The National Weather Service forecasts today’s high in Los Alamos near 82 with mostly sunny skies and tonight’s low around 58. Courtesy/NWS
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Sunken Barge Carried Working Platforms for Baltic 2 OWFA barge that sank on Wednesday morning (August 13) off Darßer Ort in the Baltic Sea was carrying four working platforms for the EnBW Baltic 2 offshore wind farm, the company confirmed to Offshore WIND.Siemens: Order Placed for 67 Dudgeon Offshore Wind TurbinesSiemens Energy has received an order from the Norwegian energy utilities Statoil and Statkraft for the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm in the UK. Siemens will manufacture, deliver, install and commission 67 Siemens direct-drive wind turbines rated at 6 megawatts (MW) each and equipped with a 154-meter rotor.Two-Bladed 6MW Turbines to Spin in Scottish WatersThe Crown Estate has entered into an Agreement for Lease with Forthwind Limited, a subsidiary of 2-B Energy, for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland, consisting of two full scale units.DolWin Beta to Arrive in Haugesund TonightDolWin beta high‐voltage direct current (HVDC) platform will arrive at the yard in Haugesund tonight, subject to weather conditions, Aibel announced at its social network page today.Vessel Damaged after Alliding with Walney OWF TurbineLiverpool Coastguard is coordinating the recovery of a ship damaged following an allision with a wind turbine pile at Walney Wind Farm, off Barrow-in-Furness.
Singaporean Navy rescued five fishermen after their Malaysian-registered trawler capsized some 7 nautical miles north-east of Pedra Branca on Tuesday, September 22.The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) coordinated the rescue operation after receiving a report of the incident at about 9:40 am local time Tuesday.All five crew members onboard were rescued by the Republic of Singapore Navy patrol vessel, RSS Independence.Two crew members had sustained minor injuries and were treated by the crew of RSS Independence.The rescued crew have safely reached Singapore. The authorities are currently verifying their nationalities.MPA has deployed three vessels to conduct salvage operations in Singapore waters and to ensure navigational safety.MPA has also issued navigational broadcasts to ships warning them to stay clear of the incident area.
Offshore Energy Today Staff Aibel, a Norwegian service company for the oil and gas industry, has reportedly decided to trim its workforce some more.The company which in the past two years cut its headcount by more than 700 workers due to spending reductions by the oil companies, will lay off a 100 workers more, Stavanger’s Aftenbladet reported Monday.According to the local newspaper, this time, Aibel’s Modifications business area in Stavanger, employing 500 workers in total, will be affected.The oilfield services company in December 2015 scored a new maintenance and modification (M&M) contract worth approximately $864.4 million, plus options with the country’s largest oil company, Statoil. Under the agreement, Aibel will have continued responsibility for 12 offshore installations and four facilities, and will also be responsible for Aasta Hansteen.Aibel then said the deal was expected to employ about 1,000 employees at Aibel. It is valid as of March 1, 2016.However, this contract won’t mean much to the people affected by the new round of layoffs.Aftebladet cited an Aibel spokesperson as saying that the decision to cut more jobs had been made „as a result of developments in the market for this business area.“Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Aibel, seeking more info.Aibel’s spokesperson said: “We have informed that there will be a layoff of up to 100 employees in the business area Modifications. All layoffs in Stavanger.”
The Ministry of Justice has criticised the ‘unacceptable’ number of problems in the first weeks of a controversial new contract to run court interpreting services. It has emerged this week that a trial hearing at Leeds Crown Court had to be called off because no one was available to translate for the Czech defendant. The aborted trial is set to cost the court service thousands of pounds in legal fees and other costs. It is one of a litany of cases highlighted by professional interpreters since the MoJ’s exclusive contract with Applied Language Solutions (ALS) began on 1 February. The government has already allowed courts and tribunals to appoint their own interpreters rather than going through ALS’s hub. It has today made its first public censure of its own contractor. An MoJ spokesman said: ‘There have been an unacceptable number of problems in the first weeks of full implementation of the contract and we have asked the contractor to take urgent steps to improve performance. ‘We remain committed to ensuring the rights and needs of those who require interpreters are safeguarded, and are monitoring the system on a daily basis.’ A court worker at Leeds Crown Court confirmed that the Czech national was due to be tried for affray and two counts of possession of a bladed implement in public, but the trial was halted on Wednesday morning. The MoJ says there will be a re-trial in April. It was reported that the judge in the case, Judge Robert Bartfield, warned the aborted trial will cost thousands of pounds and he apologised to the jurors, witnesses and defendant himself whose time was wasted. Czech interpreter Dr Zuzana Windle, a former director of the Professional Interpreters’ Alliance based in Leeds, said she would have been happy to work on the case if ALS had not been involved. However, she added: ‘I am not prepared to subject myself to the degrading prospect of having to pay for an agency assessment and working for ridiculously low rates.’ ALS chief executive Gavin Wheeldon responded to growing criticism earlier this week by increasing mileage rates for staff and offering a £5 incentive to interpreters accepting bookings through an online system. He promised there would be an improvement in the company’s performance, but interpreters are reporting a host of delayed proceedings. A website set up by interpreters has received dozens of anecdotes from people with examples of poor performance. There are claims that non-English speaking defendants are being kept for extra nights in custody because no one is available to translate their case, whilst immigration tribunals are said to have been adjourned due to an absence of interpreters. Labour has called for an urgent inquiry into how the contract with ALS, which was bought by Capita in December, was negotiated. A spokesman said: ‘Tough questions need to be asked. How did this debacle happen? It’s just another example of poorly considered, rushed cuts by a ministry that accepted cuts that go too far and too fast.’
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The return to profit comes on the back of Q1 revenues of CHF1.6 billion (USD1.71 billion) – up four percent year-on-year. According to Panalpina, the air freight division continues to struggle in a shrinking market; overall volumes were down by 3 percent. However, the company’s ocean freight division grew strongly – it shipped 7 percent more teu in Q1 2013 than in the year previously. www.panalpina.com
A key figure in banking has warned of ‘almost epidemic’ levels of fraud in the legal sector.Steve Arundale (pictured), head of professional services for commercial banking at NatWest, today became the latest industry expert to speak out about the prevalence of fraudsters tricking law firms into giving out their bank details.In recent weeks, insurers and regulators have warned about the dangers of so-called ‘vishing’ (voice phishing) scams, where fraudsters pose as bank representatives to extract sensitive information.Professional indemnity insurer Elite dubbed the practice the ‘Friday afternoon scam’ as the perpetrators target times when firms have large amounts in client accounts.Speaking at the 360 Legal conference in London today, Arundale said banks have similar concerns about the vulnerability of the legal profession.‘In 2014 losses through vishing went up by 300% – the cost of fraud is moving from millions to billions,’ he said.‘Fraudsters know [law firms] have quite a lot of cash and you deal with lots of different people working to tight deadlines.’Arundale advised firms to take preventative measures such as ensuring two people have to agree before any information is passed on.‘Where there are gaps in your systems then fill them immediately,’ he added.Meanwhile, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has reiterated its warning to firms not to be duped into disclosing bank security information, following reports of more practices being targeted by telephone con-artists.Another two cases have been reported this month of fraudsters posing as bank representatives – following on from four firms falling victim of the scam in November last year.The callers use refined techniques to gain the confidence of those they call – known as social engineering – and obtain information enabling them to access accounts. They ask for ‘challenge and response’ codes, which are then used to authenticate payments and in some cases digital banking logon and password credentials.Robert Loughlin, executive director of operations and quality, said: ‘We are very concerned about this increase in activity. The con artists are highly sophisticated in their approach and their script makes them sound as though they are genuinely who they say they are, even though what they are doing is trying to obtain confidential information.‘It’s not just ourselves at the SRA who are concerned about this increase in activity. Time and again solicitors across England and Wales are raising it as a serious issue during our discussions with them.’