is wheelchair accessible.

The aft deck features a cargo area for transferring supplies and luggage between the islands. This cargo space has a capacity of two tonnes and a maximum deck loading of 0.65 tonnes per square metre. A wide boarding zone facilitates rapid transfer for both passengers and freight.

Also located in the aft deck area is a pair of large engine maintenance and machinery removal hatches.

From the aft deck, stairs lead up to roof deck, where there are seats for a further 24 passengers. Forward of this is a half-height wheelhouse affording excellent visibility from the central helm position.

Cahaya Baru is powered by a pair of Cummins QSM11 main engines, each rated at 610hp at 2300rpm. Power is transmitted via ZF360 gearboxes to a pair of Hamilton HM422 waterjets. A 17.5kW Onan generator meets the electrical needs.

Sea trials demonstrated that the propulsion arrangement could deliver a cruising speed of 20kts at 80 per cent MCR and a top speed of 24.5kts at full power.

The ferry is flagged by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and meets USL Code 1D requirements.
Richardson Devine Marine is now building a larger Incat Crowther designed ferry. The 45m catamaran has been commissioned by Coastal Fast Ferries of Tanzania. Featuring a four-engine, four-waterjet propulsion arrangement the ferry will carry 656 passengers at a service speed of 34kts, with a maximum speed of 36kts.


MATERIAL: Marine grade aluminium
TYPE: Power catamaran
LENGTH: 19.8m (overall); 18.1m (waterline)
BEAM: 6.5m
DRAFT: 0.9m (hull)
FUEL: 2400lt
WATER: 500lt
SULLAGE: 500lt
ENGINE: 2 x Cummins QSM11HX
RATED HP: 610 (each)

Above and below: Cocos (Keeling) Islands new ferry Cahaya Baru.

Farstad goes further
Norwegian offshore support vessel owner and operator Farstad Shipping continues to play a pivotal role in the Australian market, announcing a raft of new charters in June.

Total E&P Australia and Santos Australia Ltd awarded the anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels Far Sound and Far Sword contracts for approximately 12 months in support of their combined drilling operations utilising the semi-submersible drilling rig Jack Bates.

Both Far Sound and Far Sword are 14,688hp UT 712L designs, with the former being completed in 2007, one year later than Far Sword.

Mobil Australia Resources Company awarded a 680-day contract for the VS 470 MKII platform supply vessel Far Swan in support of its Jansz operations supporting the self-propelled dynamically positioned drillship Deepwater Frontier off the northwest of Western Australia. The 3628 tonnes deadweight vessel was built in 2006.

Apache Energy declared its option to extend the contracts for the AHTS vessels Far Sky and Lady Astrid by 12 months, extending the vessels until mid-2013. Built in 1991, Far Sky is a 13,382hp ME 303 Mk II design. The nine-year-old Lady Astrid is a UT 712, with 12,240hp.

Total value of the contracts is approximately $77 million.

Apache Energy has extended its contracts for AHTS vessels Far Sky and Lady Astrid by 12 months.

Mobil Australia has contracted Far Swan for offshore drilling work off northwest WA.

New legislation to clean-up our seas
The Government has introduced legislation into Federal Parliament with new requirements designed to reduce pollution from ships, require new ships to adhere to more stringent energy efficiency targets, and require all ships to develop energy efficiency management plans.

The Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 implements amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) adopted by the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization last July.

The Bill makes mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index for new ships of 400 gross tonnage and above that will be built on or after January 1, 2013 for international trade. It also makes mandatory a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan for all ships of that size.

Passenger ships operating in designated ‘special areas’ will also face new restrictions relating to the discharge of sewage and the disposal of garbage in environmentally sensitive areas.

Augusta Boat Harbour contract awarded
The biggest contract associated with the construction of a new boat harbour for the Western Australian town of Augusta has been awarded to a joint venture between WA Limestone and Italia Stone Group.

The harbour, which will provide a much needed sheltered water area for recreational and commercial craft between Busselton and Albany, will be ready for use in 2014 following the provision of access roads, car parks, services and marine infrastructure.

The $17 million contract to quarry 500,000 tonnes of rock and build the breakwaters and reclaimed area for the harbour at Flat Rock in Flinders, marked a major milestone for the State Government funded project.

Contractors will commence preliminary work on site in October and full-scale production in November, with completion scheduled for September 2013.

The project will see two breakwaters built to create a protected harbour basin accommodating a four-lane boat launching ramp; two boat-holding jetties; and a service jetty. There will also be parking for at least 160 vehicles with trailers.

Artist’s impression of the harbour’s first stage.

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 430. Aug-Sept