Monday, April 3, 2000

Brazil joint venture by Friede Goldman
Friede Goldman Halter, Inc's Friede Goldman Offshore division has signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian shipyard Estaleiro Ilha S.A. (EISA) of Rio de Janeiro.

Friede Goldman Offshore and EISA intend to form a joint venture that will actively pursue offshore energy projects in Brazil and other parts of the world with Friede Goldman Offshore serving as prime contractor and EISA providing fabrication services.

EISA --the former EMAQ --is one of Brazil's leading shipyards, with the capabilities of building any size vessel or offshore structure.

J. L. Holloway,chairman and CEO of Friede Goldman Halter, said he believes "EISA's skilled craftsmen and Friede Goldman Offshore's experience and designs will make a powerhouse in the Brazilian deepwater market."

Meantime, Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. reported financial results for the three months and year ended December 31, 1999. For the three-month period, the company
reported a loss of $40.3 million, or $1.39 per fully diluted common share. For the year, the company reported a loss of $30.8 million, or $1.18 per fully diluted common share. Results for both periods incorporate the results of Halter Marine Group subsequent to November 3, 1999, at which time Halter Marine Group was acquired by Friede Goldman International in a stock-for-stock merger. Fully diluted shares outstanding for the quarter and year were 29.0 million and 26.1 million, respectively.

The company says the reported financial results are consistent with the pre-announcement of the losses that was issued on February 22.




Problems mount at Hvide Marine
Jean Fitzgerald, Chairman and CEO of Hvide Marine Inc. has been hospitalized with a heart condition and is undergoing surgery today. The company said he would be out of the office for a minimum of four to six weeks. In his absence, President and COO Eugene F. Sweeney assumes responsibility for day-to-day operations while board member James J. Gaffney, is serving as interim Chairman.

The news of Fitzgerald's health problems follows a March 30 announcement by Hvide Marine that "due to adverse market conditions in its three principal businesses, it anticipates lower-than-projected earnings for the first quarter of 2000" and expected it would not be in compliance with certain covenants in its bank credit agreement as of March 31, 2000. Hvide Marine said it was in negotiations with its lenders to amend the bank credit agreement, the result of which will also determine the proper classification of the bank debt on its balance sheet as of December 31, 1999.

The company announced it had filed for a 15-day extension within which to file its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its extension filing, Hvide Marine noted that its losses for 1999 will reflect the impact of "fresh-start'' accounting principles, including asset writedowns and other charges directly associated with its emergence from Chapter 11. The company estimates that its net loss for the twelve months ended December 31, 1999 will be approximately $95 million.


 

Liberia to hold inquiry into Martina casualty
The Liberian flag vessel, Martina, official number 9334, was in collision with a Maltese container carrier, Werder Bremen, near Kullen Roads, southwest of Sweden in the early hours of March 28, 2000. It was reported that two of the crew of Martina were rescued and the other four crew are presumed dead.

Captain H. J. Moller, Nautical Inspector at Bremmerhaven has been appointed as Liberia's Investigating Officer, pursuant to Liberian Maritime Regulation, 9.258(4), to conduct an investigation into the cause of this casualty. The Investigating Officer is authorized to call on Owners/Operators of the vessel, to produce witnesses in their employ and to review all relevant books, papers, documents, and other
records in their possession relating to the incident under investigation. The Liberian authorities expect that the investigation of this incident will be a cooperative effort with the Merchant Shipping Directorate of the Malta Maritime Authority.

Liberian register marine casualty investigations are administrative proceedings that are essentially remedial in nature with the objective of improvement of safety of life and property at sea and the environment. Casualty investigations also include looking into possible violations of law or failure on the part of personnel, shipowners or ship operators, which could result in action against licenses, certificates of competency or documents.

In order to avoid prejudicing the fact-finding process, the Liberian authorities will issue no further comments until Captain H. J. Moller has completed his investigation. A report will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) when it has been approved by the Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Republic of Liberia.


ExxonMobil merger creates world's leading bunker supplier
The merger of the marine fuels operationss of Exxon and Mobil has created a network of over 150 ports in sixty countries, through which more than 15 million tons of marine fuel are supplied annually.

"Prior to the merger Exxon supplied almost 9 million tons annually, and Mobil over 6 million tonns," says Peter Healey, the head of ExxonMobil's new global marine fuels organization, which is headquartered in Leatherhead, England. There were very few
ports where Exxon and Mobil competed directly, he notes. "Singapore and the Suez were the only major ports where both companies had a physical supply, and the volumes there are such that there will be no loss of business."

 

The new organiisation's day-to-day operations will be in the hands of four general managers who will report to Healey, three in regional sales offices and the fourth in charge of trading and development. The Europe, Africa and Middle East sales office, headed by Sowmi Krishnamurthy, will be based in Leatherhead, near London. Joe Rud, general manager for trading and business development, will also be located there. The Asia-Pacific office, headed by Yeo Ek Thoe, will be based in Singapore and the Americas sales office, headed by Daniel Bryce, will be in Coral Gables, Florida.

 

 

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