Lewek Constellation Sets Industry Record

By MarEx 2015-06-08 19:41:08

Singapore-based EMAS has announced that its flagship subsea construction vessel Lewek Constellation has established an industry record for pipelay in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Lewek Constellation has set an industry pipelay record in the GoM in 7,368 feet (2,246 meters) of water during its sea trials. In preparation for the execution of three subsea tie-back projects for Noble Energy, it performed its final pipelay trial, and during the deployment of the 3.2 kilometer, 16-inch diameter, 28mm wall thickness pipeline, complete with the second end pipeline end termination (PLET), the tension recorded was 632mt, rendering this the highest tension ever experienced in the history of rigid reeled-lay operations.

“Successfully laying the test pipe at this record-breaking top tension during pipelay trials is a significant achievement for EMAS and an industry first,” said Lionel Lee, Chairman, EMAS AMC. “It’s a testament to the experience and expertise of our people combined with the quality of our new vessel built by EMAS Group’s subsidiary Triyards in Vietnam. I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our integrated project teams in preparation for this important milestone.

“What this record means for clients going forward is that we can offer a more efficient pipelay solution in ultra-deep water for pipelines up to 16 inch in diameter when compared to traditional S-Lay or J-Lay methods, even with thick insulation coatings, thereby giving our clients more options to consider,” said John Meenaghan, Vice President Global Operations.

The Lewek Constellation is an ice-classed, multi-lay offshore construction vessel with ultra-deep water pipe laying and heavy lift capabilities. It was initially conceptualized in 2009 and its hull was successfully launched in 2012. It measures 178.27m by 46.0m, features all single berth cabins and is designed to deliver complex projects in water depths exceeding 3,000m.

Additionally, the Lewek Constellation is only one of two vessels in the world in its class achieving the highest environmental and comfort notations, with an ice-classed hull capable of transiting through 0.8m of ice and a technologically advanced DP3 system. It also comes equipped with an 800mT Huisman multi-lay system that is able to support both rigid and non-rigid pipelines, a 3,000mT Huisman offshore heavy lift crane, two Schilling workclass remotely operated vehicles and a unique portable reel system which significantly reduces mobilization time.


Paris MoU Names Best Performing Flags

By MarEx 2015-06-08 19:25:10

The Paris MoU has published its new white, grey and black list with France maintaining top position and India moving up.

The White, Grey and Black (WGB) List presents the full spectrum, from quality flags to flags with a poor performance that are considered high or very high risk. It is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a three-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

The list contains 72 flags: 43 on the White List, 19 on the Grey List and 10 on the Black list.

The White List represents quality flags with a consistently low detention record. Compared with 2013, the number of flags on the White List has decreased by three flags to a total number of 43 flags. New on the White List is India, which was on the Grey List last year.

France has been placed highest on the list in terms of performance for the third year in a row. The next in line of the best performing flags in 2014 are Hong Kong, Bahamas, Norway and Sweden.

Flags with an average performance are shown on the Grey List. Their appearance on this list may act as an incentive to improve and move to the White List, says Paris MoU in a statement. At the same time flags at the lower end of the Grey List should be careful not to neglect control over their ships and risk ending up on the Black List next year.

There are 19 flags on this year’s Grey List. New on the list are Spain, Lithuania, Poland and Thailand, which last year were on the White List.

Belize has fallen from the Grey List to the Black List. The poorest performing flags are the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Moldova, Togo, Cook Islands and Dominica.

For several years the MoU Committee has closely monitored the performance of classification societies acting as recognized organizations (ROs) or flags. To calculate the performance of the RO, the same formula to calculate the excess factor of the flags is used. A minimum number of 60 inspections per RO are needed before the performance is taken into account for the list.

In 2014, 37 ROs are recorded on the performance list. Among the best performing ROs were:


Det Norske Veritas

Lloyd’s Register

American Bureau of Shipping

China Classification Society

The lowest performing ROs were:


International Register of Shipping

Bulgarian Register of Shipping

Compared with last year’s performance level, a small shift in RO performance in 2014 can be noticed. This year fewer organizations have been placed in the very low and low performing parts of the list and more organizations have been placed in the medium part of the list.

On July 1, 2015 the performance lists will be used for calculating the ship risk profile and flags on the Grey List and Black List are subject to the more stringent banning measures in force since 1 January 2011.

The full list is available here.


New IMO Limits of Liability Enter Force

By MarEx 2015-06-08 15:32:16

Amendments to increase the limits of liability for maritime claims enter force today under the 1996 LLMC Protocol.

The limits in the LLMC Protocol 1996 were raised and subsequently adopted in 2012 by IMO’s Legal Committee. The amendments increase the amount claimable for loss of life or personal injury on ships (not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage) to 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), up from 2 million SDR.

The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits of liability for certain types of claims against shipowners such as claims for loss of life or personal injury, and miscellaneous claims including property claims, delay, bunker spills and pollution damage.

The Convention also allows for shipowners and salvors to limit their liability except if “it is proved that the loss resulted from his personal act or omission, committed with the intent to cause such loss, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss would probably result”.

New limits

The amendments to the LLMC Protocol 1996 raise the limits as follows:

The limit of liability for claims for loss of life or personal injury on ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage is 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (up from 2 million SDR).

For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:

• For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 1,208 SDR (up from 800 SDR)

• For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 906 SDR (up from 600 SDR)

• For each ton in excess of 70,000, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR).

The limit of liability for property claims for ships not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage is 1.51 million SDR (up from 1 million SDR).

For larger ships, the following additional amounts are used in calculating the limitation amount:

• For each ton from 2,001 to 30,000 tons, 604 SDR (up from 400 SDR)

• For each ton from 30,001 to 70,000 tons, 453 SDR (up from 300 SDR)

• For each ton in excess of 70,000 tons, 302 SDR (up from 200 SDR)

The LLMC Protocol has 50 Contracting States, which between them represent 57.41% of the world merchant shipping tonnage.

Special Drawing Rights

The daily conversion rates for Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) can be found on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) website: http://www.imf.org/​)​


Guyana Lashes Back Over Disputed Maritime Territory

By Reuters 2015-06-08 14:56:47

Guyana’s new government on Monday attacked a decree by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro which it said seeks to annex Guyanese maritime space in the wake of an oil discovery.

The dispute between the South American neighbors goes back to the early 19th Century and has resurged after an offshore oil discovery by ExxonMobil Corp last month.

The decree creates a theoretical new “defense” zone offshore that would, in Venezuela’s eyes, leave the former British colony with no direct access to the Atlantic.

Guyana’s foreign ministry described the decree as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

“Guyana rejects this illegality which seeks to undermine our development through the exploitation of our natural resources offshore,” added the statement.

In April, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez wrote a letter to Exxon’s Guyana country manager Jeff Simon saying Venezuela would not accept the incursion or interference of any multinational company in the disputed territory.

The controversy centers on land to the west of Guyana’s Essequibo River, encompassing around two-thirds of the small English-speaking nation on the shoulder of South America.

Maduro’s decree changes a more conciliatory stance towards Guyana from his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was friendly with the previous government and sold Guyana fuel on advantageous terms under the Petrocaribe initiative.

However, elections last month unseated the party that had run Guyana for 23 years and gave former brigadier David Granger the presidency.

“I am convinced that the site which they (Exxon) are drilling is well within our exclusive economic zone,” he told Reuters days after his win. “It’s our territory. I don’t see that Venezuela – of all the countries on the continent – should oppose the extraction of petroleum from one of our sites.”

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, according to OPEC, and earns 96 percent of foreign income from oil.

Exxon, which is drilling in the so-called Stabroek Block, around 190 kilometers (120 miles) off Guyana’s coast, had no immediate comment on the diplomatic controversy.

In the last flare-up, Venezuela’s navy in 2013 evicted a ship used by Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp to explore for oil in the offshore Roraima block.

The disputed land has long been denoted on Venezuelan maps as a “reclamation zone. Beneath its jungle and savannah lie gold, diamond and bauxite – staples of Guyana’s economy.


SWIRE, Rickmers Forge Middle East and India Partnership

By MarEx 2015-06-08 14:19:52

SWIRE Shipping and Rickmers-Linie have launched a connecting carrier partnership in India and the Middle East, following an annoucement today.

Under this partnership, Swire Shipping, the liner shipping division of The China Navigation Company, will be able to connect its breakbulk and project cargoes in India and the Middle East, through Rickmers-Linie’s Middle East and India Service, to its network in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, via Singapore.

“This collaboration with Rickmers-Linie allows Swire Shipping to provide its customers with another shipping solution for their multipurpose cargo needs. It enhances our network coverage by providing a regular breakbulk service out of India and the Middle East into the South Pacific region,” said William Arblaster, Commercial Manager, Swire Shipping.

In total the cooperation will connect 12 ports in the transportation network and will accept cargo up to 120 metric tons.

Gerhard Janssen, Director Global Sales and Marketing for Rickmers-Linie added, “Since our vessels from Europe to the Middle East and India continue to Singapore, this cooperation offers an increased range of destinations and loading ports on offer for customers of both Swire Shipping and Rickmers-Linie. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.”

The first voyage is scheduled to depart Mumbai on 9 June 2015, the first voyage from Jebel Ali being on 28 June 2015. The load ports are Jebel Ali, Mumbai, Chennai, Dammam, Kolkata (other ports on inducement). The destination ports, via Singapore, are Papua New Guinea, Solomons, New Caledonia, Fiji, Australian East Coast, Darwin, East Timor and New Zealand.


French Port Closed Following WWII Bomb Discovery

By Kathryn Stone 2015-06-08 12:31:19

France’s busiest passenger port was closed until midday Sunday due to the discovery of WWII bombs.

The Port of Calais, which handles around 30,000 people per day crossing the English Channel, shut down operations June 7 after two WWII bombs washed ashore. There were no sailings from the port for approximately 7 hours as explosion experts raced against the clock to diffuse the bombs before the tide came in. Diggers were also called in to create sand barriers to protect a newly constructed pipeline less than 100 feet from where the bombs were located.

Authorities stated that the explosions could pose a danger to anything inside the one mile exclusion zone, which included the port. My Ferry Link reported two cancellations yesterday and P&O Ferries advised travelers to postpone their journeys saying that anyone affected by the closure could rebook free of charge.

The two bombs were dropped by Britain’s Royal Air Force in WWII as part of an extensive campaign against the German-held Calais. They had remained buried for over 70 years until recent construction at the port unearthed them.

A team of French army explosive experts safely detonated the bombs during the port closure and by about 2:30pm operations had resumed.

Currently, the Channel port is undergoing a650m-Euro ($730m) expansion project to increase capacity and improve infrastructure. The bombs are part of a larger discovery of 25 WWII explosives unearthed during the renovation project.