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FPSO And Cruise Ship Work Dominate Repair Market

Following lengthy d i s c u s s i o n s , Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has finally obtained the necessary financial backing to move forward with contracting the lengthening of 39,217-grt cruise vessels Windward and Dreamward at Bremerhaven's Lloyd Werft. The financing for the project, believed to be worth in the region of $107 million, has been arranged with various German banks, KFW in Frankfurt being the leading institution.

Both ships will be lengthened by the addition of a 131.2-ft. (40-m) midbody section.

Windward is due in the yard on January 13 of next year, staying to March 15, and Dreamward is scheduled to arrive on March 11 and sail on May 10. Each vessel will have a new total length of 754.5 ft. (230 m) and the project will increase passenger capacity from 1,500 to 2,000. Both ships were built by French yard Chantiers de l'Atlantique during 1991/92. The first midbody section was started at Lloyd Werft during April.

The first stage of the refit of cruise vessel Sagarose, formerly Cunard's Gripsholm, was completed by A&P Southampton on May 13 when the vessel left for a three-day shake-down cruise prior to loading its first passengers in Southampton on May 19. The cruise ship is due to return to A&P on October 21 for the remainder of an eight-week refit. The main outfitting contract for this ship has gone to Southampton-based CLC Marine.

Another U.K. yard involved in passenger vessel refits is Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W), which has recently been awarded the conversion contract for 63,524-grt P&O cruise vessel, Arcadia, ex- Star Princess, which is due in the yard in November. This will be the first ship undertaken with H&W's new partnership with outfitting specialist Mivan Marine Ltd. When completed, Arcadia will take over the sailing schedule from P&O's former flagship Canberra, which is being retired from service.

Dubai Drydocks has won a contract from BP Shipping for the first docking of a series of four large LNG carriers owned by Abu Dhabi National Gas Co., built by Japan's Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering (two ships), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (one ship) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (one ship), and managed by BP Shipping. The 71,931-dwt, Liberian-registered ships are: 1994-built Al Khaznah, which is due on May 10; 1995-built Ghasha; 1994-built Shahamah; and 1995-built Ish. There are another four sister ships in this fleet, all built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards, managed by Gotaas-Larsen and due for similar drydocking operations next year.

Following Bahrain-based Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard's (ASRY's) record year for ship repair revenues in 1996, the yard has announced a 20 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter of this year. This good start has been helped by an increase in the average value of repairs per vessel and two shuttle tanker conversions. The most significant projects carried out during this time involved the conversion of 131,584- dwt Petrobras tanker Jurupema and 140,905-dwt Red Band tanker Knock Taggart into FSO vessels. The latest projects at the yard involve 133,752-dwt, Petrobrasowned ore/oil carriers Mafra and Marau. The main work includes installation of bow loading systems, manufactured by Hitech Marine in compliance with the requirements of Lloyd's Register (LR). Other work involves relocation of mooring Marau is depicted leaving ASRY's graving dock. Sagarose at A&P Southampton.

systems; forward main deck structural work; blasting and painting; installation of watch cabins, stowing tanks, air-cooler compartments, cargo and fire pipes on forward main decks; installation of hydraulic systems and pipes; and alteration of main switchboards. A major FPSO refit contract has gone to Portugal's Lisnave, the first such contract won by the yard. The project, which involves in excess of 900 tons of steel renewal, involves 79,313-dwt, Liberian-registered FPSO Ocean Producer, which is owned by U.S. company Oceaneering Inc. and located in the Kiabo field off the Angolan coast (West Africa). The unit was due to arrive in the yard during early June and was expected to stay for two and a half months. The vessel was formerly tanker Amoco Baltimore, converted for FPSO duties years ago.

Chile's Asmar Shipbuilding & Docking Co. recently won a contract with an estimated value of $3.5 to 4 million from U.K.-based Furness Withy to carry out repairs on 47,000- dwt Bermudan LPG storage vessel Darwin, which has been anchored off Guayaquil, Ecquador, since September 1992 on a contract with PetroEcquador, the state-owned oil and gas company. The vessel was to arrive in Asmar's Talcahuana yard during early June and to stay in the yard for approximately five weeks. Darwin is the former BP Shippingmanaged Gaz Enterprise.

It was interesting to learn from Furness Withy that U.S. West Coast repair yards had refused to quote due to the complexity and volume of the repair work required, and that deviation costs to take the ship to a yard across the Pacific Ocean to Southeast Asia left the owner with little choice but to use a yard located on South America's West Coast.

Turkey's Tuzla Shipyard & Tourism Co., Istanbul, owned by Kahraman Sadikoglu, has recently been involved in two major conversion projects. FPSO Frenze left the yard in January after a year-long conversion from a convention-al tanker was completed. The vessel is now reportedly at Saipem's Sardinia shipyard for the installation of offshore modules. During early May, offshore semi-submersible drilling rig Scarabeo 7 arrived at the yard to be converted, under a $54 million contract, from an accommodation rig to a drilling rig. The project involves 680 tons of steel work to increase the unit's number of legs from six to eight, over the next 14 months.

The yard has also purchased a 1,082.6 ft. (330 m) long concrete floating dock which has been in Genoa since the 1970s. The yard is currently working in cooperation with the Italian Registry (RINA) to get the dock seaworthy for a tow to Turkey, which was expected to begin in June. It has been projected that the dock will to be fully operational by the end of the yearWhat is believed to be the first lengthening contract ever carried out in a mainland Chinese shipyard is currently underway at Qingdao Behai Shipyard, part of China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC).

The vessel involved is the 4,007- dwt, 1984-built general cargo vessel China Seaways, owned by South Korea's Resource Trading. The project involves 1,200 tons of steel and installation of three new cargo tanks weighing 290 tons, 167 tons and 135 tons, respectively. The ship will be lengthened by the insertion of a 57.3-ft. (17.5-m) midbody section and converted into a specialized asphalt carrier. China Seaways reportedly arrived at the yard in March and was expected to leave in June. During the latter part of 1996, the yard took delivery from its own shipbuilding section of a 100,000- dwt capacity floating dock, measuring 755.8 x 147.6 x 59-ft. (230.4 x 45 x 18-m), with a lifting capacity of 28,000 tons.

Since then, the yard has reportedly docked 26 ships in the new facility. Apart from the new floating dock, the yard operates two graving docks, with the largest accommodating ships up to 37,500 dwt.

Rotterdam-based ship repair company Niehuis & van den Berg is set to extend its market potential by purchasing a larger floating dock.

Expected to be operational this month, the dock will raise the company's ship size capability by an extra 25,000 tons of lifting capacity. Just as important, it will increase the Dutch company's scope by facilitating vessel widths of 104.3 ft. (31.8 m), compared with the current 82 ft. (25 m) limitation. The floating dock has been purchased from Hamburg, Germany's Blohm + Voss AG for an undisclosed sum.

U.K.'s Cammell Laird has announced that it intends to seek a listing for its shares on the London Stock Exchange by way of an institutional placing this summer.

"We believe that flotation will offer Cammell Laird significant benefits as it enters its next phase of development, particularly as the yard's additional drydock capacity comes on stream later in the current year. We intend to expand the Technical Services department and plan additional expenditurescope and productivity of our service," said yard Chief Executive John Stafford.

Meanwhile, during March the yard began the renovation of the two non-operable drydocks. The renovation of these docks is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 1997, and when completed, will triple the number of drydocks available for use. More than 300 tons of steel work has reportedly been fabricated for the entrance gates at the No. 6 and No. 7 drydocks and the related minor work is nearing completion. Civil work is due to start in the No. 6 drydock shortly, while dredging operations in the No. 7 drydock continue, with 20,000-cu-m already removed from the docks and channelrelevant documents to support the issuance of full-term USCG certificates of inspection (COIs).

ABS will undertake necessary surveys and inspections, and issue the international certificates, while the USCG will continue to issue final COIs.

"The last two years have been the culminations of several years of work by ABS and the USCG to streamline Coast Guard inspection activities while maintaining adherence to our common missions of protecting life and property at sea," said Robert Vienneau, Special Projects manager for ABS Americas. "A great deal of unnecessary duplication has been eliminated, resulting in significant cost savings for shipowners with no reduction in the level of safety standards which continue to be applied to their vessels." For U.S. flag owners, a significant benefit is the harmonization of USCG requirements with international convention standards, particularly those contained within SOLAS and MARPOL rules.

 
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