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ISSUE ten 2013

Shipping &MARINE

The magazine for maritime management

Spill

detectives There are situations where it would be beneficial to know about potential oil leak issues sooner rather than later

AMBITIOUS AIMS

The ACCSEAS project is looking to improve safety, security and environmental protection in the North Sea region

DO YOUR RESEARCH

It is essential that forklift truck suppliers offer a range of options and a flexible approach to help meet the needs of truck users

ADDRESSING CHANGE

It is time for ports to start considering and planning for climate change issues and vulnerabilities


Health and SafetyIf you don’t have the time to read it all, read what you need Health and Safety Monitor is the newsletter of choice for professionals across all industries because it is: Clear, succinct and brief: With case summaries, indexes and bullet points so you can easily pick out what’s relevant to you Practical, informative and comprehensive: Health and safety news reported and analysed, with full references supplied for your ease of use Unbiased, trusted and critical: Gives you the facts

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Editor

ISSUE tEn 2013

www.shippingandmarine.co.uk

Seek the

Shipping &MARinE

thE magazInE for marItImE managEmEnt

Spill

detectives

I

There are situations where it would be beneficial to know about potential oil leak issues sooner rather than later

AMBITIOUS AIMS

The ACCSEAS project is looking to improve safety, security and environmental protection in the North Sea region

DO YOUR RESEARCH

It is essential that forklift truck suppliers offer a range of options and a flexible approach to help meet the needs of truck users

leak

am sure we all remember all too clearly the terrible pictures of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon leak in 2010. The environmental costs were of course astronomical, but at a financial and reputational level, the disaster caused shockwaves that are probably still being felt. Therefore it seems likely the industry will welcome technology that could create a safety network of remote sensors that can warn of any oil leaks coming from a well at the point of the drilling but also at wider points around a drilling platform so that very small amounts of oil can be detected in the sea. It’s amazing that technology used in clinical diagnostics and, in particular, fertility monitors and pregnancy tests, could be transferred deep into the ocean – if you’d like to read more turn to page 18.

ADDRESSING CHANGE

It is time for ports to start considering and planning for climate change issues and vulnerabilities

It’s amazing that technology used in clinical diagnostics and, in particular, fertility monitors and pregnancy tests, could be transferred deep into the ocean

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Contents FEATURES

PROFILES

3 News

22 Hvide Sande Skibs & Baadebyggeri

Updates and announcements from the shipping and maritime arena

27 U-Boat Worx

6 A big responsibility

29 tts Offshore Handling Equipment

The challenges that accompany shipping very large items

32 epak 34 Dunston (ship repairs)

8 ambitious aims New research highlights growing safety concerns for North Sea shipping

36 Smart Holding 39 shipyard de hoop

10 Power and system performance

41 BAHRI/MIDEAST SHIP MANAGEMENT

When it comes to welding, system solutions can work more economically

44 stena bulk

14 do your research

47 sea-tankers

Are you getting the best value from your forklift supplier?

50 almi tankers

16 addressing change

52 complete marine freight

Ports need to start considering and planning for climate change issues and vulnerabilities

54 ishima

18 spill detectives

56 kral

New oil detection technologies and wireless connectivity is set to allow the smallest spills to be detected quickly

59 hypro marine 62 modern freight company 64 thor

10

67 u.n. ro-ro 70 thoresen shipping singapore 72 turkish Ship Suppliers Association

44

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News Launch of Spillex

Mary Rose Museum opening

Reed Exhibitions Energy & Marine group (RX Energy & Marine) is launching a series of oil spill prevention and response technology and service zones throughout its global portfolio in collaboration with the UK Spill Association (UKSpill) and the European Spill Association (Eurospill). The zones will run under a new brand, Spillex, which was developed in consultation with UKSpill and will focus on the prevention of, and response to, environmental incidents in the marine environment. The exhibition will feature the latest technology and service solutions for assessing the potential of spill related impacts, mitigating against and, if necessary, responding to them, including spill response; prevention and response training; contingency planning; oil spill modelling; and environmental sensitivity mapping. www.arcticoilgas.com/Spillex/ www.oceanologyinternational.com/Exhibiting/ Spillex/

The ship that captured the world’s imagination when she was raised from the seabed in 1982 now has a museum built around her, reuniting the ship for the first time with all its contents and crew. The most comprehensive collection of Tudor artefacts in the world will be showcased - from personal belongings such as wooden eating bowls, leather shoes, musical instruments and even nit combs complete with 500-year-old lice through to longbows and two tonne guns. The new Mary Rose Museum opened to visitors on 31 May 2013, at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – the very same dockyard at which the warship was built over 500 years ago. Located just metres from Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory and the ships of the modern Royal Navy, the new museum provides one of the most significant insights into Tudor life in the world and from the new centrepiece to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Photo: Gareth Gardner

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Cleaning the seas

Ocean robot project

DNV and WWF have announced ideas on how to develop a research concept vessel that can address the seemingly intractable problems associated with cleaning up the plastic debris that is accumulating in the world’s ocean gyres. The pathways and degradation processes of plastic in the ocean are still largely unknown, and to enable efficient clean up these knowledge gaps need to be filled. “Like CO2, plastic pollution in the ocean is everyone’s problem,” says Bjørn Haugland, DNV’s chief technology and sustainability officer. “And like CO2, all the solutions are not clearly visible at present. Innovation is needed.” DNV and WWF have therefore joined forces and developed a concept design for a new research vessel: the Spindrift. This 85m vessel could support 38 researchers for 90 days at sea and offer them a suite of flexible research platforms to better understand the problem and test out solutions for collecting the debris. The vessel has systems for efficient monitoring of the ocean both from the air and in the water column, and is designed to flexibly handle different collection technology. The vessel is intended to help answer questions like: At what depths in the water column should clean-up efforts be targeted? What size fractions should be targeted? How can the bycatch of living marine resources be minimised? “More accurate estimates of the amount of debris are also important if regulatory measures involving both producers and consumers of plastic are to be implemented in the future,” says Mr Haugland. “DNV encourages governmental, industry and NGO initiatives to curtail the growing volume of plastic entering the ocean, but that’s not enough. Global pollution control initiatives that cross national borders and oceans are needed. Spindrift offers us an excellent platform for co-operation and innovation.”

The next generation of ocean-going robotic vehicles will be developed by two cutting-edge technology companies from the South Coast of England, working with the UK’s National Oceanography Centre. ASV Ltd of Portchester and MOST (AV) Ltd of Chichester have won contracts under the Government-backed Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) to develop the vehicles – known generically as Long Endurance Marine Unmanned Surface Vehicles – that will carry out sustained marine research over long periods. The Technology Strategy Board and Natural Environment Research Council jointly fund the programme with supplementary funding of additional elements from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The SBRI programme has moved into the second phase with ASV and MOST (AV) selected on merit from the five companies that won Phase 1 awards to manufacture working prototypes of their proposed vehicles. To demonstrate capability as part of the year-long programme, the vehicles will be extensively tested, both in Southampton Water and off Oban, home of the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) who make extensive use of autonomous vehicles in their research and who were represented in the selection process for the contracts. When developed, the vehicles, which operate on the sea surface rather than at depth, will be invaluable platforms for gathering scientific data from the ocean over periods of several months. A wide range of sensors to take measurements beneath and above the ocean surface, together with satellite navigation tools, communications for command and control and for data transfer to shore, are all readily available. The vehicles will demonstrate several feasible technologies to provide the energy necessary for long deployment.

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Vessel launch

Family owned shipping firm, The Craig Group has launched its latest Platform Supply Vessel (PSV), the Grampian Sceptre at the Balenciaga Shipyard in Northern Spain. Craig Group committed £50 m to the construction of this vessel, and its sister vessel the Grampian Sovereign. The vessels are the largest ever built by Craig Group and both have secured long term contracts with Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited. The Grampian Sovereign has already commenced work in the North Sea while the Grampian Sceptre will start her contract in September later this year. Managed by Craig Group division North Star Shipping, the two IMT-982 designed vessels have created 50 new jobs for the Aberdeen based company. Douglas Craig, chairman and managing director of Craig Group, said: “Our major investment in state-of-the-art oilfield support vessels firmly underpins our position as market leaders in the provision of offshore support, ROV Survey, platform supply and emergency response and rescue vessels. It also shows our commitment to the marine industry and that we continue to offer our customers an unrivalled service.”


News Competitive cranes When the time came to expand Dalian Shipyard’s shipbuilding and repair facilities to build next-generation LNG tankers and container vessels, they turned to long-term partner GE Power Conversion to supply the complete drive and automation system for Goliath Crane. Over their 12-year relationship, GE has helped Dalian Shipyard to remain competitive by supplying drive and automation technology up to the latest standards, as well as by adapting its drive solutions to Dalian Shipyard’s requirements making them more customised and flexible in connecting existing components and systems to GE’s crane technology. “We’ve been working with GE for 12 years. Their ability to customise drive and automation systems for large cranes is helping support the development of our shipbuilding and repair operations,” said Gao Guo Chun, project manager at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd. “GE’s technology enables two of these 600-ton cranes to work simultaneously, enabling the handling of higher loads required for building larger vessels. At the same time, GE’s drive system technology saves significant amounts of energy. Working together with GE helps us continually push the boundaries of shipbuilding.”



United R&D A new three year European Research Project, part funded by the EU has been launched to help increase safety on-board vessels. CASCADe, (model-based Co-operative and Adaptive Shipbased Context Aware Design) aims to address the lack of symbiosis that exists between current bridge design, operational procedures and the end user. In the maritime environment there is a proliferation of increasingly complex technology. Studies have shown that the use of instruments with a range of different user interfaces or the provision of too much information can lead to errors and a reduction in performance. This unsatisfactory situation has the potential to create accidents and incidents, which may translate into significant remedial and compensation costs. It is vital that a holistic approach is taken when developing ship bridge design, factoring in the required operational procedures and the subsequent end user interaction. CASCADe will develop an adaptive bridge system that will recognise, prevent and recover from human errors by improving the interaction between crew and machines on the bridge. The main outcome will be a new human-centered design methodology to support the analysis of agent interactions at early design development stages. Under the co-ordination of OFFIS (Oldenburg Research and Development Institute for Information Technology Tools and Systems), a consortium of seven project partners from five EU countries will collaborate, including BMT Group Ltd, Raytheon Anschuetz GmbH, Mastermind Shipmanagement Ltd, the University of Cardiff, Marimatech AS and Symbio Concepts & Products SPRL. Four further associated partners including the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany, Nautilus International, NSB Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG and the University of Tasmania will also provide support.

Polish coatings PPG Industries has announced it has started manufacturing protective and marine coatings (PMC) at the company’s facility in Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland. The facility, which previously produced architectural coatings and was part of PPG’s January 2012 acquisition of Dyrup A/S, now produces PMC products for the construction, petrochemical, shipbuilding and energy industries. “The Ostrów manufacturing plant is a key part of our strategy to grow and expand in this region,” said Tim Knavish, PPG vice president, protective and marine coatings. “It has been transformed into one of PPG’s most modern and efficient manufacturing facilities, and the strategic investment will strengthen our position in fast-growing markets throughout Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.” The plant now produces coatings for the PMC business such as epoxy, hardener, alkyd, acrylic, zinc and polyurethane products. PPG moved architectural coatings production from this site to its Wroclaw, Poland, manufacturing complex – one of the company’s largest sites worldwide.

Improved solutions for shipyards Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions (WTS) has signed an agreement with Roccheggiani which will see the two companies combine their competence in supply of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. WTS, which is among the leaders in complete HVAC system supply and Roccheggiani which is a leading supplier of air handling units, fan coil units and supply/extract devices will jointly market their products to the offshore market. WTS believes the co-operation agreement will increase its level of service supply and reduce delivery times for customers. For Roccheggiani, the agreement increases exposure for its products to the offshore HVAC market. Stephen Lawton, sales director, HVAC Offshore, Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions, said: “Maintaining a strong position in the HVAC market requires us to deliver better solutions and superior products and service, while being able to keep control of costs for our customers. Developing a closer co-operation between two strong players like WTS and Roccheggiani means we can combine our skills and experience to reach those common goals.” www.shippingandmarine.co.uk - 5


who

large freight

A

big responsibility Joanne Harkin highlights the challenges that accompany shipping very large items

T

he transportation of very large freight via ship is a highly specialised job, requiring the appropriate training of staff and a wide array of specialist equipment. But it isn’t always necessary to utilise a dedicated specialist, as Joanne Harkin, Stena Line, freight sales manager, pointed out - although there are restrictions, Stena Line for example, can handle a variety of long, heavy or unusual freight: “Every week we will ship a number of items of plant and machinery, such as powerscreens, stone crushers and cranes, and also various aircraft pieces, wings and fuselages,” she began. “Outside of this we have shipped concrete bridge sections, tunnels, and windmills for windfarms both on land and at sea. We also work closely with Bombardier Shorts, which manufactures aircraft pieces that are shipped from Belfast to Liverpool to meet a feeder vessel, which ships to Canada. That company is currently in the trial stages of the new C-Series, which is to go into production towards the end of this year.” She continued with some more details about the logistical

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and physical challenges of transporting very large items: “It is fair to say that we have a number of restrictions when trying to transport ‘abnormal items’, and any enquiry we receive regarding the shipment of this type of traffic requires a lot of consideration,” she said. “We would liaise with the relevant ships and ports and in the case of particularly heavy items via Birkenhead or Heysham we need to receive further clearance from MDHC. In the main, we class ‘abnormal loads’ as anything wider than 2.6m wide and longer than 18m and greater than 50t.” Working with items of these dimensions comes with some vessel restrictions, as Joanne explained: “Each ship, on each route, will have its own limitations regarding the maximum width/ height and weight of items, for example on the new vessels on Cairnryan, while we can accept high loads up to a maximum of 5.1m, if the load is higher than 4.4m, the max width is 3.1m, but every vessel is different. “There are also port limitations, as each port will have its own rules. So for example on our Heysham to Belfast service, the


maximum weight on the link span in Heysham is 220 tonnes, but in Belfast it is only 114 tonnes, therefore we are restricted by the limits in Belfast. In Birkenhead we have the same issues regarding the link span, albeit with different thresholds, but we have a further issue with the bridges on entrance to the port, which restrict the max height to 4.9m. We can bring higher loads in via the gates, but we would still have a limit of 5.2m on the actual vessels. Further to this, the overall length of the load would be determined by the restrictions on the terminal as well as the vessel. For example, the main deck length on the Heysham vessels could in theory accommodate a load up to 125m long, but the terminal itself can only accommodate a length of 40, so 40 m would actually be our maximum length.” She added: “This is certainly a ‘specialised’ market, and there are limited hauliers who are able to service this sector. When we receive an enquiry we have to look at which route can accommodate the load, due to dimensions and so on, and then we have to look to see if there is availability. We work closely with customers as we understand that they are keen to get the traffic confirmed because they would also have to organise items such as permits and police escorts, which are required a number of days in advance.” Well versed in adjusting to the differing requirements of its own facilities, Stena Line is able to advise clients on the best routes and port requirements for large loads and expects this sort of enquiry to increase in the future. Rather than create a

generalised service, Stena Line is keen to handle each load on a case-by-case basis. Joanne noted: “I would have to say that over the last few years the enquiries for the shipment of abnormal traffic has certainly increased. This brings its own issues, as over the same period the capacity has changed greatly on the Irish Sea. We tend to restrict abnormal traffic to quieter sailings, usually at weekends for example, as these loads take longer to load and discharge. However, as capacity has reduced over the last few years, the availability for abnormal loads has lessened, but the demand has increased. But because each item has to be taken in its own merits and assessed at that particular point in time for shipment, we don’t want to apply a ‘general policy’ to the shipment of this traffic.” v

Joanne Harkin

Joanne Harkin is freight sales manager at Stena Line. Stena Line, an ABTA member, is an international transport and travel service company and one of the world’s leading ferry operators. Stena Line operates in three business areas: Scandinavia, the North Sea and the Irish Sea with a network of 18 strategically located ferry routes in Europe. Stena Line has a modern fleet with a total of 35 vessels including fast ferries (Stena HSS), traditional combi-ferries, RoPax ferries for freight and passengers, and pure cargo ships. For further information visit: www.stenaline.co.uk.

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it

Ambitious

aims

New research highlights growing safety concerns for North Sea shipping

T

he North Sea Region (NSR) hosts some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Yet the amount of navigable space available to shipping is decreasing as more demands are placed on it. Demands are created not only by the trend towards larger vessels, and growing vessel volumes, but also by the areas of sea already dedicated to, and planned for, energy extraction (for example wind farms and oil platforms). Increasing vessel volumes added to decreasing sea space could involve a significant navigational safety risk, and may greatly impact shipping efficiency. One transnational project is investigating how e-Navigation can balance the requirement for alternative uses to the NSR maritime environment with the need to allow ships to navigate safely and efficiently. The project is called ACCSEAS (Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability). ACCSEAS is a three-year project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, involving 11 partners from across the NSR. Its research suggests that navigable space allocated to wind farms will increase by up to 5420 per cent within the next few years, a c.5.5 per cent decrease in navigable space for shipping

excluding the exclusion zones around extraction sites. Crucially, the location of many planned and proposed wind farm sites means that they could have a significant impact on key shipping routes in the NSR. The project uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to assess maritime traffic patterns and trends, as well as to analyse issues that obstruct available safe access. The ACCSEAS project partners 1 are all in agreement that e-Navigation - as defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - provides the solution to strike this balance. The aim of ACCSEAS therefore is to improve safety, security and environmental protection in the NSR by developing and implementing a practical e-Navigation test bed to harmonise the exchange of electronic maritime information onboard and ashore. This will be achieved through researching the extent of the safety risk and efficiency concerns over greater demands on the NSR and by demonstrating how e-Navigation will be crucial to ensuring a safe co-existence for maritime traffic, invaluable energy extraction sites and other competing future demands of marine spatially planned areas in the North Sea. In order for e-Navigation to be the solution it has to be

ACCSEAS partners are General Lighthouse Authorities, UK & Ireland; Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden); Danish Maritime Authority; Federal Waterways & Shipping Administration (Germany); Rijkwaterstaat, Minesterie Infrastructuur en Millieu (The Netherlands); Swedish Maritime Administration; Norwegian Coastal Administration; SSPA Sweden AB; Flensburg University of Applied Science (Germany); NHL Hogeschool, Leeuwarden, Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz (The Netherlands) and World Maritime University (Sweden).

1

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Above: ACCSEAS shipping lanes and wind farms Left: ACCSEAS shipping density Below: Kiel Canal, Germany

completely robust. In the UK’s wintry spring this year, ACCSEAS successfully demonstrated a prototype resilient PNT (positioning, navigation and timing) system at sea under GPS-denied conditions. The system used an alternative, complementary and fully independent backup technology to step in automatically and seamlessly to transmit mission-critical data in the event of GPS loss. The trials took place onboard THV Galatea from Harwich, UK. Today, many vessel bridge systems rely on GPS-based information, which plays a fundamental role in delivering the PNT data that ships rely on to ensure safe navigation. GPS signals are vulnerable to interference from space weather and accidental or intentional jamming, recently highlighted as serious concerns because of the wide online availability of inexpensive GPS jammers. Even the cheapest jammers are capable of causing complete outages across all maritime receivers currently on the market. Building on two previous trials conducted by the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) this latest demonstration is the first time that an automatic and seamless positioning solution has been demonstrated in a real-world scenario. The prototype system was integrated into the bridge of the vessel and monitored the quality of independent PNT sources in order to provide the ‘best’ available. So when GPS was deliberately jammed, the system switched

automatically to provide eLoran derived PNT information to the connected bridge systems, allowing the mariner to continue to navigate safely and efficiently. The project’s aims may seem ambitious, but already one year into the three-year project, there is evidence that transnational communication and co-operation will result in shipping continuing to enjoy access to the NSR alongside diverse users of this environment without an increase in safety risk. That this can and will be done through e-Navigation is agreed by the ACCSEAS partners but e-Navigation systems must be harmonised to reduce the amount of equipment on a ship’s bridge, to enable training to be standardised and the amount of information displayed to be reduced to avoid information overload. v

ACCSEAS

ACCSEAS (Accessibility for Shipping Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability) is a European Union part-funded project involving 11 partners from across the North Sea Region. Its aim is to improve safety, security and environmental protection in the North Sea Region by developing and implementing a practical e-Navigation test bed to harmonise the exchange of electronic maritime information onboard and ashore. The second annual ACCSEAS Conference will be held in Edinburgh in March 2014. To find out more about the project, please visit www.accseas.eu, email contact@accseas.eu, or follow @accseas on Twitter. .

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ship repair

The 10 kW butt-welding head of the LaserHybrid system, for the panel line, fulfils the requirement for through-welding butt-welds from one side in the flat (PA) position without any manipulation of the components

who

Power and system

performance

When it comes to welding, system solutions can work more economically. By Gerd Trommer

I

n shipbuilding, as in other metalworking industries, weld processes have to combine top-quality results with high cost efficiency. What users find most helpful are system solutions that are specifically geared to the needs of the shipbuilding and offshore plant construction sector. This calls for system performance, meaning the interplay of functionality, efficiency and reliability. Although it would go beyond the scope of this article to look in detail at all possible processes, versions and aspects, it does describe a number of significant solutions by way of example. Digital welding processes have brought about great improvements in economical processing of metals, and in the technical quality of the joins made between them. The applicational range of gas metal arc (GMA) welding systems covers everything from steel and its alloys to aluminium and other metals. Being in contact with seawater, ships’ hulls are mainly made

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from Grade A steel. For less aggressive environments, Grade B, D, and E steels are also commonly used. High-strength steels such as A 32, E36 or E 40 are typical in welded constructions. In fact, the grades of steel used are as diverse as the many different requirements they address: high-temperature steels are suitable for steam and pressure boilers; heat-treated fine-grained structural steels and nickel-alloy steels meet the requirements for high toughness at low temperatures; and austenitic steels are the material of choice for cargo tanks. The plate thicknesses range between four mm and 40 mm. A ship’s steel pipework may have wall thicknesses of as much as 25 mm. These pipes, too, are usually made of high-strength steel; unalloyed grades are sufficient for normal thermal loading, while enhanced thermal loads call for alloyed grades. In the same way as for the hull, the ambient conditions influence the choice of materials in this case as well: high-strength alloyed steels with


manganese, molybdenum and/or chromium for high toughness, and nickel-alloy or austenitic steels for low temperatures. Piping made of high-alloy steels can be found on cargo tanks and pressure boilers. Slide-bearing components on the rudder are also made of high-alloy steel, as are the wetted parts of chemical tankers and all ship components needing to withstand corrosive attack. The most frequently welded non-ferrous metals are aluminium and its alloys, in both cast, rolled and drawn forms. These are used for e.g. the hulls of yachts and speedboats, and in air-inlet and exhaust systems (‘funnels’), ship superstructures or pipework. Other nonferrous materials include Invar (36% Ni), copper and its alloys, and nickel alloys. These materials are particularly in demand in the construction of liquefied-gas (LNG/LPG) carriers, and pressure lines for capacitors and heat exchangers.

Various considerations Steel, then, is the predominant material. As such, it calls for a variety of special solutions, as necessitated by different technical and economic aspects and situation- or user-specific requirements. Although the fabrication of ship panels has some of the features of series production, the assembly operations – especially those inside the hull structure – are still entirely manual in nature. The ambient conditions are also very different in each case: Unlike in enclosed shipbuilding hangars, when working outdoors there are great variations in wind, moisture and temperature. The interaction of these influencing factors with aggressive seawater is what causes the particular set of conditions that typify the maritime environment and that severely test the endurance of both man and machine.

(MAG) welding is that it lets them concentrate on the essential aspects of their workflows. These machines’ intuitive operator functions, innovative wirefeed, ergonomically shaped torch and ruggedly designed housing are all deliberately focused on steel welding. The TransSteel systems stand apart for the stable arc that they deliver regardless of which characteristic has been selected. Depending on the task to be tackled, the user either chooses one of the three characteristics for flux-cored wire – rutile, basic or metal powder – or for solid wire. Specifically for the conditions commonly found in the shipbuilding industry, Fronius has developed the following additional characteristics: ‘Steel Prime’ is designed to facilitate welding over primer coatings, ‘Steel Root’ is for good gap-bridging ability and roots, while ‘Steel Dynamic’ is ideal for deep penetration and small included angles. A powerful filter protects sensitive vital components, enhancing system availability in dust-laden environments. Specially designed for shipyard use, the Yard Edition of the TransSteel comes with welding programs which are all tailored to highly productive joining with standard to high-alloy steels, with the usual filler metals and types of gas, flux-cored wires and electrodes. A very helpful innovation here is the integral media guidance, from the power source via the VR 5000 Yard wirefeeder all the way through to the easy-change torch. The feeder unit has a ‘sleigh’ dragging base on one side and a built-in gas-flow regulator; it is detachable, and designed for mobile deployment. These features provide maximum manoeuvrability even in changing, hard-toaccess locations. The welder can switch over to MMA operation at the push of a button.

Steel transfer technology and TIG welding systems Most of the steel joins made in shipbuilding are welded by manual welders. They need high-performing ‘all-rounder’ systems whose components are designed for complete interoperability. The VarioStar, VarioSynergic, TransSynergic and TransPulsSynergic MIG/MAG systems from Fronius incorporate several decades’ worth of empirical knowledge. A noteworthy innovation here is the digital, microprocessor-controlled inverter power source TransSteel. Its developers have fitted it out with a package of characteristics, known as ‘Steel Transfer Technology’, which is specifically tailored to the needs of steel welding. The main benefit for users in their everyday work performing metal-active gas

With the TransPuls Synergic 5000 CMT welding power source, users enjoy extraordinarily high gap-bridging ability.

Solutions for aluminium with TransPuls Synergic

Variability: the user can combine the TransPuls Synergic 4000/5000 Yard with a VR 4000 Yard wirefeeder (weighing only 11.4 kg) or a VR 2000 for small wirespools (only 9 kg) – whichever is more suitable for the application.

A task that is specific to the welding of aluminium is to prevent an oxide skin from forming during the fusion process. This layer would hinder and even stop the entire arc process. Among the other challenges posed by aluminium are that it has nearly twice the thermal elongation of steel, and thermal conductivity that is three to four times as high. From funnel installations for cruise liners all the way to entire yachts made of aluminium, high-grade weld-seams are needed throughout. When it comes to careful joining of aluminium materials, the MIG arc-welding systems of the TransPuls Synergic series, with their special programs, are ideally suited. Together with these machines, Fronius provides their users in the

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ship repair fields of shipbuilding and offshore platform construction with characteristics for the most commonly used alloys and filler metals.

The MagicWave series For many applications in the shipbuilding, yachtbuilding or boatmaking fields, tungsten inert-gas (TIG) welding is often the ideal method for joining aluminium. Equipped with ActiveWave technology, the all-digitised systems of the MagicWave series provide a stable arc with low noise emissions, all while being ‘lightweights’ in their class.

TransPuls Synergic 2700-5000 MIG/ MAG systems with SynchroPuls can even weld seams in the PF (vertical-up) position on aluminium weldments, without oscillation, delivering perfect weld appearance

When combined with the FDV 15/22 self-travelling carriage, the TransSteel 3500 welds multi-pass seams from rutile flux-cored wires in the vertical-up and horizontalvertical (PF+PB) positions

High-performance welding systems: TimeTwin Tandem welding is a high-performance process in which two wire electrodes melt simultaneously into a single weld-pool under a shielding-gas atmosphere. This basic idea, of significantly boosting productivity and efficiency by using two wires instead of one, is put into practice very successfully by the TimeTwin Digital welding system. Welding with two wires, one following the other, has the further qualitative benefit that the second arc improves dilution in the fluid pool, greatly reducing fusion defects and porosity. On small fillet welds of dimension a = three mm to four mm, it permits a doubling of welding speeds in the horizontalvertical welding position. Another advantage will be found useful during multi-pass welds: At the end of the seam, when the torch path reverses direction, the TimeTwin Digital control system automatically switches over the leading and trailing wire electrodes. The perfect start-up phase and optimum crater-filling both help to shorten the cycle times. In the TimeTwin process, each power source has its own control and adjustment unit, and a separate wirefeeder. The welding system is made up of two separate TransPuls Synergic GMA systems that are coupled together. The high welding speeds keep the thermal input relatively low, minimising distortion and reducing the amount of post-weld machining needed. Deposition rates of up to 30 kg/h are possible.

Laser beam combined with GMA arc The laser-hybrid process is suitable for joining both steel and aluminium. It is ideal for long seams where great welding depth and extremely solid joins are required. In these cases, this combination of a digital GMA process and a laser beam puts up a convincing performance. The welding speed of the Froniusdeveloped LaserHybrid process is two to three times higher than in GMA welding alone. The laser beam delivers concentrated – i.e. locationally tightly restricted – thermal input, great weld Using LaserHybrid systems with up to 10 kW of laser power, users can weld fillet seams up to a bulb-profile thickness of 8 mm, or butt-welds up to a material thickness of 12 mm, in a single traverse

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penetration depth and high speed. The GMA process, which follows the laser, provides good gap-bridging ability and simple weld-seam preparation. The relatively high power requirements that are typical of lasers are limited to the deep-weld effect, which supports the joining of thick steel plates. This means that the investment volume needed for the expensive laser system is smaller than that for an all-laser welding installation. Both processes concentrate their energy on the same process zone and thus greatly increase the welding depth and speed as compared to either of the processes used on its own. Thanks to its lower energy input, the hybrid process minimises weldment distortion and causes far less spatter. This provides marked benefits in panel production, for example. The optimised characteristics, and modified hybrid welding heads with up to 10 kW of laser power, make work simpler and easier for the welding practitioner.

Thermal overlaying: conditioning and cladding A typical process in the industry, overlay welding is used either for upgrading heavily stressed surfaces or for repairing damaged areas. In both cases, the overlaid material enters into a metallurgically intimate intermixture with the base metal. In the first application, also known as ‘cladding’, a higher-grade layer is welded onto a lower-grade base metal. The second application, known as ‘conditioning’ and used mainly in repair work, involves like-on-like overlaying. Cladding high-alloy (and thus more expensive) steel onto less expensive low-alloy steel saves on both materials and expense. As well as assuring a protective function in aggressive environments such as salt water, cladding is also used on sealing faces and slidebearing surfaces. A typical application is the overlaying of weld filler metal (S-CU 6100 and S-CU 6327 to DIN EN 14640) onto the copper alloys of ship propellers. With conventional thermal overlay processes, the problem has always been one of controlling and compensating for the distortion resulting from one-sided warming. Compared to conventional GMA processes, an innovative, ‘cooler’ process has been proving beneficial to users: CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) from Fronius. The greatly reduced heat input in this process leads, firstly, to less distortion yet sufficient penetration with the same deposition rate, and secondly, to significant resource savings. CMT has also proven highly advantageous in claddingapplications, either for upgrading surfaces or for enhancing the quality of sealing/sliding faces. In order to achieve the stipulated


Users of Fronius Orbital welding systems weld reproducible circular weldseams of consistently high quality

purity in the applied high-grade material, welders using the conventional GMA process have to clad the relevant places repeatedly (as many as five times). This is because of the mingling of the base and filler metals in the molten zone. With the ‘cooler’ CMT process, by contrast, there is less melting of the base metal, and – right from the surface zone of the very first layer – it leaves behind a base-metal component approaching zero.

Mechanisation of the welding operations in the longitudinal and radial directions In fields such as vehicle manufacturing and general mechanical engineering, higher productivity and greater efficiency can be achieved through robot-based automation. In shipbuilding, where the ‘lot-size’ is just one, this approach is not feasible. Instead, intelligent mechanisation solutions for reproducible travel paths (i.e. welding-tracks) offer some attractive possibilities here. Two typical fields of use are in the panel-production and pipeworkmounting operations.

The battery-powered traversing units are ideal for mechanised utilisation of the GMA process on longitudinal fillet welds in the horizontal-vertical and vertical positions, and also with integrated oscillation. Their compact, lightweight design makes them particularly suitable for use in panel production or block construction. These appliances can be combined with the TransSteel Yard and a conventional manual welding torch. Program buttons for the travel path, for segment welding and for crater filling provide a high degree of flexibility and operator convenience. In the pipework fabrication and mounting operations, singleto multi-pass circumferential seams need to be welded, as necessitated by the wall thicknesses of the pipes to be joined. Orbital welding systems with suitability for steel, CrNi and Cu materials are ideal for these tasks. The use of intelligent control systems and power sources, coupled with weld-data monitoring, makes for maximum process reliability and outstanding welding results.

Conclusion and outlook Shipbuilding is undergoing great change, throughout the world. This process is being driven by the need for efficiency-gains in the building of large carrier vessels, and by the boom in cruise liners and luxury yachts. The market for waterborne craft is also being transformed by the large numbers of ever more diverse special vessels needed in the offshore field. The sophisticated and differentiated types of demand generated in this way create a need for excellent, well-thought-out weld processes and applications. The challenge for the manufacturers of such welding equipment is to foster this growth trend from both the technical and business angles, in an ecologically sustainable manner. In welding, it is system solutions that dictate the overall direction and application, and this, in turn, is the reason for the increasing prevalence of comprehensive, integrated offerings. v

Fronius

Mechanised welding-tasks with GMA systems such as the TransSteel Yard are assisted by battery-powered traversing units. Program buttons for the travel path, for segment welding, for crater filling and for oscillation greatly enhance operator convenience

Fronius UK Ltd is a subsidiary of Austrian company, Fronius International. The company has a global workforce of 3250 and is a major player in battery charging systems, welding technology and solar electronics. Its export ratio of around 95 percent of sales is achieved with 19 international Fronius companies, and distribution partners & representatives in more than 60 countries. For further information, visit: www.fronius.co.uk.

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materials handling

Do your

research

who

Are you getting the best value from your forklift supplier?

W

ith the global economic outlook still far from certain, companies across all industry sectors are focused on delivering efficiency gains across their supply chains. This means that today’s forklift trucks – for so long the workhorse of any well executed logistics operation – are expected to work harder for longer and with minimal downtime. Most trucks on the market nowadays are perceived as sophisticated products featuring complex electronic and hydraulic systems and an attention to ergonomic design that ensures high productivity, safety and operator comfort are achieved. So, in many cases what differentiates one forklift supplier from another is the added value benefits that the company can bring to its client’s business. So how can you be sure that you are getting the best value from your forklift supplier? “Any company that operates a forklift truck fleet should ensure that its truck provider fully understands its needs and has the structure and processes in place within its own organisation to respond to the user’s issues as they arise,” says Jonathan Morris, sales director of Jungheinrich UK Ltd. He continues: “The truck supplier should be able to work with its client to develop clear customer-led strategies. To this end it is vitally important from the outset of the supplier/user relationship that the user is confident that his preferred supplier has the culture,

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style and values to deliver the kind of results he is looking for. “For example, every forklift company can talk a good fleet management proposal, but few have the capability and the appropriate data in a format from which effective management decisions can be taken that improve operational and delivery efficiency. “Users will only be able to derive maximum cost and efficiency gains with measurable values from fleet management systems if they have an effective communication strategy with their truck supplier and then users need to be sure that their truck supplier actually has the desire to deliver results that might appear counterproductive to their profit stream. By this I mean, a truck audit will often recommend reducing the fleet size which, on the face of it, is not in the supplier’s best interests.” One of the most important aspects of any forklift contract is the supplier’s ability to ensure that truck downtime is kept to a minimum. “Users should look to source forklift truck fleets from organisations that are not only capable of supplying a full line-up of products – from counterbalance to warehouse machines – but who can also demonstrate that they have the infrastructure in place to be able to guarantee the highest levels of service,” advises Jonathan. “There is little point in any manufacturer pretending that trucks


do not break down because, from time to time, they do. The things that differentiate a good supplier from the others are, firstly, the frequency between technical problems and then the ability of the supplier to have an engineer on site in the shortest possible time to put faults right when they do occur,” he adds.

Operator efficiency No matter how technically advanced a truck might be, the interface between the forklift and the operator remains key to maximising efficiency. Properly trained operators are therefore essential if a forklift is to deliver ultimate throughput benefits. “There are so many benefits to employing forklift truck drivers who are professionally trained,” says Jonathan. “For example, turnaround is quicker and smoother, and accidental damage to both the truck and the product being stored – is reduced. A sympathetically driven machine also enhances truck reliability and, needless to say, improves general safety throughout the facility where the truck is operational.” He continues: “Most truck operators have realised the significant cost benefits that are achieved by choosing a forklift truck supplier with the service and maintenance credentials and infrastructure required to ensure that truck downtime is kept to a minimum, however, many truck users – both the bigger fleet operators and the smaller one-off buyers – sometimes fail to see the substantial performance benefits that professionally trained operators can bring to their business. “Of course, no one should be allowed to operate a truck without first receiving training but even experienced employees can benefit from refresher training. Refresher training may be required if, for example, the operator is involved in an accident or a near-miss incident or if he or she has been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner. It should also be considered if there have been changes to the workplace that could impact on the safe operation of the truck or, perhaps, if the operator is assigned to use a different type of machine – say a new high lift reach truck when before they had operated low lift technology trucks.” In addition to proper and regular training, any technology that reduces the pressure on a forklift operator by making his or her day to day operational procedures more straightforward can only bring efficiency, productivity and safety benefits and warehouse management systems, on-truck data capture systems, RFIDbased warehouse navigation systems and forklift truck personnel protection systems are just some of the technologies that are being used to deliver lift truck operational efficiencies. However, Jonathan believes that, going forward, truck manufacturers will have to take on the role of ‘system suppliers’ if the potential benefits of these integrated solutions are to be fully realised. He comments: “There are clear benefits to be gained by developing these technologies as part of the truck but it is essential that the integration of the technology is carefully carried out and is a robust solution delivered by the actual truck manufacturer. Simply ‘bolting’ on lots of additional equipment will not guarantee the overall benefits and improved efficiencies that the technology can bring. “It is also important to identify a clear chain of responsibility for

the after sales support and maintenance of both the truck and any sub-systems that are part of it. Where a number of suppliers simply bolt sub-systems on to a forklift truck disputes can arise over the responsibility for the ongoing management of the critical interfaces. That’s why it is important that users choose a truck manufacturer that can provide the trucks and the sub-systems – be it RDT’s, scanners or warehouse management systems.”

Finance Understandably, in these difficult times, the question of how the purchase of materials handling equipment is funded has taken on particular importance. When it comes to acquiring new trucks, a range of financial options is available but many truck users prefer to acquire their fleets on contract hire packages. “Full service offers an easy-to-budget, steady cost stream with ‘no surprises’, but we would advise anyone entering a Contract Hire agreement to spend time carefully reading the contract they are offered,” says Jonathan. “We advise customers to ask what is meant by ‘maintenance’? Does it include all repairs caused by wear and tear? We remind people that what is left out of a contract is often as important as what is included, and that they should never be fooled by an artificially low price. It could mean that either you are not going to get the full service or there has been some financial manipulation on residual values. “Investing in a business remains crucial, but tying up working capital could mean missing out on other opportunities,” concludes Jonathan. “It is therefore essential that the truck supplier offers a range of options and a flexible approach to help truck users meet both the requirements of their business and the changing needs of the marketplace.” v

Jungheinrich UK Ltd

Jungheinrich UK Ltd offers pallet trucks, stackers, counterbalance trucks, reach trucks, order pickers, very narrow aisle and stacker cranes in more than 600 truck variants. As well as this, Jungheinrich provide an extensive aftersales support network, rental and financial services, racking systems and warehouse planning. The company is a division of the German-owned Jungheinrich Group, which has manufacturing facilities worldwide. For further information visit: www.jungheinrich.co.uk.

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reducing pollution

who

Addressing

change

Greg Fisk believes ports need to start considering and planning for climate change issues and vulnerabilities sooner rather than later

A

recent report highlighted that 86 per cent of respondentsยน agreed that the port community needs to better understand how to address climate change risk issues. However, this awareness and understanding can be difficult and costly to obtain, unless the port has participated in a local or regional climate change vulnerability assessment or, has had to consider future climate change as part of proposed expansion plans. The simple fact that many impacts are not yet readily visible or evident at a local scale is also diminishing the lack of urgency to respond.

Risks While ports are the cornerstone of international trade and globalisation, they are also increasingly at risk of climate change threats such as rising sea levels, intense storms including hurricanes and cyclones and higher temperatures. Adapting to changes in water levels is constrained by not only a lack of appropriate or endorsed engineering standards for maritime infrastructure, but also uncertainty in the rate of sea level rise and the practicalities of replacing or updating the infrastructure design. Significant long-term increases in water levels may also cause

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navigational constraints with respect to overhead clearance such as bridges. Wind, more powerful waves and higher storm surges, especially when coupled with rising sea levels are also key threats to port infrastructure, security and operational efficiency. Damage to infrastructure from erosion and storm surge inundation is costly to replace and maintain, particularly where existing coastal defence structures are old and no longer fit for purpose. More and longer delays to shipping caused by more frequent and larger storm events may also gradually have an impact on the reliability of marine shipping. Siltation rates are likely to increase with increased storm activity leading to the need for additional maintenance dredging and associated management of dredge spoil. Furthermore, threats related to higher temperatures are similar to that of other transport infrastructure in the context of thermal impact to paved surfaces and load bearing equipment, as well as the increased possibility of heat related illnesses amongst staff. The potential and severity of these threats to directly impact will vary from port to port and will depend on how much and how quickly climate changes and what steps are being taken to reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience.

ยนBecker A, Inoue S, Fischer M, Schwegler B. (2010) Climate Change impacts on international seaports: knowledge, perceptions and planning efforts among port administrators


Response There are two main policy responses to climate change – mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation addresses the root causes, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, whilst adaptation seeks to lower the risks posed by the consequences of climate changes. While there are a number of initiatives by ports and more broadly by the shipping industry to control or reduce carbon emissions, adaptation by ports to climate change is still a new issue in many jurisdictions. This however, has not precluded several nations from starting to regulate the consideration of climate change in infrastructure planning, most notably in the United Kingdom where major infrastructure, including ports are required to undertake a risk assessment and adaptation plan under the UK Climate Change Act 2008. Even in the absence of a clear regulatory requirement, many ports worldwide are attempting to respond to climate change impacts by developing specific policies and strategies and identifying associated risks and hazards. However, this adaptation response can be highly constrained by short-term economic pressures and the uncertainty inherent in climate predictions. The simple fact remains – many impacts are not yet readily visible or evident at a local scale. However, the occurrence of recent extreme events such as Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Yasi are quickly pushing this issue higher up local authorities’ agendas in order to consider how ports in these regions will cope when such extreme events are occurring more frequently in the future. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University’s (RMIT) March 2013 report entitled ‘Enhancing the resilience of seaports to a changing climate’ which was produced through funding from the National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility, further highlighted the need for ports to be fortified against the effects of climate change. Examining ports in Sydney, Port Kembla and Gladstone, the report identified the overall vulnerability of key assets at each port to climate change but noted that different climate variables - tropical cyclones (Gladstone), high wind speeds (Port Kembla), and storm surge and tides (Sydney), were perceived as the most important across the three ports and as a result will likely drive different adaptation responses. This leads to the invariable question: what are the most appropriate actions a port should be taking now to deal with climate change? The RMIT University’s recent idea of an online ‘toolkit’ to help port authorities adapt to climate change is certainly a step in the right direction but is yet to be fully developed. Likewise, there is a range of online toolkits available for climate change adaptation for general infrastructure planning purposes, but few that are specifically targeted at port planners and asset managers. Carrying out a vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning process is an important first step to demonstrate to internal and external stakeholders that ports have practically considered the implications of future climate change and more importantly, have a blueprint for future action that can be implemented over time and on an ‘as needs’ basis. This balanced, risk-based approach to climate change adaptation can be encapsulated in three practical steps: 1 - Identify and gather the critical information needed by the

organisation to inform decision-making. For example, sourcing data in relation to global forecasts and scale down the information for more regional and local statistics to better understand what is likely to happen with the weather in the future. The second part of this step is to then identify the key assets within the port and which of those assets are vulnerable based on their exposure and sensitivity to future climate change impacts. 2 - Develop response measures that are appropriate for implementation now such as monitoring and data collection, pilot/ feasibility studies and the development or refinement of building and design guidelines. 3 - Implement triggers that can be incorporated into long term planning and serve as a flag for future action when the impacts from climate change become more apparent and are no longer considered an ‘acceptable’ risk. The words ‘climate change’ can often be met with cynicism but we can’t deny the fact that extreme weather events continue to create significant challenges for our coastal zones – challenges which ports cannot ignore. However, effective adaptation does not need to involve major changes or shifts away from traditional port planning processes or require significant financial investment – it’s about considering the most cost effective approach to better understand the trajectory of impact on high risk/vulnerable assets or areas associated with port infrastructure. Taking a more balanced, risk-based approach will help to debunk the mystery that often surrounds climate change and equip ports with the understanding and knowledge they need to ensure the protection of their high value assets. v

Greg Fisk

Greg Fisk is a national practice leader (Environment), BMT WBM Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. BMT WBM Pty Ltd is a leading edge consultancy with more than 40 years national and international experience in the mechanical, maritime and water and environmental engineering fields. It employs approximately 185 staff, consisting of highly qualified engineers, ecologists, scientists, field and office technicians. Initially based in Brisbane, Australia, BMT WBM has expanded to include offices across Australia and North America. For further information visit: www.bmtwbm.com.au.

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oil spill response

Spill

detectives

Dr Frances Metcalfe explains how the combination of new oil detection technologies and wireless connectivity is set to allow the smallest spills to be detected quickly

T

he majority of oil leaks are detected only when oil reaches the surface, which is often too late to limit the scale of the spill. There is clearly a need for better early warning systems. Often significant oil leaks do not happen suddenly – they start as faults with the pipeline that leak very small amounts of oil. Currently the most typical methods of detecting an oil spill involve aircraft with long-range radar and scanners; however, they are restrictive due to cost and are difficult to operate accurately. This means that many leaks are not detected until they reach the surface and form a slick, which is then visible to the human eye. By then the oil can have drifted a long way from the source, making location of the leak a lengthy and costly process. The oil and gas industry is becoming increasingly aware of its environmental responsibilities as the CSR agenda of multinational companies is becoming more important to corporate reputation. The Deep Water Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has shown again the environmental impact that oil spills can have. What is clear is that there is an increasing divergence between the innovation taking place in the oil and gas industry and the need for new technology to meet the problems faced by the industry. There is, however, innovation taking place in the industry – one such example being in oil detection technology. The remarkable thing about oil on or in water is that it is naturally fluorescent, even with tiny amounts of oil, which allows it to be detected long before it becomes a substantial leak. The technology is fundamentally simple; if you shine ultraviolet light onto various different types of crude oil you will get a fluorescent signal back. One of the areas where this fluorescence detection technology is making a real difference is in clinical diagnostics

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and, in particular, fertility monitors and pregnancy tests. Sophisticated techniques that have been applied successfully to detect fluorescence accurately yet cheaply in a clinical setting can be applied to detect the naturally fluorescent crude oil. When testing the technology, studies were conducted into how this sensing technology could be used to monitor an oil leak in other areas of the oil production system or without the need to use artificial fluorescent dyes. In order for the detection technology to be a success in the oil and gas industry, it must be trusted and effective. Any detection system must detect spills early enough but must also be completely immune to false alarms. There is also a need to tailor the solution to the setting – for example, a series of sensors distributed across the seabed or a group of oil platforms will be a different design from a solution which scans a stretch of coastline or a harbour. There would need to be another design for a system that tracks a spill once it has occurred. Technologically this raises some interesting questions in the areas of power consumption, reliability and data transfer. If a company is taking the time and effort to put a sensor system at the bottom of the ocean, then it will expect that sensor to work seamlessly and reliably for upwards of ten years. This is no small feat of engineering – the sensor needs to be able to survive in the sea without breaking, without the need of a service and without the need of a new battery/power supply. It is one thing to be able to place a sensor in the middle of the North Sea, at the bottom of the ocean floor or at the wellhead itself. However, it is quite another being able to receive and use the data. Oil and gas exploration occurs in some of the world’s most remote locations - it is hard to imagine locations harder


to reach than Prudhoe Bay or Campos Basin. Oil and gas by its very nature is a hostile industry and often the platforms are in hostile environments. Certainly, in the case of our own shores, companies are faced with rough seas and cold temperatures. Companies such as Cambridge Consultants are innovating in this area by using their expertise in wireless communications technology to improve the data transfer from sensors and thus enable users to put sensors in more remote/hostile environments. New technology aims to provide a compact, robust system that can be permanently installed alongside pipelines and will give a huge boost to the industry. For practical purposes, the likelihood of a leak occurring in certain places such as the top of a wellhead is high; therefore companies would be able to install a small network of compact, robust and relatively inexpensive sensors around the pipe network. At Cambridge Consultants we have found that by using the right techniques, it is possible to overcome the limitations of one type of sensor by combining it with other, complementary technologies. This can make it possible to create a practical yet robust system for leak detection over a wide area by using relatively cheap sensors placed in the right locations. What this does in effect is create a safety network of remote sensors that can warn of any oil leaks coming from the well at the point of the drilling but also at wider points around a drilling platform so that very small amounts of oil can be detected in the sea. Likewise, a network of sensors can be used to monitor an area of the ocean during drilling or in the months after an oil spill so water quality can be constantly monitored. As we all saw in April 2010, BP suffered enormous reputational damage and lost its CEO Tony Hayward after heavy criticism from the global media. In mid-January there was a situation in the

Atlantic off the cost of Shetland where a pipeline system servicing up to 27 oil fields was shut down after a leak on the Cormorant Alpha platform. Although only one platform, the Cormorant Alpha is a crucial pumping station and so the whole Brent pipeline was closed down, affecting ten per cent of the UK’s total output. From a business and revenue point of view, the amount affected was 90,000 barrels per day – around £9 million per day. The new technology may not be able to address major catastrophic scenarios such as Deepwater Horizon but there are situations where it would be beneficial to know about potential leakage issues sooner rather than later. Decisions can then be made as to how to react – whether to shut down a pipeline, for example, or where exactly to deploy a remote operating vehicle, thus saving the oil company time and money, and protecting reputations which, as examples in history show, can be hugely damaging to the environment and to the industry. v

Dr Frances Metcalfe

Dr Frances Metcalfe (associate director, oil and gas, at Cambridge Consultants) is a physics engineer and business director specialising in the rapid development of innovative products and solutions. Dr Metcalfe leads Cambridge Consultants’ work in the oil and gas sector with a specific focus on sensing, measurement and communications. Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For further information, please visit: www.cambridgeconsultants.com

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Professionalism makes perfect Detailed programming High-quality products Efficient services

Established in early 2005, JNS focuses on building bulk carriers of less than 100,000 DWT. There are two factories, which cover an area of 720,000 square metres, and a 1000-metre coastline in total with modern shipbuilding facilities. The main products of JNS are 31,800, 32,500, 37,000 DWT LOG BC that have been built for customers such as Pacific Basin, Norden, Lauritzen Bulker, Island View Shipbuilding, Sinotrans and CSC. More specifically JNS has been c o-operating with Pacific Basin since 2005, and up to the present day 14 vessels have been successfully delivered to the company, all of which have been highlighted for their log carrying capabilities.

An Eco design - ‘EMERALD NUMEN 39K’ – has been developed by JNS and Shanghai Bestway with the aim to create a future-orientated handysize bulk carrier. Now, the first vessel has been entrusted to JNS, and it incorporates high fuel efficiency, environmental as well as modern green concepts and can bring huge benefits to ship owners in the near future. JNS insists on adopting flexible solutions and providing an allround services to satisfy ship owners requirements; JNS strives to be a reliable and competitive partner for worldwide clients.

Welcome to JNS!


Profiles There are thousands of ships sailing the oceans today, transporting every kind of cargo. The global fleet is manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality and the companies involved in this sector are among the most technologically sophisticated of any in the world. The prominent and successful companies that are highlighted in the next pages of Shipping & Marine provide real world examples of how state-of-the-art technology, best practices and modern innovations are put into practice in the maritime sector.

l hvide Sande Skibs & Baadebyggeri

l almi tankers

l u-boat worx

l complete marine freight

l tts offshore handling equipment

l ishima

l epak

l kral

l dunston (ship repairs)

l hypro marine

l smart holding

l modern freight company

l shipyard de hoop

l thor

l BAHRI/MIDEAST ship management

l u.n. ro-ro

l stena bulk

l thoresen shipping singapore

l sea-tankers

l turkish Ship Suppliers Association


centric Customer

C

entrally located in the Hvide Sande harbour on the Danish west coast is Hvide Sande Skibs & Baadebyggeri (HSSB). Since 1950, the company has worked with a large variety of different types of vessels from fishing cutters to modern service vessels for offshore wind farms. Today the shipyard is divided into two main departments – new builds, and service and repair. “On the new build side we have been constructing vessels for the offshore wind farm industry, which includes delivery of three boats to a new offshore development in Denmark, as well as ferries, and small tug and supply vessels,” describes Carl Erik Kristensen, joint owner of HSSB and manager of the new build division. “In the service and repair division we have introduced a new concept called the Pit-Stop Service, which is obviously taken from the race car industry,” he continues. “This is particularly aimed at the offshore wind farm service vessels, especially the crew boats, which often have a

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Profile: Hvide Sande Skibs & Baadebyggeri

high day rate and only a few days a year for service and repair work to take place. Under this service we will go out and meet a boat where it is operating and spend a day with the vessel superintendent in order to compile a dock list and take any necessary measurements. This then enables us to prepare all the necessary materials and labour at the yard so that we can complete the work in a short turnaround of as little as 24 or 48 hours from when the vessel comes in.” This level of service has enabled HSSB to attract vessels from the Netherlands, UK, Norway, Sweden, and Germany looking to benefit from the short downtime and extensive works capability afforded by the pit-stop concept. With two legs to the business though, Carl highlights how the approach to work differs: “A new build project is typically a long-term contract of anything from ten months if it is a standard vessel type to up to two years if it is a completely new design. Therefore we maintain specialist staff to carry out these projects, and then on the other side we have a different team

carrying out the repair and service work, which is often carried out under short deadlines.” Regardless of which department they are dealing with though HSSB always has the customer at the centre of its thinking. “We are trying to sell solutions so it is about listening to what the client needs, whether it is a new vessel for a special purpose or some repairs, and try to deliver a service that meets those demands. Last year we had a client approach us because their passengers were getting seasick on the transfer journey from shore to the offshore wind farm, and they wondered if there were any solutions that could help them. Together with an American supplier called Seakeeper we installed a gyro stabilising concept, which was originally developed for super yachts, into these commercial vessels to minimise the rolling motion,” describes Carl. With the establishment of its subsidiary business Seasight Offshore Fender Systems, HSSB is today also a specialist in fender systems utilised in the transfer of crew and goods to offshore wind farms. “We developed

In the service and repair division we have introduced a new concept called the Pit-Stop Service, which is obviously taken from the race car industry

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Profile: Hvide Sande Skibs & Baadebyggeri LF Ventilation LF Ventilation have been working close together with HSSB for more than 15 years on ferries, tourist/passenger vessels, trawlers, fishing vessels, tug boats, working boats, training vessels, supply vessels, research vessels etc. LFV have help HSSB to get the best solution for the ventilation and conditioning on their ships. The space for the ventilation is often very small; LFV is specialised to build the components to fit into these small spaces.

BMJ Marine Developments in the European shipbuilding industry continue to expand the markets for the Danish production of certified marine filters, currently manufactured in Stoholm. Every week, BMJ ships out marine filters to its customers all over the globe, which naturally include Hvide Sande Skibsog Baadebyggeri. Approximately half of the orders are linked to overhaul or building of new vessels, while the other half are urgent orders associated with equipment failure or collapse of old filters.

this particular concept together with another Danish company,” explains Carl. “I think we now have a very good grip on that market with a well known name, and even more importantly the performance of the system is widely recognised. I believe we have the only product on the market that incorporates a measuring system to record the force created by the boat when it docks. This helps calculate the level of friction generated and therefore enables the client to optimise this for the safest possible transfer of personnel.” Although the downturn in the shipping sector is undoubtedly of concern, as an operator across different markets HSSB has fared well, with particular growth in offshore wind vessels. “When looking at northern Europe we are very much focused on the offshore wind market, which we are trying to follow the growth in through the development of a complete

programme dedicated to the sector. We are also working to maintain some of the other business areas we are present in such as ferries and general workboats,” confirms Carl. “There are new offshore wind farms planned right outside the breakwater to our home port so we are going to follow that development, which will hopefully bring business to the area. If you also look at our location with regards to the planned parks and activities going on in the German bay we definitely have an interesting position. This is also why we can attract some of the crew vessels from the area to our yard for service and repairs. Furthermore we have established a satellite office at the German island of Heligoland to be able to offer service and repairs locally as we see mobility being important for the future,” he concludes. v

Hvide Sande Skibs & Baadebyggeri www.hssb.dk • Experienced shipyard • New pit-stop service • Subsidiary fender business

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Profile: U-Boat Worx

New depths of

innovation t

Blanson Blanson Limited is the world-leading manufacturer of pressure rated acrylic windows and has worked closely with U-Boat Worx for a number of years. The technical knowledge and expertise gained at Blanson over the past 40 years in the industry has been invaluable in cementing this relationship. Pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved is something that Blanson continues to do and this is evident in the current range of vessels offered by U-Boat Worx. In order to satisfy the growth forecast of U-Boat Worx, Blanson has invested heavily in its people, equipment and processes.

I

has been a busy two years for U-Boat Worx since it was last in Shipping and Marine in 2011. The Dutch firm is developing the C-Explorer 5 Submersible; based on the concept of the most luxurious and advanced five seater submersible in the world, it boasts a wide variety of state-of-the art features and exclusive options. Maykel Hop, managing director of U-Boat Worx elaborates: “The C-Explorer 5 has options such as a fly-out ROV, for example, which has lights and full HD camera that can be controlled from inside the submarine. It also has a hydraulic manipulator arm installed, which can collect samples from the sea bottom. Another unique feature is an integrated navigation system that allows for precise positioning of the submarine in up to 300 metre depths. It’s capable of taking five persons, one pilot and four passengers, is fully air-conditioned and can stay submerged for up to 16 hours.” In case of an emergency there is even life support for an additional 96 hours. Proud of their technologically innovative engineering, the small team of 20 fulltime employees at U-Boat Worx, including engineers,

technicians, support staff and purchasers, are dedicated to offering a full service that caters to the demands of customers. “We mainly build submarines for wealthy and adventurous superyacht owners, researchers and scientists, but also for tourist operators and offshoreorientated applications,” states Maykel. Established in The Netherlands in 2005 with a philosophy to ‘create a high performing, manoeuvrable, safe, comfortable and costeffective submersible’, the company began its mission to construct submarines of this calibre, with models later becoming known as C-Questers and C-Explorers. To ensure excellent value for money is achieved, U-Boat Worx remains committed to building its submersibles in small series, which ensures cost-effectiveness and quick turnaround times of between four to 12 months. Low production costs allow the company to pass on its savings to customers with an attractive price range in comparison to its competitors while continuing to deliver superior functionality and product quality. With six projects currently in production, the company’s most recent development is the C-Explorer 3, with a design based on the

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Profile: U-Boat Worx

C-Explorer concept. Key features include a fully acrylic pressure hull with top hatch and up to 16 hours endurance at an operating depth of up to 1000 metres. It also offers air conditioning and is the company’s most versatile submersible for scientific research. “This submersible is a versatile, manoeuvrable and extremely capable diving machine,” enthuses Maykel. “Its full acrylic sphere has no obstruction, save for the access hatch, which will result in its occupants benefitting from the best views you can imagine.” The C-Explorer series of high performance submersibles merge the reliability and expertise of the C-Quester submersible, while offering an economic, modular and flexible work platform for a variety of markets. Easily equipped with additional tools, the C-Explorers also ensure comfort for both pilot and observers through upright, regular seating and a consistent cabin pressure. The C-Quester series, meanwhile, boasting full 360 degrees acrylics and glass bottom hulls, 100 metre operating depths and eight hours endurance, offer real luxury, comfort and spaciousness to its customers. Aware that personal submersibles come up against a wide range of environmental and operational obstacles during their lifetime, U-Boat Worx ensures its manufacturing and after-sales services aid customers in overcoming these. The pressure hulls are built with high grade steel (only the exterior body is polyester

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but this doesn’t have to deal with any pressure) and strong acrylic spheres, which are joined to deliver a tough structure at the lowest possible weight. Following a complete range of pressure tests, factory acceptance tests, as well as harbour and sea trials, every unit is given a Germanischer Lloyd (GL) certification. This classification is valid indefinitely; GL just needs to inspect the submarine on certain intervals to extend the certification. Post sale, the company offers support services such as operation, classification, maintenance insurance, and most importantly training courses in submarine operation. “U-Boat Worx provides a full training course for the operation of its subs, which takes approximately three weeks and involves each student making 20 dives,” states Maykel. Committed to staying the global leader in manufacturing landmark submersibles through the utilisation of 21st century innovations and materials, U-Boat Worx is preparing for a major new project to develop cutting edge technology with 100 per cent visibility lithium-ion batteries and touch screen controls. “We are the only manufacturer of certified submersibles that uses lithium-ion type battery technology. This gives more freedom in the design of the submarine and gives our clients longer endurance as well as shorter recharging times. Moreover, as

the batteries do not emit hydrogen gas while charging, they are a much safer option,” explains Maykel. The company has made considerable investments in the lithium-ion battery technology to provide customers with longer operational endurance and incredibly rapid recharging, with the operational 42 kWh battery pack upgrade, which can double capacity, available for C-Explorers. By providing a highly innovative product that benefits all users equally and offering exceptional customer service, the company has created a market where no alternative for safe and efficient underwater exploration was previously available. Having established itself as a highly reputable and innovative firm, U-Boat Worx is focusing on further developing its foothold in relevant industries and boosting manufacturing capacity for 2014. With this in mind, U-Boat Worx recently took part in the Hainan Rendezvous participation in China, which allowed it to introduce its products to a potential new market. “U-Boat Worx is not aiming at a limited geographical zone,” says Maykel. “Everywhere you go in the world you find dive sites and people who want to explore them. By going to a high-end Chinese show we have introduced our product to the upper class, who are known to be innovators.” Looking further ahead, the company aims to establish itself as the undisputed leader in the field of small manned submersibles, as Maykel concludes: “Like everybody knows Cessna as the producer of a great range of reliable aircraft that has set standards for everybody else in the industry, we too will be seen this way in the next five years. We also expect to take on some significant custom projects that will define our capability even more.” v

U-Boat Worx www.uboatworx.com • Specialists in building custom-made submersibles for the private market • Currently have six construction projects underway • Only manufacturer of certified submersibles that uses lithium-ion type battery technology


Profile: TTS Offshore Handling Equipment

Semi submersible accommodation vessel. Picture courtesy of Axis

Potential for

growth

A

new contract with COSCO is signalling a promising kick–off for TTS' campaign into the rig market, as Frank Heen, senior vice president of TTS Offshore Handling Equipment explained: “We are a well-established player in the market for offshore equipment, featured on most makers' list for major new projects. Expansion into the rig market, which includes drill ships, is strategically a natural next step for us,” he said.

New contract As part of the TTS Group, TTS Offshore Handling Equipment shares a global reputation for excellence and its customer base includes renowned names such as Hyundai, STX, Ulstein

and Kleven Verft. In April 2013 the company added a new client to this impressive list – the COSCO Qidong Offshore Co., Ltd shipyard in China. This milestone contract is the first the TTS Group signed with the COSCO Group for offshore cranes, and is the result of cooperation between the two TTS companies TTS Offshore Handling in Norway and TTS-NMF (formerly Neuenfelder Maschinenfabrik GmbH) in Germany. The crane package consists of one 40-ton knuckle boom crane from Offshore Handling and one 70-ton lattice boom crane from TTS-NMF. “It also represents a breakthrough for the TTS Group as the first package sales of offshore cranes from the joint efforts of TTS OHE and TTS-NMF,” said Frank. TTS is aiming to get an

even better position in the offshore equipment market, and this contract will be a reference delivery for future projects. The contract - worth approx. 50 MNOK - concerns delivery of two cranes for a semisubmersible accommodation vessel. Axis Offshore, a joint venture company between J. Lauritzen A/S in Denmark and HitecVision AS in Norway, has ordered the rig. The delivery will take place in the third quarter of 2014. The contract also comprises an option, which must be exercised by 26 September 2013 for identical scope of supply. The agreement is only one of several important contracts that have been secured in 2013, and they have given rise to optimism for TTS in this market segment.

High demands Offshore Handling Equipment AS (TTS OHE) is part of the Offshore and Heavy Lift division of the global TTS Group. TTS-OHE delivers all types of cranes, but it is primarily focused on advanced offshore and rig applications, including active heave compensated cranes.

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Profile: TTS Offshore Handling Equipment Hydratech Industries Fluid Power Hydratech Industries Fluid Power is a global company with 35 years experience in the design and manufacturing of quality hydraulic cylinders and piston accumulators for the offshore and marine market. Its hydraulic cylinders can be found in many offshore applications both on board as well as in cranes, A-frames, pipe handling etc. Each hydraulic cylinder is designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions, including subsea, and can be certified by all major class societies. The company has a long track record for delivering standard as well as customer specific hydraulic cylinders for offshore applications out of its Danish and Chinese locations.

Based on a combination of innovative solutions, experienced engineers and use of best practice, TTS OHE’s products provide safe, efficient and cost competitive solutions for clients’ vessels and rigs. The company also appreciates that lifting requirements are specific to the type of vessel or rig. Therefore TTS OHE ensures that its standardised building blocks are always able to match the needs of each individual vessel. "We have seen a demand in the market where reliability and high performance of the equipment has an increasing importance," said Frank, "and our development of more advanced and safer products for subsea load handling in rough and deep waters have proven to meet these demands. "With the delivery earlier this year of a 135T active heave compensated crane to Ulstein's Seven Viking - the vessel recently voted ‘Ship of the year’, Frank continued, "we are proud to state that our AHC systems has shown an even better performance than what anticipated at the start of the tests." TTS’s active heave compensated offshore cranes are among the most advanced in the market and can offer a vessel or a rig substantial operating improvements. As with all its products, TTS’ cranes are tailor-made to meet customers’ requirements and can be delivered in several configurations. Typical applications for TTS OHE’s offshore cranes have been OSV and DSV vessels, subsea construction and maintenance vessels and PSV, but with its latest contracts TTS moves to be a player also in the market for drill ships, FPSO/FSO, research vessels and seismic vessels.

Offshore load handling packages The solutions for offshore load handling on rigs and vessels available from TTS fall into three categories: l Offshore cranes l Offshore ships equipment l Offshore winches In the area of offshore cranes, TTS has been an active operator in the market since the inception of the offshore industry in the North Sea. The company recognised that the

quality of on-board cranes is vital in the efficient performance of an offshore vessel, ensuring trouble-free operation and reducing downtime, and therefore over the years it has researched and developed robust cranes that can withstand the extremes of such a harsh environment. In the area of offshore ships equipment, TTS has a large customer base, which is again operating in the harsh environment of the North Sea. As a result the company has developed products known for their rugged construction, with functionality and safety as key design factors. Side doors for ROV handling, as well as covers for moon pools are designed in close dialogue with customers in order to maximise the efficiency of these high technology ships. TTS also has a range of winches for marine vessels, as well as advanced subsea winches. TTS offers packages that increase profitability and competitiveness by improving productivity, quality and system capacities. It aims to work closely with its customers to devise intelligent and innovative solutions. The all-round expertise of the group provides it with a solid foundation on which to build. Furthermore, the close, flexible-working relationships within the group enable it to assemble complete project teams when expertise in a range of fields is required.

Comprehensive concepts Running alongside the manufacture of cranes and other ships equipment, TTS also provides a comprehensive service concept, which

covers genuine spare parts, inspections and surveys, rapid response service, remote access, service agreements and training. The training offering includes training courses for operators and maintenance personnel, each tailored to customer’s specific needs and objectives. TTS’ team of trainers can provide both a practical, theoretical or combined learning experience that covers operation and maintenance of mechanical, hydraulic and electrical systems. Courses can be held wherever it’s most suitable, such as at the office or on the actual crane. TTS is one of the top three largest suppliers in its specialised market segments, and has a worldwide workforce of around 1100. With over 40 years of experience in the marine industry, the Group has subsidiaries in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, the US, China, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. Its various divisions have all seen success in 2013, and going forward the company is confident that TTS OHE and its sister subsidiaries will continue to produce positive results. v

TTS Offshore Handling Equipment www.tts-ohe.com • Specialises in offshore cranes and winches • Global reputation for excellence • 2013 has seen several large contracts signed

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Technology

W

ith a vision of achieving worldwide mobile communication on land, at sea and in the air, EPAK was founded in 2000.

Based in a former industrial site in Leipzig, Germany, the core scope of EPAK’s work is the development, manufacturing and distribution of fully automatic satellite tracking antennas, which provide customer-tailored TV and internet solutions to the clients. With an early focus on the maritime sector, EPAK started out supplying television receiveonly (TVRO) solutions. Having gained significant experience, in 2007 EPAK took the opportunity to introduce VSAT products to its portfolio. Today the company is a rare provider of both: The necessary antenna hardware, and a series of maritime satellite broadband services known as Airtime, which it manages internally. “Usually you would only supply one or the other but we have the in-house competencies to provide a perfectly matched solution to our clients,” enthuses Jochen Grüner, managing director of EPAK. “This is also the reason why

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wise we have all facets of the business under one roof, thus R&D, mechanical workshops, PCB design, satellite measurement, sea simulators, and laboratories are all available in-house as well. Although we have many distributors that carry out commissioning for us, we go onsite as well, with our staff able to respond to emergency cases within 36 hours for Europe, and 48 to 54 hours worldwide.” Both the TVRO and VSAT systems are spread over three main categories of use. The antennas of the R- and Ri-series are adapted to the conditions of inland waterways, whilst the DS- and DSi-series are designed to meet even the toughest offshore requirements in harsh seas. Finally the S-series TVRO products cater to the requirements of open waters in the leisure market. The nature of EPAK’s solutions is that the company is working across all over the maritime sector. “We’re not bound to any segment in particular so we’ve supplied to oil barges, yachts, superyachts, unmanned platforms, cruise ships, cargo ships, and inland waterway ships,” explains Jochen. “Our main market in

terms of our own reach is Europe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), however we also work with distributors which enable us to grow other business relations around the world. We have been present at the CABSAT exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre, as well as at METS and IBC in Amsterdam through all the years and will continue those activities.” During the recent years EPAK has completed several projects with governmental institutions, as well as managed its own developments in order to offer the most up-to-date solutions to the market. The company’s current core programmes are representative of these two branches: with EPAK taking on a new 18 month government project, and simultaneously looking to launch its own new innovations. “We have just brought out the world’s first maritime VSAT solution operating in the Kaband,” reveals Jochen. “Previously we only had solutions in the Ku-band, so the Ka system offers significantly higher throughput at lower monthly rates and faster speeds. At the moment you can reach up to ten Mbit per second download and up to four Mbit per second


Profile: EPAK

upload speeds, so it’s incredibly fast. You can also reach those speeds in the Ku-band but it would be very expensive compared to the attractive Ka solution. Right now we are in the approval stage, and have completed some sea trials, so we are optimistic to roll out the first systems in the next few months.” Much like the domestic internet market, EPAK believes that the opportunity to have faster speeds at a lower cost will be readily embraced by the maritime sector. “The most expensive internet connection that you can have is via satellite,” notes Jochen. “So it’s not hard to imagine that the interest will be huge if the chance presents itself to improve upon this. It all comes back to price, speed, and the coverage you can work in, and we hope that this new Ka-band technology will enable us to be really competitive on these points.” EPAK also hopes that it might help with the provision of solutions to some of the more challenging sectors of the maritime market, and its internet demands: An inland waterway vessel

for example may see huge peaks in demand for internet services at certain times, but desire low costs in providing this. “You could either go with a Ku-band which will offer large internet capacity at all times, and therefore is often unused, or you can design a flexible solution,” explains Jochen. “We hope to challenge this with solutions in both the Ku-band and the Ka-band to be really competitive.” At the moment the Ka system is bound to the European area (Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea), but it is expected that further satellites may be launched over the coming years extending this coverage stepby-step. The successful introduction of the Kaband antenna and associated services is EPAK’s focus for the rest of 2013, but in the background the company is continuing to innovate and to target other product developments. “One of the differences between us and our competitors is that we use a patented electronic beam formation (EBF) gyro to track the satellite, instead of a technical gyro which has to be adjusted. Because we retrieve the signal and calculate it electronically there is no need for our antenna to be moved, which means it can always be pointed to the satellite. This is really important for new technological developments such as the Ka-antenna because you can be more accurate without moving the dish,” describes Jochen. Although EPAK acknowledges the market is very tough, the company believes that technology wise it can more than compete with what’s available in the sector, and the new Ka-band antenna will be a key addition alongside the existing Ku-band VSAT and TVRO offerings. “We also offer a number of added benefit systems to our customers,” concludes Jochen. “This includes items like the diversity kit which combines two antenna in one bundle and ensures a free line of sight by switching the connection between the two if one is blocked by obstacles. We have many things that can be added on to our products and that’s the reason why we really can provide superior solutions to sensitive clients and governmental institutions.” v

EPAK www.epak.de • Maritime satellite communication solutions • In-house expertise • New Ka-band antenna

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On course for

success

S

panning over 100 years the Dunston (Ship Repairs) name has a long tradition of providing excellence. Positioned on the Humber, UK, the company is the first port of call for many local, national, and international companies seeking expert ship repair and modification services. Its strategic position on the UK’s eastern seaboard places it close to the North Sea oil and gas installations, with Hull also acknowledged as one of the world’s most progressive shipping centres. Over the years Dunston has successfully carried out all sorts of vessel modifications including lengthening, conversions, repairs, and extensive refurbishment. In the process the company has worked on a wealth of different vessel types such as offshore supply and standby, anchor handling, fishing vessels, passenger boats, patrol and high speed vessels, tugs and workboats, car and vehicle carriers, container vessels, coasters, dredgers, barges, and ferries.

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This work is executed at Dunston’s well established dry dock and repair facility based at William Wright Dock in Hull. Surrounding the site is a machinery workshop, plumbers workshop, engine cleaning bay, shipwright and joinery workshop, fabrication and welding hall, sheet metal workshop, carnage facilities, and various specialist equipment and machinery to support the company’s workforce. In addition Dunston has access to other local specialist marine services and materials. All of this means that Dunston is able to guarantee a speedy turnaround with all work executed by a qualified and experienced workforce. The company offers a 24-hour service to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget. Last year contracts completed by Dunston included the docking of Fisheries Protection Vessels Jura, Minna and Hirta owned by Marine Scotland. Over the last 15 years the company has completed over 20 refits for Marine Scotland, each time meeting the high standards of

workmanship and service required. After three years work Dunston completed the conversion of a roll-on roll-off ferry into a state-of-the-art survey vessel for Gardline. Known as the Ocean Reliance, the scope of work carried out on the vessel included the addition of accommodation for 48 people, a new auxiliary engine room, new wiring, renewed pipework, and a full overhaul of the main engine room. It is not only ship repair that Dunston lends its name and skills to though. The Group also includes Dunston (Electrical Services), which specialises in marine electrical services, and the latest third arm – Dunston (Ship Building). Launched last year in partnership with Rix Shipping, this new division is based at the Paull shipyard, and it marks a return to Dunston’s ship building past with the firm having stopped in 1994 to concentrate on ship repairs. The new business was incorporated in response to a £5.1 million order for three state-of-the-art aluminium workboats from


Profile: Dunston (Ship Repairs)

Rix Shipping for use in the renewable energy market. Built under licence from Alicat Workboats in Great Yarmouth, this contract has since increased to five vessels. Not only does Dunston have unrivalled facilities with which to build new ships, but these activities also neatly fit in with existing ship repair services giving it the opportunity to offer an end-to-end package. As the first three boats for Rix near completion, Dunston has since secured its first refit work for the renewables sector for a vessel which has been working off the Swedish coast. With the renewables industry presenting a major opportunity for the business, the company is now waiting for the announcements that will spark this boom. This includes the east coast wind farm, which was given the go-ahead earlier this year, and will feature 35 turbines from Siemens. It is hoped that the acceleration of the renewables industry will see huge volumes coming in and out of the Humber region,

and as such transfer into business for local operators such as Dunston. This may present the company with the opportunity to invest further in its facilities, particularly the new Paull set-up which it plans to expand to allow it to make more boats at a time. Whilst it may be strange that in order to move forwards a company has to return to its past, but in the case of Dunston reinstigating its ship building services this seems to be a sensible step in capitalising on the market. Most crucially though, the company has never strayed from its base shipping roots, which gives it the experience and market insight to stay the course. v

Dunston (Ship Repairs) www.dunstons.co.uk • Long heritage • New ship building division • Ongoing workboat contract

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Constructing a

reputation

S

mart Holding is one of the largest investment groups in Ukraine with a focus on the key contributing industries to the country’s economy such as metals and mining, oil and gas, shipbuilding, real estate, and agriculture. The Group invests heavily into shipbuilding within the country and as such in 2009 established the Smart Maritime Group (SMG) to operate these assets. With the two largest Ukrainian shipyards to its name - Chernomorsky (ChSY) and Khersonsky (KhSY) - SMG is in fact one of the biggest shipbuilders in Europe, and the leading shipbuilder in the region. Each yard has its own specialism with ChSY able to produce military and civil ships of up to 120 kt dwt, whilst KhSY constructs both vessel hulls and fully assembled vessels up to 30 kt dwt. Furthermore in 2011 SMG established a

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full-scale co-operation with Okean Shipyard that enables it to build larger vessels of up to 250 kt dwt. This shipyard is under joint management and works in full co-operation with Smart Holding through joint marketing efforts. Okean Shipyard was established in 1951, and over the past decades it has built over 400 vessels and other marine constructions (container carriers, combifreighters, tugs, suppliers, tankers, multipurpose vessels and large tonnage vessels). The yard has experience of drilling platforms, self-lifting platforms, floating cranes and other offshore constructions production. SMG’s current and recent order book shows just how diverse its capabilities are. At present the company is constructing a 65-tonne tug for PKL Latvia, and four Ukrainian ‘corvettes’ for the Ukrainian navy. It also has three river tankers in the works. Having already delivered one supertrawler fish factory to PBTF Russia, SMG

is now building a second sister vessel, and is likewise adding a further two push boats to the four previously completed. Other reference works include five outfitted hulls of container carriers for Damen, two sea tankers, 12 bulk carriers, eight river tankers, and offshore supply vessels. SMG also has experience in outfitting hulls of anchor handling vessels, heavy lift ships, combi-freighters, and non-self-propelled grain carriers. Looking more closely at the particular assets within the Group, in 2007 ChSY celebrated its 110th anniversary having built over 1000 commercial vessels and naval ships during that time. Its location on the Yuzhny Bug riverside in the city of Nikolayev not only places it in one of the largest industrial and port centres in Ukraine, but also makes it the closest repair base of the Russian Black Sea naval fleet. As the most experienced naval shipbuilder


Profile: Smart Holding

in the region, in December 2009 ChSY was successful in securing the tender for a series of ten corvette class ships for Ukrainian navy. At a value of $2.5 billion through to 2026 this is the largest defence order ever made by the client. This well-equipped multipurpose shipbuilding enterprise is even able to construct vessels of different classes simultaneously on two production lines with large tonnage on the main slipway and medium tonnage on the flowline. This scheme organises serial production of vessels in a 400-metre covered berth and is ideal for carrying out dock repairs to ships including the execution of necessary hull, pipe, mechanical, and installation works. Using this technology SMG is able to launch one complete ship per month. At a little over 60 years old KhSY is somewhat younger than its sister yard but no less well established. Having begun life as a basic yard for merchant shipbuilding in 1951 it is now one of the biggest shipyards in Ukraine. To date it has built over 370 vessels, including 110 for international customers located everywhere from Europe to Russia, and China to the South African Republic. These include dry cargo vessels, research boats, ice-breaking and drilling vessels, container and ore carriers, arctic supply carriers, and tankers of various modifications. Positioned just 70 kilometres from ChSY, KhSY sits in the mouth of the Dnieper river in close vicinity to the Black Sea. With a 140 hectare site the yard encompasses facilities for metal processing, assembly and welding, pipework, outfitting, painting, and mechanical engineering. The building works are split between two sites the first of which can accommodate construction of vessels of up to 183-metres length and 10,000 tonnes launching weight. Blocks of up to 200 tonnes are formed in the Large Block Assembly Building (LBAB) and then transported onto two construction slipways each equipped with flowline production technology. The second site sees ships of up to 140-metres length and 6000

tonnes launching weight built with hull forming performed on a covered slipway consisting of two lines. In all of its activities SMG’s first priority remains the high quality of its work. The organic growth of the business is supported by further substantial investments into facilities, and therefore continuous order book expansion. Likewise, the group is constantly looking for market consolidation opportunities for entering new segments as well as potential joint ventures. As

such it seems that SMG can only continue to construct an ever stronger reputation in its sector. v

Smart Holding www.smart-holding.com • Leading shipbuilder in Ukraine • Region’s three largest shipyards • Focus on quality

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Profile: Shipyard de Hoop Amadeus Siler

Investing in the

future

Amadeus Silver - Suite on the Mozart deck

I

t has been a busy and productive two years for Shipyard de Hoop since its last feature in Shipping and Marine magazine in 2011. As the world continues to change and industries become more demanding, the company has spent the last two to four years investing in both of its shipyards while also creating new designs and constructing new ships for its clients. “We have completed a large investment programme so the facilities in both shipyards are now renewed. At our Lobith yard we have world premiere technology with our steel cutting machine, a lot of new cranes that can lift up to 40 tonnes, and two slipways for longitudinal launching, one of which is 60 metres wide so we can build wide vessels such as semi-submersibles and jack-ups. This renovation means we have the facilities to be ready for future opportunities and can now custom-build ships

Amadeus Silver - Suite bathroom

Amadeus Silver - Restaurant

from 30 metres to a maximum of 200 metres in length,” enthuses Patrick Janssens, chief executive officer at Shipyard de Hoop. Located in the village of Lobith, on the east border of the Netherlands near Arnhem, the Lobith shipyard is situated on the river Rhine, with a direct connection to the Rotterdam harbour. Covering 105,000 square metres, including the head office and engineering office, the yard employs 140 experienced craftsmen and has another 50-150 local contract staff available; it also has collaboration with a select range of qualified local contractors during high workloads. The company’s second yard, de Hoop Foxhol, was acquired in from Volharding Shipyards; covering 25,000 square metres it employs 65 experienced craftsmen and has ten to 50 dedicated local contract staff available as well as local subcontractors. De Hoop Foxhol boasts a

complete range of state-of-the-art facilities, such as slipway facilities for sideways launching to accommodate vessels up to 135 metres long and 16 metres wide, and a workshop for small steel work and prefabrication workshops. Even with de Hoop’s location’s offering a combined quay length of 450 metres, the shipyards have an additional 200 metre quay in Rotterdam. Mainly used for the outfitting of vessels that have been built at the shipyards, the site is ideal for performing the final finishing touches. As competition has increased in the shipping industry, there has been higher demand for innovative designs and ideas that will satisfy the needs of customers in the cruise and oil and gas industries. “The cruise industry has grown rapidly, particularly the inland cruising sector, and we have been a big player in this area over the last decade,” says Patrick. “We have always

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Profile: Shipyard de Hoop Shipyard de Hoop

been involved in the inland as well as the offshore industry. Over the last few years there were a lot of projects and enquiries, but these queries did not materialise due to this sector being hit very hard by the credit crunch. Offshore ship owners had difficulty getting finance for their vessels even though there were interesting projects going on. The sector still has strong demand but financial issues, even with major oil companies, have caused projects to stall.” Fierce competition between shipyards developed due to these changes in the industry and shipbuilders could no longer repeat copies of their previous works, instead having to come up with bold and innovative new designs that can offer solutions to the economic, environmental and comfort demands of its customers, as Patrick explains: “In general terms there has been a war in shipbuilding and to survive you need to be flexible in your building of high-spec ships with the lowest possible price, while keeping the process as simple as possible and highly economic. For example, due to competition, we recently moved from conventional ship lighting to only LED lights; comfort demands are also increasing, with very strict rules being enforced for noise and vibration as well as on-board entertainment systems and internet connections in all cabins. It is these kinds of innovations that lead to competition in the industry.” Flexibility and knowledge of local rules and regulations is key when working for industries that have a global presence in a world that is changing rapidly. “We build the inland cruise vessels mainly for the European sector, with a large amount of these ships sailing from Amsterdam to the Black Sea and back. Right now we are building ships in both yards, with one yard focusing on vessels for a client in a country with very strict regulations related to

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Management de Hoop

environmental protection, so it is challenging at times,” says Patrick. A major project for the company is the building of two ships for Riva Waterways, the new brand under the Australian company Scenic Tours. The first vessel on order, due for delivery in the first half of 2014, is a 110 metre River Cruise Vessel, for which de Hoop is producing a completely new design in the style of the five-star Scenic Tours fleet. Boasting luxury features, it will set a new standard on the river Seine. “Traditionally it was American cruising companies coming into Europe but there has recently been an influx of Australian clients entering these waters,” says

Patrick. “On top of the two boats we are building for Scenic Tours, we were also recently awarded a new contract for a ship in the North Sea, which will operate a lot in the offshore renewable energy market for windmill installations and offshore installations. For this project we have come up with a completely new design and have developed a completely new standard for the offshore sector in relation to the comforts of engineers and higher skilled personnel who will be spending more time offshore. It is a new market, but we have the advantage of our expertise in the cruise industry to give our clients what they want.” Over the coming years, Shipyard de Hoop aims to continue its reign as one of the leading yards in Europe for constructing small cruise ships; it will also continue to focus on developing innovative new solutions for the offshore sector. Furthermore, the company is keen to become more of a one-stop-shop for its clients through its ship repair service and soon-to-be-open financing department. “Our finance department will allow us to help ship owners get finance for renewable projects, which will help our clients adapt in a market that banks are moving away from,” says Patrick. “Because we are selective and have long-term relationships with our clients, we will not market this to a wide variety of customers. Our focus is not on growth, but on consolidation, continuity and quality.” v

Shipyard de Hoop www.dehoop.net • Designer and builder since 1989 • Completed a large investment programme • Currently building three ships for an Australian client


Profile: Bahri/Mideast Ship Management

Managing

growth

Under the terms of the agreement, Vela will transfer to Bahri the full ownership of its entire fleet of vessels, which consists of 14 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), a floating storage VLCC, one Aframax tanker and four product tankers

B

ahri (formerly known as The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia or NSCSA) is today one of the biggest shipping companies in the world and occupies a preeminent position among its industry peers at national, regional and international levels in all sectors of its business. Since Bahri last appeared in Shipping and Marine, several exciting developments have occurred, not least of which was the announcement in November 2012 that Bahri, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Vela International Marine Limited (Vela - a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco) have executed definitive and legally binding agreements to merge the fleet and operations of Vela and Bahri. Under the terms of the agreement, Vela will transfer to Bahri the full ownership of its entire fleet of vessels, which consists of 14 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), a floating storage VLCC,

one Aframax tanker and four product tankers. In addition, Vela's vessel-based personnel and a number of shore-based personnel will transfer to Bahri. Post-transaction, the shipping businesses of Vela will be integrated within Bahri's corporate structure. Pursuant to the terms of a long-term shipping contract, which has an initial term of ten years, Bahri will become the exclusive provider of VLCC crude oil shipping services to Saudi Aramco for crude oil sold by Saudi Aramco on a delivered basis. Bahri intends to satisfy Saudi Aramco's annual VLCC transportation requirements relating to crude oil sold on a delivered basis, which Bahri estimates to be around 50 VLCCs. This will require employing, following completion of the transaction, 31 VLCCs owned by Bahri and 19 VLCCs chartered-in. Saudi Aramco will continue to manage all crude oil marketing and sales directly with its customers, and Bahri will provide reliable transportation services to Saudi Aramco on competitive terms. Furthermore, the two

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GIMSCO Gulf International Marine Services Co. (GIMSCO) has been instrumental in serving Mideast Ship Management and Vela International Marine for almost two decades, fulfilling all their shipping needs including the new build vessel supplies. GIMSCO has developed this relationship from scratch to the level it stands today, from where it can look back and be proud. GIMSCO has not only served the two companies but has been their partner at all times.

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companies plan to explore ways to expand their co-operation in the maritime sector. This merger represents a transformational step for Bahri that provides it with a stronger financial and commercial position, and significantly expands its business and enhances its position as a global marine transport leader. It also enables Bahri to become a national shipping champion that can achieve Bahri and Saudi Aramco's aspirations to localise and develop a large and diversified national maritime industry, and will put Bahri in a position to support the Kingdom’s growing petroleum, chemical and manufacturing industries and provide greater security in marine transportation. This transaction represents a great deal of intricate business integration, but it doesn’t mean that Bahri is focusing all its energies in one place. In fact, in the six months since this announcement, the company has continued to buy and sell ships and add port calls to its itinerary – the most recent of these was in March 2013, when Jacksonville Port, US was added to its regular liner service schedule.

Following this, in April 2013, it received a new vessel specialised in general cargo with a size of 26,000 DWT. The ship was named Bahri Hofuf and it was built by Hyundai MIPO in South Korea. This is the second vessel delivered from the six vessels that were contracted by the company with this shipyard in 2011 for a total value of SAR 1543 million. Bahri has four general cargo vessels remaining under construction at Hyundai MIPO in South Korea, with delivery expected to take place during 2013 and the first half of 2014.

Mideast Ship Management Mideast Ship Management Ltd is a subsidiary of Bahri. Bahri and Acomarit (a ship management company based in Scotland) jointly established it 1997 to render quality ship management services to Bahri and other companies. The Mideast office was set-up in Dubai, which is the hub of the international market. The division started its operation with the management of nine vessels, and at present, it manages 39 ships composed of chemical carriers, VLCCs and Ro-Ros and this number is


Profile: Bahri/Mideast Ship Management

expected to rise to around 50 ships by the end of 2014. Bahri acquired full ownership of Mideast in 2005. In addition to ship management, Mideast provides other specialist services to its clients, which include: l Technical management l Commercial management l Sale and purchase l Technical and marine consultancy l Insurance and claim handling

Bahri has spent considerable funds, time and energy to ensure that highly qualified and professional staff mans its fleet, and Mideast plays a vital role in this. Senior officers are appointed directly by Mideast, and the company ensures training is carried out when required at all levels. Senior officers travel to Dubai for four-day training conferences at least twice per year. The company also has cadets from a

variety of countries and regions, including Saudi Arabia, Europe, India and the Philippines. Thanks to this dedication, the business has a very experienced management team and a qualified work force (onshore and offshore) to cater to the requirements of vessel owners and other clients satisfactorily. Another focus that flows through both Bahri and Mideast is the commitment to ensure that all vessels are operated with minimum risk to not only the environment and sea life, but to staff as well. Huge investments are made to accomplish this goal. On the environmental side, all Bahri vessels comply with the latest international regulations and standards on marine pollution. They also feature effective ballast water management to prevent contamination of seawater and have modern fuel saving technologies. Furthermore, they use advance coatings on the vessels to reduce the amount of

fuel they consume, and implement precautionary principles. Overall Bahri promotes the use of best environment practice and Mideast is committed towards its responsibilities to maintain a friendly and healthy environment, and is accredited to ISO 14001 as an example of its dedication. On the safety side, Bahri works throughout the organisation and with all its affiliates to ensure that the highest standards are maintained. The management is acutely conscious of its responsibility towards the safety of its workforce, crew, vessels, clients' assets and community. There is an assortment of measures that are necessary to achieve this goal, and so for example, the employees of Bahri and its affiliates are provided with medical insurance and a healthy work atmosphere. Safety training sessions are conducted regularly, and in addition international standards are practiced on all vessels to maintain a safe environment. Clients’ assets are insured through a recognised international insurance firm, and office buildings are equipped with basic safety tools to handle all situations. One of Mideast’s major strengths is its ability to call on the expertise and support of such a reliable and impressive parent company. Bahri is today one of the biggest shipping companies in the world and it continues to work hard to maintain a place at the forefront of the market. v

Bahri/Mideast Ship Management www.bahri.sa www.msml.com • Major merger with Saudi Aramco announced in 2012 • Mideast supplies ship management to Bahri • Bahri ranks among top ten VLCC owners

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Widening its

niche Erik Hanell, CEO, Stena Bulk

A

s part of shipping giant Stena Group, Stena Bulk is one of the world’s leading tanker shipping companies. In this role it provides safe and cost-efficient transport of crude oil and refined petroleum at sea, which encompasses everything from developing and building tankers, to manning and chartering them out. The company’s business concept is based on equal parts innovation and performance. The latter comes from delivering a highly developed logistics network, whilst innovation stems from analysing the customer’s business

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Profile: Stena

situation and finding new ways to increase competitiveness through cutting-edge vessel design and development. This can be seen in Stena’s Max concept. These in-house designed wide-body tankers can carry 30 per cent more cargo than traditional vessels with the same draft. At present Stena Bulk’s fleet numbers 100 owned, charters, and commercially managed vessels including panamax, aframax, shuttle, suezmax, and medium range (MR) sizes. The company continues to maintain its traditional headquarters in Gothenburg, but has over the years added five additional offices in Houston, Beijing, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, and Copenhagen to support its international growth. Describing what the last year has been like for the business, Erik Hanell begins with his recent promotion to CEO: “I have moved back to Gothenburg from Houston to head up the company, which is a big step for me personally. In terms of the business itself we have continued to develop all of our niche areas such as the Stena Sonangol Suezmax Pool. At the beginning of 2013 we received the seventh and final vessel in our latest newbuild programme, the ‘Stena Sunrise’, into that fleet. “When we ordered those vessels in 2010 we put a lot of effort into making them as fuel efficient as possible, which today is one of the big issues everyone is talking about, but I think

Bulk

Once again we have put a lot of effort into making sure they are as fuel efficient as possible, and have more cargo flexibility than the average MR which will benefit us in future development and trading we were one of the first to really adopt that eco approach. This has proven to be a success in that respect as we can offer a better result in today’s tough market than someone with older tonnage,” he continues. The other dominant side of the business is the joint venture company Stena Weco. Established in 2011 with 50/50 ownership between Stena and edible oils carrier Weco, this agreement saw the two companies pool parts of their fleet – 15 oil and petroleum MRs from Stena, and 15 medium-term chartered edible and palm oils and caustic soda carriers. As such, each parent has been able to establish a presence within a new marketplace. “Today we are running around 45 MRs under that arrangement,” describes Erik. “Based on this, last year we ordered ten new eco-MRs from GSI shipyard in China. Once again we have put a lot of effort into making sure they are as fuel efficient as possible, and have more cargo flexibility than the average MR which will benefit us in future development and trading.” Another niche where Stena Bulk has put

down its roots is the LNG market. This was through the formation of new sister company Stena LNG, which maintains a fleet of three LNG vessels at present. Sharing his outlook on this area of the industry Erik says: “We saw a very strong market for 2011 and the start of 2012, but this has now weakened a little as many projects around the world have been delayed. We also know there will be quite a lot of new build LNG vessels coming out in the next year or two, which may have an impact. However once these projects start to come on stream we are sure to see this pick up again. There is no question that LNG will be the future and take over a lot of the growth in energy requirements that we see in the world today.” For now Stena Bulk is focusing on ensuring that it utilises its modern fuel-efficient vessels to their maximum potential in order to come out of the current market conditions in a stronger position even than it has today. “The tanker division of Stena Bulk is not the biggest but we want to be the greatest in terms of safety and operations, and to see a good profit on the

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Profile: Stena

Bulk

investments we are making,” highlights Erik. “We will continue to develop ships for specific trades and with customers that have higher requirements on safety, quality, and limitation. We want to continue to be at the high end of this, but at the same time ensure we still have the right return on our investment so that we can keep developing. At the moment our Suezmax Pool has around 25 ships, which looks to be quite a healthy number, whereas Stena Weko is still under development so could see something between 50 and 70 ships depending on market conditions. In other segments we are always looking at new opportunities, and will utilise the low market to undertake acquisitions and developments to create new business products,” he concludes. v

Stena Bulk www.stenabulk.com • Quality tanker operator • Delivery of new eco-Suezmax • New MR vessels ordered

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Profile: SEA-tankers

A niche

offering

F

ounded from a merger between Petromarine and Fouqet Sacop in the final quarter of 2007, Bordeaux based SEA-tankers is the French leader in maritime oil products and transportation. Boasting a young fleet of 28 oil and chemical tankers, with an average age of eight years, the majority of the company’s trade is throughout Europe, where 15 of its ships operate; a further ten ships are located in West Africa, while three are in the Caribbean, one vessel in Brazil and another in East Africa. “We have a fleet in a range from 1500 to 20,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT), which we use to trade in petroleum and

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chemicals around the world,” says Peter Raes, chief executive officer at SEA-tankers. SEA-tankers benefits from 60 years experience in the oil and gas industry, with Fouquet Sacop spending the last six decades establishing a coastal trade in oil products around the Mediterranean, while Petromarine has been developing a geographically diverse firm with a global presence since 1966. The two joined forces in 2007 to create a single organisation that would offer increased efficiency and service quality. To complement this new company, the two established ST Management to handle the technical management, commercial management and crewing of the fleet. Specialising in the small tanker market, including bunkering and STS operations, the majority of SEA-tanker’s fleet is employed under long-term time charters and Contracts of Affreightment (COA) by major oil and gas companies seeking a high quality, versatile service, as Peter highlights: “We have a global client base, working with major oil companies such as Total, Statoil, Shell and BP, but there has been an increase in trading companies too.” The flexible and reliable fleet of specialised vessels,

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which all possess a double-hull for safety and shallow drafts to allow more convenient access to ports across the globe, have various functions; for example, the M/T Lamentin and the Cape Limboh are fitted with gas storage tanks, while the M/T St Charlotte boasts the dedicated capabilities to carry molten sulphur at 135 degrees celcius. Keen to offer its customers the best possible service, each vessel is adapted to suit the unique needs of each customer. With trading remaining slow in Europe and other areas in the world due to the economic market, SEA-tankers recently expanded across West Africa with steady success, although political difficulties in the country have proven problematic. “By building on relationships we already had in West Africa in areas such as the ex French colonies, Cameroon, Gabon and Senegal, and we have also developed a presence into Nigeria. Nigeria was a difficult market to enter, but it is one of the few expanding countries in the world,” says Peter. As Africa’s number one oil producer, Nigeria is a key area for oil companies looking to invest and improve production, which is a mutually beneficial transaction as 80 per cent of the country’s revenue comes from the oil and


Profile: SEA-tankers

gas industry. This influx of ships has also led to an increase in piracy, with the SEA-tanker owned vessel M/T Gascogne being hijacked in February. All 17 crewmembers survived the hijacking, with pirates releasing the vessel once they had stolen part of its cargo. “We are more interested in developing a foothold in West Africa than Nigeria, but it depends on how the political world develops,” says Peter. “The problems there seem to increase rather than decrease and rebellion in the north is expanding into the capital. The pirate situation in the east of Africa really doesn’t help either.” Despite a steady stream of trade in areas such as the Caribbean, the rest of the world has proven slow and challenging for SEAtankers, which is concerned about potential consolidations with smaller businesses that could go bankrupt. “It is going to be a difficult process, due to smaller and more vulnerable players in the industry, but we expect to see some consolidation in the future,” says Peter. The firm is also witnessing competition from competitors offering a cheaper price in a

struggling industry, as Peter adds: “We have retained a good relationship with our customers throughout this period and continue to offer an excellent service but our clients may see a better value option and expect this from us, which is proving to be an issue. We see accidents happen and know it is important to maintain quality and ensure safety.” While the economic situation for those in the shipping industry remains uncertain, the company is anticipating increased growth in 2014 that will continue into the coming years. It is also looking into opportunities in Eastern Europe due to oil refiners shutting down ten per cent of their plants in the next decade following poor profits. “These refineries will be replaced by storage capacity so we will still have products to distribute,” says Peter. “Furthermore, we will continue to trade in Europe and West Africa as well as areas such as India where ports do not allow large ships, which is an excellent chance for us to develop a foothold in the country with our niche small tanker vessels built with a shallow draft.” v

SEA-tankers www.sea-tankers.fr • Owns a young fleet of 28 ships • Boasts a global client base • Recently expanded into West Africa

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Operational

integrity I Captain Panayiotis Drosos

t may have grown up amongst tough trading conditions, but since 2009 Almi Tankers has built up a reputation as a high quality oil tanker operator. Specifically, the company provides high quality services for the transportation of oil in a reliable, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly manner. Up until recently, Almi Tankers managed two double-hulled Aframax LR2 vessels, Almi Star and Almi Spirit, and three newly built Suezmax vessels, Almi Horizon, Almi Galaxy, and Almi Globe. Expanding this fleet further is something that the company has been planning towards since its formation. As such, over the last 12 months it has been executing one of the biggest new build programmes in the Greek market at this time.

This has seen the arrival of four new Suezmax vessels from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd (DSME) – Almi Sky, Almi Sun, Almi Odyssey and Almi Explorer. A further three such vessels remain on order from DSME for delivery over the course of the rest of the year, which will then see Almi Tankers’ Suezmax fleet bolstered to ten vessels. “We have also initiated the construction of two modern eco-designed VLCCs,” notes Captain Panayiotis Drosos, CEO of Almi Tankers. “These are expected to join the fleet by 2014. “We have to acknowledge that over the last three years the shipping market has been very depressed, but we believe that this has now bottomed out. We are very proud that as a fairly young company in this difficult market we have

Almi Spirit

Almi Globe Almi Odyssey

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Profile: Almi Tankers

Almi Star been able to secure strong clients, including major oil companies. In representing our owners throughout this time we have guaranteed to the clients that we will stick to the high standards and quality vessels associated with the Almi Tankers name,” he continues. In order to position itself more strongly within this market place, and with an eye to the future, Almi Tankers has particularly focused on fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact in the designs of its new build vessels. “We made a decision a few years back to invest in this sector and that is now paying off, as we are one of the first choices for clients when discussing their schedules,” explains Captain Drosos. “Likewise, if you take into consideration bunker prices in this low market the ability to consume less fuel is a significant commercial advantage when the vessel is on a time charter. From our point of view though, reducing fuel consumption is not just about success, but also part of our obligation under ISO 14000 to reduce our emissions,” he adds. As such, in early 2010 Almi Tankers took the green light from the board of directors to investigate the possibilities to minimise emissions and fuel consumption to the optimum. “We have used all available technology in order to reach our target of having the most fuel oil efficient fleet possible, such as electronic long-stroke engines on the VLCCs, ballast water treatment systems and electronic engines in the Suezmaxes, in combination with a bigger propeller,” notes Captain Drosos. He continues: “At this time our Suezmaxes are considered to be among the most efficient, and our VLCC design is considered to be the most fuel oil efficient in the industry. The vessels that we operate comply with all existing and forthcoming legislation up to 2015, so we are preparing the field ahead, so to speak. If you take such requirements under consideration at

the very early stages of shipbuilding you can achieve a very desirable result, as we have with our new build vessels. Although technology continues to progress, by using the latest advancements we are confident that our vessels will remain compliant with future directives and competitive in the marketplace.” Indeed, the company is eagerly looking forward to the completion of its Suezmax new build programme this year. Although this, and the forthcoming VLCCs, is commanding much of its attention, Almi Tankers is also monitoring the LNG market as a segment that it may look into, going forward. “Our vision, clearly defined from our directors, is to grow into a reliable tanker management company characterised by its operational integrity,” describes Captain Drosos. “This is our

target until 2020, as it is no easy task to achieve this in the industry that we are involved in. Every single individual has to concentrate on the same common goals in order for us to achieve the vision that has been set. For a new company to undergo the kind of expansion that we have with our new build programme is a big thing, but this increased capability should enable us to take the next step forward in the future,” he concludes. v

Almi Tankers www.almitankers.gr • Focused on operational integrity • New build delivery • Environmentally friendly vessels

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Personalised

C

omplete Marine Freight specialises in worldwide boat transport and marine logistics, whether it is shipping a super yacht or trucking a small motorboat, air freighting a mast, delivering spare parts, or couriering documentation. The company operates out of offices in Palma de Mallorca in Spain, and Southampton in the UK, but services clients on a global basis. “We offer a very personalised service with a small team of experienced individuals in each office,” describes commercial director Tom Sell. “We are dedicated to making sure our customers get what they need, and with shipping regulations sometimes seeming like murky waters they can rely on us to handle everything from collection of the boat or goods to the point of delivery anywhere in the world.” It is Complete Marine Freight’s structure as a wholly independent business that helps it achieve such a scope as it can make use of any carrier or mode to give the best transport option for the client. Furthermore, the company

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service maintains a strong network of agents across the world, which it can again draw on the specific strengths of as needed. All this means that Complete Marine Freight has a customer base that ranges from vessel manufacturers to discerning owners. The company also handles a lot of second hand brokerage for sailing yachts and motorboats. As such, it has honed its complete boat moving service to not only include the physical transportation of the yacht or motorboat by sea, land, or a combination of the two, but also customs requirements, shipping cradles, skippers, berths and even cleaning if needed. This logistics expertise is also applied to the busy super yacht market. Whether it is the building of specific shipping cradles, purchasing of support containers, receiving of goods in transit, tender movements or even shipping of the entire yacht, Complete Marine Freight aims to be the single point of contact. Its express courier service is just one element of this in catering for those customers that need urgent pick up and delivery of spares or

documentation anywhere in the world. As just one example of the myriad of logistic requirements serviced by Complete Marine Freight recently the company oversaw the offloading of two of the tallest masts in the world on their arrival into the Port of Antwerp from New Zealand. “It was a challenge to organise the right equipment in the right place at the right time but it all went very well,” notes Tom, with Complete Marine Freight also securing the onwards transport for the masts. “We have a fantastic list of suppliers, who are almost as important as our clients to the business, and these professionals supported us in the delivery. We were also very communicative with the client throughout as we see that logistics is a chain of events and therefore believe in being open and transparent about how things are going, whether well or not.” Turning to another ongoing project he continues: “We are shipping a 40-metre Sunseeker yacht from the UK to Hong Kong, which required us to build our own specific


Profile: Complete Marine Freight

shipping cradle. In general we have been doing a lot more into the Far East and we certainly see that as a market that is developing. We’ve seen a lot of demand in Australia, and some in South America, as well as the standard route to the Caribbean and US, which is popular with boats from the Mediterranean.” Racing logistics is yet another area where Complete Marine Freight is lending its skills. As such the company is proud to be an official logistics provider to the 2013 Superyacht Cup in Palma. Drawing on its locally based office in the STP shipyard, the company is prepared to service all transport needs from couriering of spare parts and other equipment to shipping and storage of containers, as well as transporting the actual boats, before and after the race. The newest thread in Complete Marine Freight’s strategy though is workboat transportation. This has been quite a recent diversification for the company, but one that it is keen to pursue further: “We have completed the shipment of a few boats so far and certainly have the capability to do a lot more,” confirms Tom. “We feel the commercial boat sector, particularly in terms of patrol boats and workboats for oil rigs and windpower, is still producing new vessels and therefore has transport needs. We will therefore be pursuing those opportunities as much as possible, and looking at the different ways we can help the customers there.” Support is a long-term focus of the business, as first and foremost Complete Marine Freight recognises the value it brings to its customers in the efficient and timely handling of their transport and logistics needs. As to some of the aspirations that contribute to this goal, Tom concludes with the next logical steps: “We are focusing on some of the specific market segments that we’d like to grow such

as the workboat transportations. We’d also like to grow our involvement in racing yacht programmes, particularly the Volvo Ocean Race, so we’re talking about those kinds of projects. Although we’re committed to remaining a small and specialist company, we would like to open up an office in the Far East going forward to cater towards the growth we see there.” v

Complete Marine Freight www.completemarinefreight.com • Transport and logistics • Superyacht Cup official provider • Entering new segments

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Leading the

F

way

ounded in 2005 by d’Amico, an international group and a world leader within the shipping industry, Singapore based Ishima has evolved since its humble beginnings. Starting out with only two ships, Ishima today manages 31 vessels. In the last two years alone the company has enjoyed growth, as Danilo Raffa, managing director of Ishima elaborates: “From what we can tell, we have especially expanded in the newbuilding supervision sector where the growth has exceeded expectations. We have around 60 ships under supervision of which around 50 ships are for third party clients in China and Korea until 2015. We are cautiously positive about our current performance because everything is going as expected.” Offering full technical management, crewing and newbuilding supervision, Ishima manages ships for the d’Amico group and also GLENDA International Shipping, a joint venture between its parent company and Glencore’s direct shipping arm; it also manages vessels for another joint venture between d’Amico and Mitsubishi titled DM Shipping and Nagashiki Shipping, both of Japan, Golden Ocean of Singapore and Kasuga of Japan. Having made strategic plans to expand into Japan in 2009, the company achieved this

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aim by 2012 and is now looking to develop its crewing capacity to ensure it has high quality staff available to support its growing fleet, as Danilo explained in the last article with Shipping and Marine: “The most difficult thing for us is crewing. A ship management company is a service company so our main asset is the people that work with us. It is essential to build a strong team to satisfy the needs of vessels and clients.”

In d’Amico, the tanker arm d’Amico Tankers manages about 45 product tankers, 18 of which it owns, and d’Amico Dry manages 60 to 70 dry cargo vessels, 25 of which it owns. Since Autumn 2012 Tankers has ordered ten newbuild ECO specification Handy and MR size tankers from Korean Yard Hyundai Mipo so the fleet is expanding. In preparation for this growth and the increased demand for crew, Ishima has continued with its crew management service with its exclusive manning offices in Mumbai and the Philippines. “The Philippines is a major focus for us in terms of expansion,” says Danilo. “When we first opened a manning office over there we began with a few positions on board and we now have around 800 Philippine personnel on board our vessels. Both India and the Philippines have expanded, but projects are developing in the Philippines and we think this is because there are more seafarers available. Finding crew is the weak point when you manage vessels because the more we expand the more people are needed, with this in mind we are focusing on training to develop personnel in preparation for future demand.” With parent company d’Amico relying on Ishima to supervise its new buildings in areas such as Korea and China, the company is already


Profile: Ishima

present and established in a market that can be potentially difficult to break into. d’Amico Tankers has also experienced increased demand in the US Gulf, West and East Africa, Asia and also Australia. “With our tankers we have a broad client base with major oil companies such as Total, ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron and trading companies; we have more clients, which is down to our quality fleet, the growth in same and our technical management qualities,” says Michael Obling, director of d’Amico Tankers, Singapore. “Major oil companies and trading companies are paying attention to what we can offer them, which is leading to stronger relationships and repeat business. Out of a spot fleet of about 25 ships, we previously had five trading spots East of Suez and the rest West, which we have balanced out and today have half in Asia. This presence East of Suez is giving us new opportunities in the spot market, cargo and ship contracts and other projects we did not experience before.” Looking ahead, d’Amico Tankers is focusing on the completion of its newbuilds over the next few years, while also selling older ships and enhancing its profile with High Pool Tankers Limited. Founded in 2003, the pool was created with Japanese shipping firm JX Shipping Co Ltd (former Nissho Shipping) and Mitsubishi Corporation and for many years was trading as a ‘closed’ pool with many ships time chartered out, but now has a new agenda, which is to expand the number of ships controlled in the Pool. Expansion will be with new quality partners and a focus on spot trading worldwide, hence being able to render an even better service to clients and to generate results for stakeholders. “We

currently have 13 ships in the pool, by mid 2013 we expect 25 ships and ambitions are to increase this number to 30 to 40 ships over the next few years, again with the main focus on the spot market,” says Michael. As a relatively young company, Ishima is dedicated to achieving steady growth by building strong foundations, with aims to expand by approximately 15 per cent per year. Meanwhile, d’Amico is expecting progression in all segments, as Michael concludes: “In the next few years we aim to grow in a controlled manner and consolidate us in a leading position in the shipping world; not many companies have the tradition and qualities under one roof as we have – it gives us among others the chance to enjoy the ability to long term charter ships to major oil companies, which is where we definitely see ourselves separate from most of our competitors today and in the future.” v

Ishima www.damicoship.com • Aim to consolidate a leading position in the shipping world • Ongoing plans to upgrade and modernise the fleet in the d’Amico Group • Continuing positive expansion in ISHIMA in the years ahead

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Innovative

trends

K

RAL AG is a market leader in the specialised area of pump and flowmeter technology. Founded in 1950, KRAL remains family-owned, and today the Austria-based company is organised in four business units - Pumps, Flow Measurement, Fluid Handling Solutions and Services. Thomas Flauger, head of marketing at KRAL AG, gives more of an introduction to the company: “Over the years it has been in business, KRAL has developed from a handicraft enterprise to an industrial, global firm,” he said. “It now manufactures 3-Screw Pumps and 2-Screw Flowmeters, both of which are designed for liquids. “Based on its experience with pumps, several

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Profile: KRAL

years ago KRAL was the first company that launched a complete flowmeter series based on the screw-spindle principle. Furthermore, KRAL was the first manufacturer that introduced a hermitically-sealed, magneticallycoupled 3-Screw Pump.” The company’s high quality pumps, pump modules and flowmeters are well established in the marine, power generation, oil and gas, chemical and machine building industries. Specifically in the shipping sector, KRAL is strongly focused on creating products that address current marine regulations and reduce ship-operating costs. “We understand these areas are a burden on superintendents, fleet managers and inspectors,” said Thomas. “So for instance, we redesigned our pump and pump-double-station programme completely to meet the new ECA low sulphur regulations. We can also assist ship owners in deciding if the installed pump equipment is suitable for their requirements.” He added: “Our main customers for solutions such as this are burner manufacturers like Alfa Laval Aalborg, engine manufacturers like MAN, booster module manufacturers like Westfalia, pump package suppliers like Behrens Pumps and power plant manufacturers like Hitachi.” KRAL focuses its research and development activities on the three areas of pumps, flow measurement and fluid handling solutions, and its new products are based on both years of working practice and state-of-the-art innovation. For example, in flowmeters the company has recently introduced a major improvement regarding the installation and start-up of its fuel consumption measurement system (FCM). One major client has already discovered its benefits - DFDS Seaways has equipped three of its ROPAX ships (Dover, Delft and Dunkerque-Seaways) with fuel consumption measurement technology from KRAL. In each ship the consumption of all four main motors, the power generation units and two of the burners are measured. Each fuel consumption measuring system has a BEM 500 electronic indication unit fitted locally. The information of all nine consumption measuring systems is transferred to the bridge and displayed by the KRAL BEM 800 FCM. KRAL believes this system bridges the gap between fuel consumption measurement and

advanced visualisation. The system integrates the highly accurate KRAL Volumeter, BEM 500 electronics, onboard GPS data and speed for a precise evaluation of the fuel usage per hour and distance. It also includes a number of analytical and statistical tools. The above contract further illustrates the bluechip clientele that works with KRAL, and Thomas also emphasised that the company is keen to work closely with customers to ensure the perfect solution is designed and implemented. He said: “This is especially true when it comes to new regulations like the previously mentioned

ECA low sulphur regulation or if special technical requirements need to be achieved.” He went on to explain the benefits of working closely with clients: “The more problems there are in the market, the more solutions are required from KRAL and its competition. Therefore it’s crucial for every company to establish a process that ensures they are researching the real-world problems customers are facing. In other words, the question is ‘how can we help our customers to handle the problems caused by market and legal changes.’ This is very important for KRAL.” Thomas went on to highlight some changes the company has made to address current trading conditions: “To operate successfully in a

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Profile: KRAL

market environment of reduced price acceptance, periods of financial crisis and stronger regulations, it was necessary for the company to optimise its internal processes and its manufacturing quality as well as the cost-saving design of its products. As a result, KRAL has doubled its production

He added: “In addition to the technical side, customers find KRAL likeable, and it’s been revealed that friendliness and good co-operation achieve the highest values in customer satisfaction surveys, which makes them important success factors. Achieving the

area to 5000 m², implemented a new ERP programme from Navision, and introduced a total quality management (TQM) system.”

right combination of all these qualities results in professional and dedicated work across all fields of the company.”

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After six decades in business, the name KRAL has come to represent quality, innovation and a quick response anytime and anywhere in the world. Thomas concluded with what he believes are the real foundations of the company are: “The most respected corporate groups operating worldwide are counted among KRAL’s customers, and such companies need strong, dependable partners. KRAL is still owner-led and the strong management forms the basis of a solid market presence. In addition, being a family corporation assures customers that when they go into business with KRAL they will have a committed, co-operative partner for many years. “But overall, the human being is always at the centre of operations. Success is the result of good relationships between KRAL’s employees, its customers and suppliers.” v

KRAL AG www.kral.at • Family owed company • Prides itself on partnership approach • New technology for low sulphur fuels


Profile: Hypro Marine

In control

F

or over 30 years many of the world’s most prestigious luxury motor yacht builders have relied upon steering systems provided by Hypro Marine, a leading designer and manufacturer of powerassisted steering systems with an enviable reputation in the industry based upon quality and performance. The company, which also provides products to world renowned Coastguard Agencies and rescue organisations, is a specialist innovator with the ability to offer a bespoke, tailored design and manufacturing service for integrated hydraulic control of single or multifunction hydraulic operations for seriesproduced power craft. “Hypro Marine was established in 1976, discovering a need in the market for reliable hydraulic steering systems for the luxury yacht sector,” said Paul Woodlock, explaining more about the company’s background. “Since that time the company has gone from strength-tostrength and today supplies most of the well known vessels built in the UK, as well as in markets further afield. More recently, alongside

designing and building our own systems Hypro Marine is also the UK distributor for SeaStar Solutions (formerly Teleflex Marine), for all of its hydraulic steering products and jack plates, and it is currently the only SeaStar Solutions approved centre outside the US.” During its operational life Hypro Marine has built up a team of highly skilled individuals throughout its organisation, all of whom actively contribute to maintaining the high standards of quality, reliability and efficiency that its customers have come to expect. In fact, it is this level of expertise in its field and willingness to provide the optimum solution for each client, which has been a key asset to the company. “We like to think that one of our main strengths is that we are not only always supplying the right product for the job, but that we are able to offer the service and backup that is required,” Paul highlighted. “Many of the vessels that we work with have individual needs and specifications and Hypro Marine has the ability to advise on what is required and to adapt precisely to those needs. One of our plus points is our ability to be able to adapt to each different design to give the

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customer exactly what they need. Many of the systems we provide are ‘bespoke’ in some way and although we have standard systems, each one may have something slightly different for that specific job.” As one would imagine, R&D is essential in maintaining Hypro’s leading position in the sector with the company continuously developing new products and improving on existing solutions using the latest machining techniques and material specifications. A good example of this approach is the company’s development and launch of the Optimus 360 steering solution, which is a new development that provides

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360 degree maneuverability for twin powered outboards along with sideways movement by using a simple joystick control. “Optimus 360 from SeaStar Solutions is extremely innovative and brings the ultimate steering system,” Paul added. “We have recently installed the system on a Cheetah catamaran and it is working perfectly, with the vessel able to turn on the spot or move sideways by simply moving a joystick. The Optimus 360 adds to an already

one example of Hypro Marine’s vast product range, which alongside power assisted steering solutions includes custom designed products, customer centralised systems, steering wheels and a wide range of solutions from well respected brands such as the aforementioned SeaStar, Baystar, Capliano and Hynautic. The company is also the only business that has been appointed as an Authorised Hydraulic Service Centre for Teleflex in its International Division.

great portfolio of products and gives us the ability to offer the best hydraulic and electronic steering to both inboard and outboard vessels.” The introduction of Optimus 360 is just

“We are continuing to develop systems for customers’ needs as they come up, and we then look at whether that system can be used or developed for the wider market,” Paul explained.


Profile: Hypro Marine

Paul comments. “This in turn led on to us also supplying the Canadian Coastguard with products as well.” It is clear that Hypro Marine is a recognised leader in its field, and with the continued focus on innovation, development and providing excellent customer service Paul is in little doubt of future success. “The market is fluctuating a lot at the moment, but there are areas that are seeing growth and areas that are not doing quite as well. The commercial wind farm business, for example, is very healthy along with other commercial areas, whilst the leisure market has remained slightly below what we would normally expect. “However, as a company that has a broad spectrum of clients we are able to adapt to whichever part of the market needs the most attention. Looking ahead, the future will predominantly be based around keeping a close eye on the different markets and the new products that are coming out and adapting accordingly. As one our of key strengths has always been being able to be flexible in terms of market demands at short notice, I feel that we are in a www.hypromarine.co.uk good position to meet any • Three decades of experience changes and challenges • Can adapt designs for clients • Recognised leader in its field that the market may have,”

Hypro Marine

he concluded. v

“A good example of this is our work with yacht manufacturer Sunseeker, who originally approached us in 1994 to ask if we could source or create a compact steering system. The ‘Compact’ solution, which was designed and created by technical director/owner, Mike Clarke, is now used on many boats all over the world. More recently, we are currently developing a large boat system that will be suitable for vessels measuring 100 feet and more.” Whilst the business primarily works with luxury yacht manufacturers it has a wide customer base, ranging from small RIBs with 50hp outboards right up to the largest, most expensive vessels. It also works with various lifesaving institutions around the world, many of which operate in some of the harshest marine environments imaginable. In the UK for example, the company has worked with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for more than a quarter of a century, supplying steering systems to its existing Arun, Tyne, Mersey and Atlantic lifeboats. In addition the company was heavily involved in the development work of the RNLI’s latest generation of offshore lifeboats, the Tamar, supplying steering systems and hydraulic equipment. “Another measure of our success, and a major achievement for Hypro Marine, was when we tendered a contract for a US Coastguard contract and subsequently went on to win the tender to supply in excess of 100 steering systems,” www.shippingandmarine.co.uk - 61


The right

solution

E

stablished in 1977, Modern Freight Company (MFC) is a diversified and established logistics company based in the UAE that provides world-class international freight solutions to a global customer base. Being part of Dutco (a large UAE based group of companies with interests ranging from construction and manufacturing to hotels and leisure) has enabled MFC to expand into new areas of business, open new premises across the UAE and gain ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14000 and OHSAS 18001 accreditation. “Our main focus still predominantly lies in warehousing logistics, customs brokerage, project freight forwarding and containment depot operations but we are always trying to move the business forwards by improving and increasing our productivity, improving our service offering and our cost control, and conducting our business smarter for the benefit of our clients,” explains general manager Robert Taylor. With more than 36 years of experience and having established a vast global agency network, MFC has in fact transformed itself from a modest shipping line agent to a diversified international logistics company. Today, it provides services in contract logistics (with owned warehousing units in JAFZA), project management, container conversions, custom clearance and freight forwarding (domestic transport, international air/ocean freight and seaair combined operations) from its offices in Jebel Ali, Dubai Airport, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and in Doha, Qatar. “Doha is a major oil and gas region,” Robert added. “We opened the Doha facility about 12 months ago essentially to provide services to the major shipping lines that we work with, largely acting as a container storage area outside the port where we can carry out container repairs, maintenance and handling type operations. “At the same location we also provide modular engineering services. This is

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Profile: Modern Freight Company

Looking at the future Robert is positive about the opportunities for the business, and believes that as long as MFC grows in accordance to its key strengths it will remain a leader in its field. “We may not be the largest company of our type and some international businesses may have more purchasing power, but we are able to compete because of our key strengths. Our customer service is crucial and remains excellent, and we always look to provide a flexible and personalised service built on longterm relationships with our clients. Each client has specific requirements so we spend a great deal of time listening to them, understanding them and working closely with them to provide a bespoke service of the highest standard. “Our five year vision is to continue to diversify the business into the new markets of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Eastern Europe, as well as investigating opportunities in South America. At the same time we will continue to diversify into new areas such as the growing hotel industry and healthcare. Overall we are extremely positive about the future,” he concludes. v a service we developed whereby we modify shipping containers by making them into offices, accommodation blocks or engineering rooms for clients. It is conducted along the same principles as the containers that we develop except that we make the modular solution in varying sizes. This particular aspect of the business has seen us complete a number of major projects recently for oil and gas companies in the Iraqi market, which we see as another market with considerable potential.” Customer satisfaction has always been an important goal for MFC, which has helped it to start long-term relationships with satisfied customers and ultimately generate additional profits. MFC’s excellent delivery services, which involve not just timely delivery but also quality, reliable and flexible delivery, contribute to customer satisfaction and help them maintain a good track record. Through listening to its clients and trying to offer new services, MFC was prompted to start its own relocation service both in the UAE and internationally. “For this we joined the IAM Group and re-liveried some of our trucks accordingly,” said Robert. “This is an area that is growing rapidly in Dubai, which is a strong region in general due to the expansion and growth that it is seeing, as well as other factors such as its bidding for the 2020 Expo. Nearby we are also developing our presence in Qatar, which is another country that is experiencing considerable development, particularly with it hosting the 2020 FIFA World Cup and the general development that will go alongside that.” In recognising the changing business profile of the region, MFC has also invested in a niche operation and opened a container depot facility under the name ‘MFC Container Concepts’. This started as a small container depot storage area in the 1990’s but has now become one of the largest container storage and container fabricators in Dubai. MFC Container Concepts caters to many requirements including living quarters for staff (with built-in amenities), offices in remote locations or containers for specialised storage, acoustic generator rooms, offshore control rooms, portable workshops, with-gear rooms and site offices to name but a few examples. In the coming years MFC is aiming to maintain its sterling performance with continued investments into warehouses, trucks and so forth, the continued expansion of its products and services and finally its geographical coverage (South America, Australia and Africa). Robert noted: “The market is very competitive, with the GCC region experiencing a great deal of growth and development. In UAE we are currently in the process of refurbishing our two warehouses in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, so investing a significant amount on new equipment, new systems and infrastructure in order to improve our services and accommodate growth.”

Modern Freight Company www.mfc.ae • Focused on growth • Looking at new markets • Large product range

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Combined

expertise M ainly active in the fishing industry when it was first established in August 1994, Thor has been increasingly active in supplying chase/ guard vessels for the offshore industry since 1997 and has gained its expertise through working with some of the world’s biggest seismic companies. Today it has an almost 50/50 ratio within its offshore and fishery sectors, with each supporting the other during economically difficult periods. “Thor is a limited share company with three shareholders, the two main ones being the founding brothers of Thor, who came into the company with a lot of experience in the fishing industry. The third shareholder comes from major international company Maersk; this combined expertise is one of our core strengths,” says Hans Andrias Joensen, chief executive officer of Thor.

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It was in the late 1990s that the Faroe Islands went into a deep economic depression, which caused the shipping industry to be strongly hit by the price of oil. Seeing that it needed diversity to survive, Thor expanded into the offshore industry, using its gillnetter ship as its first guard vessel; when this proved successful the company hired the fishing vessel North Star and utilised it as a guard vessel also. “From that time we have never looked back,” states Hans. “We have gained a good and reliable reputation and, although we may not be the cheapest company on the market for these services, we have a proven track record in offering support that meets strict safety, working and reporting conditions to our oil clients.” Located in Hosvik, on the Faroe Islands, Thor has developed a strong reputation for fast decision-making and flexibility, which is due to its small number of employees and lateral hierarchy. Personnel with both local and


Profile: Thor

international experience and all necessary skills for their role man positions within the company, with Faroese navigators particularly sought after for their skill and seamanship. Both divisions within the company own fleets that operate on a global scale, from freezer factory trawlers to fresh fish gillnetters and crabbers in Thor Fisheries and guard/chase vessels and supply/support vessels in Thor Offshore. “Two of our support/supply vessels, Thor Alpha and Thor Omega, were purpose built to support new seismic vessels and our guard vessels are used for guarding manifolds and templates on oil fields,” explains Hans. “We also work as ships’ agents here in the Faroe Islands, mainly for seismic and oil companies, but for large fishing firms too. This is a growing sector for us as we have the experience of providing ship’s with agency service as well as receiving them in our world wide activities, so we know what services are required and how best to perform them.” In November 2012, following 14 years of providing charter services to seismic firm PGS,

the company was awarded the largest contract in its history to own and operate a total of eight new seismic support ships on a ten year time charter contract, with the option for an additional extension. The ships were designed by Skipteknisk, based in Alesund, in close collaboration with Thor and will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology for the efficient servicing of seismic vessels. Each ship will reach lengths of 64 metres long and 14.5 metres wide,

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Profile: Thor

thus giving them the capabilities to supply in all ocean conditions. “An agreement has been made for a total of eight ships (four plus four), which will be built at Besiktas shipyard in Turkey, so that when the first four ships are started they will be delivered in August 2014 and the next batch at three month intervals after. There is also the option of four more ships to be delivered in 2015 and 2016,” highlights Hans. “This is the biggest agreement that Thor has ever made and we are very pleased with the great co-operation we have developed with PGS.” Looking to the future, Thor will continue to participate in the development of the new builds for PGS while also focusing on achieving a fully functioning HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality) system on its fishing vessels throughout 2013 and 2014. With a mission to be a trustworthy and law-abiding partner that provides a reliable and safe service world wide, Thor’s HSEQ system is built on the values of the ISM Codes, ISO 19001:2008, ISO14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007, as Hans elaborates: “We were the first company in the Faroe Islands to obtain our ISM and ISO 19001 certificate at the same time, which we have since extended. Even though the ISM is not compulsory on vessels under 500 GT, we have chosen to implement the standard on all of our vessels, which means all employees must work according to the procedures and policies stated in the HSEQ manual.” With the first certification obtained in 1999, the company has honed a working culture that focuses on continuous reviewing/assessing and improvement, which has resulted in a strong reputation and excellent safety record in the marine seismic branch. This ethic will remain with Thor as it looks to expand into the Arctic area, as Hans concludes: “This area is of great interest to us, as we have an experienced crew that have completed fishing projects in Greenland and are therefore familiar with the hidden dangers in these harsh conditions. We are confident that we have the background and expertise to benefit from any opportunities that present themselves in the future.” v

Thor www.thor.fo • Specialises in support services for the shipping and oil & gas industries • Major contract with PGS to build eight new vessels • Operates 22 vessels

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Profile: U.N. Ro-Ro

New

endeavours E stablished by international transport companies in 1994, Turkey based U.N. Ro-Ro Isletmeleri AS has evolved into one of the fastest growing freight ro-ro operators in both the Mediterranean and the world. Following a 260 million euro investment in its fleet in the last five years, U.N. Ro-Ro’s available capacity is now able to meet a 60 per cent increase in truck transportation to Europe. It is also fully prepared for Turkey’s foreign trade target of $1 trillion by 2023. Looking to provide an alternative mode of transport in difficult or high-risk areas, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, U.N. Ro-Ro today continues to serve international transport firms with a low-cost, efficient, safe and reliable sea journey.

Mainly targeting foreign trade with Europe, U.N. Ro-Ro’s core and busiest route is Pendik Ro-Ro terminal located in Istanbul’s Anatolian Region, to the port of Trieste, Italy, where seven scheduled 240 trailer capacity Ro-Ro vessels, with a speed of 21 knots, operate a round trip every day of the week. The operator’s other lines include Mersin, Turkey – Trieste and Ambarli, Istanbul to Toulon, France. Following steady growth of one – two per cent per year and a successful 2012 due to increased sailing frequencies, the company signed a contract for a newbuild last year. UN Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest ro-ro ship with a capacity of 280 semi-trailer trucks, will be operating along the Trieste route on weekends to ensure transport demands can be met, while also preparing the operator for future developments, as chief

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executive officer Sedat Gumusoglu elaborates: “The new ship is to bring additional capacity to our own lines, for which there has been huge demand, particularly for weekend services when transport services are high. Our new vessel will satisfy the demand for capacity and will also aid in our plans to launch new lines in 2013. One such line is for Mersin – Egypt – Saudi Arabia. We will use a current vessel for the new line, while the new ship will fill that capacity in the existing lines.” With Europe’s share in Turkey’s trade decreasing from 46 per cent to 38 per cent due to the economic crisis, U.N. Ro-Ro has made strategic plans to explore new markets around the Black Sea and in the south. “In 2008-2009

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we felt the economic crisis deeply, there was a 20 – 25 per cent decline in the market, but we recovered by 2010. Europe is our core target market, but we are also looking to expand our service into strategically and logistically close countries such as Egypt and potentially Africa,” highlights Sedat. Due to the conflict in Syria, a country that serves as a gateway to places such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Dubai and Bahrain, Turkish borders were closed in 2012, which drastically affected the international land transportation sector and resulted in the Turkish government offering incentives to ro-ro operators to launch a new service between Turkey and Egypt. “After a number of

ro-ro operators tried and failed to launch the service we decided to expand our service in co-operation with Dubai based firm Salaem Al Makrani shipping Company (SAMC) to solve the problem of cargo not being able to reach its destination. We are anticipating 10,000 – 15,000 units on a round trip basis for this market,” says Sedat. The partners launched their Turkey to Egypt line on June 7th 2013, with the aim of increasing Turkey and Egypt’s international trade volume while also enhancing competitiveness between exporters and international transport firms in the market. “We will see how things develop in the first month during the trial period and will look into the financial gain, but for now we hope the new line will bring positive benefits


Profile: U.N. Ro-Ro

for the international transportation sector and our company.” To further enhance its services, the company is investing in new railway lines, which will combine with its ro-ro service and offer a direct link to European countries such as Germany and Austria. “When this company was set up

in 1994 it was mainly due to the blocked line transport in the Balkan area, but today utilization of roro services in Europe is less efficient without rail. With this in mind we have signed an agreement to develop new lines that will depart to the direct final destination,” explains Sedat. “There are many benefits to this development. For example, this service will, as standard with any service we launch or operate, be a cheaper option than land routes. Another bonus is that the railway connections will solve issues with permits. Furthermore, our trucker customers

that are operating semi-trailer transportation from Trieste into central Europe will benefit from using fewer trucks when operating the same fleet. This means our customers will require less investment, or can operate more round trips with the same investment, thus delivering optimum efficiency.” Over the coming years U.N. Ro-Ro will be keeping a watchful eye on potential cargo investment opportunities, while developing a foothold in Egypt and potentially Africa. “We are expecting steady growth of around one to two per cent this year but this excludes the Egypt market, we will wait and see what this new area brings us,” Sedat concludes. v

U.N. Ro-Ro www.unroro.com.tr • One of the fastest-growing freight ro-ro operators in the world • New line to Egypt launching in June • Its newbuild freight ferry was delivered in April 2013

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Thor Brave

A flexible

F

carrier

orming the dry bulk shipping arm of its parent group, Thoresen Shipping Singapore (TSS) is a fully owned subsidiary of Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA). Listed on the Thai stock exchange, TTA is a strategic investment holding company with three primarily business groups: transport, energy, and infrastructure. As a Group, TTA has provided shipping related services since 1904, joined by dry bulk shipping services in 1985. Based out of Singapore, with a second commercial centre in Copenhagen opened earlier this year, TSS both owns and commercially manages its own fleet. Describing the current make-up of these assets, commercial director Mike Anderson says: “At present the fleet totals 18 vessels including ten open-hatch, box-shaped handy and handymax sized vessels, and eight conventional grab-fitted supramax ships. The average age across the fleet is 10.5 years. These ships tramp globally with an aim to have approximately half of the fleet in each of the Pacific and Atlantic basins.

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“In addition, we supplement our own vessels with a disponently operated fleet of approximately the same size. This gives us greater liquidity, visibility and leverage in cargo contract negotiations, as well as being able to better serve our customer base. By having more hardware under our control it gives our customers greater options and peace of mind,” he continues. The varied nature of the fleet means TSS boasts a highly diverse customer base. With its open-hatch box-shaped vessels the company is able to serve customers with project cargoes such as pipes, steel, windmills, palletised and unitised cargoes. Meanwhile the conventional bulk carriers serve the minor bulks, industrial mining and agricultural sectors. “We appreciate that not only do our customers need competitive freight levels in order to ensure market share, but also a reliable, reputable and flexible carrier. We strive to meet and exceed their expectations in all these areas,” explains Mike. “Due to the specific skills and strategies of our commercial teams we have been able to generate a

Mike Anderson, commercial director

yield on our tonnage, which exceeded our benchmark BSI index by ten per cent in the 2012 financial year. We are on course to substantially improve that benchmark performance in 2013. “As with most companies we have a duty to the shareholders to extract the maximum value from our hardware in a responsible and sustainable manner. We make use of various tools at our disposal to achieve this and manage the risks associated with having a fleet of vessels to ensure they maintain a regular and optimal revenue stream. This is achieved through developing an appropriate cargo portfolio and physical trading strategy,” he elaborates. The flexibility to trade its vessels as it sees fit in order to extract maximum value is certainly a major benefit of TSS’ structure, particularly given the global nature of its marketplace. “Every year we see increased volume of bulk cargo movements across the board, even during the worst years of the global financial crisis. Localised or specific geographic demands tend to be seasonal and currently the South Atlantic is enjoying a boost


Profile: Thoresen Shipping Singapore

Thor Insuvi from large grain, corn and soya bean crops,” remarks Mike. He goes on to outline how this has seen TSS look at its own international operations: “We believe that it is absolutely imperative for a ship operating company of our size to have a global footprint in order to maintain its competitive stance. Our Copenhagen office is the first step in positioning ourselves accordingly. The reaction from our customer base has been extremely positive and reaffirms our view that we need to be geographically close to them in order to foster stronger relationships and a deeper understanding of their expectations.” In June TSS will welcome its latest new build, Thor Breeze, into the fleet. A 53,000 dwt grab-fitted supramax vessel, it has additional performance enhancing and environmentally friendly retrofit applications. “In addition, we will continue with our objective to grow the fleet with a further six young second-hand purchases,” reveals Mike. “We have just concluded another supramax acquisition

in this regard. We acknowledge that the current downturn in the shipping market and lower asset prices present a unique opportunity to acquire young hardware at historically low prices, which will see TSS maintain its relevance and viability into the medium and long-term.” Although the company is feeling the same challenges as the rest of its peers as a result of this market, embracing opportunities as they come puts it in a stronger position when the industry comes out the other side. Considering such a time, Mike concludes with his aspirations for the business: “Our goal is to have 30 owned vessels in the next three years. I’d like to see this happen alongside a disponent fleet of the same size, and a complete global footprint giving around the clock attention to customers, partners and shareholders. “Due to our proven ability to beat the index I foresee TSS offering commercial management and pool services to third party owners,

including vessels owned by banks and funds who don’t have the commercial expertise or infrastructure to manage them themselves, and owners that simply don’t have sufficient volume and market penetration to extract the same value that we achieve.” v

Thoresen Shipping Singapore (TSS) www.thoresenshipping.com • Ship owners and operators • New Copenhagen office • Purchasing additional vessels

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Supplying

opportunities F ormed in 1955 with the objective of finding solutions for ship suppliers across the globe, the International Ship Suppliers and Services Association (ISSA) has been encouraging economic interests and building relationships among international supplier firms for nearly 60 years. The association has 43 national associations of ship suppliers, which represent 2000 full ISSA members and associate members in 52 added countries where no national association

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exists. At its annual conventions, ISSA offers its members an opportunity to collaborate on finding solutions to well-known issues and also develop stronger working relationships through networking at social activities. Established by ISSA in 2004, the Turkish Ship Suppliers Association (TURSSA) began its inception with 16 founding members, which has since expanded to 29 over the last nine years. With the core aim of providing Turkish ship suppliers with the opportunity to network and problem solve issues, TURSSA eliminates the previous competitive environment as members meet at least once a month to brainstorm mutually beneficial solutions to common issues. TURSSA then acts as the voice for


Profile: Turkish Ship Suppliers Association TSSA board: Front - Yorgo Saris (president) Back row, l to r: Beyza Bur Doğan (secretariat) Hakan Doğan Kayali (board member) Osman Bilgin (secretary general) Abdulvahit Şimşek (vice president)

its members and as such participates in the process for setting legislation and regulations for the whole ship supply industry. For example, approximately five years ago TURSSA improved declaration requirements for shipping firms at customs, which previously required one declaration for each and every delivery; now these declarations are issued every month, which ensures more efficient, high quality and competitive services for vessels passing through Turkish waters. “Turkey’s hosting very intensive activities in international shipping due to the fact its strategic geographical position is a reality to be underlined,” highlights George Saris, president of TURSSA. “It has an incontrovertible importance for countries in the region and those having trade relations with this region because the Istanbul and Gallipoli Straits provide the only

sea route to the Black Sea.” Due to the country’s shipping history dating back 5000 years and its strategically close position to the Aegean Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea coasts, an association to gather ship-supplying companies and discuss activities in the area was inevitable. “ISSA was created with the belief that it is imperative to establish an association on a national and international scale and to have certain rules; the only condition for Turkish companies wishing to join us is to have a voice and play an active role in the decision making process of ISSA to establish the National Ship Suppliers Association. TURSSA was established to this end, and continues to gain more strength with every new member,” says George. Shipping supply firms interested in becoming a member of ISSA meanwhile, must first become a member of TURSSA. The rules to becoming a member

Turkey’s hosting very intensive activities in international shipping due to the fact its strategic geographical position is a reality to be underlined

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Profile: Turkish Ship Suppliers Association

are stringent, as required by TURSSA, with Turkish ship suppliers subjected to a two-year testing period after membership is acquired. Following the testing period, members wanting ISSA membership go through further

in the ship supply sector are eligible to be a member. Those wanting to be a member of our association are required to receive reference letters from at least two members of association following their two-years continuous experience.

rigorous procedures, as George highlights: “All establishments who acknowledge the objectives of association, have legal capacity and operate

Once requirements are fulfilled, documents for membership must be completed in full and delivered to the head office of the association;

upon receipt of these documents, applicants will be required to confirm any statements they have made in the application forms and a preliminary visit will be made by a committee to meet company owners. After the visit, the company’s membership application will be assessed and a decision made.” The 4th ordinary general assembly meeting of TURSSA was held on 17th December 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel Istanbul and the association started 2012 with a newly elected board of directors; featuring George Saris as president, Abdulvahit Simsek as executive vice president, Ibrahim Mete as treasurer, Osman Bilgin as secretary general and Hakan Dogan ˘ Kayali as board member. “As the new management of TURSSA, our main objective will be to liberate our industry from the current procedural inconveniences, increase our global competitiveness, ensure that Turkey becomes one of the main supply ports around the world and contribute to the overall exports of our country,” says George. “We also want to closely monitor issues concerning custom regulations, veterinarian requirements and tax procedures.” Following ten years of growth and positive developments, TURSSA is looking to develop a more active role with OCEAN (Organisation de la Communaute Europeene des Avitailleurs de Navires), where it has been acting in the capacity of observer member since January 2010. OCEAN acts as the voice of the ship supplying industry of Europe and plays an important part in developing an improving understanding of this industry; it is committed to open and transparent communication as well as inclusive dialogue between its members and European policy makers. OCEAN is also taking an active part in the development of the Modernised Customs Code and other legislation. With its strategic location, operational efficiency and competitive market, the future looks bright both for Turkey and for TURSSA. Meanwhile, in the context of Turkey’s efforts to comply with European regulations and its adoption of the Acquis Communautaire, the association plays an active role in the matters concerning its sector and aims to maintain these efforts in the future. v

Turkish Ship Suppliers Association www.shipsupply.org • Part of ISSA • Celebrates its ten year anniversary in 2013 • Has enjoyed considerable growth

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Shipping &MARINE

The magazine for maritime management

www.shippingandmarine.co.uk Editor: Libbie Hammond libbie@schofieldpublishing.co.uk Sales manager: Rob Wagner rwagner@schofieldpublishing.co.uk

Schofield Publishing Schofield Publishing Limited Unit 10, Cringleford Business Centre, Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1603 274130 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 274131


Shipping and marine issue 10 2013