MERSEY MARITIME E-ZINE – 18 JANUARY 2016
MERSEY MARITIME NEWS
We’d like to start our first e-zine of 2016 with a huge thanks to everyone who has submitted applications for the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2016 (MMIA16). Now in their second year, these awards are designed to recognise the excellence and diversity of the Maritime, Logistics & Energy sectors across the North West; with a grand gala awards dinner to be held at Wallasey Town Hall on March 10. We’ve recorded an almost 60% increase in applications on 2015, so there’s much work to be done now by the judging panel in order to come up with an agreed list of finalists in each of the nine industry categories. Fingers crossed and we’ll keep you posted….
BRABNERS 200TH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Law firm Brabners has issued a new report to mark its 200th year in legal practice, with a special focus on building the region’s economy. The report, named ‘North West Ambitions’, says Liverpool2 and the wider £1bn Superport logistics cluster must be championed as key assets for the Northern Powerhouse. Click here to view/download a copy.
BIBBY MARINE SERVICES CONTRACTS WITH THE DAMEN SHIPYARDS GROUP FOR NEWBUILD SOV
Hot off the press today is news that Bibby Marine Services Ltd, part of Liverpool headquartered Bibby Line Group, has signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Damen for a purpose-built Service Operations Vessel (SOV) to serve the offshore wind market. The Bibby WaveMaster 1 will be a custom-designed SOV measuring 90m in length, with walk to work access and 60 accommodation berths. Stephen Blaikie, CEO of Bibby Marine Services Ltd, said: “The aim is to enable offshore wind operators to work more efficiently, more safely and in maximum comfort, for periods of up to 30 days at a time. The vessel is built on a stable DP-2 platform so it offers very high operability. It will provide safe offshore transfers for personnel by way of a motion compensated access system (Walk to Work). Equipment will be securely transferred by way of the heave compensated offshore-rated knuckle boom crane.” The vessel, being built at Damen’s Shipyards Galati in Romania, is expected to launch in mid-2017. www.bibbymarineservices.com
PEEL PORTS ENJOYS TENFOLD RISE IN PRE-TAX PROFITS
Peel Ports Group, owner of the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal, has recorded a tenfold increase in pre-tax profits, showing a profit before tax in the 12 months to March 2015 of £40.6m, up from 3.9m in the previous year. The increase comes despite a small fall in turnover, which was £616.1m, down from £623.7m a year earlier. In addition to the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal, Peel also owns or operates ports in Heysham, the River Clyde, Kent, Great Yarmouth and Dublin and it owns shipping line BG Freight Line. Peel Ports is 50.1% owned by Isle of Man based John Whittaker’s Tokenhouse. The remaining 49.9% stake is held by Deutsche Bank. www.peelports.com
QUALITY FREIGHT MOVES MASSIVE SHIP UNLOADERS FROM TILBURY TO PORT OF LIVERPOOL
Quality Freight in Ellesmere Port has completed one of its toughest-ever assignments, overseeing the movement of two huge 50-metre high, 140-tonne VIGAN ship unloader units, from Tilbury Power Station to Canada Dock in Liverpool. The massive logistics challenge was carried out by a specialist team at Quality Freight of behalf of the chemical importer Newport Industries, which this week announced its intention to invest £7m in a new bulk handling facility at the Port. The unloaders will be used by Newport for the discharge of soda ash used in glass making. John Keenan, chartering director at Quality Freight UK, said: “This was a highly complex project, one of the biggest jobs Quality Freight UK has undertaken. We brought in experienced naval architects Graham and Woolnough for their marine engineering and practical expertise. […] In total, it took four days to dismantle and load at Tilbury and a further day unloading at Liverpool. From start to finish, this was quite some feat of engineering and a real demonstration of the expertise of everyone involved.” www.qualityfreight.co.uk
SHIPPING SOFTWARE COMPANY SECURES £200K INVESTMENT
Liverpool-based start up Sea Level Research has secured £200k from The North West Fund for Venture Capital to help launch its core product, Petro Planner, a piece of software that works to cut shipping costs by accurately predicting sea levels, using a mix of algorithms and real-time information on sea levels and weather. The company’s founder, Dr Simon Holgate, has spent the last two years developing the software, which is designed to help oil refineries and the shipping industry save millions of pounds every year. Dr Holgate, who formerly worked as a scientist at the National Oceanography Centre, said: “The ability to predict the surge, that is the weather on top of the tide, enables us to move vessels much more efficiently. These vast ships enter the river with only 60cm clearance under their keel, so having an additional 20cm of water can make all the difference as to whether a vessel can berth or not – and between a profitable and an unprofitable voyage.“ Petro Planner is able to predict sea levels to within 20cm up to 36 hours in advance and raise the accuracy of readings from 75%, where they currently stand using traditional tides, to 95%. www.sealevelresearch.com
HYDRAULICS SPECIALIST V&A COMPLETES REPAIRS ON RUNCORN’S WHITAKER TANKERS
Marine hydraulics specialist V&A Hydraulics has completed a high-skill vessel repair package for international fuel bunkering firm Whitaker Tankers. The Birkenhead-based firm has delivered a series of complex hydraulic upgrades to the short haul fuel tanker, Keewhit. V&A MD Vic Seddon said the project required a broad skill set and in-depth technical knowledge, saying: “V&A frequently picks up work where other hydraulics firms have left off, unable to find a solution. […..] One of V&A’s strongest selling points is retained knowledge of hydraulics equipment which dates back decades. This is invaluable in the maritime sector for product identification, sourcing appropriate replacements and understanding how to properly utilise equipment.” Whitaker Tankers fuel transportation company operates a fleet of inland barges and sea-going tankers in UK and European waters, carrying fuel product for most major oil companies. www.vahydraulics.com
PEEL PORTS SAYS GB RAILFREIGHT LINK COULD HANDLE THE INCREASE IN CARGO EXPECTED AS A RESULT OF LIVERPOOL2
GB Railfreight has run the first intermodal train between Birmingham and the Port of Liverpool in what has been described as an “important moment” for Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports, GB Railfreight and Maritime Transport in terms of the move to take freight off the road network. The opening of the £300m Liverpool2 container terminal in Q1 of 2016 is expected to lead to a surge in the volume of freight coming into the Mersey. Gary Hodgson, chief operating officer at Peel Ports, said: “The ongoing investments and growth at the port both in quayside and landside infrastructure and in turn onward connectivity further cements Peel Ports’ commitment to our partners and customers in delivering a new multi-modal solution to the UK.” www.peelports.com
IoM SHIP REGISTRY SCORES HIGHLY FOR GREEN AGENDA
The Isle of Man Ship Registry has been awarded certification to the internationally recognised Environmental Management Standard ISO14001 following external assessments by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance. Approval to ISO14001 validates the Ship Registry’s commitment to pursuing and promoting a ‘green’ agenda as it undertakes its day to day business activities. www.gov.im/ded/shipregistry/
CDM CONSULTANCY INNOV8 TO WORK ON RIBA’S NEW LIVERPOOL ARCHITECTURE CENTRE
Wirral construction safety consultancy Innov8 has been appointed to work on the fit-out of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) new national architecture centre in Liverpool. The Birkenhead firm has been appointed as construction design management (CDM) advisor for the project, which will mark RIBA’s first exhibition space outside London, located at Liverpool’s Mann Island. Innov8 MD Alan Robson said: “It’s a terrific project to be involved with as a passionate Merseyside firm, helping to bring RIBA’s world-class collections and development plans for Liverpool and beyond to local audiences.” www.innov8safetysolutions.com
MERSEYSIDE PR FIRM POLARIS MEDIA WINS NEW INDIAN CLIENTS
Maritime and industry specialist PR firm Polaris Media has won new assignments with two of India’s biggest maritime trade bodies, the Company of Master Mariners India (CMMI) and the Indian Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA). Polaris director Ben Pinnington said: “India is a strong new market for the company given its plans to invest in maritime and Polaris’ track record of working in Oman, India’s near neighbour and long-time trading ally.” Polaris has experience of working in the maritime, engineering, construction, energy and business sectors for more than eight years, with clients including Cammell Laird, Sovex, SeaKing, Oman Drydock and the Maritime Foundation. www.polarismedia.co.uk
IPS MARINE FABRICATIONS MANUFACTURES DOG KENNELS FOR STENA LINE
Merseyside engineering firm IPS Marine Fabrications is helping ferry operator Stena Line expand its accommodation by building a series of bespoke dog kennels on board the Stena Superfast X, Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey. IPS director Paul Smith said: “IPS is a specialist in metal fabrication and this latest contract shows the versatility of our service,” [….] “Our long-standing relationship with Stena Line has been built through diverse projects, including the supply of high temperature exhaust insulation to main engines and upgrading air-flow systems in car decks. The latest metal fabrication work adds to the portfolio, and helps to demonstrate one of IPS’s key unique selling points – we are one of very few companies in the UK which offers both insulation and fabrications services under one roof.” www.ipsmarine.co.uk
This month we’re delighted to welcome industrial lubricants and marine coatings supplier RS Clare and asset performance and reliability engineers PSW Integrity to our Executive Club. Also joining us as members at standard level are executive recruitment company Collingwood; systems engineers Geo Data Systems; and Lloyds Banking Group.
Mersey Maritime represents the interests of the maritime and related sectors on Merseyside and is widely regarded as a best practice organisation in ‘clustering’. We work on behalf of over 1700 businesses on Merseyside, both individually and collectively, helping strengthen supply chains, create opportunities for increased trade and promote the excellence that exists across the sector in this region. Your support through membership helps us to do the work we do and, as a not-for-profit organisation, we reinvest all income raised back into the sector.
If you are not yet a member and are interested in joining, click here for details or call one of our team on 0151 647 4747.
IN OTHER NEWS…..
It’s good to see that Minister for Shipping Robert Goodwill MP – previously Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State – has been elevated to Minister of State, in a welcome sign of the government’s commitment to the UK maritime sector.
CMA CGM TO ACQUIRE NOL
French shipping company CMA CGM has agreed to buy Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. for c USD 2.4bn in a deal that would bolster its presence in the Pacific Ocean trade routes. Full story can be read here.
PEEL PORTS BUYS GREAT YARMOUTH DOCKS FOR £50M
Elsewhere in the news, Liverpool-headquartered Peel Ports has sealed a £50m deal for the acquisition of Great Yarmouth Port Company, operator of the Great Yarmouth docks. Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Ports, said the acquisition would “complement our business by providing geographical and commercial diversification”. Full story here.
ICS LIVERPOOL BRANCH ANNUAL DINNER 2016
Date: 21 April 2016
Venue: Hilton Hotel, 3 Thomas Steers Way, Liverpool, L1 8LW
Bookings now being taken for the 52nd annual dinner of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (Liverpool Branch). Tables of ten cost £600, with some individual places also available. Contact Roy Cooke at firstname.lastname@example.org for full details/booking form.
GONGS N’ ROSES
LIVERPOOL LAW FIRM BRABNERS TOP IN NW FOR MERGERS AND ACQUISITION DEALS
Congratulations to commercial law firm Brabners, which has been named the most active M&A (mergers & acquisitions) legal adviser in the North West for 2015. The rankings, published by Experian, also place the firm’s corporate team seventh in the UK for deal volume, noting a 23% year-on-year increase in deal activity since 2014. Mark Rathbone, partner and head of corporate in Liverpool, said: “To be ranked as the North West’s most active M&A legal adviser for the past year is a fantastic start to 2016. Not only is it indicative of the strength of our team, but also reflects the firm’s reputation for corporate work across the UK M&A market.” www.brabners.com
Seabed survey company Bibby HydroMap has strengthened its executive board with the appointment of Rob Spillard as Technical Director. Rob brings over 25 years’ experience in the offshore survey industry and will take overall responsibility for the technical direction of the Bromborough-based company. Bibby Hydromap became part of Bibby Line Group in 2012.
Liverpool’s Bibby Line Group has hired a new chief financial officer. Mark Lyons is currently chief financial officer of NSG Group, the Japanese glassmaker that acquired St Helens-based Pilkington in 2006 and will start in his new role on 1 April 2016.
Mike Finn, former CEO of the shipping line CSAV UK & Ireland, has become the new chair of software developer Sea Level Research.
Congratulations finally, to 20 year old Emma Lamont, also of Bibby Hydromap, who recently graduated top of her Hydrographic Survey Category B course with Skilltrade in the Netherlands.
A reminder that Mersey Maritime sponsor Merchant Navy Resources Limited (MNR) is offering members a very special deal on their marine and shore based recruitment needs. Until April 2016, members of Mersey Maritime can access Liverpool and Singapore based MNR’s services at a significantly reduced fee of only 10%. Call David Corlett or Greg Hughes on tel 0151 236 6200. MNR has particular expertise in Seagoing, Offshore, Drilling and Shore Based Recruitment into positions requiring a marine or related background. www.mnrltd.com
And that’s it for this week. We’re aiming to get this e-zine out every fortnight in 2016, so if you have news you’d like to share please let us know. Contact details below.
This e-zine is compiled by Mersey Maritime and distributed free of charge to a wide circulation list of members, partners, industry and public sector bodies, charitable organisations and others who work in our sector or related businesses throughout the UK. As always, your news provides the basis for our news, so please keep us in the loop on contract wins, business development and new appointments. If you are reading a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to receive future newsletters straight to your inbox, contact email@example.com To submit contributions for the April issue, please contact communications manager firstname.lastname@example.org