Thurs, June 1, 2000


New sea lanes off California
IMO has finalized a U.S. proposal to move large ships further off the California coast and modify certain approaches to and from major ports.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at a press conference on San
Francisco's Yerba Buena Island.

The new routing measures are primarily designed to improve protection of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Gulf of the Farallones and
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries, and to ensure safe, efficient and environmentally sound transportation within this vital global trade corridor.

The shipping lane proposal developed through a two-year collaborative effort led by NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the U.S. Coast Guard.

More than 4,000 large vessels transit the central California coast every year, most traveling between 2.5 and 15 miles from the Monterey Bay Sanctuary's
shoreline. They pose a potential risk of catastrophic spills from the large amounts of heavy fuel oil they use in their powerplants.

The proposal announced Wednesday will place large vessels further offshore in north-south tracks ranging from 13 to 20 nautical miles from shore between Big
Sur and the San Mateo coastline. Ships carrying hazardous materials would follow north-south tracks between 25 and 30 nautical miles from shore. Tankers would remain at least 50 nautical miles offshore.

To facilitate the alignment of these offshore routes, the proposal also extends the vessel traffic separation lanes in the western end of the Santa Barbara Channel
and rotates the southern-most approach into San Francisco Bay further offshore to reduce the risk of grounding.

"These vessel routing initiatives will enhance the safety of navigation along the California Coast by increasing order and predictability for vessel traffic
patterns,'' said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater. "This will reduce the already low risk of collision for vessels navigating in and around the
marine sanctuaries.''

Slater also noted that routing vessels further offshore will provide more time for responding to disabled vessels to prevent them from grounding. At a cost of just
20 to 30 minutes in transit time, the new routing measures will reduce the likelihood of an already extremely low probability event.


 

Litton gets contract for additional LPD 17
Litton Avondale Industries, a division of Litton Industries, has been awarded a $477.7 million contract by the U.S. Navy for the construction of an additional ship in the Navy's newest class of amphibious assault ships.

The cost reimbursable contract is for the construction of LPD 20, the fourth ship in a planned 12-ship program. The follow-on eight ships in the program will be awarded over the next four years.

As prime contractor for the LPD 17 program, Litton Avondale leads a team composed of Bath Iron Works, Raytheon Electronic Systems and Intergraph Corporation. Design of the lead ship of the class is underway at Litton Avondale with actual production scheduled to begin this summer.

Eight ships in the planned 12-ship program, including the contract awarded today for LPD 20, will be built at Litton Avondale in New Orleans. Four of the vessels will be produced at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

The LPD 17 Amphibious Transport Dock Ships are designed to be 208.4 m (684 feet) long and 31.9 m (105 feet) wide. They will be the functional replacement for the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179 Classes of Amphibious ships. The ship's mission is to embark, transport and land elements of a landing force in an assault by helicopters, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles to conduct an amphibious warfare mission.



Chevron Mitsui joint venture orders VLGCs
Chevron Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. have announced through a joint venture company, a shipbuilding contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. of Japan. The contract calls for construction of two 82,200 cubic meter Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) carriers, with delivery expected during the last quarters of 2001 and 2002, respectively. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

The vessels will be placed on long-term time charter to Dynegy Global Liquids, Inc., a subsidiary of Dynegy Inc., a marketer of energy products and services and a leader in the LPG transportation business. Chevron Corp. has a 28 percent ownership interest in Dynegy Inc.

Operated by Chevron, the carriers will enhance Dynegy's ability to move large volumes of LPG at competitive market rates.

Tom Moore, president of Chevron Shipping Co., said, "These new vessels represent the continuing alignment of Chevron's business strategies with Dynegy. We expect this project will position Dynegy to continue its recent growth in the LPG transportation market and Chevron Shipping is proud to play a key role in that effort. This project also represents the continuation of a successful partnering relationship with Mitsui in the acquisition of quality tonnage for our customers' marine transportation needs."

A key Mitsui representative said, "We are very proud of this project which comes as a result of the tireless efforts of all involved, including two leading financial institutions, Credit Agricole/Indosuez and ING Bank as financiers."

The vessels will become part of the world's largest class of LPG ships known as "Very Large Gas Carriers" or VLGCs, and with a laden speed exceeding 17 knots, will transport volumes of propane or butane quickly and efficiently to global markets. The vessels will be configured to trade to either eastern or western hemisphere terminals.


New car-passenger ferry for SeaFrance
Aker Finnyards and the French SeaFrance have concluded a contract for the building of a new car-passenger ferry for the Dover ­ Calais route. It will be the fastest and largest ever to operate on the route. The contract also includes an option for another vessel.

The contract worth some 550 million Finnish marks ($86 million approx) gives the shipyard 800 manyears of work.

The new 32,000 grt vessel to be delivered in September 2001 will have a length of 185 m and a beam of 28 m. It will be able to transport 1,900 passengers in the highest standards of comfort and will offer vehicle deck space for 120 trucks or 700 cars. Service speed will be up to 25 knots, making it the fastest ferry on the route and reducing the crossing time to approximately one hour.


Conrad delivers spud barge
Conrad Shipyard, Inc. Morgan City, La., has delivered a new double rake, spud barge the Norman B for Sterling Equipment Company of East Boston, Mass. The barge is Classed ABS Maltese Cross, A1 All Oceans, and measures 150 ft long, 45 ft wide, 9 ft deep, and has 2 -24 square spud wells. The main deck is ABS approved for 2,000 pounds per square foot uniformed deck loading. Conrad Shipyards in house design and engineering expedited production. Construction time for the Norman B was 8 weeks. Sterling Equipment Inc. is a major East Coast marine and heavy equipment rental company. Norm Bourque, Sterling Equipments Marine Manager stated that the Norman B would commence a one-year contract upon arrival in New England.

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