Dredge vessel Queen of the Netherlands arrives

January 31, 2008

The Queen of the Netherlands, one of the world’s most technologically advanced dredging vessels, arrives in Melbourne.

The Queen of the Netherlands will be the main vessel to undertake dredging as part of the Channel. The vessel will be highly visible as she transits Port Phillip Heads. Mr. Stephen Bradford, CEO of the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) said: ‘The ‘Queen of the Netherlands’ is state of the art dredging technology and is recognized as an environmentally responsible and sustainable method of dredging in the bay. The vessel has had to comply with extensive environmental, social and economic criteria and has been assessed in line with world’s best practice. ‘The vessel will operate under what are quite possibly the strictest environmental controls ever seen for a dredging project anywhere in the world, and its technologically advanced features will minimize disruption to the bay to as low as practicably possible.’ The Queen of the Netherlands is a self–propelled, highly manoeuvrable vessel known as a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge. The advantage of this vessel is its ability to load its own hold or ‘hopper’ while moving or ‘trailing’ slowly along a pre–set course. The vessel removes material from the seabed via suction pipes that lead from its side. The material is then stored on the vessel and deposited at a designated location in the bay.

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Sunken cruise ship located

January 31, 2008

The Royal Navy Ice patrol ship ‘HMS Endurance’, which amongst other tasks is carrying survey work in the Antarctic, has located the wreck of a cruise liner, which sank last year.

The work was carried out on behalf of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office to improve Safety of Life at Sea products and services. Merchant Vessel ‘Explorer’ hit ice and sank just south of the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula in November with all 86 passengers and 66 crew safely rescued. Whilst conducting hydrographic survey work of the area ‘Endurance’ pinpointed the position of the wreck. The wreck’s position is at the north-west end of the Bransfield Strait, and was located at a depth of approximately 1130 metres. The actual location is at 620 24.2929′ south 570 11.7748′ west. It is judged that the depth of the wreck showed that it presented no hazard to shipping. At the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ‘HMS Endurance’ undertook a search for the wreck of ‘Explorer’ to ascertain its position, assess the likely condition of the vessel on the seabed and observe any ongoing fuel seepage or other evidence of pollution. The survey work contributes markedly to the Safety of Life At Sea in the Antarctic region, which is taking on more significance with the annually increasing number of passengers in cruise liners visiting this breathtaking wilderness.

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Historic ships handed £31m boost

January 31, 2008

Two of the UK’s most famous historic ships are to be given a £31m boost out of lottery funds.

Some £21m has been awarded to the world’s oldest surviving warship, the 16th Century Mary Rose, to build a museum around her in Portsmouth. Another £10m will go to help restore the Victorian tea clipper the Cutty Sark at Greenwich in southeast London. The ship was badly damaged by fire in dry dock part way through a £25m conservation project in May last year. The Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s flagship and spent centuries at the bottom of the Solent after sinking in 1545. It was raised to the surface in 1982 after being rediscovered, and is now one of Portsmouth’s major tourist attractions. The Cutty Sark was due to reopen to the public in November 2009 but work will take another year to complete following the fire. Scott & Linton in Dumbarton to transport tea from China built the 900-tonne ship in 1869.

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Progress in simulation-based ship design

January 31, 2008

Simulation-based ship design increasingly replaces traditional-based design.

Extensive experience gathered over the last ten years on this topic enables Germanischer Lloyd, as one of the world’s leading technical supervisory organizations, to present various approaches and state-of-the-art at the Pacific 2008 trade fair. The presentation ”Progress in simulation-based design” took place today at the Maritime Engineering Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour. Ship designing processes are iterative, and subdivided into several phases during which the design is developed in increasing degrees of detail. In his presentation Karsten Fach, head of competence centre for engineering services at GL, focused on one basic activity in modern ship design: analysis. Germanischer Lloyd developed a numerical procedure based on the combined use of a boundary element method (BEM), a statistical analysis technique using random process theory, and an extended RANSE solver to obtain accurate responses of ships in a seaway. In simulations, forces exerted by the sea cause the vessel to move, exciting sloshing in the tanks. Extensive experience allows Germanischer Lloyd the numerical prediction of sloshing loads in ships with great confidence.

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Coal shortages across China now acute

January 31, 2008

China’s power shortages are now desperately acute with 17 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

These regions are suffering blackouts, and power grids in central China’s Hubei and Hunan provinces and south China’s Guizhou and Guangdong provinces seriously damaged, following the worst snow storms in the mainland since 1954 bringing the nation’s transport infrastructure to its knees as the world’s largest human migration – Lunar New Year – gets underway. Inflation is now very likely, as more than $3bn has already been lost with these transport delays. More than 77 million people have been affected by transport delays and hundreds of power stations have their coal stocks critically low, under two days reserves. Coal exports have been banned, while Beijing has commandeered many bulk ships to urgently relieve China’s strained national grid – the shortfall in power now exceeding the equivalent of the entire UK national grid. About 4.5 million tons of coal is expected to arrive at Guangzhou ports on 125 cargo ships, some of which had canceled international missions to assist in coal shipping from north to south.

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Tui flows boost AWE turnover

January 31, 2008

Australia’s AWE saw revenue rise 159% sequentially to A$223 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, driven by higher-than-expected production from its Tui project off New Zealand.

AWE reported a 24% increase in production compared with the previous quarter to 2.65 million barrels of oil equivalent, with the Tui project producing 3.95 million barrels of oil (1.68 million net to AWE). AWE said in its quarterly report that it now expects the field to produce 12 million barrels in its 2007-2008 financial year, up from its previous estimate of 11 million. The company also said it had boosted proved and probable reserves twice, in August and November last year, by a combined 50% to 41.7 million barrels. The four wells on the project produced an average total of 43,000 barrels per day, while production capacity at the field remained above 50,000 bpd. However, AWE water production also crept up at the field to an average 22,800 bpd. A further development well, Tui-4H would be drilled on the field ibn mid-2009. AWE operates the Tui project with a 42.5% stake. Exploration was continuing on AWE’s prospects on the Otway and Perth basins off Australia, at its 42.5%-owned Bulu production-sharing contract on Indonesia’s East Java basin, and at its holdings on the Taranaki and Canterbury basins on New Zealand.

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Thames pleasure boat scare

January 30, 2008

Six crewmembers were safely evacuated from a Thames pleasure boat after it hit Westminster Bridge and was in danger of sinking.

The 30-metre long ‘Millennium City’, which can seat up to 500 people with two bars and an open top deck, was not carrying passengers at the time, but lifeboats, a fire service boat, and police boats rushed to its aid. The stricken vessel was towed to nearby Westminster Pier where firefighters used pumps to control the ingress of water, by then two metres deep, and successfully seal the engine room. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Marine Support Unit said this morning that Millennium City was no longer in any danger and is now moored awaiting repairs. All six crewmembers on board the river cruiser were safely evacuated by the RNLI after the collision. The Metropolitan Police’s Marine Support Unit attended the incident and no arrests were made. It is not known if any of the crew will face charges relating to the collision.

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