Indian Shipping Seeks Road Fund for Development of Waterways

The Shipping Ministry of India has mooted a proposal to utilize part of the fuel cess collected for building national highways for expansion of National Waterways as well.

The Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari said his Ministry has sent a proposal seeking allocation of 5% of the Central Road Fund for development of Inland Waterways.

“My Ministry has prepared the proposal, but the final decision will be taken by the Ministry of Finance. I am pursuing the matter” Gadkari added.

Central Road Fund is a non-lapsable fund created under the Central Road Fund Act 2000 out of a cess imposed on petrol and high-speed diesel.

The funds are meant to be used to develop and maintain national highways, state roads and railway over and under bridges.

The move to seek a pie in the CRF follows government’s ambitious plan to tap India’s vast network of rivers and canals stretching 14,500 kms for moving goods.

Gadkari said “It is far more cheaper to transport goods by water as compared to road or rail. “Currently cargo movement along the five existing national waterways is paltry 3% of all cargo movement in India. We want to raise the share of waterways in overall cargo movements to 15%” he said.

Under the National Waterways Act 2016, 111 inland waterways have been declared as National Waterways.

Out of these, Allahabad-Haldia Ganga Waterway (NW1), Brahmaputra (NW2), West Coast Canal in Kerala (NW3), Mandovi river in Goa (NW 68), Sundarbans Waterway in West Bengal (NW97) and Zurari River (NW 111) are presently operational. Six more waterways are likely to be commissioned during this financial year.

Aqua Diving Services orders jackup pontoon at Damen Shipyards

Damen Shipyards has won a contract via its Shajah yard in the United Arab Emirates to build a self-propelled jack-up pontoon for the UAE-based contractor Aqua Diving Services.

The pontoon, to be named Aqua Rise III, will be used primarily to deliver offshore support services, including the provision of accommodation facilities for personnel as well as operating as a work platform with crane facilities. Delivery is scheduled in early 2018.

Aqua Diving Services provides a wide range of subsea services to offshore oil and gas operators in the region. The company already owns and operates a fleet of two jack up pontoons.

“This order is fitting in with Damen’s strategy to become more active in the lift-boat market and to build vessels outside the standard Damen portfolio. This is a further sign that local clients value Damen’s strong track record and reputation as a shipbuilder delivering superior quality at the right price,” commented Pascal Slingerland, sales manager Middle East for Damen Shipyards Group.

QMS orders six jackups at CSIC

UAE offshore driller Quality Marine Services (QMS), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi based Zakher Marine International, has signed contracts with CSIC-affiliated Wuhan Marine Machinery (WMM) for the construction of six jackup platforms.

The total value of the contract is around RMB1.2bn ($180m) with deliveries scheduled to commence from the first half of 2017. The rigs will be deployed in fields in the Gulf region.

ISDS first for DNV GL classed Ocean Greatwhite – world’s largest semi-submersible

DNV GL has welcomed the world’s largest semi-submersible drilling rig into class recently. Ocean Greatwhite is 123 metres long and 78 metres wide and was delivered at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. Owned by the Houston-based drilling contractor Diamond Offshore, the rig will be chartered to oil major BP and will operate in the Great Australian Bight.

The rig is to be a new design MOSS CS60E high specification state-of- the art semi-submersible drilling unit suitable for operations in harsh environments, which is the first MOSS CS60E and the largest rig in the world.

“The Ocean GreatWhite is a unique rig purposely built for drilling in harsh environments,” said Karl Sellers, SVP Technical Services at Diamond Offshore. “HHI and DNV GL were integral in helping us get this rig to market as we prepare for the drilling project in Australia with BP.”

“We have a strong relationship with both DNV GL and Diamond Offshore – and it is thanks to this good cooperation that the project went so well. We are proud to deliver the first drilling ship of this size and look forward to many more projects on this scale,” Youngseuk Han, Senior Executive Vice President at HHI said. “We will keep moving the boundaries of technology by completing following large-scale and innovative projects.”

“Ocean Greatwhite is capable of operating in depths of up to 3000 metres and can drill down to a depth of 10,670 metres. It represents the state of the art in the semi-submersible sector and we are very pleased to have been asked to contribute our expertise to this project,” says Paal Johansen, Vice President and Regional Director, Americas at DNV GL.
Ocean Greatwhite is 123 metres long and 78 metres wide and was delivered at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. Credit: HHI
Ocean Greatwhite is also the first new-build rig to receive the DNV GL Integrated Software Dependent Systems (ISDS) notation. ISDS are systems whose performance is dependent on the overall behaviour of their integrated software components. DNV GL’s ISDS standard helps owners and operators minimise software integration errors and delays in projects involving complex integrated systems.

The certification ensures that software and integration issues are identified and resolved early on during the project design stages. It also represents a new approach to verification, as it emphasises a review of the working methods and processes that lead to the delivery the systems, rather than simply focusing on the final review of documents and installations to ensure they meet product requirements.

Industry data suggests that high specification mobile offshore drilling units may experience 30 per cent down-time during their first years of operations, which makes a systematic framework for ensuring that ISDS achieve the required reliability, availability, maintainability and safety essential. “We expect that the operational performance of Ocean Greatwhite will demonstrate how the ISDS notation can contribute to increasing the reliability of the complex systems onboard,” adds Paal Johansen. DNV GL’s ISDS teams in Korea, Norway, and the USA all contributed to the project. DNV GL also provided advisory services to HHI on the integration of the various systems throughout the newbuilding process.

Shipping Corporation of India Inks MOU amid Growth Plans

Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the country’s Ministry of Shipping for the financial year 2016-17 as the company eyes growth opportunities.

The MOU, which is based on the MOU guidelines 2016-17 issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), consists of parameters drawn on the prescribed evaluation criteria and factors such as capacity and its expansion, business environment, projects under implementation have been considered.

According the Government of India, SCI “has ambitious CAPEX plans in 2016-17 to augment its tonnage through acquisition of second hand vessels.”

SCI’s growth plans are in line with the Ministry of Shipping and the Government of India’s aims to escalate the growth of the country’s maritime sector.

The shipping industry is experiencing a downturn as the freight rates have come under pressure due to overcapacity.

However, despite unfavorable market conditions and the current downturn in the shipping industry, SCI is taking measures for sustained growth which include a number of cost-savings.

New Measures against Oil Pollution Effective from October

The latest amendments to the MARPOL Annex I for the prevention of oil pollution are scheduled to come into effect on October 1, 2016, according to Marine Department of the Government of Hong Kong.

The amendment regulation states that oil residue (sludge) tank for machinery space should be provided with a designated pump for disposal of the oil residue and the tank should have no discharge connections to the bilge system, oily bilge water holding tank, tank top or oily water separators.

In addition, oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage and above should have an approved Ship-to-Ship (STS) Operation Plan.

All oil tankers are required to fit with a stability instrument comprising hardware and software which is capable of verifying compliance with the intact and damage stability requirements in any operational condition.

Shipowners, operators and coxswains of local oil tankers are required to observe and comply with the amendment regulation, according to the Marine Department.

OOS orders two semi-submersible crane vessels at China Merchants

OOS International Group has signed a fixed contract with China Merchant Industry Holdings for the engineering and construction of two newbuild semi-submersible crane vessels (SSCV).

The Dutch company will name the two new vessels OOS Serooskerke and OOS Walcheren.

“The achievement of this contract with CMIH shipyard will provide the end-client with a bespoke solution for the oil & gas/wind market, resulting in significant cost reductions. Today’s oil & gas economics does not hold us back. The fact that we decided to continue with our plans by introducing niche products to the oil & gas/wind Industry in the current market situation, shows our strong long-term commitment, as well our trust in this great novel concept” said Leon Overdulve, founder and owner of OOS International Group.

The vessels are expected to be completed in the second quarter and third quarter of 2019.

China Shipping Haisheng offloads shipping business

China Shipping Haisheng has announced that the board of the company has approved a proposal to sell all of its shipping assets for RMB1.4bn ($210m) to its fully owned subsidiary, Hainan Haisheng Shipping, which was established in May for the internal restructuring of the company.

The company said the overall shipping market is still sluggish, and it is looking to switch its business focus to more profitable emerging sectors.

China Shipping Haisheng used to be a subsidiary of China Shipping Group, becoming a privately controlled company after China Shipping sold its shares to Lanhai Group in 2015.

China Shipping Haisheng expects to register a net loss of RMB715m ($107m) for the first half of 2016, down substantially from the RMB105m ($15.7m) net profit posted in the same period of 2015.

Stolt-Nielsen chooses Keppel for a pair of new LNG tankers

Oslo-listed Stolt-Nielsen has decided to award the construction of two (with options for further two) LNG tankers with 7,500 cu m capacity to the Singapore-based Keppel Offshore & Marine, sources close to the deal tell Splash.

The investment for both those vessels will be over $50m and the deliveries are scheduled from 2018 onwards.

A few weeks ago Stolt-Nielsen’s top managers revealed that there were in advanced discussions with one shipyard based in Asia for two vessels tailor made to serve a developing LNG terminal onshore in the Italian port of Oristano, Sardinia. The ship order was subject to the release of the final approval on the project from the Sardinia region which came just yesterday thus allowing the project to go ahead. In the next few days Stolt-Nielsen is therefore expected to proceed signing the shipbuilding contract with Keppel.

Higas is the company in charge for studying, projecting and building up the onshore terminal controlled by two Italian companies, Gas&Heat and CPL Concordia. In October last year Stolt-Nielsen purchased a 10% stake in Higas, with an option to acquire up to 80% of the Sardinian company. The LNG is to be shipped to the terminal in Oristano by LNG tankers and distributed to customers via pipeline, trucks and also from ship to ship.

For Keppel, which has downsized dramatically this year on the back of the offshore slump, the order is an enormous fillip. Demand for small LNG tankers is set to be large in the coming years and could become a real revenue base for the troubled yard.

Russia invites China to invest in its shipyards

Russia has invited China to invest in shipbuilding facilities in the Far East of the country, reports say.

“We are proposing our Chinese colleagues to contribute to the development of our shipbuilding in the [Russian] Far East. We are interested in attracting Chinese partners,” Andrei Denisov, Russia’s ambassador to China, told Sputnik.

Denisov said the Zvezda shipyard, located in the town of Bolshoy Kamen in Far East Russia, is a prime candidate for Chinese investment.

“If the Chinese side expresses interest in the reconstruction and modernization of production at the Russian Zvezda shipyard, then we will consider options, whether it would be investments or the purchase of a stake,” he continued.

Plans to modernise the shipyard were announced in the late 2000s and were revived again in June, when Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin called the expansion project was one of the most important construction projects in the country. Modernisation of the yard will also speed Russia’s Arctic development plans, Sputnik reports.