RDM wins second Japanese order
Richardson Devine Marine in Hobart has been awarded its second shipbuilding contract from Japanese shipowner Ishigaki Dream Tours.

The contract, for a 32m catamaran passenger ferry to be named Super Dream, follows on from 2008’s Premium Dream. Like that previous catamaran, Super Dream has been designed by Incat Crowther.

The ferry will be constructed from aluminium and be 31.65m in length overall, 30m on the waterline and have a beam of 8.5m.

The main passenger cabin seats 197 passengers, with accessibility for disabled passengers given significant consideration in dedicated wheelchair storage, access ramp and seats. A kiosk sits at the aft end of the main deck. Passenger comfort will be enhanced by an inbuilt window-washing system that ensures windows can be quickly and easily cleaned prior to each tour.

Super Dream will have flexible boarding arrangements, primarily a pair of large doors fitted amidships. A gate and transfer steps will be fitted on the centreline of the bow, while the aft deck gates will be supplemented by a wheelchair ramp on the starboard side. Additionally, a gate will be fitted to the upper deck starboard, allowing for docking with higher wharves.

Super Dream will be powered by a pair of Caterpillar C32 ACERT main engines, driving a pair of NICO island-mounted gearboxes. Propulsion will be by five-bladed fixed-pitch propellers. The vessel will have a service speed of 30kts, with a maximum speed of 32kts.

Commenting on the contract, the ferry’s Sydney-based designers said: “True to Incat Crowther’s ethos of constant evolution, this new vessel will be a modern interpretation of the previous vessel, with the addition of Incat Crowther’s latest hull form and a sleek, single passenger-deck superstructure.”

As with Premium Dream, the new vessel will be designed and built to JG rules, with structure designed to Class NK.

Top photo: Super Dream is a 32m catamaran passenger ferry utilising Incat Crowther’s latest hull form and a sleek, single passenger-deck superstructure.

Permits foreshadow $277 million in offshore exploration
Seven new offshore petroleum exploration permits have been granted as part of round two of the 2011 Exploration Acreage Release. This is expected to see an estimated $277 million in new investment in offshore areas off the Northern Territory and Western Australia over the next three years.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson said: “There continues to be a strong and growing interest in Australia’s prospectivity from both domestic and international companies with 19 bids for seven areas received.

“These new exploration permits raise the potential to discover new oil and gas reserves, which will underpin new projects, provide more jobs and support the Australian economy,” he said.

Australia is currently the third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth largest LNG exporter in the world, exporting more than $12 billion in LNG a year.

“Australia has more than half of the world’s major LNG projects currently in construction and their completion could see Australia become the world’s largest LNG exporter,” Ferguson said.

The permits awarded were:
• NT/P83 (released as NT11-1) north of Darwin in the Arafura Sea in the Money Shoal Basin offshore Northern Territory, awarded to Tangiers Petroleum Ltd.
• WA-477-P (released as W11-2) north-northwest of Broome, offshore Western Australia mainly within the Scott Plateau, awarded to Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd.
• WA-479-P (released as W11-4) north-northeast of Port Hedland offshore Western Australia, awarded to Pathfinder Energy Pty Ltd.
• WA-480-P (released as W11-8) north of Dampier, Western Australia, across the northeastern parts of the Exmouth Plateau and the Beagle Sub-basin, awarded to Repsol Exploration, SA.
• WA-482-P (released as W11-9) extending across the northeastern Exmouth Plateau and the Beagle Sub-Basin (outer Northern Carnarvon Basin), awarded to Liberty Petroleum Corporation.
• WA-478-P (released as W11-14) offshore the coast of Western Australia on the Exmouth Plateau within the Northern Carnarvon Basin, awarded to Woodside Energy Ltd and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd.
• WA-481-P (released as W11-18) over the offshore northern Perth Basin, offshore Western Australia, awarded to Murphy Australia Oil Pty Ltd, Kufpec Australia Pty Ltd, and Samsung Oil & Gas Australia Pty Ltd.

Australian shipping emissions identified
A study on ship emissions by the CSIRO and the Australian Maritime College has highlighted the need for more information in the region according to the Australian Shipowners Association (ASA).

According to the study, ship engine exhaust emissions make up more than a quarter of nitrogen oxide discharge generated in the Australian region. The remainder comes from road and air transport, energy generation, and industrial processes.

Global studies indicate that shipping emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulphur contribute to the formation of photochemical smog and particles near land and in ports.

The ASA said the methodology gives rise to many uncertainties and more precise information is needed.

“We need to know more about how, and to what extent our industry contributes to the total air emissions picture in Australia,” said Teresa Lloyd, ASA’s executive director.

“The Australian Shipowners Association, along with other industry partners are supporting the national initiative to
develop an Australian Inventory of Ship Emissions. This study aims to answer some of these important questions.

“There is currently very little information about ship-sourced emissions in this country and that is why we are supporting the national Inventory, to gain the information we need to make sound decisions.

“We need to make sure that future discussion on ship-sourced emissions in Australia is based on strong scientific evidence of impacts and consequences in Australia’s specific circumstances,” Lloyd added.

The study’s authors, Dr Ian Galbally from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, and the Australian Maritime College’s Dr Laurie Goldsworthy, estimate that approximately 30 per cent of anthropogenic nitrogen oxide emissions and 20 per cent of oxides of sulphur emissions generated in the Australian region may come from shipping.

These are non-greenhouse gases that have the potential to affect the air quality near coastal regions and have consequences for human health and amenity.

“There is limited knowledge about the emissions from ships in coastal regions and ports in Australia, the effects of these emissions on air quality in the surrounding coastal and portside urban regions, or potential effects on human health,” said Dr Galbally.

“We’re seeing increasing regulation of land-based emissions but limited regulation of shipping emissions and expect that in the near-future there will be a need to monitor more closely emissions from shipping,” he said.

On the issue of ship emissions regulation, Lloyd said ship-sourced emissions are already regulated through international conventions which Australia applies domestically.

Versatile vessel for Kimberley Fisheries’ patrols
The WA Government has dedicated a fast and effective new patrol vessel to boost compliance and monitoring of Kimberley fisheries and marine parks.

Designed to be launched virtually anywhere, the new 6.1m Sealegs rigid inflatable amphibious craft is known as FD 74. WA joins other Australian and international agencies (including customers in Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, NZ, India and the USA) in using the NZ-developed technology.

The Sealegs RIB is 6.13m overall, 2.46m across the beam and draws 0.41m underway at sea. The 21-degree deadrise hull is constructed from 5mm 5083 marine grade aluminium and fitted with six-chamber Hypalon inflatable tubes. All up it weighs just over a tonne and has a payload of 500kg.

The system providing amphibious capability comprises two rear marinised hydraulic wheel motors with stainless steel hubs. The rear wheels are 9in alloy rims fitted with 25in by 12in all-terrain tyres, while hydraulic steering controls the front wheel on land and outboard at sea.

Power on land is provided by a 24hp Honda four-stroke engine mounted under the centre console, which provides seating for four adults. Hydraulic cylinders raise and lower all wheels, while fuel comes from an 80lt integral fuel tank.

State Fisheries Minister, Norman Moore said the distinctive boat was quick as well as versatile.

“Countering the tidal environments in the Kimberley requires a highly versatile vessel and this one, fitted with a 115hp four-stroke outboard, will give Fisheries and Marine Officers the flexibility they need to run patrols and monitor marine parks planned for Eighty Mile Beach and Roebuck Bay,” Moore said.

While performance details for FD 74 were not available, Sealegs says the standard 6.1m RIB can achieve 35kts with 115hp and 10kmh on land.
As FD 74 is not reliant on a boat ramp it will enable officers to quickly go ashore and check beach fishers or operate up to 5nm offshore to monitor boating activity off the Kimberley coast.

New PSV delivered for Australian operation
September saw the delivery of a brand-new platform supply vessel (PSV) that has been chartered for long-term operation off Australia’s northwest coast.

Far Skimmer, an STX PSV08 CD design, was delivered on September 17 from shipbuilder STX OSV Vung Tau in Vietnam to Farstad Shipping in Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Farstad Shipping ASA.

Upon arrival in Australia, the workboat will commence its long-term commitment to Shell Australia related to its Prelude drilling campaign. Farstad announced in June that Shell Australia had awarded its long-term Prelude drilling support contracts to Far Spirit (a 2007-vintage, VS 470 Mk II design PSV of 3624 tonnes deadweight), Far Skimmer and another newbuild sister ship Far Sitella. Durations for each vessel vary between approx 1.5 to 2.5 years, with potential options to extend each by a further 200/300 days.

Built as STX Vietnam’s yard number 750, Far Skimmer is classed by Det Norske Veritas with a notation that reflects its sophistication: +1A1, SF, E0, DK(+), HL(2,8), Offshore Service Vessel, Supply Vessel, LFL*, COMF-V(3), Clean Design, Oilrec, Dynpos-AUTR, FiFi I, NAUT OSV(A), Ice-C. It was designed and built to Norwegian flag requirements.

With an overall length of 81.7m and moulded beam of 18m, the ship has a maximum deadweight of 4000 tonnes. This corresponds to a maximum draught of 6.5m. Gross tonnage is 3527.

For the carriage of deck cargo, Far Skimmer has a 55m long, 15m wide deck providing a total useable area of 810m². This deck is rated for loadings up to 10 tonnes per square metre and can be loaded with up to 2500 tonnes of cargo in total. The main crane for handling this is rated for 5 tonnes at 10m reach.

Extensive tankage includes 917m³ of fuel, 730m³ of potable water, 1915m³ of drill water/water ballast and 1270m³ of both mud and brine. There is also 319m³ for base oil, 100m³ for methanol and 251m³ for dry bulk.

The ship has accommodation for 30 persons.

Far Skimmer has a diesel-electric propulsion arrangement powered by a trio of 2450kW MAN 7L27/38 engines. Catalytic convertors are fitted to reduce the level of emissions into the environment. Propulsion and steering is provided by a pair of Rolls-Royce AZP 100 CP azimuthing thrusters. Three 811kW Brunvoll bowthrusters assist with manoeuvring and station-keeping.
Farstad Shipping’s fleet currently consists of 55 vessels (29 anchor-handling tug supply vessels, 23 PSVs and three SUBSEA), with a further 10 ships under construction. The company’s operations are managed from Aalesund, Aberdeen, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore, Macaé and Rio de Janeiro, with a total of 2000 employees engaged onshore and offshore. The company’s strategy is to be a leading quality provider of large, modern offshore service vessels to the oil industry. The company maintains a long-term charter profile for the fleet.

Steber delivers two for Navy
Steber International has launched and delivered the fifth and final General Purpose Navy Support Vessels in a contract for the Royal Australian Navy.

The final vessel, named MV Kara is for Jervis Bay, where it will be carrying out important Navy work.

“The project has been remarkably successful,” said Alan Steber.

“Stringent commissioning trials took place on the Manning River, which included all electrical, electronics, engineering, decibel, speed, cornering and handling, prior to the 43ft Navy boat being navigated across the Harrington Bar and south to Jervis Bay,” he said.

Following delivery of each of the five boats, Alan has personally conducted the training and vessel familiarisation to Defence and Navy personnel.

The fourth vessel was delivered to Cairns by sea, doing some 70 boat hours almost non-stop with two personnel onboard. This included two 24-hour stints at sea and stopovers at Yeppoon, Airlie Beach and Townsville.

“We left Taree on Tuesday August 14 and arrived in Cairns on Sunday August 19,” Alan said.
Steber recorded every aspect of the journey, which required a little more than 6000lt of fuel, averaged 17.5kts speed-over-ground and used 42.2lt/h per engine.

First Austal JHSV completes US Navy trials
The first high-speed catamaran transport ship under construction for the US Navy at the US shipyard of Western Australian company Austal has successfully completed Acceptance Trials (AT).

To achieve this milestone, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests on Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1). These trials demonstrated the successful performance of the ship’s major systems and equipment to include the propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems.

“JHSV 1 performed extremely well during these trials, a testament to the hard work and preparation by the Austal-Navy shipbuilding team,” said the US Navy’s JHSV program manager, capt Henry Stevens. “Spearhead will be a valued asset to our Fleet, and these trials highlight the revolutionary capabilities of the ship.”

These trials were the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy. The ship was presented to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) with high levels of completion, according to the Navy.
Austal is currently under contract with the US Navy to build nine 103m JHSVs under a 10-ship, $US1.6 billion contract and five 127m Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class vessels, four of which are a part of a 10-ship, $US3.5 billion contract.

AWD, progress and delays
The keel of the Royal Australian Navy’s first Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), Hobart, was laid in early September; a milestone that also saw the Government announce delays to what, at $8 billion, is the country’s largest Defence procurement project.

Construction of the three AWDs involves fabrication of 90 steel blocks, 30 for each ship, as well as three sonar blocks, one for each ship. ASC in Adelaide is the principal shipbuilder in the project. BAE Systems in Melbourne, Forgacs in Newcastle, and Navantia in Spain are also building blocks.

These blocks will be brought together at the SA Government’s Common User Facility in Adelaide. Hobart and the two other ships — Brisbane and Sydney — will be assembled on a hardstand, which will see 31 blocks joined to create the most complex warships ever built in Australia. Each of the blocks is pre-outfitted with equipment, however further outfitting will be carried out as the blocks are connected, including fitting and integrating the combat and platform systems to form the whole ship.

At the keel laying, Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare announced a ‘re-baselining’ of the construction schedule that will see subsequent keels laid at 18-month intervals.

The new schedule will mean the delivery dates for the ships will be March 2016, September 2017 and March 2019.

The Government says extending the shipbuilding program will not increase project costs but will help avoid a decline in skills before the next major naval project for the replacement of the Collins class submarines; reduce peak demand on project critical resources and facilities; and reduce project risk. It will also help the RAN reduce the challenge and risks associated with accepting into service two major capabilities (LHD Ships and the AWD) at around the same time.

The new schedule was welcomed by industry.

“This decision reflects extensive consultation between Defence and industry, and ASC welcomes the Government’s commitment to Navy shipbuilding in this country,” said Stephen Ludlam, MD and CEO ASC.

“Raytheon Australia welcomes this collaborative and pragmatic decision, which best serves the future interests of the Royal Australian Navy and naval shipbuilding,” said Michael Ward, managing director Raytheon Australia.

“Forgacs wholeheartedly supports the extended AWD schedule. This is a major plus for both Forgacs and Australian shipbuilding capability. Forgacs can now retain its skilled marine engineering workforce of 1200 — skills vital in supplying our nation with warship capability for a secure future,” said Tony Lobb, executive director Forgacs Engineering.

Shadow Defence Minister, David Johnston said the shift had been implemented because of recent cuts to the Defence Budget, saying the schedule had been moved to the right “so Labor can take a further $100 million off the books in the forward estimates”.

Dual-Fuel Newcomer from MAN
Germany’s MAN Diesel & Turbo has announced the introduction of its L35/44DF engine, the latest addition to its four-stroke portfolio. Spurred on by developments in environmental legislation and the strict emission limits resulting from that, the new engine offers dual diesel-gas running and can also be introduced as a retrofit to engines already in service.

The first prototype entered its test phase at the beginning of the 2012 second quarter at MAN’s Augsburg facility. A V-type engine version is being developed simultaneously that will enlarge the power-output range of the company dual-fuel engine portfolio as part of its market strategy.

The company is introducing the L35/44DF engine at a time where separate emissions legislation for harbours is set to come into play, in addition to the upcoming IMO Tier III emission regulations for marine applications. Accordingly, MAN views the introduction of another engine that offers the option of operation on gaseous fuels as timely.

A high degree of fuel flexibility (HFO, MDO, MGO and natural gas) was a primary objective. The inline 35/44DF is available in six to 10-cylinder configurations, equivalent to total power outputs from 3.2 to 5.3MW. According to MAN, this represents the highest power output available in the segment.
The L35/44 engine has also been specifically developed for the retrofit of 32/44CR-T2 engines.

Third party certifier chosen for WA fisheries

International sustainable fisheries certification body, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), has been announced as the preferred scheme to help WA commercial fisheries secure independent sustainability accreditation.

In March this year the WA Government provided $14.5 million towards seeking sustainability certification, which covered application fees for each commercial fishery to help them undergo pre-assessment and full assessment, together with the cost of the initial annual audit.

A certification advisory panel will be established by the Department of Fisheries to oversee the implementation of the third party sustainability certification program. The panel will comprise department representatives, along with the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), Recfishwest and MSC.

A certification stakeholders’ forum will also be established by WAFIC, for external parties to participate in the process.

“MSC applauds WA Government’s strong commitment to ensuring the sustainability of the fishing industry and the health of its oceans. I am also delighted the Government has chosen the MSC certification and eco-labelling program to verify the sustainability of its fisheries,” said MSC chief executive, Rupert Howes.

WAFIC chairman, Brad Adams also welcomed the announcement. “The WA fishing industry recognises the need for independent sustainability validation of our fisheries management regimes to meet increasing demands from the WA community and seafood consumers,” he said.
WA has more than 40 individual commercial fisheries that represent a diverse range of operations and are worth about $400 million a year. Many have already undertaken the first steps towards pre-assessment.

Thrane & Thrane launches new AIS-SART
Thrane & Thrane has launched a new Automatic Identification System-Search and Rescue Transmitter (AIS-SART). The new SAILOR 5051 AIS-SART (pictured below) introduces several operational benefits for shipping and SAR assets, and can be specified in place of the standard SART following a SOLAS amendment that came into force in January 2010.

The SAILOR 5051 is said to offer a number of improvements, not least increased detection range, over traditional SART technology, which uses radar to direct SAR vessels and aircraft to a life-craft. Using AIS the 5051 can provide surface vessels with its position at a range of approximately 5nm, while aircraft can locate the beacon at more than 30nm, depending on conditions.

The SAILOR 5051 provides more than 96 hours of operation and features improved accuracy over standard SARTs by using an inbuilt GPS feature that continuously updates and calculates latitude and longitude bearing to distance of the target survival craft. It also offers better identification for SAR vessels and aircraft. A unique identification code means an individual AIS SART can be located even under situations of heavy AIS traffic in busy shipping lanes. Any activated SAILOR 5051 will show up with position and bearing on a vessels’ ECDIS or chartplotter as a red cross in a circle, meaning it can immediately be identified as a life-craft in distress.

The new SAILOR 5051 AIS-SART joins the existing SAILOR SART II, which is chosen by ship-owners either standalone, or as part of GMDSS installations based on the SAILOR 6000 GMDSS Series.
“The introduction of the SAILOR 5051 AIS-SART to our portfolio means we can offer both types of permitted life-craft safety beacons,” said Casper Jensen, VP Maritime Business Unit, Thrane & Thrane.