Canadian Maritime Review

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 29, 1999

With 1,860 miles of waterways, our neighbors to the north are no slouches in the maritime industry. In fact, Canadian maritime companies continue to offer technological and operational innovation. The Canadian coastline stretches out 151,492 miles, making it the second largest country in the world. Canada not only supports a thriving maritime industry, with exporting ships carrying timber, crude petroleum, natural gas and aluminum, but the country is also home to a variety of companies providing the means to allow these vessels to run smoothly and efficiently. In St. Catherine's, Ontario, Port Weller Drydocks is known for its extensive knowledge of engineering connecting the design, installation and testing aspects of inter-disciplinary projects. Port Weller and its parent company, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering are equipped to perform both conversion and construction of vessels while still adhering to the capability of the full-service repair facility. A $5.5 million project to enhance the company's steel-cutting, welding and fabrication capabilities was established in November. Consisting of a Plasma Arc Cutting Machine with Bevelling Capacity, Robotic Profile Cutting and Welding Lines and Semi-Automatic Panel Production Line, these upgraded components will be further enhanced by a newly-designed material flow inside Port Weller's steel workshops. In Vancouver, the joint venture between maritime application developer Rydex and global mobile communications company ICO exhibits Canada's advanced technological base. The two companies signed a memo of understanding enabling ICO's maritime distributors access to services across a variety of market areas. Rydex, responsible for maritime communication operations including automatic data communication, email and shipboard IT support, is currently engineering a satellite service for availability in the year 2000. The handsets, which can easily be slipped into a pocket, permits for roaming between ICO and any mobile network. Multi-network international mobile satellite service provider, Ottawa-based Stratos will be at the forefront as first global provider of the new Inmarsat M4 service. Delivering high quality voice, fax and a variety of data services via portable terminals the size of a laptop computer, the M4 will be introduced this August. A product currently available from Stratos is its new Iridium World Page Service. Offered either by itself or in conjunction with Iridium voice services, this option allows paging customers to receive messages from anywhere throughout the world via a 4 oz. pager which can easily be clipped to one's belt. Iridium will soon have a new supplier as well. Stratos and Hughes Global Services recently formed an agreement making the latter a supplier of Iridium services by way of a U.S. government contract. HGS will deliver the full selection of Iridium services and related products through its General Services Administration contract. Another Vancouver company, Offshore Systems, was granted orders from Marinette Marine Corporation Shipyard for ECPINS systems for USCG Sea Going Buoy Tenders. The contract also includes an option for nine more systems through 2003. Offshore Systems International, the company's wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary was also chosen by the USCG (and Bollinger Shipyards) to provide the Yokogawas Electromagnetic Speed Log from the USCG Coastal Patrol Boat Program. The two contracts awarded to Offshore and its Fife, Wash.-based subsidiary are estimated at a value of one million dollars, with the open possibility for new orders in the future as per the same options. Since 1980, Autoship Systems has provided the maritime industry as the key supplier of naval architecture programs with over 1,700 installations in more than 50 countries. Presently, the Vancouver, B.C.-based company has initiated its generic marine gear and equipment models library collection. Presented in .PR3 format, there are 39 models currently available to intensify rendering ability, and assisting the designer in space management. Not only do the files lessen CAD general arrangement production time by facilitating the preliminary assessment of space and layout - they also provide a sharp, polished presentation when presented to owners and investors, making all the difference in a professional showing. The library is a free service for all Autoship purchasers. The latest in the Autoship fleet of products is Autoyacht - a welcome addition to the company's CAD/CAM programs designed to comply with the surface modeling requirements per yacht designers. Since relocating to its new home in Vancouver, BC, Naval Architectural firm Robert Allan has designed a 136 ft. VSP escort tug for Johannes Østensjø dy AS. Based in Haugesund, Norway, the company will use the vessel to serve oil terminals on the country's West coast. Family-owned and operated Dynamic Engineering in British Columbia is the largest turbocharger facility of its kind in Canada. Split into two divisions - Small and Large - the company was appointed last year by MAN B&W as authorized repair station for its turbochargers in Western Canada. Known for its computerized dynamic balancing and specialized welding techniques, the company is celebrating 35 years of service this year. Responsible for the building of marine autopilots and related accessories, ComNav has recently introduced a new line of drive units suitable for non-hydraulic steering systems and include: the Rotary Drive Unit is a 12-volt chain drive motor suitable for small boat applications and three Cable Drive Units created to replace the existing Morse titled and straight shaft helm station, and the Teleflex Performance and Standard Tilt helm stations. ComNav's pilots may be found in fishing vessels, tugs, tankers and freighters measuring up to 984 ft. (300 m), as well as military vessels, government fleets and ferries. Quebec-based Hermont Marine's mission is to help cruise ship operators with two common problems. The first is the difficulty of oil removal from the complex mess of oily bilge water on HFO burning ships, the second is the necessity of being viewed as an operator of an environmentally-safe ship. Hermont aids the cruise ship industry with its bilge water polishing system. Comprised of functions responsible for oil, emulsion and solids removal, the product proves oil free discharges are possible. A representative of several equipment manufacturers, some of Ottawa-based engineering and marine equipment company EMAR's recent projects include its sale of azimuth thrusters to the Irving Group and oily separators for offshore platforms under construction by Halter Marine. EMAR has been at the forefront in providing government departments, and all major shipyards throughout Canada with its products and services since 1993.-Regina Ciardello
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