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Survitec's RFD Beaufort business is awarded Queen's Award for Enterprise

Survitec Group's RFD Beaufort facility in Dunmurry, has been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise, for its RFD MarinArk Marine Evacuation System (MES).

Entered in the Innovation category, and specifically for "Continuous Innovation and Development", the RFD MarinArk attracted the attention of the award panel not only for its innovative design, responsiveness to regulations and the need for improved passenger safety, but also for its global commercial success.

Moya Johnston, Managing Director of the Dunmurry facility where the product is designed and manufactured, commented: "This is a fantastic achievement and international recognition for our business in Northern Ireland. We have worked extremely hard during what is a challenging economic period, to continue to innovate, deliver excellent products and remain competitive for a demanding customer base. Simply knowing that our product improves passenger and crew safety on board ships and ultimately, is there to save lives, is an enormous source of pride for all of us here in Dunmurry."

Survitec's history in marine survival equipment dates to Reginald Foster Dagnall in 1920, with the design of simple but critical flotation bags and rings for the Royal Navy's Aircraft. Marine Evacuation Systems as we know them today, began production at the factory in 1979, and in line with changes in regulation and advances in vessel design and increasing passenger capacities, the company has continued to invest in the continuous development of the product. It has also worked closely with Invest Northern Ireland, securing research and development grants to help bring the product to market with great commercial success.

Announced every year on the Queen's Birthday, only a small number of the hundreds of thousands of businesses who enter the awards are selected to receive a Queen's Award for Enterprise. It is an enormous boost to the Survitec Group to receive this award for outstanding achievement, particular recognising the achievements of its flagship product, MarinArk, which is designed and manufactured in Dunmurry.

Dunmurry was also recently recognised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineering with the MX Award for Most Improved Business 2011. This reflected achievements made by the business as a result of its radical modernisation programme to improve its management processes and which saw export sales increase 35% with on-time delivery and employee engagement ratings soar.

Royal Caribbean's Sunshine newbuildings to be powered by Azipods

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth more than $60 million to provide complete power and Azipod propulsion systems for two new cruise ships to be built by Meyer Werft at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL). The ABB order for the first ship was booked in 2011 and for the second vessel in the first quarter of 2012.

Founded in 1795, Meyer Werft builds special-purpose ships, and is especially well known for the construction of huge, modern and highly sophisticated cruise vessels. The new ships are the first vessels in Royal Caribbean’s new class of cruise ships, currently named Project Sunshine. The 158,000 gross ton ships will have a capacity of more than 4,100 passengers; in addition to redesigned spaces to optimize capacity and fuel use while maintaining passenger comfort, RCL and Meyer Werft will incorporate the latest energy efficiency and environmental technologies on the ship.

ABB’s delivery will help the new ships maximize their fuel efficiency, speed and maneuverability, reduce emissions, as well as provide a reliable power supply to improve the availability of onboard equipment, to help RCL meet its energy efficiency and environmental impact targets.
The vessels are scheduled for delivery to RCL in fall 2014 and spring 2015.

ABB will supply a complete electrical systems for the new ships, the delivery for each ship includes power generation and distribution systems, thruster motors, and two 20.5 MW propulsion systems including transformers, drives and two Azipod® XO propulsion units. ABB’s energy efficient Azipod propulsion uses less fuel than traditional systems, and provides greater maneuverability in all operating conditions.

"ABB offers the cruise ship industry the latest generation of technical solutions and solid electrical infrastructure that optimize vessel performance while enhancing passenger comfort and safety," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. "We are pleased that as the cruise ship market rebounds, a number of shipbuilders have chosen our market-leading Azipod propulsion systems for the next generation of cruise vessels."

ABB recently won a number of large cruise ship orders for its Azipod propulsion in the first quarter of 2012. Azipod propulsion systems can have huge impact on the operating efficiency of ships and floating vessels, and can reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20 percent. ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

ABB wins long-term contract from Carnival to improve energy efficiency

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won a long-term service contract from Carnival Corporation to maintain and upgrade ABB’s Azipod equipment over the next 15 years for 20 ships in their fleet, cutting costs by as much as $1 million a year per ship.

Carnival is the world’s largest cruise ship operator and has 20 cruise vessels with Azipod propulsion systems. ABB’s energy efficient Azipod uses less fuel than traditional systems, and provides better manoeuvrability in all operating conditions. The upgrades are projected to improve the already high energy efficiency of Azipod units by 2.5 to 4%.

"Customers in all industries are looking at ways to reduce overall lifecycle costs and make such costs more predictable, while continuing to improve equipment performance," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. "We provide a full portfolio of services, including ongoing technology upgrades and dependable maintenance support to help extend the life of equipment, and ensure that it runs at the highest energy efficiency levels possible."

The service contract covers technology and energy efficiency upgrades for all Azipod systems and propulsion condition monitoring for all ships, and other system equipment maintenance. 

The contract includes technology upgrades such as the newly designed Azipod optimized fin shape, which receives water flow from the propeller at a new, less acute angle that redirects the flow more efficiently and Azipod Dynamic Optimizer, a software tool designed to control the pod toe angle, which provides even greater fuel savings for large vessels. 

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs some 135,000 people.

Viator launches shore excursion booking website

Viator, Inc., the leading resource for researching and booking tours and activities around the world, has unveiled a new website specifically designed to help cruise passengers find and book shore excursions with savings up to 60% off typical rates offered by cruise lines, the company said in a statement.

The new website – shoreexcursions.viator.com – features more than 500 shore excursions in over 80 of the most popular ports around the globe, including new destinations Juneau, Monaco and Mykonos.

 The site has been designed for the complex nature of shore excursion bookings and will offer only relevant tours and activities, based on the specific itinerary of the cruise ship, with itineraries available from the world’s leading cruise companies including Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

"All passengers need to do is select the cruise line, ship name and departure date, and Viator will instantly load the cruise ship’s itinerary and present only those excursions that can specifically work for each port of call based on arrival and departure times, and availability," the company said.

Lloyd Werft partners with Vogler Marine Agencies in North America

Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven will have a stronger presence from now on in one of its most important core markets. Vogler Marine Agencies LLC, which has been one of the most successful international agencies since 1995, will represent all of the yard’s production sectors, not only in the USA but also in Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Costa Rica with immediate effect.

Lloyd Werft Managing Director Rüdiger Pallentin agreed on the co-operation with Don Vogler during the recent Cruise Shipping trade fair in Miami. Vogler has worked with his company in Flemington (New Jersey) since 1995. "There is hardly anyone more closely linked to the ship repair business as Don Vogler - a professional with many years of experience," said Pallentin.

In addition, Vogler is the exclusive representative of well-known manufacturers of ship equipment and also works closely with North American shipping companies – a combination which Rüdiger Pallentin hopes will have particularly positive benefits for Lloyd Werft. This concerns not only cruise shipping companies but also those companies operating container ships, vehicle transporters, bulkers and tankers and with which Vogler Marine Agencies LLC enjoys "an outstanding reputation." The new co-operative venture is being complemented by Sam Williams and his office in Houston (Texas), which mainly concerns itself with the offshore sector. This is a sector which Lloyd Werft itself has concentrated on for several years and is keen to expand further.

Vogler Marine Agencies LLC will in future represent Lloyd Werft’s entire production spectrum, not only including ship repair and conversion sectors but also new building and ship completion, sectors in which the yard has won a particularly good international reputation in the past few years. Rüdiger Pallentin said "we have gained a strong, new partner who will noticeably and significantly improve our presence on the North American continent."

Contact information for the new Lloyd Werft representation in the USA is as follows:

Vogler Marine Agencies LLC
20 Bartles Corner Road
Flemington, New Jersey 08822-5717
USA

Telephone: +1-908-237 9500
Fax: +1-908-237 9503
Mobile: +1-908-581 0900 (Don Vogler)
+1-908-500 2811 (Sam Williams)
e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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