Marine Link
Thursday, March 23, 2017

New Saudi Arabia Shipyard to be ‘World’s Largest’

Photo: Royal HaskoningDHV

Developers of a new shipyard in Saudi Arabia say the facility will be the largest maritime yard in the world providing a range of services, including large shipbuilding, large ship repair, offshore rigs fabrication and offshore support vessel repair. The new facility, a joint venture between state oil giant Saudi Aramco, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, Lamprell and Hyundai Heavy Industries, will be located in the eastern Saudi port of Ras Al-Khair, north of Jubail on the Persian Gulf. It is planned to be fully operational by 2021.

Norwegian Private Equity Firms Target North Sea

Rosalie Chadwick

Cash-rich Norwegian private equity firms are eyeing up potential North Sea acquisitions, encouraged by proven management teams and reasonable market prices, claims a leading energy expert. Rosalie Chadwick, a partner in legal firm Pinsent Masons, believes the Scots-Nordic alliance will be strengthened in 2014, echoing a number of investments in recent months, but it won’t be one-way traffic. “There is an increased confidence by Norwegian investors in U.K. oil and gas assets,” explained Chadwick.

UK Chamber for Including Marines in New T-Level Qualification

Photo: UK Chamber of Shipping

The UK Chamber of Shipping has welcomed Government’s plans to introduce new technical qualifications, but raised questions as to why marine engineering is absent from the plans. But whilst provisions have been made in the plans for specialised vehicle and aircraft engineering, no such opportunities will exist for marine engineering. Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said: “Government is right to focus on developing new routes into engineering, and the proposed T-levels are an exciting innovation.

IMO Secretary-General Urges Vigilance after Tanker Hijack

Official photograph of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

In the wake of the recent hijacking of tanker Aris 13 off Puntland, Somalia, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim urged the shipping industry to be vigilant and apply diligently IMO guidance and best management practices to avert possible piracy attacks. “While we have seen a very welcome decline in piracy off Somalia since the last reported hijack by Somali pirates in 2012, the reality is that piracy off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated and the underlying conditions have not changed,” Lim said.

DFDS Sees Little Effect from Brexit So Far

Photo: DFDS Seaways

Ferry and logistics operator DFDS has many activities and 2,200 employees in the U.K., placing it at the heart of the ongoing “Brexit” process following the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU and making the firm an early indicator of changes in trade and passenger movements. In a post on its website, the Danish based firm addressed Brexit’s immediate and long-term impact, stating that it has seen little to no effect on trade so far. “We also discuss our experiences and expectations from the Brexit situation with customers.

Skills Shortages Could Scupper UK Energy Plans

Surging demand for energy, an aging workforce and a lack of new entrants to the industry is combining to threaten delivery of the energy strategies of countries worldwide. Addressing delegates at the ‘People: The Real Energy in Oil & Gas’ conference in London, John Westwood, MD of energy business analysts Douglas-Westwood, cited the UK as likely to have particular problems with delivery of its power station replacement and renewable energy plans. “We are seeing an unprecedented demand for energy, driven by China in particular, at the same time as production of oil & gas is reducing in non-OPEC areas such as the UK North Sea. The result is oil prices at record levels and a surge in exploration & production activity, particularly in the Middle East.

Cammell Laird: Polar Ship Contract to Kick-start Exports

Photo: Cammell Laird

British shipyard and engineering company Cammell Laird said it plans to unleash an “aggressive exports drive” in 2017 after one of its busiest years for commercial marine work, which saw it land the biggest shipbuilding project in the U.K. for a generation. Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret said the winning of the £150 million contract to build the Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel for the U.K. Government “threw open” a new global market to build a range of high value polar vessels from research to cruise ships.

Nuclear Submarine Upgrade Avoids UK Job Losses

HMS Vengeance: Photo credit Royal Navy

The £350m contract to refit and refuel HMS Vengeance was confirmed by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond during a visit to Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth. The contract will sustain more than 1,000 jobs at Babcock in Devonport, and a further 300 at other companies in Plymouth. Such is the scale of the refit that another 700 jobs in the industrial supply chain across the UK will also be sustained. HMS Vengeance is one of the UK's four Vanguard Class submarines, designed to carry the UK's Trident nuclear missiles.

Statoil and Statkraft Acquire Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm

Statoil and Statkraft have acquired the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm project through the acquisition of all shares in Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited (DOW), a subsidiary of the UK energy company Warwick Energy Limited. Following a successful partnership in developing the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of North Norfolk, Statoil and Statkraft will now work together to develop the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm. The project could deliver many hundreds of jobs during the construction phase and, once in operation, will provide renewable energy to the UK market. Dudgeon has recently received an offshore consent that allows for up to 560 MW of installed generation capacity.

UK P&I Club Announces Increase for 2012

UK P&I Club announces 3 per cent general increase for 2012. The premium rating of all UK P&I Club Members will be increased by three per cent from 20th February 2012. This was agreed by the UK Club’s Directors at their meeting in Athens on 17th October. This decision was taken in response to continuing underlying claims inflation. Although the frequency of claims had reduced significantly in 2009, 2010 and 2011, the average cost per claim has continued to increase over this period.

Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals

Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners. "The UK government will publish a discussion paper and establish a panel of industry experts to consider how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields, helping to keep them productive for longer," the ministry said in a statement.

Svitzer Orders Escort Tug from Sanmar

From left to right:  Sanmar Commercial Director, Rüchan Çıvgın with Svitzer Europe Managing Director, Kasper Friis Nilaus (Photo: Sanmar)

Svitzer has signed a contract with Sanmar to purchase a newbuild 80 tbp ASD escort tug for Southampton, U.K., strengthening its fleet to meet current and future customer requirements and reemphasizing its commitment to the port of Southampton. The new Sanmar-built Robert Allan-designed vessel – RAstar 2800 Class ASD Escort vessel – has been specifically chosen for her maneuverability and reliability. The tug will be named Svitzer Adira and will join the fleet in Southampton in early May.

New Survey Vessel Ordered for the Port of London

Image courtesy of CTruk

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has ordered a new purpose-built survey catamaran, a CTruk MPC19, due to enter service on the river Thames later this year. The vessel is will replace the PLA’s Yantlet vessel as she reaches the end of her service life, continuing the PLA Hydrography team’s survey work which facilitates safe navigation on the tidal Thames. As the U.K.’s busiest inland waterway, the river is a link for trade, travel and leisure and as home to the U.K.’s second largest port.

UK P&I Club Restructures to Increase Efficiency

The UK P&I Club has announced that it is reorganizing its structure to establish UK Europe as the sole provider of direct insurance to UK Club members. By reducing the number of separately regulated insurers from two to one, the UK Club aims to streamline governance, reduce compliance costs, and manage more efficiently the Club’s solvency capital requirements, while meeting the impending Solvency 2 regulations for insurers in the European Union. Under the new structure, the Bermuda-based UK Club will cease to write direct insurance business. Its existing direct business will transfer to UK Europe. UK Bermuda will become the reinsurer of UK Europe. It will continue to be the holding company controlled by the Club’s Members – i.e., those ship-owners whose vessels are insured by the Club.

UK Chamber: Nascent Recovery to UK Ship Register Welcome

Photo:  UK Chamber

Statistics show an increase in the UK registered trading fleet for the first time in four years, rising by 8%. However, the figures also show a fall of 18% in UK owned tonnage. UK Chamber CEO, Guy Platten has welcomed these signs of nascent recovery in the UK Ship Register, but has expressed concern over the stark decline in the UK owned fleet. The UK managed fleet fell by 1% to 53.4m dwt and parent owned fleet rose by 3% to 31.0m dwt. The annual Shipping Fleet Statistics are produced by the Department for Transport and reflect tonnages as at the end of December 2015.

Will Container Lines Skip UK Ports on Brexit?

Photo: Maersk Line

British importers and exporters prefer direct mainline container services calling at their national ports and tend to dislike feeder services, says a Drewry report. Is there a risk that a politically isolated UK will no longer benefit from direct vessel calls, particularly as there is no longer any large British container carrier based in the UK to champion their cause? Drewry believes that the container lines will continue to call directly at UK ports. Even if the UK enters a small recession…

UK P&I Club Restructures

Move intended to increase efficiency under Solvency 2. The UK P&I Club has announced that it is reorganising its structure to establish UK Europe as the sole provider of direct insurance to UK Club members. By reducing the number of separately regulated insurers from two to one, the UK Club aims to streamline governance, reduce compliance costs and manage more efficiently the Club’s solvency capital requirements whilst meeting the impending Solvency 2 regulations for insurers in the European Union.

Moore Stephens Warns on VAT Changes

International accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens has highlighted an imminent change to VAT rules by the UK government which could have significant implications for the shipping industry. With effect from 1 December 2012, the UK government will remove the VAT registration threshold for non-UK-established businesses, bringing UK law into line with EU law. Businesses without a UK establishment which make taxable supplies of goods or services in the UK will no longer benefit from the UK VAT registration threshold…

Moore Stephens Warns: UK Shippers Review Finances

Ahead of the imminent withdrawal of a concession relating to the application of transfer pricing rules to loans made to companies in the UK tonnage tax scheme, accountant and shipping industry adviser Moore Stephens has urged companies who may be adversely affected to review their financing arrangements and to eliminate where possible any loans from UK companies to connected UK tonnage tax companies. The UK transfer pricing rules apply to transactions between a UK company and any other entity under common control. They apply to transactions between UK companies, including transactions with UK tonnage tax companies. They also apply to transactions across the tonnage tax ring-fence. However, whether or not they apply will depend on the size of the group.

Aker Solutions Get Shetlands LNG Contract

Photo credit Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions wins three year Total E&P UK & J/V partner Dong E&P UK contract for work on Shetland, Scotland, LNG plants on & offshore. The agreement includes provision of operations, maintenance and services support personnel for Total E&P UK at the new gas plant, which will receive gas from the Laggan and Tormore fields, west of Shetland. The contract is valid for three and a half years with an optional two year extension. It will see the creation of up to 150 positions in support of the contract, both on-site at SGP and onshore in Aberdeen. Contract value is undisclosed.

Maritime UK Appoint Jeffrey Evans Chairman

Jeffrey Evans: Photo courtesy of Maritime London

Maritime London informs that its chairman, Jeffrey Evans, has also been appointed chairman of industry lobby group Maritime UK: he is managing director of gas at Clarksons as well as an Alderman of the City of London. Commenting on his new role, Mr Evans said: “I am delighted, honoured and excited to be taking over as Chairman of Maritime UK. In the past few years Maritime UK has grown from a fledgling coalition of maritime interests into a respected and influential industry lobby.

Faststream Wins Chevron Recruitment Contract

Mark Charman (Photo courtesy of Faststream)

Maritime, offshore and oil and gas recruitment group Faststream has been awarded a two-year supplier agreement by Chevron Products UK Limited. The agreement will see Faststream supply permanent recruitment services to Chevron in the U.K. and Europe within four of its operating companies covering gas and midstream, downstream and chemicals, technology, products and services and corporate/business services. Faststream noted it has been a preferred supplier to Chevron Products UK…

Will UK Maritime Traffic Rise or Fall on Brexit?

Graphics: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

UK container traffic will see more muted growth than expected a few months ago, at least in the short term, says Drewry. Patrick Walters, Peel Ports’ Group Commercial Director, believes that the bigger Brexit-related risk for UK container ports is a short-term negative impact on box volumes caused by economic and political uncertainty and GDP slowdown. According to the International Monetary Fund, the Brexit vote implies a substantial increase in economic, political, and institutional uncertainty, which is projected to have negative macroeconomic consequences.

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