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Survitec Service and Distribution wins new orders from Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has placed orders with marine safety specialist Survitec Service and Distribution (SSD) for 160 Crewfit Twin 2010 SOLAS approved gas inflation lifejackets and 100 Crewsaver Cell Drysuits, as part of a commitment to provide its crews with state-of-the-art safety gear at all times.

The cruise company, which sets a high priority on crew safety, has always specified SOLAS lifejackets for use on board, even when sailors are performing routine tasks in port. SSD's Crewfit Twin 2010 was designed to meet the stringent performance criteria of the SOLAS 2010 regulations (MSC200(80)). The lifejacket features two completely independent buoyancy chambers, each providing over 275N of buoyancy, with pressure release valves venting off excess gas on inflation.

The unique shaping of the inflation chamber gives improved body angle, mouth freeboard and face plane angles when in the water. Fitted with Hammar hydrostatic automatic inflation mechanisms, the jackets are resistant to accidental firing due to spray and excessive damp, making them ideal for use in lifeboats, rescue boats or ships tenders.  In use the Crewfit Twin 2010 is easy to don, light and flexible. It is ideal for wearing while working as well as for rescue or abandonment situations. The state-of-the-art design takes crew safety to a new level with the high buoyancy level providing added protection when heavy work gear and clothing is worn.

Princess Cruises has also equipped each of its vessels with a supply of Crewsaver Cell Drysuits for use by its Damage Control teams. The suits will provide protection from the wet and cold if crews need to deal with an emergency situation such as water ingress below the water line. The type of challenges that cruise ships might face at sea make it vital that crew have the necessary equipment and experience in place to be able to remedy any damage.

The Crewsaver Cell Drysuit offers total wind and water protection. 'Glideskin' neoprene neck and cuff seals make the suits easy and quick to don, while ensuring there is a tight seal against water ingress, keeping the wearer dry, warm and comfortable. Access is through a front zip for ease of use, while an engineered shape ensures excellent flexibility and freedom of movement. The suit is part of the Crewsaver leisure range, with an established reputation for durability and performance.

Princess is one of the premiere cruise lines in the world. Its fleet carries more than a million passengers each year to more worldwide destinations than any other major line and the safety of its passengers and crew is the company's number one priority. Last year the company equipped all vessels with SSD Man Over Board (MOB) Recovery Systems. The SSD MOB System can be deployed from the ship's pilot door to recover a person if difficult sea conditions prohibit the launch of a rescue boat.

Wärtsilä and Shell sign co-operative agreement to promote use of LNG as a marine fuel

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.

Lloyd Werft moves to new administration building

Lloyd Werft (LWB) has given up its 97 year old administration building and moved to new premises elsewhere in the Bremerhaven shipyard.

The move has taken place in stages and the final phase - the switch of remaining offices from the old administration building on Brückenstrasse 25 to the yard’s new administrative centre in Bückingstrasse – took place last Thursday and Friday and completed the shipyards internal re-organisation.

Lloyd Werft Managing Director Carsten J.Haake (44) praised the move from what used to be the laundry of the old Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) shipping company to the fourth floor of a new central administration building in the heart of the yard. He said it was "a big step forward on the road to a compact shipyard” and added that management hoped the concentration of all project and administration departments under one roof would mean “even more efficiency and optimal internal communications."

The desire for concentration is not new. Over the past five years, the design, costing and purchasing departments of LWB have already moved bit by bit out of the old buildings into the new central facility, which is located between the yard’s two Kaiser docks. When the final move took place, only about 20 personnel in the finance, personnel and IT sectors were still working alongside managing directors Haake and Ruediger Pallentin in the ground floor offices of the red brick building on the Brückenstrasse. 

Haake admits to "feeling a little sad at leaving this traditional old building." He recalls that Norddeutsche Lloyd began to construct it as early as 1914. The first part of the building was completed in 1918/19 as a laundry for the NDL fleet. It was expanded between 1922 and 1928 because its washing capacities could no longer keep pace with the laundry demands of the NDL fleet and the steamships “Bremen” and “Europa”. Uniforms, bed and table linen were all washed and ironed there. After the end of WW2 however, new NDL yard operational structures meant that the laundry was among facilities no longer required. The main building was converted into offices.

For 60 years the management, administration and project departments of the NDL shipyard, and later those of the Hapag-Lloyd Werft GmbH worked in the building. For the last 27 years, since 1984, it has been used by the Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH, which managed to keep its independence after the collapse of the Bremer Vulkan Group in 1996. All that is now history, but the address Brückenstrasse 25 in the Überseehafen will be retained and the North Gate entrance to the shipyard will remain in operation for delivery traffic, at least for the time being. The heart of Lloyd Werft however will in future beat in the central administration building in Bückingstrasse – an address which had a fine tradition even in the days of the NDL.

Along with the offices, a variety of conference rooms have also been created in the new central building. For Carsten J. Haake there are many advantages compared to the old situation. Lloyd Werft currently has 430 employees, among them 40 apprentices and he stresses that “with a workforce of this size we are in a good position to face future demands”. Haake also sees sufficient space potential in the as-yet-undeveloped areas of the fourth floor of the new central building for future yard expansion.

Juha Heikinheimo appointed President of Napa Group

Juha Heikinheimo (54) has been appointed to the position of President of Napa Group (Napa Ltd), a world leading provider of software solutions for the maritime industry. The appointment takes effect on September 1, 2011. Heikinheimo assumes the position from Matti Salo, who successfully served as President of Napa Group for eleven years. Salo will continue as President of the subsidiary, Onboard-Napa Ltd. He will focus his attention on customers and boosting the growth of the NAPA for Operations business.

Juha Heikinheimo has extensive experience of the shipbuilding industry. Most recently, he has served as President of STX Finland Oy. Earlier he worked as President of the Santasalo Group, and he also has about twenty years´ experience of various management positions within the Metso Group in Finland, France and Singapore. Heikinheimo started his career as a naval architect at Rauma Shipyard in 1983.

"The Napa Group is ready to exploit the new growth opportunities facing us," says Ari Elo, Chairman of the Board of Napa Ltd. "Our goal is to grow and further strengthen our position as a leading provider of software solutions and services for the maritime industry. I am very pleased to have Juha Heikinheimo onboard. I believe that his business and management skills combined with his strong background in shipbuilding will be of great value to the Napa Group. I am convinced that with these two experienced leaders, Heikinheimo and Salo, the Napa Group will be able to reach its bold growth targets," Elo continues.

"I am truly delighted to join the dynamic and successful Napa Group. As a global leader and forerunner in its industry, Napa's strength lies in its ability to offer customers user-friendly and reliable software solutions for the vessels entire life cycle  from design to operation. We will work together with the entire Napa team to identify new ideas and business opportunities that will further strengthen Napas position as a leading maritime software solutions provider," Juha Heikinheimo says. 

"We are witnessing remarkable growth in software solutions markets for ship operations. Our intention is to work actively to grow our share of these markets. Napa is committed to developing and delivering solutions and services that will improve the performance of our customers. Energy efficiency and safety together with environment friendly and sustainable solutions will become ever more important, not least due to new, stricter regulations and legislation. Napa can already provide fully compliant solutions for its customers," Matti Salo states.

VIKING Life-Saving Equipment cuts no corners on safety

Marine and fire safety equipment leader VIKING Life-Saving Equipment reports that its Laem Chabang, Thailand production facilities were recently OHSAS (Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001-certified. This brings the company’s Far East operations up to the same, exacting standards for workplace environment that are common practice in VIKING.

VIKING Thailand has worked in compliance with the ISO standards since the production facilities in Thailand were established in 2002. The OHSAS 18001 certification is therefore the natural next step in the company’s continuous focus on maintaining a safe and healthy workplace environment.

The aim of the internationally recognized OHSAS 18001 certification is to help organizations to control occupational health and safety risks. It was developed in response to widespread demand for a recognized standard against which to be certified and assessed.

Achieving and maintaining OHSAS 18001 certification is no easy task. It demands such elements as continuous improvement, policies and targets for work environment and safety, carefully mapped work stations and procedures to improve work environment and safety, the extended use of safety equipment and so on. Importantly, the certification requires the commitment of top management – something that is already well entrenched at VIKING’s global headquarters in Esbjerg, Denmark.

Contrary to popular belief, Thailand’s workplace safety legislation is among the world’s most stringent. In fact, Thai legislation is even stricter than that of Scandinavian countries in a number of aspects. Government support is also provided in the form of paid consultant assistance.

For VIKING executive vice president Allan Østergaard, the OHSAS 18001 certification for the company’s Thai facility is a natural part of the VIKING way of doing business. “All VIKING production facilities around the world must live up to the same, consistent safety standards. As a global organization, our people need to feel secure and confident about their own workplaces and those they visit in other regions as part of their work.”

Beyond benefits for worker health and job satisfaction, Mr. Østergaard also points out the business advantages of such global policies, where broad standardization of equipment and procedures can reduce training, speed up workflows and ensure consistent quality of manufacturing. “VIKING is a modern employer, founded upon human values, so disregarding workplace safety or quality standards when outsourcing to the Far East would be unthinkable for us.”

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