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November 2009

Transcript of Newsletter 026


    Page 2 of 26


    Diversifying our Economy, one Ship at a time...

    Hello S&R Stakeholders,

    Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) 2009 One of the largest forums to be held in Port of Spain on November 23rd - 26th is organized by the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) in collaboration with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. It will provide a valuable opportunity for dialogue between business and government leaders from the Commonwealth and beyond, focusing on the themes Partnering for a More Equitable and Sustainable Future - the Commonwealth and the Americas.

    T&T Shipbuilding and Repair @ CBF + CHOGM Etienne Mendez - Chairman of the Trinidad Dry Dock Company (TDDC) has been specially invited by the CBC to undertake a presentation on the proposed Sullivan Island shipyard to be built off Sea-Lots, Port of Spain. TDDC presentation is to be held in The Cinema onboard the Serenade of the Seas (built 2003). The Radiance-class cruise liners are considered by many people to be one of the most beautiful ships in Royal Caribbeans fleet. Refer to page 24 for additional information or to read TDDC Project Exchange Profile, please click the following link:

    As a reward for S&R excellence, Stakeholder Yuhanna Yusuf will accompany me, having also been granted full accreditation by the National Secretariat, Office of the Prime Minister to attend events. TTSR News will feature in our December 2009 Special Edition - Issue #27, our award winning photos and videos, as we did for the Fifth Summit of the Americas (VSOA).

    S&R Cluster Featured in the International Media We continue to gain the attention of the media, including the worldwide web as a result of our positive outlook on the S&R industry. Click on the following links to read the featured article Bright Future for T&T Shipbuilding and Repair Sector: Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide, Breaking News and Supply or read the full article on pages 3-5.

    Sincerely, T&T Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster.

    Wilfred de Gannes. Deputy Leader.


    Page 3 of 26

    Bright Future for Trinidad and Tobago Shipbuilding & Repair

    Initially the idea was tabled to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier ships in Trinidad, as our country then and still today continues to be one of the main suppliers of LNG to the North American market. It was predicted that thousands of shipments would be required to lift these precious cargoes from Point Fortin for final delivery to various regasification terminals scattered along the eastern seaboard of the United States of America. At the early stages of this consultation exercise, local stakeholders had different views about this concept, as they saw as a prerequisite Trinidad and Tobago nationals first needing to build their competencies and to form strategic alliances related to the building of these technologically sophisticated ships. One of the main recommendations to the consultants was initially to specialize in the construction and repair of smaller vessels, vessels less than 5,000 DWT (deadweight tons, being the amount of cargo a ship could safely carry). Examples of these small vessels would be water-taxis, fast ferries, inter-island cargo ships, anchor handling supply vessels, tugs and barges.

    Next Generation of T&T Shipbuilders tour main shipyard in Port of Spain.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster, an initiative of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) was formed in 2007 to plan and carefully develop this new area of maritime activity within our twin island country. International maritime and transport consultants Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) and Global Insight were contracted by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT), through the MTI in September 2007 to undertake a comprehensive study on this sector.

    Continued on Page 4


    Page 4 of 26

    Within the last eighteen months, the T&T Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster which at present comprises some twenty-five local and foreign stakeholders has received various enquires from around the globe and these have been collectively estimated at TT$2.5 billion to date. These enquiries vary from shipbuilding, ship repairs and conversions and the establishment of new maritime service providers in Port of Spain. The cluster has also managed to attract a number of major global maritime players including, ASCO (British oil and gas logistic specialist), Det Norske Veritas (Norwegian ship certification), GAC (Dubai based logistics, shipping and marine services), Lloyds Register (London based ship certification) and Wrtsil (well known Finnish ship design, ship propulsion and automation manufacturer).

    Amongst the local cluster stakeholders are Alstons Shipping Limited (ANSA McAl Group), Damus Group, Tracmac Limited (Division of Neal and Massy Group), local dealer for Caterpillar marine engines, Cantrex Limited Member of the Bhagwansingh Group of Companies which produces aluminium extrusion supplies for the construction, shipbuilding and repair industries and several others.

    In the 2010 Budget recently passed in Parliament, approximately TT$100 million dollars has been allocated towards the design and build of two new harbour tugs by the National Energy Corporation (NEC). The government together with the maritime cluster, through the Shipbuilding and Repair Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited will be building, maintaining and repairing these types of vessels, as a result of this unique Public Private Partnership (PPP). Our country with its large fleet of water taxis, inter-isle ferries, harbour tugs and offshore patrol vessels on order would automatically become the largest customer initially. The result would be a net savings of millions of dollars in valuable foreign exchange and the employment of thousands of citizens directly and indirectly, as this industry is very labour intensive.

    In August 2009, another successful Maritime Mentorship Programme was undertaken for a second year. This programme was held during the vacation period and organized by the Business Development Company Limited (BDC), a state agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The aim is to encourage young men and women 15-17 years to seriously consider the maritime industry, including shipbuilding and repair as a rewarding career. Approximately fifty (50) Mentees participated in this years shipbuilding and repair presentation, which was oversubscribed. The programme included local and foreign speakers on the maritime industry and visits to ports and shipyards. Already, plans are to expand this programme in 2010 and to offer an internship to take these young graduates into an intensive period of learning and practical training at our main shipyard(s).

    Our country with its large fleet of water taxis, inter-isle ferries, harbour tugs and offshore patrol vessels on order would automatically become the largest customer initially.

    Continued on Page 5


    Page 5 of 26

    With the ongoing world economic crisis, a recent article published in a local newspaper correctly stated that this has negatively affected the shipbuilding sector. This is simply because of the existing demand and supply imbalance which is the case primarily for the large ships over 5,000 DWT. Looking back, the original recommendation made to the foreign consultants by the Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster in 2007 is correct. Luckily, for all concerned this recommendation was accepted. Nevertheless, as in the old saying with crisis there is opportunity, as a result of the current downturn, there is an enormous glut in the worldwide oversupply of these large ships including LNG Carriers, Bulk Ore Carriers and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) chasing a small number of cargoes. This has created a new market for the Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster and our country, as thousands of these ships that were ordered in 2007 and recently launched by foreign shipyards located mainly in South Korea, Japan and the Peoples Republic of China have to be laid-up, some without ever having transported a single shipment of cargo.

    Trinidad is also blessed with having one of the largest natural sheltered harbours in the world, the Gulf of Paria, which is located outside the hurricane belt. The numerous yachts that arrive at Chaguaramas Bay testify to this. Several large ships with varying flags fluttering in the mild breeze are clearly seen in the Gulf of Paria. Already, some of the cluster stakeholders have started the business commonly referred to in the maritime world as ship lay-up. The crisis has created a new opportunity for our country and is fast becoming a valuable earner of foreign exchange. Possibly, the Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster may also have to officially include this maritime word in their vocabulary, as increased demand for smaller vessels would be immediately needed to properly service the needs of these larger ships, while they patiently await instructions from their respective owners / ship managers thousands of miles away.

    The shipping industry is a multi-billion dollar global industry, one which is the first to feel the effects of a recession and also the first to recover. Recently, Mr. Joep Gorgels, head of European Transportation at Fortis Bank Nederland stated We have to find 500 billion needed for ship financing between 2011 and 2012. If our local shipbuilding industry would successfully get half of one percent of this huge amount, it would be unsound for any writer, economist or potential investor to describe the future of local shipbuilding as being bleak.

    What better diversification of our economy can a country want at this present time? Our country has substantial foreign exchange earning capacity: the industry is also labour intensive.

    In the dynamic maritime industry there is an old saying: If you stop moving, you're dead.''



    Page 6 of 26

    T &T COAST GUARD PATROL VESSELS IMPRESS DURING TRIALS The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) has described the speed and maneuverability of its Austal-built 98.4 ft patrol boats as impressive following recent sea trials in Western Australia. Ordered in 2008, half of the six-vessel fleet has already commenced a 33-day delivery voyage to Trinidad and Tobago, with the remaining three on schedule for completion at the end of the year.

    Each vessel will be armed with general purpose machine guns, and a 20mm cannon. They will enable the TTCG to provide sustained surveillance in the countrys internal waters, the archipelagic territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone.

    Recent sea trials demonstrated the maneuverability of the lightweight, all-aluminium platform, which achieved a maximum speed of more than 40 knots, as well as a small tactical diameter and short crash stop distance.

    Director of Trinidads Defence Transformation and Integration Secretariat, Commander Garnet Best, said the TTCG had been impressed with the performance of the vessels so far.

    Our first impressions of the vessel were excellent, with the boat maneuvering well and the speed right up over 40 knots, Commander Best said.

    We were also impressed with the noise levels inside the vessel, given many similar vessels can be quite noisy. These vessels will be the first of their size in the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard with water jets and as far as I have seen the technology is very good.

    Austal was awarded the contract following a competitive international tender process. Austal is also providing crew training and five years of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance services in Trinidad and Tobago under the contract.

    According to Commander Best, the vessels would be used to create a security blanket around the waters of Trinidad and Tobago. Sea trials are currently underway on the remaining three vessels.


    The first three vessels TTS Scarlet Ibis, TTS Hibiscus and TTS Hummingbird - departed Austal last month and are likely to be available for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2009.


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    Page 8 of 26


    Page 9 of 26


    At the heart of Oasis of the Seas, the worlds largest passenger vessel, beneath an original carousel, an array of restaurants, surfing simulators, rock-climbing walls, a tropical living park and guests and crew on board, are two sets of three Wrtsil engines, powering everything on the ship.

    STX Europes shipyard in Turku, Finland will officially hand over Oasis of the Seas to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL). The 360 metres long vessel is powered by Wrtsils most modern, high technology equipment. Oasis of the Seas is equipped with a total of six Wrtsil 46 engines, three 12-cylinder and three 16-cylinder engines, generating more than 96 MW. The vessel is also equipped with four 5.5 MW Wrtsil bow thrusters, which are among the largest in the world.

    Wrtsils engines are equipped with common rail technology, which provides an important and very visible advantage. As the combustion and other process parameters can be adjusted for lower load ranges, smoke emissions can be reduced. Wrtsil continuously aims to improve the environmental performance of its products and solutions, with the main focus being on improving efficiency and minimizing emissions.

    The Wrtsil bow thrusters make the vessel easy to operate. They have a combined power output of 22 MW. In fact, the bow thrusters alone have more power than is installed on a normal cargo ship.

    Pushing the boundaries of cruise ships

    Royal Caribbean International, a brand of RCCL, is consistently pushing the boundaries of what is thought to be possible, offering more options and choices for its guests by introducing innovative amenities and a revolutionary design that achieves higher safety and environmental standards.

    The cruise lines Freedom of the Seas was the largest passenger ship in the world when it was launched in 2006, and the largest ever built in terms of passenger capacity (3,634) and gross tonnage (154,407), both records now shared by two other Royal Caribbean vessels of the same class.

    And now comes Oasis of the Seas, with a passenger capacity of 5,400 and a gross tonnage of 225,282. At 360 metres bow to stern, she is 23 metres longer than the Freedom class vessels and introduces even more innovative amenities than ever before. Oasis of the Seas has the first-ever living park at sea, with 12,175 plants, 62 vine plants, and 56 trees and bamboo. Theres a full-sized carousel, rock climbing walls, and two surfing simulators that allow guests to surf on the deck and a spectacular amphitheatre-style AquaTheater at the stern of the ship.

    Continued on Page 10


    Page 10 of 26

    Wrtsil provides the power to meet the onboard energy demand

    Propelling a vessel 360 metres long, 65 metres wide and carrying up to 8,500 people 2,165 of them crew members - is no small achievement. The vessels air-conditioning systems, production of 50 tons of ice cubes each day, and heating the water in the 21 swimming pools and Jacuzzis, together consume several megawatts of power, as does carrying all the supplies needed for a seven-day cruise.

    The engines are essentially a power plant that produces electricity, which is then used to run everything on board. The majority is used for propelling the vessel, but this floating holiday destination also has many other energy users. After propulsion, air conditioning is next on the list of major onboard energy consumers, says Fred Danska, Director, Cruise Business at Wrtsil.

    Port and Stern views of the Oasis of the Seas (built 2009) owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

    Continued on Page 11


    Page 11 of 26

    Long-term cooperation between Wrtsil and Royal Caribbean

    This is a quantum leap in terms of development, says Fred Danska, who has worked closely with Royal Caribbean for many years. Weve been working with Royal Caribbean on this project for several years, but our relationship goes all the way back to the 70s.

    Most of the Royal Caribbean ships have featured Wrtsil equipment, and Oasis of the Seas is no exception.

    The size of the vessels isnt the only thing that has changed in the 40 years Wrtsil has been working with Royal Caribbean. The engines have undergone continual development, as have customer preferences and choices. What was important in the 1980s is less important today.

    In the mid-1990s, suppliers of gas turbines made moves to replace diesel engines on cruise ships. Wrtsil came up with a solution that reduced emissions. This was common rail injection technology, now also fitted to Oasis of the Seas. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has selected Wrtsils common-rail-type engines for its other brands in the past. This is however our first common rail delivery to Royal Caribbean International, says Danska.

    Picture of the Oasis of the Seas engine room powered by Wrtsil.

    Continued on Page 12


    Page 12 of 26

    The highest standards of service and technology

    Studies indicate that cruises have higher customer satisfaction ratings than any other form of vacation, higher even than trips to Las Vegas or Disneyland, and thats their primary competition. Cruise companies are in the leisure business, not the shipping business, says Danska.

    Progress is continually being made below deck as well, and future cruise ships will be even more environmentally sound, thanks to Wrtsils work on SOx scrubbers and LNG (liquefied natural gas)-fuelled engines. Using LNG will eliminate all SOx emissions, reduce NOx emissions by 80 per cent, and CO2 emissions by more than 20 per cent.

    Watch Video: Oasis of the Seas: Propelling Oasis



    Page 13 of 26

    BANGLADESH SHIPBUILDERS FLOURISH ON SMALL VESSEL ORDERS Local shipbuilders are banking on the ongoing recession to carve itself a position in the global market, as the demand for smaller vessels has increased, shipbuilders and analysts said yesterday.

    Orders for small ships have gone up because of the global financial crisis, said Sakhawat Hossain, managing director (MD) of Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, an export-oriented shipbuilder.

    Giant shipbuilders cannot capitalise on this new market demand, as their projects will prove to be unfeasible because of the high overhead costs they bear," he said.

    He was speaking at the 'BFTI National Shipbuilding Conference', organised by Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) at Sonargaon Hotel, where analysts and shipbuilders focused on Bangladesh's potential to secure a position in the global shipbuilding market.

    Stefan Frowein, head of European Commission Delegation to Bangladesh, speaks at the 'BFTI National Shipbuilding Conference', organised by Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI)

    Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Head of European Commission Delegation to Bangladesh Stefan Frowein and Danish Ambassador Einar Hebogaard Jensen were present, while BFTI Chief Executive Officer Prof MA Taslim chaired the event.

    Khan said the government will facilitate the shipbuilding industry to allow it to excel.

    Analysts observed that Bangladesh has the scope to emerge as an export based shipbuilding nation within a decade because of advantages like cheap labour, a presence of nearly 1,000,000 skilled and semiskilled workers and industry related educational and training institutes.

    A long history of maritime activity and a favourable geographical location also placed the country at a favourable position, with about 200 shipyards and workshops to cater to the domestic needs for water vessels.

    Continued on Page 14


    Page 14 of 26

    However, Bangladesh's opportunity to emerge as a shipbuilding nation under global standards was created in the last couple of years, as other traditional shipbuilding nations showed little interests in making small ships.

    Two leading local shipbuilders -- Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd and Western Marine Shipyard Ltd -- have bagged orders to make over 40 small vessels worth about $0.6 billion mainly from European buyers.

    Including these two shipbuilders, according to analysts, about 10 local shipyards are capable of making ships up to 10,000 DWT as per international standards.

    But capacity upgrades and expansion are needed for a majority of them to compete in the global arena with shipbuilders in other countries, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and India.

    By 2012, the world will need more than 10,000 vessels, mostly small to medium sized, said the Western Marine MD.

    His remarks came at a time when some local shipyard operators took a go-slow approach in expanding yard capacity to make ships of international standards, as recession drastically cut demand for new shipbuilding orders in 2009.

    But this is of little relevance to the Bangladeshi shipbuilding industry, as the market for certain sections of small-ships and vessels of various types is unaffected by recession, said Dr Abdullahel Bari, chairman of Ananda Shipyard, which pioneered in winning orders to build ships for export.

    Prof Khabirul Haque Chowdhury, head of the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), said recession has caused a drop in demand for large vessels.

    Shipbuilding recession will have to end. Orders will be activated, may be of different sizes, he said, suggesting yards go for expansion and upgrades to win export orders.

    Citing examples from South Korea, he said in the past recession, the country expanded its capacity instead of reducing business scales. They succeeded, he said.


    By 2012, the world will need more than 10,000 vessels, mostly small to medium sized

    Western Marine Shipyard Managing Director.


    Page 15 of 26

    CHET MORRISON LAUNCHES FLOATING DRY DOCK IN MEXICO Chet Morrison Contractors, S. de R.L. de C.V. has successfully launched a new floating dry dock at its shipyard facility located in Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico.

    The floating dry dock expands the companys ability to provide ship repair, conversions, upgrades, maintenance, and labor services to oil and maritime companies both regionally and internationally.

    The dry dock has a 7,700 long ton lifting capacity, measures 270 long, has a 1306 beam, 1126 width between wing walls and meets the ABS Floating Dry Dock rules and regulations.

    The construction of the dry dock, designed and built by CMC Mexicos locally skilled workforce, highlights the companys ability to develop large-scale projects from conception to completion. As the largest floating dry dock to be built by a workforce in Mexico, it marks an historical milestone for Mexicos maritime industry.

    Continued on Page 16


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    This project was very exciting for us on many levels. The construction of the dry dock helped to generate numerous jobs directly and indirectly for the people in Alvarado, and we plan to continue to develop this shipyard facility to become a hub for energy related services, stated Jeffrey Lee, Chief Operations Officer of Chet Morrison Contractors.

    Chet Morrison Contractors workflow efficient facility in Alvarado, Mexico is located on a 40-acre yard site with convenient access to the Gulf of Mexico. The yard boasts 1,200 feet of bulkheaded waterfront property and offers 24-hour scheduling capability. CMC-Mexico provides fabrication, sandblasting, painting, welding services, and now offers ship repair services.

    Chet Morrison Contractors, a subsidiary of Morrison Energy Group, is a leader in providing construction services, including pipeline, diving, well services, ship repair, fabrication, and construction both inland and offshore. CMC operates platform fabrication yards in Houma and New Orleans, Louisiana with international facilities in Mexico and Trinidad. The Companys vision in conducting integrated solutions with its performance-driven team of experts has brought it to the forefront as a principal participant in the oil and gas arena.


    WELCOME ABOARD! S&R Newest Stakeholder - Svitzer Marine Trinidad and Tobago Limited.

    Since 1833, SVITZER has developed a number of specialist and interrelated services within harbour, terminal, and ocean towage, salvage and emergency response as well as fast transportation of crew and supplies to offshore installations.

    The cornerstone of their business is an unconditional respect for each other and the world we live in.

    SVITZER sets the highest standards of training and knowledge in their industry, and encourages a culture of safety, innovation, and entrepreneurship amongst its employees.

    With a diverse fleet of more than 550 vessels operating in more than 35 countries, SVITZER is today a leading provider of marine services and can be counted upon to provide tailored solutions to clients all over the World.


    Page 17 of 26


    Fabrication Shop of CSL Small Ship Division Opened - October 13th 2009

    The Union Shipping Secretary, Mr A.P.V.N. Sharma, has inaugurated the small ship division fabrication shop of Cochin Shipyard Limited as part of its expansion plan for concurrent construction of commercial ships, together with the aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy. The project, which is nearing completion, involves an investment of Rs 98.63 crore. Addressing the function, Mr Sharma said the proposal of the yard to raise funds through an IPO would be considered favourably, together with an ESOP (employee stock option plan). The fabrication shop is a large facility within the small ship division and can undertake around 1,000 tonnes of fabrication a month. It is serviced by three cranes, two 50 Ton cranes and a 10 Ton crane. The commissioning of this facility is a major step forward in completion of the small ship division project.

    Western Marine Plans Second Yard - October 1st 2009

    The largest Bangladeshi shipbuilder, Western Marine Shipyard, has announced plans to construct a US$100 million facility at Anwara, Bangladesh. According to The Financial Express, the company has bought more than 50 acres of land in preparation for the construction of its new yard and is seeking a joint venture agreement with top European shipbuilders.

    Western Marine appears to have ridden the global economic crisis unscathed, maintaining a strong orderbook and profits throughout the downturn, and is certainly in a tiny minority of shipyards exploring major expansions at this time.

    Drydocks World Trains in Batam, Indonesia - October 1st 2009.

    Drydocks World Southeast Asia has announced the official opening of a new training centre in Batam, Indonesia, with facilities to develop the technical skills of the local workforce.

    The training centre is an integral part of our continuing commitment to the Batam shipping industry, and a strategic move to increase the ratio of direct employees against our existing subcontractors, Mark Biggs, Managing Director of Drydocks World Southeast Asia, said.

    The centre has the capacity to train 200 people with specific programs designed to impart basic skills and enhance workmanship in all disciplines associated with shipbuilding, repair or conversion. It is located between the companys Graha and Pertama yards and will train personnel for all three of the Drydocks World shipyards on Batam Island. It is the companys intention to eventually use the centre for third-party training on a commercial basis.


    Page 18 of 26

    New Brazilian Shipyard in EBX-Hyundai Deal - September 17th 2009

    The offshore engineering and development arm of Brazilian energy conglomerate EBX has partnered with Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea, to sign a deal for a new shipyard.

    The EBX group will invest around US$1 billion in the new yard to be built near the southern city of Florianopolis, Brazil, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    The yard is understood to be primarily for the production of offshore and oil exploration vessels for EBXs spin-off company OGX.

    Due to commence vessel production in 2011, the yard is reported to be 1.6 million square metres in size and will be focussing on building major offshore vessels including drillships and FPSOs.

    Jamaica Plans to Develop Shipping Centre - September 3rd 2009.

    The Government of Jamaica is working towards the goal of establishing the Island as a global Shipping Centre. Specialist consultants were in the country last week to hold discussions with a multi-sectoral team from government and private sector organizations as a precursor to developing specific recommendations as to the legal and institutional framework that will be required to develop and operate the Countrys maritime cluster on a sustainable basis.

    Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority which has the mandate for the regulation and development of shipping under the Shipping Act, and is spearheading the project, says: Jamaica is a maritime state by virtue of its history, international trade links, geographical position in the hemisphere and dependency on the sea. There is strong demand for our maritime facilities, particularly because Jamaica is strategically situated at the centre of an 800 million person market in the Western Hemisphere, including the largest market in the world the United States of America.

    Rear Admiral Brady explains: These are exciting times for Jamaica. The Government is actively pursuing the vision of developing Jamaica as a shipping centre, building on the achievements the Jamaican shipping industry has already made.

    We intend to make Jamaica a one-stop shop for shipping in the Caribbean region and indeed for this hemisphere!



    Page 19 of 26

    THAILAND TO BUILD OFFSHORE PATROL VESSELS Thailand has an 1,800 nautical mile coastline to protect, with responsibility resting mainly with the Royal Thai Navy (RTN). With a fleet of over 130 mainly modern vessels, including a small aircraft carrier, 15 frigates and corvettes, and six missile-armed fast attack craft, the RTN is one of Southeast Asia's larger, and better-equipped, maritime forces.

    The RTN's major warships are potent symbols of national sovereignty, and regularly provide a high-profile Thai presence in regional exercises with foreign navies.

    Also, they sometimes venture further afield on defence diplomacy missions.

    Regional concerns are mounting, though, over maritime territorial sovereignty, offshore resource protection, resurgent piracy, terrorism, search and rescue, and, in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, disaster relief.

    In response, the RTN has switched its acquisition priorities from deep-sea warships with surface, underwater and air warfare capabilities, to offshore patrol vessels (OPV), suitable for cost-effective patrol, enforcement, response and surveillance duties.

    Three locally-built Hua Hin-class OPVs entered service with the RTN in the early 2000s, while in 2005/2006 the RTN commissioned two 96-metre Pattani class OPVs, constructed by Hudong Shipyard, in Shanghai, China.

    Now, British Shipbuilder BVT Surface Fleet has forged an alliance with Bangkok Dock, for the construction of an advanced OPV for the RTN. Bangkok Dock will build the ship at their dry dock facility in the Thai capital, to a design supplied by BVT.

    The design of the helicopter capable, 90-metre, OPV will be based on that of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard's (TTCG) three new ships, which are at present in build in UK.

    This new class is a development of the British Royal Navy's River class ships, as, incidentally, are the trio of new ships, also currently being built by BVT in Britain, for the Royal Navy of Oman.

    Continued on Page 20


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    The TTCG vessels, which are set for busy operational lives combating the international trade in illegal narcotics, will each be armed with one 30mm cannon, backed up by machine guns. They will be able to operate an Agusta Westland AW-139 medium helicopter from a 20-metre flight deck, and will carry a high-speed RIB for interception and boarding duties.

    Long range offshore surveillance will be enabled by the Scanter 4100 radar system, and the advanced Ultra Osiris mission management system will be fitted.

    The TTCG ships will be powered by twin MAN 16v 28133D diesels, producing 7.2MW, and linked to controllable pitch propellers to enable a top speed of about 25 knots. The specifications for the RTN ship are likely to be similar to those of the TTCG vessels.

    The BVT-Bangkok Dock venture will involve the transfer to Bangkok Dock of BVT technology, design and construction skills, and may include some British-built modules.

    Follow-on vessels of the same type may later be built by the Thai company.

    This new OPV deal is in accord with BVT's strategy of establishing itself as a major player in Asian warship construction. The main aim is for the company to compete much more effectively in the potentially highly lucrative regional naval market by taking advantage of Asian business costs, which are far lower than those in Europe. Local construction will also strengthen BVT's hand in negotiations with prospective customers, which nowadays often include demands for both technology transfer and offset contracts.

    Incidentally, British-designed warships have been built in Thailand before. The three RTN anti-submarine corvettes of the Khamronsin-class, and the similar, but far less heavily armed, Royal Thai Police patrol ship Srinakarin were all completed locally, in the 1990s, to a design by Vosper Thornycroft, a company which has since been acquired by BVT.

    The Hua Hin-class OPVs were also built to a design based on that of the Khamronsin.

    The BVT-Bangkok Dock contract underscores Thailands policy of acquiring warships from diverse sources. The RTN has, over the years, commissioned vessels designed and built in China, Europe and the USA, as well as indigenously-constructed craft.

    Continued on Page 21


    Page 21 of 26

    This policy avoids the perils of over-reliance on a small number of suppliers, but can pose maintenance challenges.

    BVT's Asian expansion ambitions are not just focused on Thailand, though, and there have been reports that the company is negotiating with both the Indian and Malaysian shipbuilding industries.

    The Indians are reportedly particularly interested in importing BVT's expertise in modular shipbuilding techniques, to be used in the construction of a new class of advanced OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard.

    Modular building, involving of more than one yard in the build of a ship, so as to take advantage of a geographical spread of skills, and costs, is now not uncommon, and is not confined to the construction of merchant vessels.

    For instance, the building of the Royal Australian Navy's new landing ships, and guided missile destroyers, is to be split between yards in Australia and Spain.

    For some years, a project for the construction, by BVT, of two upgraded Lekiu guided missile frigates for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) was in gestation. The plan was for construction of the warships to be shared between UK and Malaysian yards, using modular techniques. The enhanced Lekiu project though, seems recently to have been halted, probably for financial reasons. BVT is instead reportedly offering OPVs, to be built mainly in Malaysia, with British assistance.

    Another possibility for BVT is the modification and sale to the RMN, of the three Seawolf missile-armed Bendahara Sakam-class corvettes, completed by BAE Systems for the Royal Brunei Navy in 2003-2004, which are currently languishing alongside in UK.

    Following a complex contractual dispute, the Bruneians finally took ownership in 2007, but immediately put them up for sale.

    These compact but heavily armed warships could represent an economical alternative to new-build vessels to satisfy the RMN's need for an expanded deep sea presence, but they are not ideally suited for sustained offshore patrol work, particularly as they do not have a helicopter capability. Furthermore, other countries, including Algeria and the UAE, are thought to be interested in acquiring them.



    Page 22 of 26

    EUROPE FUNDS SHIPPING STUDY IN THE SUB-REGION The European Commission (EC) announced it is providing Euro 200,000 (US$293,738) towards a study on shipping within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

    It said that the two main outcomes of the study are to conduct a passenger demand survey and to ascertain whether such a shipping service would be sustainable over a long period. It is also expected that recommendations will be made with respect to the structure, characteristics, form, routes and appropriate costing of an OECS shipping line.

    With rising food costs worldwide and in the Caribbean within the past year and a half, there has been tremendous pressure on regional leaders to conceptualise a food security plan and it is felt that the establishment of a shipping line will assist in this endeavour.

    Further the lack of adequate intra-regional shipping facilities before and after a natural disaster is a continued impediment to the implementation of preparedness and post disaster activities, the EC added.

    The study is expected to last three months and will solicit views from various civil society organisations, government agencies and regional development bodies.


    The study will be launched on October 13th 2009 in an effort to determine whether a system of passenger, freight and combined transport routes can be developed.

    The establishment of adequate sea transport is at the root of the study and if it materialises would enhance the export capabilities of the islands' agricultural output, and provide alternative passenger routes which satisfy demand for travel between OECS member countries, as well as explore possible pricing structures that can satisfy adequate return to operator, the EC said in a statement.


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    Page 24 of 26


    Mr. Wilfred de Gannes, Deputy Leader, T&T Shipbuilding and Repair Cluster, Post Office Box 2853, Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. Tel: (868) 753 - 6057 Fax: (868) 662 - 6326 E-mail: [email protected] Website:



    To continue reading CARIBARENA article click:



    T&T Dry Dock Company Limited at CBF 2009 Trinidad and Tobago Dry Dock Company Limited (TDDC) Chairman, Etienne Mendez says he accepted an invitation from the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) to address its upcoming Commonwealth Business Forum to be held in Trinidad on the Serenade of the Seas (built 2003). Mendez will address the Forum on the theme Sustainability Engineering and Design in the Caribbean.

    TDDC is excited at the invitation, which provides an excellent opportunity to unveil to an influential international business audience our plans to establish a strong maritime, dry docking and ship repair industry in the Caribbean and South America, said Mendez.


    Page 25 of 26


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    Page 26 of 26

    Cover Page - November 2009IntroductionBright Future for Trinidad and Tobago Shipbuilding & RepairBright Future for Trinidad and Tobago SHipbuilding & Repair - Con'tBright Future for Trinidad and Tobago Shipbuilding & Repair - Con'tT&T Coast Guard Patrol Vessels Impress During TrialsPhotograph of Austal 30M TTCG VesselPhotograph of Austal 30M TTCG VesselWartsila Powers Royal Caribbean's "Oasis of the Seas"Wartsila Powers Royal Caribbean's "Oasis of the Seas" - Con't Wartsila Powers Royal Caribbean's "Oasis of the Seas" - Con't Wartsila Powers Royal Caribbean's "Oasis of the Seas" - Con't Bangladesh Shipbuilder Flourish on Small Vessel OrdersBangladesh Shipbuilder Flourish on Small Vessel Orders - Con'tChet Morrison Launches Floating Dry Dock in Mexico Chet Morrison Launches Floating Dry Dock in Mexico - Con'tInternational NewsInternational News - Con'tThailand To Build Offshore Patrol VesselsThailand To Build Offshore Patrol Vessels - Con't Thailand To Build Offshore Patrol Vessels - Con't Europe Funds Shipping Study in the Sub-RegionMaritime Industry Web LinksContact InformationFor Your InformationDownload Past IssuesSubscriber ServiceLegal DisclaimerWebsitesASCO Trinidad Ltd Advertisement