Friday, May 18, 2012

Daewoo inks eight LNGCs



Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea booked an order for two LNG carriers, with optional six vessels more, from Greek owner Almi Gas.

Almi Gas is planning to make a $1.6bn investment in up to eight LNG carriers and has confirmed it already firmed up its two 160,000-cbm newbuildings at Daewoo.

Chairman Costas Fostiropoulos says the vessels are due for delivery in July and September 2014 and have found a charterer.

Optional four vessels are 2015 delivery slots and two in 2016. Fostiropoulos admits the charterer is not interested in the options but will declare the options without charters.

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LPGC & MR soar by April



Amid a depressed newbuilding market overall, during the first four months in 2012, market has seen a significant rise in the investment on LPG carriers and medium-range products carriers.

According to Clarkson data, from January to April this year, an estimated total of $18.5bn was invested in new ship contracts, which represents a decrease of 45% on an annualized basis compared to 2011.

During the same period, $820m was invested in LPG carrier, slightly more than the $810m invested during the whole of 2011, which trebles 2011 on an annualized basis. If current investment trends continue, then the LPG carrier sector is to see the greatest amount of annual investment since 2006 ($4.7bn).

Investment in MR PC (30,000-60,000dwt) sector has also seen a significant increase. 10 MR PCs were newly ordered just in April and overall 35 vessels, totalling $1.6bn during the first four months of this year, which increased by over 100% compared to 2011, on an annualized basis.

Meanwhile, during January-April period, the total investment seen in the tanker sector remained at the $2.4bn - VLCC $400m, suezmax $100m, aframax $200m, panamax $100m and MR PC $1.6bn).

During the same period, as for bulker sector, around $1.8bn was invested - capesize $300m, panamax $700m, handymax $600m and handysize $300m - down by 62% compared to the previous year, on an annualized basis.

In case of containership, $200m was invested and overall seven newbuildings were ordered (all below 4,800TEU, ordered at Chinese shipyards).

Meanwhile, ordering for offshore-related vessels and LNG carriers turned out to be slightly daunting.

During the first four months, a total of $9.5bn was invested in offshore vessels, including drillship, FPSO, offshore support vessel, etc., down by 32% on an annualized basis compared to 2011, while $2.6bn was invested in LNG carrier sector, down by 23%.

During the same period, investment in the cruiseship and Ro-Ro ferry sectors remained at $900m and $100m each.

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Hyundai inks PCTC pair



Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea contracted for two 6,600-car-equivalent-unit pure car and truck carriers with Eukor Car Carriers, a car-carrier specialized shipowner.

Eukor Car is known to have placed an order for newbuilding car carrier for the first time after the Lehman Shock in 2008.

The shipowner mainly transports Korea's export cars, made by Hyundai Motor Group, etc.

Eukor Car now operates about 60 vessels, with two 6,200-ceu newbuildings, ordered at Imabari Shipbuilding of Japan slated for delivery in 2013, on the book.

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CSIC target domestic orders


China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., with seven yards, said domestic shipowners must renew their fleets to prevent the country's new ship orders from slumping to a seven-year low.

A decline in overseas business, falling ship prices and rising labor costs are “severely challenging,” Han Guang, deputy head of the company’s Information Research Centre, said May 15 at the China Money & Ships Conference in London.

Exports accounted for 82 percent of ships built and delivered last year, he said.

“Domestic shipowners need to increase and optimize fleet structure,” Han said. While the industry has “enormous room for further growth,” 30 percent of yards have received no new business since the end of 2010, he said.

Shipbuilding orders in China plunged 49 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter and are on track to fall as low as 20 million deadweight tons this year, less than a third of available capacity, Han said.

That would be the lowest total since 2005 and compares with the high of 107.5 million tons in 2007, he said, adding that orders will be no higher than 30 million tons this year.

China’s exporting yards have cut prices to loss-making levels to win new business, said Ben Zhang, managing director of Accord Marine Services Ltd.

“To maintain a certain level of production, the ship yards are likely to accept a price just below their running costs,” he said at the conference.

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Yangfan wins Eco-bulker



China’s Yangfan Group has won an order for six 39,500-dwt fuel-efficient bulk carrier newbuildings from Ireland-based d’Amico Dry Limited, the fully owned subsidiary of the diversified Italian operator d’Amico group.

The contract also includes options for further six vessels.

The six-ship deal is worth $134m, which values each handymax at $22.3m.

The owner says the deal is on heavy-tail payment terms.

In a statement d’Amico chief executive Cesare d’Amico said the handysize segment has “a great capacity for future growth” and praised the benefits of a Deltamarin design that will help reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

“Given their characteristics, the vessels have also attracted strong interest from the financial world, where financing for the project has been offered by a number of active European banks at competitive pricing compared to today’s market terms,” he added.

The vessels, which are expected to start hitting the water in 2014, will be built with box-shaped holds at Zhejiang Yangfan Shipbuilding and will have the option to incorporate a fully open-hatch design before construction is completed.

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'Fuel Efficiency' game-changer!


South Korean and global shipbuilding, shipping industries had smoothly sailed owing to China factor in the past. Then, what can be a 'key word' for the present and future?

Analyst Lee Sok-Je, a shipbuilding market specialist, answered the question, saying "It is 'Fuel Efficiency'!"

It explains all recent trends of the market, such as owners' preference for Korean shipyards, gap in owners' profits under the same rates, global discussions over environmental regulations, etc.

'China' had been the key word for shipbuilding and shipping market rally over the past seven to eight years. For the next 10-15 years, 'fuel efficiency' would determine the market.

He said that there is a quite big difference in the ship price between those made in China and in Korea - around 20% in newbuilding market and 30% in secondhand market. The decisive factor is fuel efficiency. About 10% gap in fuel efficiency leads to 20-30% gap in pricing.

When carbon tax issue is discussed and oil price increases, the gap will grow bigger, which represents Chinese shipyards would be more difficult to make profits.

Also, shipowners have recently showed preference for Korean yards. Around 85% of overall newbuilding orders for product carrier have been concentrated on three of Korean shipyards in the last couple of years. This proves that Korean shipbuilders have no competitors in building fuel-efficient vessels.

Lee emphasized that it is a matter of time for 'fuel efficiency' to become a top priority issue in the industry.

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Germans target boxship bargain


Recently, Bernhard Schulte, gathering other German owners interested in newbuilding investment, has been looking to secure a bargain price of $25m each for the series of 2,200-teu vessels and had discussions with at least two Chinese yards.

Letters of intent are said to have been signed with Shanghai Jiangnan Chanxing Heavy Industry for four vessels, with delivery in late 2013 and 2014, while negotiations for another four are also thought to be underway with Zhejiang Yangfang Shipyard.

Options for another eight units can be split between the yards, with a further four options subsequent to that.

Schulte chief executive Ian Beveridge confirms the existence of talks but says nothing has been ordered yet as the company has not yet reached its desired price.

Sources say Schulte has been in talks with other German owners interested in buying the newbuildings, including Deutsche Afrika-Linien/John T Essberger, United Africa Feeder Line, Herm Dauelsberg, etc.

Some think that the deal is loss-making for the yards and it could founder.

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ABB power Daewoo-built pipelayer



Zurich, Switzerland, May 16, 2012 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently won an order worth $18 million from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering to supply energy efficient propulsion and electrical power systems for two new deep sea pipeline installation vessels that will build oil transport infrastructure off the coast of Brazil.

The order was booked in the first quarter.

South Korean shipyard Daewoo will build the vessels. The end customer, a joint venture between French oil service company Technip and Brazilian company Odebrecht Oil & Gas, will use the vessels to connect subsea wells with floating installations in depths of up to 2500 meters along the coast of Brazil for oil company Petrobras.

Wärtsila Ship Design developed the new VS 4146 PLV design with a solid tension capacity of 550 metric tons, and designed for optimal fuel consumption and flexible pipe laying operations. ABB's delivery will help the vessels use less fuel while operating at the highest levels of efficiency.

ABB will supply drives, motors and generators, medium voltage switchgear, transformers and softstarters that will provide energy efficient propulsion and a reliable power distribution system on board. In addition, ABB will take full project responsibility and do complete engineering for its own scope of supply. The diesel electric propulsion system will significantly reduce fuel consumption compared to traditional diesel mechanical systems. The heart of the propulsion system is ABB's propulsion drives, which are designed for optimized control of the propulsion motors, contributing to reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions.

"ABB's oil and gas industry expertise, proven marine solutions and subsea experience address the needs of the growing subsea installation service market," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation division. "Our environmentally friendly, energy efficient solutions and solid power infrastructure systems help both oil companies and their suppliers ensure the reliable and efficient operation of their vessels from their very first day in service."

The two identical vessels will be delivered by August 2014.

Back in November 2011, Daewoo won the $500 million deal to build two pipe-laying support vessels (PLSVs) for a Brazilian-French joint venture company.

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Inmarsat 'FleetBroadband Multi-voice'


17th May 2012 - Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announced the launch of FleetBroadband Multi-voice, a new capability that will allow up to 9 simultaneous telephone calls to be made through a single FleetBroadband terminal.

The enhancement to FleetBroadband (FB) will enable vessel owners and managers to separate crew communications from operational use. It will also provide crew with more privacy, making it easier to make personal low-cost calls away from the bridge. The new capability is targeted at any vessel with the need to manage separate voice calls - particularly the merchant maritime market, but also other vessels that have similar crew or passenger communications requirements, such as super yachts or deep-sea fishing vessels.

Uniquely, FleetBroadband Multi-voice is integrated into Inmarsat's core network and terminated into public telephone networks, ensuring a high-quality voice service. There are two levels of FleetBroadband Multi-voice available:

· Standard, which supports up to four simultaneous calls from a FleetBroadband 150, 250 or 500.

· Enhanced, which supports up to nine simultaneous calls on an FB250 or FB500.

FleetBroadband users have two ways to access the multiple voice calling capability. Users of Thrane & Thrane SAILOR FleetBroadband terminals can create a fully-integrated solution with just a firmware upgrade and additional handsets. For other FB terminals, Vocality has developed new PBX hardware that can be used alongside the terminal to access the additional telephone lines.

"FleetBroadband Multi-voice is a unique integrated solution that maintains Inmarsat's well-earned reputation for high-quality voice," said Frank Coles, President, Inmarsat Maritime. "It offers a far superior service to internet calling solutions, and is more cost-effective than accessing multiple voice calls on a standard VSAT.

"This new capability increases the value of FleetBroadband, and ensures that the service is future-proofed for a vessel's growing communications needs."

FleetBroadband Multi-voice can be accessed on existing FleetBroadband equipment, and with the same per-minute tariff for both pre-paid and post-paid calls. It also supports the "505" emergency calling capability that connects a vessel immediately to a Maritime Rescue Centre.

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Korea starts Shipbuilding Complex



Galsa bay shipbuilding industrial complex in Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone in Hadong County, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea is set to site renovation.

Hanshin Engineering Construction paid guaranty money KRW 44.1bn ($37.6m) for the construction contract and starts off site renovation, it announced on May 17.

On May 7, Hadong, Hanshin, Kookmin Bank and Bookook Securities signed an agreement for the project financing.

Meanwhile, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering paid KRW 11bn of down payment, accounted for 10% of land purchasing cost and bought 661,000㎡ of land.

Daewoo is planning to build an offshore plant yard in part of the new shipbuilding complex.

Hanshin is firstly to renovate 2.48m square-meter lands of overall 5.61m square meter (3.17m square-meter of sea surface and 2.44m square-meter land).

High-value ship builders, marine equipment manufacturers and primary suppliers which are closely related to offshore plant industry, etc., will be went up on this industrial complex.

Also, Hadong signed an investment agreement with Steel Flower, an arc welded pipes manufacturer, to construct an offshore plant fabrication plant in the complex by 2017.

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BP confirms PSV order



BP announced Thursday it has ordered four new platform support vessels (PSV) at South Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard to help deliver its long term business strategy in the North Sea.

The vessels will be deployed to support its West of Shetland (WoS) and Norwegian operations and be delivered between the winter of 2013 and summer of 2014.

The purpose built and highly specified vessels have been designed to provide long term support to BP's North Sea business and will provide the capabilities BP requires to deliver its strategy more efficiently and safely.

The vessels will have oil spill response capability and special tanks to transport fluids required for planned enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes.

Performance and safety will also be further improved by having dedicated crews on long term hire, minimising turnover and enhancing familiarity with BP's processes.

The arrangement is structured such that BP Shipping has contracted Hyundai Mipo to build the vessels and then hire them to BP Exploration Operating Company on a 15 year bareboat term charter.

This project is consistent with BP's strategy for marine offshore supply vessels that promotes vessel ownership where long term ‘life of field' can be demonstrated.

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Sembawang upgrade FSO & LNGC



May 17, 2012 - Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Sembawang Shipyard has secured three major contracts totalling S$130 million, reinforcing its reputation as a world leading shipyard for ship repair and highly specialized offshore & LNG carriers upgrading.

The first contract is awarded by Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção S.A. (SNLPP) for the repair and upgrading of FSO Palanca. Sonangol is a state-owned company, and a subsidiary of Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola, E.P.

The contract, signed in Luanda, Angola, by Mr. Bento Lourenco, Executive Director of SNLPP, Ms Filomena Oliveira, Vice President of Executive Committee of SNLPP, and Mr Ong Poh Kwee, Managing Director of Sembawang Shipyard, calls for the major repairs and upgrading of the 20-year-old FSO Palanca. Sembawang Shipyard was awarded this milestone contract on the strength of the Shipyard's capabilities and established track record in the highly specialized and sophisticated field of FSO / FPSO offshore modification, upgrading and repair work.

Major work scope includes the renewal of the vessel's cargo piping system and pumps, tank blasting and coating, and cables renewal for the entire electrical system. The existing 30-men accommodation block will be re-designed and rebuilt to accommodate 60 men. The new accommodation block will include a new helideck to meet the vessel's operational requirements.

The vessel is expected to enter Sembawang Shipyard in August 2012 and, upon completion, will return to Palanca Terminal in offshore Angola.

Besides the above FSO upgrading contract, Sembawang Shipyard was also recently awarded two LNG carriers life extension projects from the shipyard's Favoured Customer Contract (FCC) client, North West Shelf Shipping Service Company, Australia (NWSSSC). NWSSSC is the shipping service provider to the vessel owner, International Gas Transportation Company Limited (IGTC), a North West Shelf Venture company registered in Bermuda.

The 20-year-old LNG vessels Northwest Seaeagle and Northwest Sandpiper are scheduled to enter Sembawang Shipyard in June and September 2012 respectively for major repairs and upgrading which, when completed, will further extend the vessels' trading lives for another 10 years or more.

The awards further reinforce Sembawang Shipyard's global leadership position in highly specialized LNGcarriers' life extension work after the successful execution of similar life extension work for NWSSSC's Northwest Sanderling in 2009, Northwest Snipe in 2010 and Northwest Shearwater in 2011.

Mr. Ong Poh Kwee, Managing Director of Sembawang Shipyard, said: "We would like to thank our partners and customers for selecting Sembawang Shipyard to execute these important contracts and for their trust and confidence in our capabilities. These sophisticated projects demand strong engineering and project management skills to be executed in a safe environment and we are confident that through close collaboration with our partners, we will deliver the projects on time and to owners' high QHSE standards."

Sembawang Shipyard, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine has one of the largest integrated ship repair facilities in Southeast Asia.

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Lamprell face profit fall



Lamprell expects full-year revenue to come in at around the same as last year - $1.1 billion - but the margin should hit 3.5%, "considerably below the Board’s original expectation for the year," it said.

Lamprell said, however, that it expects its margin to pick up again in 2013.

"During the year to date the group’s financial performance has been adversely affected mainly by progressive delays in key specialised vendor equipment deliveries for newbuild jack-up projects together with the progressive slippage in the timing of expected new project awards and delayed client deliverables," it argued.

"The delayed equipment deliveries are representative of the current tightening in the worldwide supply chain for specialised jack-up rig components which is expected to ease during 2013 when new capacity comes onstream.

"This has caused a delay in revenue generation and led to the significant underutilisation of resources including personnel.

"Following the rescheduling of construction work, it is anticipated that the final delivery dates of the projects affected by delayed equipment deliveries will remain on track."

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