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OCEAN TOWAGE: Boskalis takes Fairmount
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

Fairmount Marine’s 2006-built Fairmount Alpine is one of five tugs to be taken over by Royal Boskalis Westminster. Fairmount MarineFairmount Marine’s 2006-built Fairmount Alpine is one of five tugs to be taken over by Royal Boskalis Westminster. Fairmount Marine

Holland’s Royal Boskalis Westminster NV has reached an agreement to acquire Fairmount Marine and its affiliate, Fairmount Ocean Towage Company, from Louis Dreyfus Armateurs of France. Boskalis said the addition of Fairmount’s fleet of five 205-tonne bollard pull tugs with anchor-handling capabilities will allow it to further expand its market position in both the offshore energy and marine salvage sectors. In addition, the use of the ocean-going tugs for long-distance wet tows will complement Boskalis’ existing capabilities in the dry heavy marine transport market. JS

 

 
Shipbuilding: Stocking up on the basics
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:16

The Chinese heavylift ship Zhen Hua 29 berthed in Rotterdam with her cargo of basic hulls for the Damen Group. Nicholas LeachThe Chinese heavylift ship Zhen Hua 29 berthed in Rotterdam with her cargo of basic hulls for the Damen Group. Nicholas Leach

Like many of the world’s shipbuilders, the Damen Group of the Netherlands often has the basic hulls of its vessels built overseas and then fits them out for final delivery at its European facilities. Such was the case on 4 April when the 51,500dwt Chinese heavylift ship Zhen Hua 29 arrived in Rotterdam with a number of pre-built hulls aboard that will eventually be finished by Damen as tugs, workboats, barges and pontoons.

The shipment had left China seven weeks previously and consisted of 13 new Damen Stan Pontoons and ten other Damen vessels. The built-for-stock pontoons and vessels will enable Damen to fulfil very short delivery times as demand rises. This has also led to Damen introducing newly-designed barges and completing a number of custom pontoon and barge projects for a variety of customers. Damen can now call on four different yards in the Middle East, Vietnam and China to supply its basic hull needs.

 

 
Ice breaker: End of an era for icebreaker
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:15

Quark Expeditions has announced the retirement of the ice breaker 50 Years of Victory and her final North Pole voyages. Quark Expeditions has announced the retirement of the ice breaker 50 Years of Victory and her final North Pole voyages.

Quark Expeditions, leader in polar adventures, has announced that its ice-beaker 50 Years of Victory will retire as an expedition vessel after the 2015 Arctic season. This will be marked by Quark with three final voyages to the North Pole departing in June 2015.

‘It is with great reluctance that we announce the retirement of Victory as a passenger expedition vessel in 2015. Victory has become part of the Quark Expeditions’ family,’ said Hans Lagerweij, president of Quark.

Quark is the only North American operator to offer trips to the North Pole, using Victory, which can carry only 128 people during each of the final voyages. Quark has been offering expeditions aboard 50 Years of Victory since 2009, and has taken over 1150 passengers to 90 degrees North. The voyages will depart on 4, 19 and 30 June, and will be 14- or 15-day voyages.

 
Newbuild: Methanol as ship fuel
Monday, 14 April 2014 00:00

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s new MAN ME-LGI flex-fuel engine will be used in a new series of methanol carriers. MANMAN Diesel & Turbo’s new MAN ME-LGI flex-fuel engine will be used in a new series of methanol carriers. MAN

The world’s largest methanol supplier, Canada’s Methanex Corporation, through its Waterfront Shipping subsidiary, has reached an agreement with Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines, Norway’s Westfal-Larsen & Co (WL) and Sweden’s Marinvest/Skagerack for six new 50,000dwt methanol carriers to be built by South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Japan’s Minaminippon Shipbuilding Company. The ships will run on a blend of 95 per cent methanol and five per cent diesel fuel using MAN ME-LGI flex-fuel engines capable of running on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel or gas oil. JS

 

 
Classic Motor Vessel: Ready to cast off again
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

Balmoral berthed at Lydney.Balmoral berthed at Lydney.

The Balmoral Strategy Group (BSG), set up to ensure that the famous old motor vessel Balmoral returns to coastal cruising around the UK, is now able to announce considerable progress. Preparations are now well under way for Balmoral to leave her berth in Bristol City Docks and sail under her own power beneath Brunel’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, down the Avon and into the Severn, bound for the Sharpness Dry Dock, where she is due to spend at least five days in early April to undergo a survey and thorough examination.

It is hoped that she is still in reasonable condition, but the five-yearly survey will include ultrasonic tests on her entire hull to determine her soundness. The cost is considerable, and just getting her to Sharpness for dry-docking will cost in the region of £50,000. It is already known that some re-plating will be needed. A second dry-docking will be needed before the August MCA deadline for re-certification, and at least another £30,000 is required to pay for expected additional work.

 

 
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