New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Un yate inspirado en el Rey por 51 millones

Recreación del proyecto del megayate Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Recreación del proyecto del megayate Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Héctor Atienza

El yate Fortuna del Rey Juan Carlos, que en los últimos tiempos navega poco por 
Mallorca, puede tener en breve una dura competencia entre olas. El diseñador 
ucraniano Pavel Shaposhnikov quiere llevar al agua en 2014 un velero de 87 metros 
de eslora con el nombre del monarca español.
El Juan Carlos I of Spain, que tendrá una configuración de yate presidencial al más puro 
estilo de los barcos que emplearon en su día Kennedy o el ruso Medvedev, cuenta con 
varios salones para celebrar recepciones y actos oficiales a bordo. El velero de tres palos
 también dispone de dos suites de gran tamaño, 10 camarotes VIP y empleará una tripulación 
de 26 personas entre personal de servicio y seguridad.
Según Shaposhnikov, la elección del nombre de Don Juan Carlos pretende rendir un homenaje a la tradición marinera de España desde la época de Cristóbal Colón. De hecho, en la recreación por ordenador de los planos de la cubierta del barco también ha incorporado el escudo de la Casa Real.
Cuando el armador disponga de tiempo libre o en época vacaciones, en el Juan Carlos I of 
Spain también podrá disfrutar de unapiscina al aire libre, jacuzzi, centro médico, sala de 
cine e incluso de un helipuerto para los desplazamientos a tierra.
Actualmente Shaposhnikov, a través del broker americano Eglobal Yachts, está buscando
un empresario que financie el proyecto. Millón arriba, millón abajo, el Juan Carlos I of Spain 
sale a la venta a partir de 51 millones de euros. La personalización del barco y las exigencias 
de su próximo dueño completarán la suma final.

Ficha técnica yate Juan Carlos I of Spain

Eslora: 87.50m (287 pies)
Manga: 15 metros
Calado máximo 11 metros
Altura del mástil: 73 metros
:Desplazamiento:3.000 toneladas
Diseñador: Pavel Shaposhnikov
Construcción: acero y aluminio
Velocidad de crucero: 18 nudos
Velocidad máxima: 19 nudos
Autonomía: más de 5.000 millas náuticas
Depósito de combustible: 800.000 litros
Depósito de agua: 150.000 litros
Source: El Mundo, Madrid, España / Nauta 360.

Casual ambience on the Aegean

With 132 shipmates instead of 3,000, Windstar Cruises' scaled-down sensibility gives a tourist a personal window on history while cruising from Istanbul to Athens.

January 27, 2013

ISTANBUL, Turkey — We slipped out of Istanbul at dusk, gliding across the Bosporus strait toward the Aegean Sea, Asia on the left bank, Europe on the right, four masts towering 204 feet overhead, polished teak floors underfoot, the notes of Buddy Justineau’s piano drifting out from the lounge: “You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh…”

The Bosporus, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, is the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation. It is magical at sunset, masted gullets heading to shore, minarets and Byzantine domes of Istanbul’s Old City — once known as Constantinople — fading into the distance, huge cargo and cruise ships, lights aglow, silently making their way to far-off ports.

Our destination was Athens, by way of two port calls on the Turkish coast and three Greek isles. This is a land of legendary men and celebrated Greek and Roman civilizations with walled cities where people lived 6,000 years ago. Alexander the Great arrived in Ephesus, Turkey, in 334 B.C. Attila the Hun and Julius Caesar were there too.

So was the Apostle Paul. The Virgin Mary is said to have lived the last years of her life in Ephesus. The Gallipoli battlefields of World War I and the city of Troy, celebrated in Homer’s epic poem “The lliad” also left their footprints in the history that would surround us for the next seven days.

History aside, what I quickly learned was that cruising by sail and motor, as I did on the Wind Star with 132 other guests, is a different experience from being swallowed up by a floating skyscraper with 3,000 or so passengers. There are, of course, a lot of choosy travelers who wouldn’t be caught dead boarding an enormous cruise liner. And that’s exactly whom Windstar designs its cruises for — people who dislike traditional cruising.

“The destination isn’t the No. 1 thing,” said passenger Hardur Karlsson, making his seventh Windstar cruise. “What matters is the people around you and the way you’re traveling. On a small luxury ship such as the Wind Star, the service staff knows your name after two days, knows what you want to drink, whether you like coffee or tea, where you prefer to sit on deck.”

By nightfall on the Bosporus, I had almost convinced myself I was on a private yacht. Everything was accessible. You want to go ashore with Zomie Concepcion, the Filipino executive chief, while he buys fresh sea bream for dinner? Just tag along. In his restaurant you dine when you choose and with whomever you choose. No need to enter in a herd to sit in assigned seats.

No need to bring a tuxedo or gown either. This is casual cruising without pretense. The only dress code is no jeans or T-shirts in the restaurant. Room service is available around the clock.

When I told friends at home that my wife, Sandy, and I were going to spend five days in September in Istanbul, then cruise the Aegean, I took note of how often security concerns were raised. Is Istanbul safe, they asked? What about pirates? I initially asked the same questions. The simple answer is no worries. Istanbul is a cosmopolitan, welcoming Islamic city with a population of 14 million, no graffiti, spotlessly clean streets, and tourists and ancient sites everywhere.

As for pirates, there were a lot of them on the Aegean 1,100 years ago. Julius Caesar was even said to have been kidnapped and ransomed there. When he learned the modest sum the pirates wanted for him, he was offended and insisted that they double the ransom demand. He joked with them during negotiations and said that after he was freed he would return and kill them all. He did, at least according to legend. But all that is in the distant past now. Pirates no longer prowl the Aegean.

Passengers lined Wind Star’s starboard rail, cameras in hand, as we entered the Dardanelles, the 38-mile-long strait that leads to the Aegean. A Turkish submarine glided by, mostly submerged. Clearly visible was Gallipoli, where the Allies mounted a mighty invasion in World War I only to be beaten back by the Turks, suffering 20,000 casualties in one battle while advancing only half a mile.

We moved into the Aegean at 10 or 12 knots (about 11.5 to 13.8 mph), giant sails unfurled and snapping in the light breeze. The passengers appeared to be in relaxation mode, and everyone seemed to have a book in hand.

It didn’t hurt the laid-back mood that there weren’t any children on board. Adults rule the day on the Wind Star. I made plans to visit that evening what must surely be the world’s smallest casino — 11 slot machines and two table games, one blackjack and one poker.

Ahead, on the west coast were Kusadasi and, beyond, Ephesus, a sight so grand that only Pompeii on Italy’s Bay of Naples and Machu Picchu, Peru, seemed comparable. You can still walk the marbled streets that Antony and Cleopatra did when Ephesus had a population of 250,000 and was a center of culture, education and glorious architecture.

Earthquakes and destructive invaders led to the city’s demise more than 1,000 years ago. But after 150 years of ongoing excavation, archaeologists have rebuilt, column by column, 16% of the city. Today Ephesus is Turkey’s most popular tourist destination, attracting 5 million visitors a year.

I’ve never been happy as part of a mob disgorged from a giant cruise ship and moving through crowded tourist sites I may or may not care about. Wind Star’s daily land excursions were different.

We were split into small groups. Our guides were consistently excellent and knew how to tell a story rather than just recite dates and the heights of castle towers. In Bodrum, Turkey, our host was deep-sea diver and archaeologist Don Frey, who had played a key role in the excavation of an 11th century shipwreck now on display at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Bodrum Castle.

The seas had been calm, the skies blue, for four days. We passed Wind Star’s sister ship, Wind Star Spirit, headed in the opposite direction, to Istanbul. Tenders shuttled us to shore on the Greek island of Santorini. We rode donkeys or took a cable car to reach the high volcanic plateau across which the town of 10,000 is perched like a crow’s nest.

That night, with Wind Star anchored in Santorini’s harbor, chef Concepcion held his signature dinner — a lobster and roasted pig barbecue on deck under the stars. It was no surprise when a ship’s officer told me the journey between Istanbul and Athens was Seattle-based Windstar Cruises’ most popular cruise. The intimacy and ambience of a “small” masted ship — four decks, 360 feet in length, an international staff of 93 — were indeed hard to top.

“If I host a captain’s table dinner for a dozen guests on a ship carrying 2,000 people, 1,988 people will feel slighted,” Capt. Chris Norman said over dinner one night. “But if I host one on Wind Star, I’ve made a dozen guests happy. and that’s about 10% of our passengers.”

To which I’d add, “Spot-on. And another glass of wine, please.”

Source: Los Angeles Times, USA.
High art on the high seas


The naked lady with large hat, accompanied by a crying cherub, hangs outside a Deck 5 restroom on the Oceania Riviera, one of the newest ships cruising out of Miami.
The artwork is a lithograph signed in red crayon by Pablo Picasso.
“It’s a beautiful drawing of a woman, so I thought the best place for it was that location. A women’s bathroom is worthy of a Picasso,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent of the upscale Oceania Cruises line.
Perhaps due to the location, passengers onboard the 1,250-passenger Riviera who noticed the drawing doubted it was authentic. But it’s one of 16 original signed Picasso prints in the ship’s extensive art collection, personally curated by Del Rio, and focusing on Latin art.
Oceania Cruises is not alone in bringing high art to the high seas.
Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Oceania’s sister line Regent Seven Seas, for instance, are investing in collectible and museum-worthy contemporary art. The artwork on the ships includes original works and limited-edition signed prints. Paintings, sculptures photography and even, in the case of Celebrity, video and architecturally-integrated installations are part of the collections.
While Del Rio won’t share the cost, the 1,000-work collection on Riviera is a prime example of how big bucks are being spent on cruise ship art that’s worth more than a passing glance. The collections include works by well-known artists.
Del Rio said he relished weekends spent at Christie’s auctions as he bid on artwork for the Riviera and sister ship Marina, which debuted in 2011.
The collection on Riviera includes the original work of artists from Cuba’s vanguard movement — a Wilfredo Lam here, a Cundo Bermudez there — as well as contemporary Cuban artists including Julio Larraz, Humberto Benitez, Manuel Mendive and José Grillo.
Boldly colored views of the sea by Catalonian master Eduardo Arranz-Bravo hang in a lounging spot in the reception area.
There are also works specially commissioned for the ship, including by Cuban artist Carlos Luna. “These are pieces that would be selling for hundreds of thousands and we were very fortunate that he was very enthused about having his art at sea. He thought it was pretty nifty,” Del Rio said.
At nearly every turn on Riviera there is an art lover’s attraction, but Del Rio said more than just art appreciation is at play.
“I wanted the ships to have a warm, residential feel. We don’t want these ships to look like typical cruise ships, and we didn’t want an institutional, robotic art collection or mediocre art,” Del Rio said. “I’d rather have no art than mediocre art. I hate fake. I hate copies.”
There is also a bottom line involved. High quality art onboard helps set a high-class tone, he said. “This level of client sweats the details and therefore we need to sweat the details,” Del Rio said.
Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, agreed art makes an impression, though he said he believed a “relatively small percentage” of the line’s passengers care enough about the art to seek it out.
“The large majority of our guests are not specifically cognizant of the art, but it definitely contributes to their overall appreciation for the quality of the ship that we put in the marketplace,” Goldstein said. “Most guests do not comment about the art. They comment about the wait staff and the stateroom attendants, etc.”
Works on Oceania's Riviera by Arcadio Cancio Fran Golden

Read more here:

Two noted artists recently received massive and unprecedented commissions to decorate the hulls of the upcoming Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.
Pop icon Peter Max created the hull design for the New York-centric Breakaway, which will cruise from the Big Apple — the ship becoming his largest canvas ever. The very mod version of the city skyline includes his iconic State of Liberty design as well as his famous stars and planets motifs. Max said he was thrilled to make the ship his largest canvas ever — and that his work will be highly visible as the ship heads to sea down the Hudson River beginning in May.
For the Miami-focused sister ship Getaway, which debuts in January 2014, Norwegian recently revealed a whimsical ocean-themed design by David “Lebo” Le Batard, who grew up in South Florida and lives in Miami Beach, that includes a mermaid holding the sun, pelicans and palm trees and swirls representing the sea and sky.
"Dream of Utopia," an installation by Korean artist Keysook Geum, has 34 dress shapes made of crystal 
beads and wire that appear suspended in space in an elevator lobby on Allure of the Seas. Fin Serck-Hanssen / 
Royal Caribbean
Source: The Miami Herald, USA.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Chinese navy depart for West Pacific training

MISSILE DESTROYER QINGDAO, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy fleet has set off from a military port in east China's Qingdao City for regular open-sea training in the West Pacific Ocean, military sources revealed Wednesday.
The fleet departed Tuesday morning and comprises three ships -- the missile destroyer Qingdao and the missile frigates Yantai and Yancheng -- carrying three helicopters, all from the North China Sea Fleet under the PLA Navy.
During the voyage, the fleet is scheduled to conduct multi-program training sessions in the sea area where China has been carrying out regular patrols, according to the sources.
Tian Zhong, the fleet commander, said in an interview with Xinhua that conducting training in international waters is normal practice among various navies around the world, as well as part of China's regular efforts to improve the PLA Navy's combat capabilities.
The fleet aims to boost its capabilities in carrying out diversified military missions through the open-sea training, according to Tian.
The fleet will conduct more than 20 types of exercises, including maritime confrontation, open-sea mobile combat, law enforcement missions and open-sea naval commanding.
The training area will include the Yellow, East China and South China seas, the Miyako Strait, the Bashi Channel and the sea area east of Taiwan.
As part of the ongoing open-sea training, the fleet held a four-hour maritime confrontation drill in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday with another PLA Navy fleet set to depart for escort missions in sea areas off Somalia.
The missile destroyer Qingdao and the missile frigates Yantai and Yancheng are all domestically-produced capital ships of the PLA Navy.
The Qingdao, which is among China's second-generation missile destroyers, was commissioned in 1993 and has taken part in more than 50 key missions, including escort missions in the Gulf of Aden. It has a displacement of 4,800 tonnes.
In 2002, as a commanding ship of a Chinese fleet, the vessel completed the PLA Navy's first global voyage.
The Yantai and Yancheng, among China's newest type of missile frigates, were commissioned by the North China Sea Fleet in 2011 and 2012, respectively. They both have a displacement of 4,050 tonnes.
Also on Wednesday, the defense ministry announced in a statement that a Chinese navy fleet will conduct a training exercise in the Pacific after sailing through the island chain.
The statement from the ministry's information office said it is a regular arrangement in line with the navy's annual training plan, adding that the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy conducted seven similar training exercises last year.
Source: Xinhuanet, China.

US Navy told to submit Tubbataha salvage plan


Giant waves batter the USS Guardian, a minesweeper that ran aground in the POWERLESS. Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea, tossing the ship some 90 degrees from its position on Thursday (inset) and making it parallel to the reef line. The photographs are courtesy of the AFP Western Command

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan—Defense officials on Tuesday asked the United States to submit its salvage plan for the grounded USS Guardian for approval before undertaking a delicate salvage operation that would involve hoisting the stricken vessel onto a barge.
“We need to see and approve the salvage plan because we want to ensure that it will not inflict further damage on the coral reefs,” said Efren Evangelista, Philippine Coast Guard Commander of the Palawan District.
The Guardian has remained stuck in the south atoll of the Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea flank of Palawan after it ran aground in the extensive reef ecosystem of the country’s prime marine park last Jan. 17.
US apology
The US has apologized for the incident, saying it recognized the importance of the Unesco World Heritage site and vowed to pay for the damage inflicted on the reef.
Evangelista said further assessment is being undertaken to establish an updated estimate of the damage, earlier estimated at 1,000 square meters of corals.
The US initially projected the salvage operations to start within the week and would involve the use of two crane vessels from a Singapore-based salvage company, Evangelista said.
“We don’t have a time frame when the salvage operation can start as we are still waiting for the arrival of the salvage ship,” he said.
Earlier plans to tow the ship out into deeper waters were scuttled after the Guardian developed severe hull damage with water seeping into the ship.
US officials said late last week they would try to simply lift the vessel into a barge and bring it to a repair shipyard.
However, some local military officials said the plan to hoist the Guardian to a barge would be “difficult and could be dangerous.”
Practical options
“I cannot comment officially but there are more practical options, including cutting the ship into smaller parts before lifting it out of the water,” said a naval official who asked not to be named because he cannot speak officially on behalf of the Task Force Tubbataha, which the government has formed to conduct an inquiry into the grounding of the US vessel.
The issue of the distressed minesweeper and the damage it continues to inflict on a protected marine sanctuary was apparently not on the agenda when a delegation of US lawmakers met with Philippine officials Tuesday.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials said the discussions focused on furthering longstanding defense and economic ties between the two countries.
Environmental issues were discussed broadly, with a focus on Philippine initiatives on preparing for and mitigating the impact of climate change, DFA officials said.
No discussion

“There was a discussion of the leadership of the Philippines in terms of conservation of the environment,” said Carlos Sorreta, the assistant secretary for American Affairs.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia said there was not much opportunity to discuss the Tubbataha Reef incident.  “(Environment Secretary Ramon Paje) mentioned it a bit but there was not much of a discussion,” Cuisia said.
Asked why the Guardian issue was not discussed, Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, the DFA spokesperson said he did not know.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Energy Secretary Carlos Petilla and Paje led the hour-long discussion with the US delegation headed by US Rep. Ed Royce, chair of the foreign affairs committee of the US House of Representatives, and which included US Representatives Gregory Meeks, Vern Buchanan, Eliot Engel, Matthew James Salmon and Thomas Anthony Marino.
Unesco assessment
Meanwhile, Heherson Alvarez, commissioner of the Climate Change Commission, on Tuesday said the government should let the Unesco (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) conduct an “independent assessment” of the damage caused by the Guardian on the Tubbataha Reef as it is in “the best position to estimate the required amount for the total recovery of the damaged reef, and the amount of work and time this will involve.” With reports from Tarra Quismundo and Jerry E. Esplanada

Source: Philippine Daily Enquirer, Manila, Philippines.

US Navy offers to break up reef-stuck ship

сша флот сша вмс сша женщина солдат женщина моряк U.S. Navy Imagery/cc-by

The US Navy today proposed to dismantle the warship which has stuck on a Philippine reef, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, AFP has cited the Navy Command as saying.

A spokesperson of the Philippine national park, Tubbataha Reef, told reporters removing the vessel from the reef could harm the marine environment, but added leaving the ship as it is would certainly cause a greater damage.
The salvation crew managed to prevent the fuel from spilling. However rocking waves reportedly batter the warship pushing it further onto the reefs.
The Navy refused to comment on the ship’s mission in a restricted area of the national park. Philippine authorities said the US had neither asked for a permit to enter the UNESCO-listed world heritage site, nor heeded the warnings about its dangerous proximity to the reefs.
Philippines’ WWF office said the grounded warship had destroyed at least a dozen square meters of the reef, which is home to one of the most diverse wildlife varieties of the Coral Triangle in South-East Asia.

Source: Voice of Russia.
Private security group assembles first private navy since 
East India Company to protect Indian Ocean shipping convoys
from Somali pirates


Piracy ain’t what it used to be. The days of salty sea dogs with a wooden leg and a garrulous 
parrot are long gone – if they ever existed – and the modern version is not quite so romantic.
Out in the Indian Ocean, armed Somali pirate gangs roam an area the size of North America, 
boarding trade vessels and demanding huge ransoms for the return of precious cargo and 
terrified crew.
Western navies are already incapable of policing such huge areas and find themselves more 
thinly spread than ever as defence cuts bite.

Pieces of eight: The facts

Last year, South Korea reportedly coughed up £16m to retrieve one of its vessels. And £263m was paid in ransoms between 2009 and 2010.
A cut of the cash, typically up to 50 per cent, ends up funding brutal terrorist groups such as Somalia’s al-Shabaab. Ransoms are not even the biggest cost.
Nervous shipping firms often divert cargo round the Cape of Good Hope or run at fuel-guzzling speeds in the hope of outrunning pirates, at a cost of about £1.9bn last year.
Companies will spend this money rather than face the six-to-nine month wait before a captured ship is returned, usually stripped of anything that made it seaworthy.
Insurance claims can take years to come through, if ever. All told, the cost to global trade is between £4.5bn and £7.6bn every year.
Anthony Sharp, chief executive of private security group Typhon, thinks he has the answer. He is assembling the first private navy since the East India Company some 220 years ago.
The operational hub is a control room in Dubai, from which Typhon monitors its clients’ vessels in the vast ungovernable expanse of the Indian Ocean.
‘It always starts with detect and avoid,’ says Sharp, who launched his own pubs business straight after school and made military contacts via polo. ‘We’re not interested in having a fight and we’ll walk away from it if we can.’
But the high seas are unpredictable and it isn’t always possible to divert ships away from danger. The alternative is the security afforded by Typhon’s convoy protection model.
At the heart of the convoy is a 130m-long ‘mothership’, carrying four fast patrol boats capable of up to 50 knots. Above the mothership flies an ‘Aerostat’ balloon, or potentially an unmanned drone, able to spot threats from 15 miles away.
Some 60 highly-trained former Royal Navy and Royal Marines – earning between $200 and $1200 a day – are aboard, armed to the teeth with state-of-the-art weaponry.
Ships in the convoy fly the Typhon flag, letting would-be ransom-hunters know who they are dealing with. ‘It’s a bit like the Queen’s motorcycle outriders,’ says Sharp. ‘They will think, “I know what that flag means and there are easier targets”. These are entrepreneurial criminals, it’s not for King and Country.’
But pirates do not always behave rationally. Should a suspect vessel be spotted speeding towards the convoy, a fast patrol boat will be deployed. The boat comes alongside possible pirates and advises them in no uncertain terms to sail out of a half-mile exclusion zone.
‘If they’re really intent, that would provoke them to raise a weapon and start firing at us. Thankfully we’ve got ballistic nylon everywhere so we can take shots,’ Sharp explains nonchalantly.
The next step, he says, is not ‘shoot to kill’ but rather one shot, with a .50 calibre M82 sniper rifle, through the hull of the offending vessel.
‘The Royal Marines we employ are highly trained and quite capable of doing that, even at speed. And your vessel will sink.’
Specialist lawyers offer advice to ensure Typhon follows the rules of engagement in international waters to the letter. For potential clients, the savings are obvious.
It is not just about ransoms and fuel costs, but also insurance premiums, which Sharp reckons can be cut by up to 80pc for firms that buy Typhon’s protection. The business proposition has plenty of backing. Glencore chairman 
Simon Murray, a former French legionnaire, chairs Typhon’s advisory board. His role at the commodities trader and on the board of Asian shipping companies, means business should not be too hard to come by.
The boardroom also boasts more medals than the Olympic Village, with ex-military directors including Lord Richard Dannatt, former chief of general staff in the Army.
The group’s first fund-raising round won around £13m of investment from Middle Eastern  shipping magnates tired of losing cargos. A second round of debt finance is expected once the Typhon fleet has expanded from two ships at present to ten.
Sharp hopes to extend the service into other maritime trouble spots such as the Gulf of Guinea, where oil theft from Nigeria’s fields has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Contracts for ports, or even the military, could follow.
After that, Sharp would happy to sell up to a major security company, none of whom have a division quite like it.
Typhon’s first boats will put to sea in April. The 21st century incarnation of Long John Silver could be in for a rude awakening.

Source:This is, UK.

El barco para las prospecciones próximas a Canarias empleará hasta 210 trabajadores

El «Rowan Renaissance», aún en construcción, 

puede perforar el subsuelo a grandes profundidades 

inmóvil y sin anclarse

El barco para las prospecciones próximas a Canarias empleará hasta 210 trabajadores

El buque «Rowan Renaissance», contratado por la compañía Repsolpara buscar petróleo al 
este de las islas de Lanzarote y Fuerteventura, así como en otras áreas de la costa de África 
Occidental y en el Golfo de México-EE.UU, puede albergar una tripulación máxima de 
210 personas, trabajadores altamente cualificados y especializados en las actividades de
investigación de posibles pozos de gas y crudo.
El barco, como ha avanzado este periódico, fue contratado en el tercer trimestre 
del año 2012 y, por sus notables características técnicas, una vez terminado y botado 
en Corea del Sur, tendrá la capacidad de perforar en «aguas ultraprofundas»: 
hasta 12.000 pies de profundidad de lámina de agua y hasta 40.000 pies de suelo
Prestaciones de última generación que cubre con creces la exploración planificada 
en las aguas profundas próximas a Canarias, en torno a los 3.500 metros. La multinacional 
propietaria, Rowan Companies plc.ha expresado a través de su vicepresidente ejecutivo, 
Mark Keller, la importancia de esta unidad, junto a las otras dos que están construyendo 
en paralelo, por su versatilidad y especialización en sondeos a grandes profundidades mar 
La empresa constructora, Hyundai Heavy Industries, prevé entregar el buque en 
Corea del Sur a finales de 2013 y, una vez estrenado, Repsol prevé comenzar la 
investigación exploratoria en las las zonas contratadas durante el primer trimestre 
de 2014.

Posicionamiento dinámico

En este sector, este modelo de barco recibe el nombre de «buque de posicionamiento 
dinámico», ya que puede permanecer inmóvil en alta mar, incluso en 
condiciones meteorológicas adversas, sin desplazarse un ápice. Funciona con unos 
motores especiales que posibilitan que pueda quedarse quieto, impertérrito, sin 
necesidad de anclarse mientras trabaja. Además, cuenta con un mini robot 
que controla todas las operaciones en las profundidades marinas.
El «Rowan Renaissance» está dotado, asimismo, de tres grúas de 100 toneladas; 
dispone de una cubierta variable con capacidad de carga de 20.000 toneladas y cinco 
bombas de lodo, entre otros.

Barco y helicóptero de apoyos

Cuando el barco recale en las zonas de sondeo, también al este del Archipiélago 
canario, requerirá de otro barco y de un helicóptero a modo de apoyos 
logísticos, así como de suministros diversos. Apoyos que también permitirán 
reforzar la seguridad durante la estancia y operativa del buque en alta mar,
 indicaron fuentes del sector a este periódico.
Durante el primer año, la tarifa aproximada que Rowan Companies plc. calcula 
percibir con el buque en el oeste de África ronda los 624.000 dólares al día
dependiendo de la zona de trabajo. Los dos años siguientes, en el Golfo de México, 
en torno a 614.000 dólares al día, según estimaciones de Mark Keller, quien ha 
asegurado que, a tenor de la «fuerza» del mercado de aguas ultra profundas y la 
demanda buques de perforación, creen que «el mercado está dispuesto a 
absorber unidades adicionales (barcos)» para trabajar a estas profundidades.
Actualmente, estudian los requisitos de 23 peticiones de exploración en este tipo 
de aguas.
Fuente: ABC, España.