Friday, May 6, 2011

ABS new Offshore Technology Center in China

Classification society ABS and its Chinese partner have jointly established a new center to focus on technological research for offshore facilities.

ABS and Shanghai's Jiaotong University (SJTU) have set up the ABS China Offshore Technology Center (COTC) to spur research efforts on offshore oil and gas development activities in the Greater China region.

“The complexity and demands of offshore exploration and production mean we must continue to be proactive in assisting industry develop economical, safe and environmentally sensitive ways to address field development challenges,” said Todd Grove, chief technology officer of ABS.

The COTC will be ABS' fourth offshore focused research center located around the world to support clients' activities.

Heading up the COTC will be George Wang, ABS manager, advanced analysis department, Shanghai. Wang and his team have already made plans for the expansion of the COTC.

“The activity level within China that supports the development of a wide range of offshore exploration and production projects is increasing at a rapid pace,” Grove said.

Published : May 6, 2011

Source: Asiasis


Seaspan back into profit

New York-listed containership owner Seaspan Corporation has returned to profit in the first quarter.

The company said it made $50.55m to 31 March on a net basis, from a loss of $36.61m in the same three months of 2010.

Revenue grew to $121m from $80.4m the year before as vessel utilisation rose to 98.9% from 97.2%.

Gerry Wang, chief executive officer, said Seaspan had continued to expand its chartered-out fleet in the quarter.

Published : May 6, 2011

Source: Asiasis

Danaos chief warns over-ordering

John Coustas expects the supply and demand equation to bode well for owners over the next two years

But Danaos Corp’s top boss is urging the industry to keep an eye on the orderbook.

In the New York-listed boxship operator’s first-quarter earnings report, the chief executive told investors: “We have noticed significant speculative ordering of newbuildings this quarter, which although not alarming at the moment, should be closely observed. However, we remain quite optimistic for the next 24 months as the demand supply balance will be in the owners' favour.”

The commentary came as the Athens-based owner posted a profit of $5.4m, reversing a $79.8m loss logged in the first three months of 2010.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) came in at $65.6m following revenues that rose from $70.7m to $99m. Danaos attributed the increase to the addition of ten vessels, which pushed the total fleet to 55.

Published : May 6, 2011

Source: Asiasis


Seaspan in final talks

Canada's containership owner Seaspan confirmed it is in discussion with South Korean and Chinese shipyards about further newbuilding orders following the letter of intent signed in February in China for a series of 10,000 teu ships.

Seaspan, which posted net earnings of $50m in the first quarter against a $35m loss in the same period of 2010, made no secret of its intention to place more newbuilding orders in the near future.

An announcement on the next stage of its fleet expansion programme is thought to be imminent.

The letter of intent placed earlier this year has yet to be converted into a firm order, Seaspan chief executive Gerry Wang said when announcing the New York-listed company’s latest results.

The contract, thought to be worth more than $2bn, is likely to be for between 20 and 24 vessels, but will only be signed once firm charter party commitments are in place, Mr Wang told analysts during a conference call.

He stressed that there was no rush to conclude the deal, with the market continuing to move in owners’ favour.

China’s Yangzijiang Shipbuilding is expected to land the contract for the 10,000 teu ships, but Seaspan is also talking to other yards in both China and South Korea about further orders for large containerships, although Mr Wang would not reveal details at this stage.

Seaspan has led the way in pressing for lower prices from yards and for more imaginative designs. But Mr Wang said Seaspan might consider newbuilding resales “if priced very reasonably”.

Published : May 6, 2011

Source: Asiasis

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S&M in severe "order drought"

As the shipbuilding industry seeks to be high quality and large, South Korea's small and medium-sized (S&M) shipbuilders suffer from severe order drought.

As of the end of April, new orders for drillships totaled 21 this year, a drastic increase from 5 ships (2009) and 5 ships (2010).

New orders for LNG carriers arrived at 14 ships until now, compared with 5 ships in 2010, said Clarksons' reports.

But new orders for products/chemical carriers of 50,000dwt under, South Korea's small and midium-sized shipbuilders have mainly built, reached 49 ships in 2009, 24 ships in 2010, and 0 this year.

While South Korea's major shipbuilders continue to win orders for high value added ships, small and midium-sized shipbuilders in Gyeongsangnam Province have suffered order drought for more than one year.

The 21st Century Shipbuilding, which posted no new order from 2010 on, has been managed by the creditor banks council consisting five creditor banks, and is expected to use up its all order backlogs around September.

The SLS Shipbuilding also faces little new order intake. One official at the shipyard said that due to increase in the production cost coming from increase in raw material prices, it has hesitated to win new orders. He also added that it will plan to seek new order in the second half, waiting and see what will happen in the future.

The Samho Shipbuilding only received orders for two 35,000-dwt bulkers. Small and midium-sized shipbuilders lack sites and expenses needed to build large vessels. On top of that, we also lack technology.

We lose new orders to Chinese competitors. That's why we cannot help centering on survival, not investment, said an official from Samho.

Meanwhile, The SPP shipbuilding and the Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (SSME), once ordinary small and medium-sized shipbuilders, try to seek a breakthrough to overcome the current situation.

The SPP shipbuilding, which have mainly built products/chemical carriers and bulkers, continues to win new orders for containerships by centering on vessel type diversification and developing eco-friendly vessel types with increased capacity and less fuel spending.

Sungdong succeeded in winning an order for shuttle tankers, high value added vessels, for the first time, launching offshore sector project.

Aside from this, the shipbuilder continues to clinch new orders for medium and large type containerships and kamsarmax bulkers.

Published : May 6, 2011

Source: Asiasis


Keppel forced to delay rig delivery

Keppel FELS of Singapore was forced to delay the delivery of a jack-up drilling rig ordered by Discovery Offshore.

The Luxembourg-based offshore contractor says the shipbuilder has postponed the delivery date of the unit by eight weeks following “a delay in delivery of certain steel material arising from the events in Japan”.

Discovery’s rig, one of two penned in January, is now scheduled to hit the water on 7 June 2013 while the other unit is expected in the fourth quarter of the same year. The duo carries a combined price tag of $416m.

According to a prospectus filed with the Oslo bourse, on 12 March the yard notified the jack-up owner “that the earthquake and resulting natural disasters hitting Japan on 11 March 2011 could potentially lead to a force majeure situation under the construction contracts for the company's two rigs.”

Discovery said it is evaluating whether it is justifiable under the terms of the contracts to “invoke the force majeure-provision" and it assured investors "that all required steps are taken by Keppel FELS to mitigate or avoid the estimated delay in the delivery”.

Published : May 5, 2011

source: Asiasis

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tsunmai hits car carrier market

A tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan has had a severe impact on the car carrier market.

Norwegian Car Carriers explains a stack of vessels are currently waiting off the Japanese coast after the disaster hit production.

The Oslo-listed shipowner’s annual report said: “The lack of shipments from Japan in April and May is expected to cause consequent delays to shipments of cars out of US and Europe to Asia in May, June and probably also July.

“Neither the car assembly plants nor the major car export ports have been seriously damaged by the disaster, and most Japanese car factories are reported to have resumed production by the end of April 2011.

“Many factories supplying parts to the car industry, however, have been more severely hit and the supply of many critical car parts dried up in late March.

“The lack of parts, as well as the impact of power cuts, are likely to negatively affect output at Japanese factories over the next months.”

While there is still some doubt as to when Japan’s post-disaster power issues will be resolved, NOCC says analysts believe the “situation will normalize” in the second half of this year.

“Hence, the effects on the Japanese car industry and car exports seem likely to be temporary and lost export volume in the near term may be made up in late 2011 and possibly early 2012,” the report said.

Published : May 3, 2011

Source: Asiasis


New orders plunge in Q1

Shipowners suffering from fleet oversupply contracted just 227 ships to be built at shipyards during the first three months of the year, the lowest volume since the third quarter of 2009

There were also just eight tankers ordered between January and March, according to London-headquartered Clarksons, the smallest quarterly number since it started reporting contracting figures in 1996.

“Given the weakness of the major bulk freight markets, contracting over the first quarter of 2011 was understandably down by 38% on an annualised basis,” it said in its monthly World Fleet Monitor report.

“Tanker contracts have been particularly thin on the ground,” it added.

The eight tankers of 667,000 dwt ordered in the first quarter were in contrast to the 75 ships of 13.8m dwt contracted between July and September last year.

For the dry bulk sector, the drop in vessel contracting was similar. Just 79 bulkers of 6.6m dwt were ordered in the first three months of the year, a huge drop from the 279 ships of 31.5m dwt reported in the second quarter of 2010.

The last time dry bulk contracts were that low was a year earlier in the second quarter of 2009 when just 31 ships of 3.2m dwt were ordered.

Rival London-based broker ICAP Shipping in its latest monthly report also focused “on ordering activity, or more specifically, lack of”.

“The current quiet period on the newbuilding front, with not much more activity than those barren months two years ago may simply be the hangover from owners piling in to order relatively cheap newbuildings at what seemed the bottom of the newbuilding market,” ICAP Shipping said.“Finance is still difficult to obtain, and with owners perhaps happy with their orderbooks in the current economic climate, it leaves little to be contracted at present.”

Although newbuilding prices were at their lowest levels since the first half of 2006 for dry cargo ships and flat for tankers following a slight uptick in early 2010, ICAP questioned if some owners felt there were still further savings to be made by waiting to order. But newbuilding prices were unlikely to drop much further due to rising raw material and labour costs, ICAP added.

Substantial ordering in the major shipping sector during the boom period leading up to the financial crash of late 2008 created large orderbooks for dry bulk and tankers, which were then added to in 2010 especially when charter markets appeared stronger and newbuilding prices seemed low.

However, since then “rates have slipped, taking ordering with it”, ICAP said.

“If this continues then it bodes well for slower fleet growth in the coming years, but that in itself will help lift freight rates, which will reinvigorate the newbuilding market. It cannot stay this quiet for too long.”

Published : May 3, 2011

Source: Asiasis


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Chinese progress on ship design

Chinese shipyards are suffering from the decline in tanker and, particularly, bulker-newbuilding orders but they are starting to adapt to the changed market.

Clarksons says Chinese builders are “progressive” in their approach to the market, with evidence of a greater focus on design and on improving the efficiency of existing designs.

Recent figures from the shipbroker show how South Korea is benefiting from its strategy of building containerships, where ordering, along with offshore ships and gas carriers, remains healthy.

Clarksons says Korea’s success in securing a “steady stream of business” in these sectors means that outstanding portions of 2013 capacity is starting to fill.

Published : May 3, 2011

Source: Asiasis


Ulstein teams up with Dutch

Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein Group is teaming up with a Dutch marine equipment company.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with IDEA Heavy Equipment which should see an operational business materialise in the Netherlands before 1 July, it said.

Ulstein IDEA Equipment Solutions will combine Ulstein’s offshore design expertise with IDEA’s “mission-equipment design and construction.”

Ulstein already owns Ulstein Sea of Solutions in the Netherlands.

Published : May 3, 2011

Source: Asiasis

Monday, May 2, 2011

CSIC sees net profit rise 7.3%

China Shipbuilding Industry Co. (CSIC), the country's northern shipbuilding giant, said Saturday that its net profit last year rose 7.28 percent year on year to 1.599 billion yuan (about 246 million U.S.dollars).

The shipbuilder said in a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange that its operating revenue was up 10.29 percent to 20.472 billion yuan in the period.

But earnings per share declined 22.58 percent to 0.24 yuan last year from 0.31 yuan in 2009, said the statement.

Due to a recovery in the global shipbuilding market and a rise in orders, shipbuilding business has brought 31.447 billion yuan for the company, up 38.17 percent from the same period last year, it said.

Growth in CSIC's net profit has picked up in the first quarter this year, according the company's first-quarter report, which was also released on Saturday.

Net profit has surged 28.68 percent year on year to 1.323 billion yuan in the first three months of the year on declines in production cost and a rise in efficiency, it said.

Earnings per share jumped 28.68 percent to 0.14 yuan from a year earlier in the three-month period.

Published : May 2, 2011

Source: Asiasis


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Ulstein wins more Brazilian orders

Ulstein Design & Solutions has signed two ship design contracts with the Brazilian Shipyard Alianca S.A for the building of two ULSTEIN PX105 platform supply vessels with the X-BOW® hull line design for the Brazilian shipowner CBO.

The contracts are worth approximately NOK 150 million. The contracts are for the delivery of design, engineering, main equipment and building follow-up for two large platform supply vessels of the ULSTEIN PX105 design type.

"These contracts are of great importance to ULSTEIN. There are major investment activities on the Brazilian continental shelf and there are wide-reaching plans for the area. It is important to position ourselves in this market", says COO in Design & Solutions, Tore Ulstein, and continues: "We are very happy that a trendsetting company like CBO once again has chosen ULSTEIN and the PX105 design for its fleet development."

"CBO is the first to build X-BOW® vessels in Brazil, which proves that we are an innovative company constantly looking for new solutions", says CBO director Alfredo Naslausky. The company currently has four ULSTEIN-designed PSVs under construction at the Alianca yard in Rio de Janeiro. The contracts for two more PX105 vessels bring this number up to six.

With the current trend of oil and gas production taking place ever further from land, the demand for large platform supply vessels (PSVs) is increasing. The P105 and PX105 designs, both large PSVs with a conventional bow and an X-BOW® respectively, have become leading designs since introduced to the market. "The size and versatility of these vessels make them suitable for many markets and operations. This has given ULSTEIN a leading position in the market for this type of vessel", concludes Tore Ulstein.

"The vessels will go into eight-year contracts, with options for extension, for the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras. The vessels will be number five and six built for CBO with the X-BOW® hull line design to be constructed and permanently stationed in Brazil, which is also exciting", says sales manager for OSV designs at ULSTEIN, Lars StÃ¥le Skoge.

Published : May 2, 2011

Source: Asiasis

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