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VLCC Prospects Spawn New Facilities

Competition in the VLCC repair market will again heat up with three new docks capable of drydocking such ships to come on stream during the next two years. The locations are Shanghai Guan, in mainland China, due to begin operations during the end part of 1998; a new repair and building facility being built by South Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in Vietnam (1998/99), and Rowdock, a project underway in Richard's Bay, South Africa (2000). There has been some movement in the floating production, storage and offloading FPSO conversion market in Spain and Singapore. Astilleros Espanoles' Cadiz Shipyard has signed another conversion contract with Brazilian oil major Petrobras, involving the 267,577-dwt Panamanian VLCC Eastern Strength, which was formerly owned by World-Wide Shipping Managers Ltd., Bermuda, and will be renamed Petrobras 47. The work is expected to take 12 months, followed by one month in transit and two months of installations. The work will include a mooring and load turret system, new auxiliary engines, emergency generators and engine and deck equipment, fabrication of helideck, prefabrication, fitting, final tests of all equipment and systems, and increasing the units accommodation block to a new capacity of 80 persons.

Meanwhile, Petrobras is rumored to have placed two contracts with Singapore's Jurong Shipyard Ltd. (JSL) for the conversion of two of its own VLCCs to be converted to a FSU and a FPSO, respectively.

Norway's Bergesen is to convert two recently delivered 103,000- dwt multi-purpose tankers into (FPSO) units, while also converting the 103,000-dwt tanker newbuilding into a drillship. The work is being spread between yards in the U.K., Norway and Singapore. All three tankers have been built by Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI). The lead vessel, Berge Hugin was delivered earlier this year and will be converted at the Aker McNulty yard on Tyneside in the U.K. Munin, delivered from Korea in the summer, has now arrived at JSL for conversion into a FPSO, while the third vessel, Odin, upon delivery from SHI will sail for Norway's Offshore & Marine facility, outside Stavanger, for conversion into a drillship.

Malta Drydocks has successfully completed, on schedule, the latest refit carried out by Sun Cruises, part of Airtours, involving the 23,149-grt cruise vessel Carousel, formerly the Nordic Prince. The 1971-built Carousel refit has cost Sun Cruises some $7 million to complete, with the shipyard's involvement being some $2 million. The main project has involved the removal of six diesel generating sets and replacing them with five larger Deutz/MWM type TBD 444 L6 sets, which have a total output of some 4,500 kW. The new generating units were tested while in Malta Drydock's largest drydock to an output of approximately 110 percent. When sailing, only three sets out of the five will be utilized to supply the vessel's hotel requirement. The installation has also allowed the ship to move to a single fuel basis. Canada's Port Weller Dry Docks, a division of Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. (CS&E), has been awarded a $20 million conversion project from Ontario's Algoma Central Corporation, for the conversion of the 32,420-dwt Canadian-registered bulk carrier Algowest. To be converted to a self-unloading bulk carrier, the contract is in addition to an $85 million fleet modernization program for the 23-vessel Algoma fleet. The 1982-built Algowest was scheduled to arrive at Port Weller in December, and will be delivered in June 1998. Conversion work is still continuing at Poland's Gdansk Shiprepair Yard - Remontowa (GSY - Remontowa) onboard the 58,327- dwt tanker Petrotroll, which is being converted to a shuttle tanker. Work includes the fabrication of two new compartments (bowthruster room forward and power plant STB side stern); the overhaul of machinery and electrics; the installation of a new tank measurement system; the mounting of new bowthruster and generating sets; and the installation of dynamic positioning system.

The vessel is owned by Neptune Heavy Lift AS. South Shield's Tyne Dock Engineering (TDE) has been awarded the contract to convert geophysical research vessel Geo Pacific, built in Poland, into a seismic survey ship for Norwegian owners Fugro-Geoteam AS. The contract, valued at $4 million, will provide a base workload for the yard for the next five months, securing jobs of the current workforce and staff of 150 and creating an additional 150 jobs throughout the period of the contract.

Birkenhead's Cammell Laird has recently been awarded the upgrading contract onboard Denholm Ship Management's 3,060-dwt Bahamas seismic survey/ research vessel Simon Labrador. The project, which was scheduled to commence during mid-December for a 10-week period, involves modernization work, prefabrication of a new stern and modification of all decks.

The sale of Bethlehem Steel's repair company BethShip Sparrows Point Yard has now been completed with Veritas Capital Fund, the New York merchant banker, having reportedly paid $20.3 million for the repair facility Veritas immediately renamed the shipyard operating company Baltimore Marine Industries (BMI). It is understood that the State of Maryland agreed to support the sale of the yard by providing a $4 million loan, of which $1 million would become an outright grant to BMI if it hires 875 workers within three years. The new union deal for yard employees reduced their hourly wage by $0.75, to about $12.75 per hour from what Bethlehem Steel had paid, but in return the workers will own 10 percent of BMI shares. BMI has already won some significant contracts including Norwegian Cruise Line's 32,396- grt Panamanian cruiseship Royal Majesty, which was renamed Norwegian Majesty.

Bahrain's Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (ASRY) has experienced solid demand for its services during the third quarter of this year, and revenue is ahead for the first three quarters compared with the same period in 1996. Overall, shiprepair sales were 15 percent ahead of budget for the ninemonth period and 22 percent ahead in terms of revenue from vessels repaired in its three docks.

Tankers, RoRo vessels and large passenger/car ferries have continued to dominate Sweden's Gotaverken Cityvarvet's orderbook during this year. Out of a total of 60 ships repaired so far this year, the yard has drydocked 20 RoRos, 12 chemical/products tankers and 20 passenger/car ferries. The most significant contract carried out was Silja Line's 32,940-grt passenger/ car ferry GTS Finnjet. Apart from carrying out extensive hull treatment and major overhaul of propellers, OD boxes, shaft seals, rudders, stabilizers, etc., Gotaverken Cityvarvet's main task was the relocation of one of the bowthrusters to a new position and installation of a new and larger thruster in the bow. Greece's Hellenic Shipyards, up to September 1997, drydocked a total of 82 ships, with large repair contracts being awarded from Greece, Norway, the U.S. and particularly from the U.K. markets.

Hellenic was awarded the conversion of motor yacht Alexander, converting it from a 393-ft. (120-m) long yacht to a high-class passenger cruiseship. Awarded by Greece's Latsis Group, work involves extensive structural and outfitting changes to the vessel. The contract started during late- September and is expected to be completed by early February. In addition to using Hellenic's yard workers, the yard is involving the services of Ippokampos SA, the cruise liner outfitting company, together with other local companies. Singapore Technologies Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. For additional information on the ship repair organizations featured in this article, circle the appropriate number on the Reader Service Card in this edition. Astilleros Espanoles' Cadiz 68 Jurong Shipyard Ltd 69 Samsung Heavy Industries 70 Malta Drydocks 71 D e u t z / M W M 72 Port Weller Dry Docks 73 CS&E 74 Gdansk Shiprepair Yard 75 Cammell Laird 76 Denholm Ship Management's 77 Baltimore Marine Industries 78 ASRY 79 Gotaverken Cityvarvet 80 Hellenic Shipyards 81 STS&E 82 January, 1998 (STS&E) has been awarded a twoship repair contract from Singapore's Semco Salvage & Marine Private Ltd. The yard won the tender on a turnkey basis to refit both vessels, 336-grt tug Sea Lynx and 174-grt tug Sea Panther, back to class. Both ships will be at the yard for 120 days. Work includes 120 tons of steel renewal (each vessel), pipe renewal (including hydraulic system, sanitary and domestic piping system, ballast system, fuel oil and fresh water system), overhaul of all electrical motors and machinery, upgrading of accommodation block, upgrading and renewal of air-conditioning system, installation of four-point mooring system, servicing of lifesaving and fire-fighting gears and drydocking work (hul l blasting and painting, complete overhaul of main and auxiliary engines, installation of new GMDSS equipment and blasting and coating of all tanks).

 
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