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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Alabama News

Hurricane Sally (Photo: NOAA)

Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf

Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…

Col. Sebastien Joly and John Driscoll sign project agreement to take the Port of Mobile to 50 ft. draft (Photo: Alabama Port Authority)

Port of Mobile to be Deepened to 50 Feet

The State of Alabama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into the Project Partnership Agreement twio deepen and widen the Port of Mobile to 50 feet in late 2024 or early 2025.Colonel Sebastien P. Joly, Commander of the Mobile District, and John C. Driscoll, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama State Port Authority, signed the agreement, which allows the Corps of Engineers will move into contracting and construction phases of the approximately $365.7 million project…

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

Brandes to Lead Port of Oakland

Longtime shipping industry executive Bryan Brandes has been named Maritime Director at the Port of Oakland. The port said today he was selected following a nationwide search. Brandes, a 25-year maritime veteran, replaces John Driscoll who left to manage the Alabama State Port Authority.Brandes will lead a staff of 20 responsible for one of the nation’s 10 largest container seaports. Oakland’s Maritime Director oversees everything from facilities management to real estate negotiations.“Bryan is coming in at a crucial time for us and we’re eager to put his skill and industry experience to work…

Photo courtesy USCG RDC.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Supports Research Efforts

Unique among the nation’s armed services, the Coast Guard’s missions include national defense, law enforcement, natural disaster incident management, recreational boating safety and environmental protection. This diversity of mission scope presents opportunities for the Coast Guard at the strategic, operational and tactical levels as the service works to make their efforts as effective and efficient as possible.Contributing to the service’s overall execution effort is the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC), based in New London, Connecticut.

(Photo: APM Terminals)

Port Improvements Continue in Mobile

The Alabama Port Authority completed its 400-foot container dock extension at the APM Terminals Mobile facility on March 20, and three days later, the terminal for the first time simultaneously handled two containerships at the newly expanded berth.Part of Alabama’s seaport modernization program to accommodate larger vessels, the berth extension enables two x 8,000-10,000 TEU be handled simultaneously. The quay extension was part of a $50 million Phase 3 expansion that increased…

Photo: Weeks Marine

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

Image: Austal

Austal to Support USN Ships in Australia

Austal signed an agreement with the United States Navy which will see its Henderson shipyard conduct repairs and sustainment activities on USN and Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships.With the Agreement of Boat Repair (ABR) now in place, Austal’s Australian operations may now bid to provide emergent repair services to deployed USN ships, including the Austal designed and constructed Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).The ABR also allows Austal to bid for maintenance and repair of MSC ships deployed to the region…

Photo by Derek Fountain/HII

Ingalls Shipbuilding to Fund STEM Projects

America’s largest military shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has awarded $99,592 in grants to 28 STEM-related initiatives from schools and educational organizations in Mississippi and Alabama.According to a press note, this is the program’s 12th year. Ingalls has awarded more than $1 million for science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects during that period.“These projects expose students to innovative concepts…

Teckie Hinkebein (Photo: HII)

Hinkebein Named Ingalls Media Manager

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that Teckie Hinkebein has joined its corporate communications team as a manager of media relations. She will report to Beci Brenton, corporate director of public affairs.“Teckie brings more than a decade of communications expertise to our corporate communications team,” said Jerri Dickseski, HII’s executive vice president of communications. “Her knowledge of media relations and marketing, existing relationships with local media and…

‘Bajamar Express’ (Hull 394) (Photo: Austal Australia)

Austal Australia Rolls Out 118m Trimaran

Austal Australia has rolled out the hull (No. 394) and attached the superstructure for the first of two 118 meter trimarans under construction for Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands.Bajamar Express was rolled out onto the hardstand at Austal Australia’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia on December 14, in preparation for final fit out before launch in February 2020.Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton highlighted the vessel’s significance as one of nine trimarans currently under construction by Austal…

(Pictured: Michael Lapeyrouse, president and CEO of AEU, and Peter Burke, president and co-founder of Best Companies Group) (Photo: AEU)

AEU Named an Alabama 'Best Company to Work for'

The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU) was recently named as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Alabama in an annual ranking compiled by Business Alabama and Best Companies Group.This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in Alabama, benefiting the economy, workforce, and businesses. 22 companies received the coveted award.In the small-to-medium company category (15 to 249 employees), AEU ranked 5th among the 13 companies receiving the award.

DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao

DOT Secretary Chao Announces Infrastructure Grants

Department Proposes $856 Million in INFRA Grants. The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced $855,950,000 in proposed grants through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. “This significant federal investment will improve major highways, bridges, ports, and railroads around the country to better connect our communities, and to enhance safety and economic growth,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. INFRA discretionary grants support…

Photo: MTC Logistics

MTC Logistics Breaks Ground at Port of Mobile

MTC Logistics (MTC), along with officials from the Alabama State Port Authority, Alabama Department of Commerce and elected officials, broke ground on MTC’s 12 million cubic feet international temperature-controlled distribution center. MTC is investing approximately $61 million at the Port of Mobile generating 50 to 70 direct jobs at the new facility.When completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, the new facility will provide shippers with seamless supply chain solutions focused on global commerce.

Image: Alabama State Port Authority

ASPA Names Clark as Deputy Director

The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) announced that maritime executive Richard T. Clark will be its new deputy director.James K. Lyons, director and chief executive officer of the ASPA said that the appointment is effective July 16, 2019.“We conducted a nationwide search with one of the country’s premier maritime and port industry recruiting firms and the Port Authority received resumes from quite a few qualified candidates,” said Lyons. “Clark stood out amongst all the applicants and was selected for this position.

Photo: Mammoet

Mammoet USA Partners with Alabama Port

Mammoet has announced its partnership with Core Industries, the owner and operator of Theodore Industrial Port near Mobile, Alabama. Under the agreement, Mammoet will have the opportunity to work with Core and utilize the 400 acres of land at the port, positioning the company closer to Mobile’s well-established chemical industry. Over the years, the Mobile area’s chemical industry has expanded along a 60-mile corridor, with new and existing companies continuously taking advantage of the infrastructure and existing synergies in the area.

Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, was elected Chairman of AWO.

AWO Elects Foss Maritime's Merritt as Chair

The members of the American Waterways Operators, the national tugboat, towboat and barge industry association, elected a new slate of leaders earlier this month during the association's annual Spring Convention held in Washington, D.C. Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, was elected Chairman. Arthur F. Mead, Vice President and General Counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, was elected Vice Chairman. Mr. Merritt succeeds outgoing Chairman Tom Marian…

Kurt Nagle (Photo: AAPA)

Senate EPW Committee Hearing Testimony for AAPA CEO Nagle

The hearing will be in Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to consider the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019, and to hear input from stakeholders about implementation of the DERA program.In his prepared remarks, Kurt Nagle shares examples of several ports that have received DERA grants, including the latest one last month in which the EPA awarded a DERA grant of $400,000 to the Alabama State Port Authority to replace a 1982 locomotive with a Tier IV locomotive engine.

Inland Port Development: Take the train

The intermodal equation for any deep draft port is incomplete without its inland component.It’s definitely a work in progress.There are inland ports in the truest sense: major lakefront and riverfront cities such as Chicago and St. Louis, including even Duluth and Tulsa, with vast distribution areas, wildly varying cargo, roads, trains and waterways to serve them.And, then, there are inland ports, dry ports that have vast distribution areas, containerized cargo delivered from true oceanfront ports…

M.A.R.S. Opens New Location

Modern American Recycling Services, Inc. (M.A.R.S.),a leader in the scrap recycling industry, completed a transaction acquiring World Marine, LLC on January 22, 2019. The acquisition includes World Marine’s Alabama facility in Mobile, boasting over 4,400 feet of deep water access on the Mobile River as well as a Panamax-capacity floating dry dock.The new location will be operated under the name Modern American Recycling & Repair Services, LLC (M.A.R.R.S.). In addition to recycling services, the facility will continue to operate as a full-service shipyard.

The latest storm track for Michael. (CREDIT NHC)

Hurricane Michael Races Northeast, Leaving Devastation in Florida

Hurricane Michael, the third most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland, headed northeast on Thursday, weakened but still set to soak Georgia and the Carolinas after devastating the Florida Panhandle.By 6 AM on Thursday, heavy rain and wind had reached as far north as Charlotte, North Carolina and the Western North Carolina mountains. The center of the storm was located over Augusta, Georgia, moving north rapidly at more than 20 MPH in a north / northeast heading. Charlotte…

U.S. Gulf Coast Ports Being Inspected After Storm Gordon

Energy companies and port operators along the U.S. Gulf Coast were taking steps on Wednesday to resume operations after Tropical Storm Gordon shut 9 percent of the region's oil and gas output.Coast Guard inspectors were flying over ports in Mississippi and Alabama to inspect the facilities, which remained closed to most traffic, Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexandria Preston said. In New Orleans, pilots have begun moving cargo ships through mouth of Mississippi River after storm, a spokesman said.Reporting by Gary McWilliams

Gov. Nathan Deal, center, cuts a ribbon during the Grand Opening of the Appalachian Regional Port near Chatsworth, Ga.  Photo: Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton

Georgia's New Inland Terminal Begins Business

Gov. Nathan Deal, state officials and more than 350 business and civic leaders were on hand today to officially open the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Northwest Georgia.“The Appalachian Regional Port is a powerful new gateway to the Port of Savannah that extends the efficiencies of Georgia’s superior port operations to new markets,” Deal said. “It will also serve as an economic development magnet, drawing business and industry to the Southeast U.S.”Located in Murray County…

A typical, well-maintained intermodal chassis. (CREDIT: TRAC)

Ports in SC & GA to Establish Common Chassis Pool

The South Carolina Ports Authority and Georgia Ports Authority will be able to establish a common chassis pool serving customers throughout the Southeast as the result of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voting today to take no action to prevent the Southern States Chassis Pool Agreement (SSCPA, FMC Agreement No. 201262) from becoming effective.The SSCPA was filed at the Commission on June 18, 2018 with an effective date of August 2, 2018.Under the terms of the agreement…

Photo: Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton

Savannah Reaches Record Volumes in FY18

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) handled a record 4.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in Fiscal Year 2018 (July '17 - June '18), for an impressive 8.4% increase year-over-year, or 325,000 additional units. "Moving more than 4 million TEUs in a single fiscal year is an important milestone for Georgia," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "Georgia's logistical advantages, along with the Southeast's population growth, have resulted in increased demand, while…

William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America

DCA's Doyle: President Trump Supports Strong Infrastructure Projects

In an address to Western Dredging Association (WEDA) stakeholders, William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America told his audience: It all starts with dredging. Good Morning, and thank you for inviting me here today to open-up the conference. This is my first time addressing the Western Dredging Association (WEDA), and I am honored to be here. It all starts with dredging, and President Donald J. Trump is backing it up with critical legislative measures. As I will address later in my remarks– the U.S.

William T. “Bill” Bergeron (Photo courtesy of WTCNO)

Bergeron to be Honored

The World Trade Center of New Orleans announced William T. “Bill” Bergeron, CEO of Bergeron Resources, L.L.C. & Affiliated Companies, as the recipient of the 2018 C. Alvin Bertel Award. The C. Alvin Bertel Award was established in 1967 and is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the Louisiana port community.“I am honored to receive this coveted award and be recognized by my peers for my many accomplishments," said Bergeron. "The maritime…