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April 16, 2009

ABS strengthens global engineering organization

Effective May 1, ABS will introduce a strengthened global engineering organizations. The new structure is similar to the successful approach the society has used to administer its global survey services in recent years.

Assistant Chief Engineer (ACE) positions are being created within each operating division. The Assistant Chief Engineers will reporting directly to ABS Chief Engineer Robert Giuffra in the corporate headquarters in Houston. will be responsible for technical engineering standards and interpretations in each division, technical monitoring of the engineering work undertaken, investigating client feedback, and providing guidance to the Divisional Vice Presidents of Engineering on technical issues.

Appointed to these new positions are Robert Spencer in the Europe Division, based in London, Roy Bleiberg in the Americas Division, based in Houston, and Wei Bao (Bill) Shi in the Pacific Division, based in Singapore.

ABS President and COO Chris Wiernicki says that creating the Assistant Chief Engineer positions to focus on the technical aspects of the engineering function, will allow the Divisional Vice Presidents of Engineering to spend more time on improving operational efficiencies, managing workflow and enhancing client service.

"As ABS continues to grow-- our classed fleet now exceeds 147 million gross tons and our orderbook remains above 70 million gross tons-- and as the number of less experienced shipyards has also grown," noted Mr. Wiernicki, "it has become evident that we need to evolve our organizational and administrative structure so that we can continue to provide the highest possible standards of service to our clients," he added.

"A careful analysis of our existing engineering structure indicated that our business activity had reached the limit of our traditional organization. These steps have been taken to realign ourselves with the demands that are being placed upon us, from both a technical and workflow perspective, so that we can continue to meet and whenever possible exceed the expectations of our ship and offshore clients."

The existing Vice President of Engineering positions remain. However, with Robert Spencer, currently Vice President of Engineering within the European Division moving into the Assistant Chief Engineer position, Dimitrios Kostaras has been named ABS Vice President of Engineering for Europe. The position will also be relocated from London to the large ABS office in Piraeus.

"This appointment and relocation reflects the wider geographical spread of ABS engineering activities within Europe and of the particular importance of Greece, and Greek shipowners as a focus of the current ABS newbuilding orderbook," said Wiernicki.


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