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Sea Transport Announces New CEO

aurora ferry design

Starting off the New Year in 2018, Sea Transport Solutions welcomes our newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Ross Ballantyne.

Ross brings with him a Master Class IV coastal coastal ticket, a BEng (Hons) in Naval Architecture from AMC in Tasmania and has made invaluable contributions to STS in his seventeen (17) years with our company.

Sea Transport Solutions has been instrumental in contributing innovative and durable vessel designs for transhipping on a global scale and we will continue in doing so under the direction of Mr Ballantyne who has worked on both national and international projects.

With ship designs and services sold to forty-seven countries already and new contracts being secured on a regular basis, including the most recent projects in South Australia, Queensland, and Far North Queensland, our team is anticipating another exciting and successful year ahead.

In closing we wish to acknowledge and thank Dr Stuart Ballantyne for his contribution to Sea Transport. Stuart recently retired from the CEO position and will remain with our company as Chairman of Sea Transport.  

Pacific Titan Tug Vessel

Utility Tug, Pacific Titan, Adapted for Australian Service

STS Designed Pacific Titan

The East Coast Maritime (ECM) Group of Gladstone, Queensland, Australia has acquired a brand new 31-tonne bollard pull, shallow draft, twin screw utility tug, dubbed the Pacific Titan.

The design for the new tug was developed by Sea Transport Solutions with the initial concept inspired by European work boats – with the exception of a hull that is better suited to offshore conditions.

ECM’s operations manager, Lindsay Toy, states that “She (the Pacific Titan) features several unique design elements to maximise her performance when bed levelling, which is something we do plenty of.”

With an overall length of 25.8 metres, a beam of 9.1 metres and a draft of 2.6 metres, the Pacific Titan is powered by a pair of Yanmar IMO Tier II diesel engines – making it capable of reaching up to 12.7 knots. A certified bollard pull of 31.6 tonnes, provides additional maneuverability, with the tug also equipped with a 2-tonne Nakashima bow thruster. Designed for plough dredging, dredging support, barge handling and towing due it’s anchor handling capabilities, this impressive vessel also features:

  • Fully air-conditioned and heated crew quarters
  • 5 single cabins with individual wash basins
  • Heated shower compartments
  • A combined galley and mess
  • Satellite compass
  • Two radars
  • AIS
  • Sounder
  • Autopilot
  • VHF
  • MF/HF
  • Deck machinery
  • Heila crane capable of lifting 12.5 tonnes at 10m
  • Timber clad decking
  • Double drum HES Australia winch
  • Dynamic tugger and plough winches
  • Stern roller
  • HES anchor windlasses
  • WK Hydraulics towing pin
  • 30-tonne Mampaey towing hook

The Pacifc Titan will be serving Australia’s eastern coastline from operation bases at Gladstone and Brisbane.

Photo Credit: East Coast Maritime








transhipment port south australia

New Transhipping Port | Upper Eyre Peninsula

transhipment grain port

South Australian grain farmers have been given more export options thanks to a new purpose-built grain transhipping port in Lucky Bay, Upper Eyre Peninsula that is expected to be in full operation for the 2017 harvest. This has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our team at Sea Transport Solutions.

The Lucky Bay ferry harbour has been expanded to allow bulk grain to be filled on small container ships before being transported to larger ships and exported.

Sea Transport’s new port offers new export options for farmers with Viterra, a Canadian grain handling business, holding current control over the seven ports in South Australia.

“Farmer’s definitely want competition, they do not want to be dominated by one part…they lost control through deregulation when the co-op was sold, the bulk handling systems in South Australia, and this is about bringing some further competition into storage and handling to the state”

lucky bay south australia

Lucky Bay, SA

This new port is owned by Spencer Gulf Trust who has been working with Sea Transport Solutions to establish innovative and economic transhipping technology at Lucky Bay, which has been used elsewhere to transport minerals within the northern regions of Australia.

“It has the ability to be able to maximise shallow waters, so it is about building export facilities closer to where the resource is produced, and being able to reduce some of the supply chain costs,” said STS who explained that the on land set up would be similar to existing ports; however the actual loading of the large export vessels would take place
at sea.

“They use seagoing vessels that are totally enclosed and have their own discharge booms, which reach over the side of the ship’s hatch and then discharges straight into the hull.”

In the future this same technology could be utilised in Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula.

“We see the opportunity to have a transhipping site on both sides of the gulf and then maximise the use of these transhipping vessels, because we can relocate those vessels within an hour and a half from one side of the gulf to the other.”

Sea Transport Solutions is very excited to see the results of this new port in the coming years and is hopeful that our innovative transhipment methods can be adopted in more regions within Australia and around the world.



Passion Catamaran Stuart Ballantyne

A ‘Passion’ for Catamaran Design

Stuart Ballantyne has a passion for sea vessels, so much so that he named his 56 foot catamaran after it.  ‘Passion’ is an innovative twist on the traditional catamaran which was designed over 15 years ago by Sea Transport Solutions and is referred to as a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) as opposed to a catamaran.

Passion Catamaran Stuart Ballantyne

The vessel has many appealing features for those that appreciate the cruising style of a catamaran including:

  • A 7.4 metre beam with a draft of 1.0 metres.
  • Less pitching, greater hull efficiencies and better handling through its bulbous bow design.
  • A wide-open throttle comfortable for 23.5 knots or 44 km/hr.
  • Yanmar 6LPA-STP2 engines.
  • Modest fuel consumption of 22.5 litres per engine per hour and 1000 nautical mile cruise range (at cruise speed of 18 knots).
  • 4000 litres of fuel on board
  • Built on alloy and fiberglass.
  • Incorporation of motor and motor sailing configurations.

With its Gold Coast design through Sea Transport Solutions, ‘Passion’ is setting the precedent when it comes to enhancing and diversifying the capabilities of the build and structure of the traditional catamaran.

yanmar engine catamaran

Yanmar Engines Offer the Perfect Fit

yanmar engine catamaranWhen developing a new catamaran vessel that was already pushing the boundaries in design, it was imperative that the engines chosen to power the vessel were of the highest in quality and performance.

Stuart Ballantyne, CEO of Sea Transport Solutions – the designers of the SWATH catamaran ‘Passion’, was extremely specific in the capabilities of the chosen engines that would be used in the vessel and after a lot of research, decided on Yanmar.

Designed and manufactured in Japan, Yanmar Co. Ltd was founded over 105 years ago with their success in producing reliable and quality products such as heavy equipment, watercraft, diesel engines and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Yanmar engines that were inserted into vessel were the 6LPA-STP2 and provided the required performance and preferred fuel consumption for the 17 metre catamaran that was designed on the Gold Coast at STS.


With the Yanmar engines ticking over at 2800rpm with the impressive fuel consumption of 22.5 litres per engine per hour at the comfortable cruise speed of 18 knots 22.5 litres, the engines can travel 23.5 knots with no compromise to performance.

transhipment commodities

Sea Transport in the Australian Journal of Mining

Sea Transport Solutions has been highlighted in the Australian Journal of Mining for our contribution to Australia’s transhipment activity within the mining industry.

Our Managing Director Stuart Ballantyne, gave an interview that outlines the latest capabilities and operations of STS design, transhipment vessels and services.

transhipment commodities

Excerpt from Australian Journal of Mining | July – August 2011

“Sea Transport has 20 years of experience in bulk feeders and self-dischargers. In 1991 Sea Transport designed the world’s first no ballast bulk carrier Deepwater … In 2008, the Sea Transport 5,200 dwt self-discharging barge Wunma [for MMG’s Century mine] was the only bulk carrier abandoned in a cyclone that actually survived.”

The transshipment system offered within Australia from Sea Transport has a comparably short lead time, Ballantyne states “a feeder barge you can get in 11 months” and it takes “up to 16 months” to build a floating harbour transshipper (FHT).

“The FHT comes in Handymax, Supramax and Capesize versions. The Handymax FHT has 30,000 tonnes of storage and capacity of 7mtpa; the Panamax size 50,000 tonnes storage and 12mtpa capacity; the Capesize 100,000 tonnes storage and 20mtpa.”

Like any transhipment system, the first contact with product is on land. Sea Transport Solutions uses a negative pressure shed, which is sized between 5-10,000 tonnes. A wet dock is attached, which includes patented stern loading vessels with capacities ranging from 3,000-6,000 tonnes. Loading vessels are shallow draft, which means the harbour required to house the terminal can be shallow with four metres depth.

Ballantyne described the loading process:

  • 1) Feeder vessels, of 2,000 to 6,000 tonne capacity,
  • 2) Back into the shed for loading;
  • 3) Sail out to the FHT,
  • 4) Return back into a reclaimer system inside it, which strips the feeders.

“If there is no bulk carrier alongside it stacks into the FHT. If the ship is there, the product goes directly from the feeder into the bulk carrier.” Sea Transport’s transhipper loads the bulk carrier with grabs.

“About 60% of the export cargo is actually sitting there, at the [FHT]… so the trick is to feed another 40% during the 3-4 day load out. That is how we optimise the size and number of feeders, so that these feeders go 24/7, backwards and forwards feeding just as a truck or a train would.”

Stuart Ballantyne | Managing Director (STS)

Ballantyne explains that Sea Transport’s system can operate in seas that are often deemed too rough for transhipping. “10 days of model tests were carried out at the Australian Maritime College during November 2010 confirming that 4.5 metre significant wave heights can be handled without stopping the feeder vessel operations, whereas two metres is the normal maximum limit. The cost of a FHT and feeders and small shore shed works out about 20-25% of a fixed jetty installation. But the fixed installations now have to place a bond to have them removed at the end of the mine life, which could add 30% as a contingent liability.”