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Australia: Clough Completes Sale of Marine Construction Business

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Engineering and construction company Clough Limited announced that it has completed the sale of its Marine Construction business to SapuraCrest Petroleum Berhad for gross proceeds of approximately AUD 127 million and on the terms previously reported in the company’s ASX Announcement of 8 August 2011.

Clough’s offshore Marine Construction Division includes the derrick lay barge, Java Constructor, and associated marine construction equipment. Also included will be Clough’s interest in the Clough Helix Joint Venture, which operates the chartered Normand Clough vessel, and its investments in specialist engineering businesses, OFI and Peritus. Relevant contracts including the Chevron Gorgon Domestic Gas pipeline project are proposed to be novated.

Post transaction the division will continue to operate from Perth with a continuing focus on both the Australian and regional markets. Clough will continue to provide a number of back office services to the business for a period of two years.

About Clough

Established in 1919, Clough delivers an integrated Engineering, Procurement and Construction service to oil and gas and mineral resources projects primarily in Australia and South East Asia. The Group’s services range from concept development through design, construction, installation, commissioning, operations and maintenance.

Backed by an experienced management team, over 3,600 personnel and sophisticated project management systems, we are recognised for our commitment to safety, sustainable development and the wellbeing of the people, communities and environments in which we operate.

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UK: Siemens Increases Stake in Tidal Energy Company Marine Current Turbines

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British tidal energy company, Marine Current Turbines Ltd, announces that Siemens is increasing its share in the company to 45%.

With this increase in its stake, Siemens is strengthening its activities in ocean power generation. We will actively shape the commercialization process of innovative marine current power plants,” said Michael Axmann, CFO of the newly founded Solar & Hydro Division within Siemens’ Energy Sector.

Marine Current Turbines (MCT) has evolved from a pioneer to a technology leader in horizontal axis marine current turbines and now has 25 employees. In February 2010 Siemens acquired a minor stake in the Bristol-based company and thus entered the marine tidal current market. Financial details of today’s announcement are not disclosed.

Ocean power is emerging with strong growth rates driven by global CO2 reduction commitments. Until 2020, experts anticipate double-digit growth rates for the ocean power market. Based on further estimates the global potential for power generation using tidal power plants is 800 terrawatt-hours (TWh) per annum. For comparison, that is equivalent to between three and four percent of power consumption worldwide.

Dr Andrew Tyler, CEO of MCT said: “Through the expansion of the partnership with Siemens, we have further strengthened our position in the tidal energy market. We have the increased backing of a major industrial player which is essential to support the commercialization of our proven technology. We are about to approach investors to secure funding for our first two tidal array projects, and Siemens’ increased investment as well as UK Government support should give investors the confidence that we have the necessary backing to deliver these crucial projects and the ones to follow.”

MCT plans to present two Project Investment Prospectuses to the market within the next month for its 8 megawatts (MW) Kyle Rhea project in Scotland and its 10 MW Anglesey Skerries project in Wales. For both projects, applications for leases from The Crown Estate have already been approved. The UK Government’s recent ROCs Banding announcement (October 20) will support these projects with 5 ROCs per megawatt hour proposed for tidal energy.

In addition, MCT is planning to deploy a tidal system into the FORCE facility in Canada’s Bay of Fundy and has an approval for a lease from The Crown Estate to deploy a 100 MW tidal farm off Brough Ness, on the southern most tip of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

MCT has already successfully implemented its first commercial scale demonstrator project SeaGen in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. Since November 2008, SeaGen’s two axial turbines, with a combined capacity of 1.2MW, have been feeding power into the grid to supply the equivalent of around 1500 homes. SeaGen has to date generated over 2.7GWh of electricity to the grid, the largest amount of electricity in the whole of the ocean power sector.

Marine current turbines generate electricity by utilizing tidal current flows. The SeaGen turbine is fixed on a structure and is driven by the flow of the tides with a key advantage that the generated power is precisely predictable in the tidal cycle. This technology effectively is similar to that of a wind turbine with the rotor blades driven not by wind power but by tidal currents. Water has an energy density of more than 800 times that of wind. Twin rotors rotate with the movement of the tidal flow and pitch through 180 degrees to optimally track tidal current direction and speed.

Marine current turbines are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2010, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR28 billion, making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, Siemens’ products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 270 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Hong Kong, London, New York, Tokyo, Delhi and Singapore.

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Fairmount Marine Brings Ocean Yorktown Rig in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

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Fairmount Marine’s tug Fairmount Alpine has delivered the semi submergible drilling rig Ocean Yorktown safely in Brownsville, US, after a 5,400 miles tow from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Fairmount Marine was contracted in July by Diamond Offshore, a leading deepwater drilling contractor headquartered in Houston, to tow the semi submersible drilling rig Ocean Yorktown to the Mexican Gulf region. At that moment Fairmount Alpine just finished a special survey in Durban, South Africa.

The tug was instructed to mobilize towards Ro de Janeiro. Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro Fairmount Alpine assisted the Ocean Yorktown in the field until the rig was ready in each and every aspect to commence the voyage towards Brownsville. Fairmount Alpine successfully towed the Ocean Yorktown over a distance of 5,400 miles in just 34 days with a general average speed of 6.6 knots, including a two day bunker stop.

The tow of the Ocean Yorktown was the fifth operation for Diamond Offshore Drilling performed by Fairmount Marine. In 2010 Fairmount’s super tugs were involved in four operations for Diamond Offshore.

Original Article

STX Finland Inks Contract with Eide Marine Services for Two Well Intervention Vessels

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STX Finland Oy and Eide Marine Semi AS, a subsidiary of Eide Marine Services A/S, have signed a contract for the outfitting, completion and delivery of two highly sophisticated well intervention vessels with an aggregate contract value exceeding EUR 300 million.

The technically advanced well intervention vessels with deadweight of 31,000 tons will have a length of 122 meters and a width of 45 meters. The vessels are designed to operate in rough open sea conditions on Brazilian continental shelf. Vessels have innovative hullforms securing high seakeeping characteristics together with DP3 dynamic positioning system and truster arrangement. Large deck area provides opportunity to arrange all well serving equipment in most efficient way.

The project will create a high outfitting work load for STX Finland and its network. The work on the first hull will begin at STX Rauma shipyard in April 2012 and on the second hull in June 2012. The intervention vessels will be delivered from Rauma shipyard in March 2013 and June 2013. The contract is subject to certain financing conditions.

The contract shows STX Finland’s ability to provide competitive services and win significant contracts in this highly sophisticated and demanding offshore business segment. The contract is also an important part of STX Finland’s diversification strategy, in which the company is continuing to expand its operations into new business areas such as offshore business segment.

The outfitting contract for Eide Marine Services is a very important project for STX Finland. It shows that our strategic plan to expand our product and services portfolio,and to improve our global competitiveness and presence, has been successful”,says Timo Suistio, COO of STX Finland. “The project is very challenging both in terms of amount of outfitting work and the management of several global networking entities.” continues Suistio.

Original Article

USA: Wartsila, Shell Ink Cooperation Deal to Promote LNG as Marine Fuel

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Wärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions provider, and Shell Oil Company have signed a Joint Co-operation Agreement aimed at promoting and accelerating the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The agreement was signed in August 2011 and will run for several years.

Supplies of low cost, low emissions LNG fuel will be made available to Wärtsilä natural gas powered vessel operators, and other customers by Shell. The Joint Cooperation Agreement will focus first on supplies from the US Gulf Coast, and then later expand their efforts to cover a broader geographical range.

Gas fuelled marine engines are seen as being a logical means for ship owners and operators to comply with increasingly stringent environmental legislation. This agreement aims at increasing and easing the availability of natural gas for marine engine use, as well as developing the supply chain and infrastructure to facilitate the bunkering of LNG fuel. The two companies will jointly move these developments to marine markets in order to enhance its rapid introduction and use.

Wärtsilä has been at the forefront in the development of dual-fuel engine technology, allowing the same engine to be operated on both gas and diesel fuel. This dual-fuel capability means that when running in gas mode, the environmental impact is minimized since nitrogen oxides (NOx) are reduced by some 85 percent compared to diesel operation, sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions are completely eliminated as gas contains no sulphur, and emissions of CO2 are also lowered. Natural gas has no residuals, and thus the production of particulates is practically non-existent.

In addition to the environmental benefits that LNG fuel offers, the shipping industry is increasingly looking to gas as a means of reducing operating costs. With fossil fuel prices, and especially the cost of low carbon marine fuel, likely to continue to escalate, gas is an obvious economic alternative. In promoting gas propulsion, the two companies aim at reducing client risk, thereby accelerating market demand.

It’s an exciting time for the industry to have Shell, a major player, committed to increasing the availability of clean natural gas as a marine fuel. The marine community is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits provided by Wärtsilä natural gas engines as a means of reducing both costs and the environmental footprint. Natural gas engines represent a rare win-win, capturing emissions reduction and operational savings,” says Christoph Vitzthum, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Services.

Drawing from decades of experience in the development and application of natural gas engines for both the power generation and marine industries, Wärtsilä is the global leader in this advanced technology. “Clean, safe natural gas represents a true shipping paradigm shift; years ago it was sail to steam, then came the move from steam to diesel, and now it’s a new era for gas propulsion,” says Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

We are pleased to work with Wärtsilä to move forward with this significant step in introducing LNG-powered vessels into the US market, providing a clean, abundant and affordable fuel option,” said David Lawrence, Shell’s executive vice president Exploration and Commercial.

Original Article

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