AMO LNG officers to Begin Work with Teekay

American Maritime Officers (AMO) members this month will receive sea-going appointments with Teekay Shipping Corporation--one of the world’s leading tanker companies, which now has a significant presence in the LNG sector.

AMO has been working since January 2005 to secure employment opportunities for experienced LNG officers with a high-quality company. Teekay signed an agreement with AMO National President Tom Bethel on Oct. 11, 2006, to begin integrating its vessel operations with U.S. officers represented by AMO.

Teekay entered the LNG market in early 2004 with the acquisition of Naviera F. Tapias, which included four LNG vessels.

A well-established marine energy transportation company, Teekay was founded in 1973 by the late Torben Karlshoej. The company's fleet currently numbers more than 150 vessels and carries approximately ten percent of the world’s sea-borne oil. The company has twenty-one offices in seventeen countries, and has twenty-one additional vessels on order.

"Working with Teekay, AMO is now taking pioneering steps into the international LNG trade," Bethel said. "The union is creating opportunities for our members in a market where there is an unwavering forecast for expansion and demand for their experience, training and professionalism.

"AMO officers have the recent LNG experience and training required for this trade," according to Bethel. "Through the LNG training and simulation programs now available to AMO members at STAR Center, we have the resources to expand the base within our membership and meet the strong demand for qualified and experienced officers in the LNG market. I am excited about these first steps and we are looking forward to a lasting relationship and new opportunities with Teekay Shipping."

Last October, Teekay took delivery of the first of nine LNG new builds the company has recently ordered. Two more vessels have since been delivered. Delivery of the last new build in this group is expected in early 2009. The new ships will be manned with a blend of Teekay's existing LNG officers and by new hires with LNG experience and recency. All of the vessels will commence service under either twenty or twenty-five-year fixed-rate contracts with major energy companies.

Teekay has a well-defined corporate culture, which emphasizes high standards, ethics and a rigorous interview process. The corporation makes a significant investment in new hires and enjoys a very low turnover rate (less than 5 percent). Teekay’s SCOPE (Seafarer Competency for Operational Excellence) program is an extensive in-house training, mentoring and assessment program, which includes training on MPRI liquid cargo simulator equipment.

RTM STAR Center recently conducted its first course on the new MPRI liquid cargo simulator and has integrated the course into the LNG training program for AMO members at the facility in Dania Beach, Fla.

The advantages AMO offers Teekay include:

•Experienced and qualified LNG officers with recency
•Officers rigorously vetted by the U.S. Coast Guard for the U.S. LNG import market
•Bahamian-flag equivalency with U.S. Coast Guard licenses
•Engineers for steam, slow-speed diesel and dual fuel/diesel electric
•Training synergy with the RTM STAR Center (MPRI liquid cargo simulation)
•Recruitment system with U.S. maritime academies
•Teekay fully expects to maintain its high standards despite the worldwide shortage of qualified and experienced LNG officers. The company recognizes that AMO offers an excellent solution in meeting the demand for LNG manning.