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Monday, October 15, 2018

Chesapeake News

Port of Virginia to Close Ahead of Winter Storm

The U.S. Coast Guard said the Port of Virginia will close Friday at midnight in anticipation of Winter Storm Helena, which is expected to bring snow and wind which will likely create particularly hazardous conditions, including zero visibility onshore and on the water. Commercial vessels will be prohibited from entering and departing the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, movement within the Port of Virginia will be closed to vessel traffic 5,000 gross tons or greater unless permission is granted by the Captain of the Port. “There is a real danger to all vessels on the water,” said Capt. Kevin M.

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Ports America Refocuses, Oakland Lease Goes

Ports America, the largest stevedore and terminal operating company in the United States, is refocusing its business strategies on the West Coast through additional investments and expansion of services into new terminals. Areas of concentration include Los Angeles, Long Beach, the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. These regions have been identified as most suited to its realignment goals. Ports America’s long-standing joint venture partnership at West Basin Container Terminal…

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein (Photo courtesy of: USDOJ)

Chief Engineer Sentenced for Pollution Violations

Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Noly Torato Vidad of the Philippines, the Chief Engineer of the cargo vessel M/V Selene Leader, to eight months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for obstruction of justice and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division John C. Cruden; and Coast Guard Captain Kevin Kiefer, Captain of the Port of Baltimore.

GLDD's Hopper Dredge, Ellis Island (Photo:GlobeNewswire)

GLDD Wins $164 Million in Dredging Awards

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (Great Lakes), provider of both dredging services in the United States and environmental and infrastructure services, announced the receipt of a several dredging awards totaling $164 million. the Delaware River Deepening Variation Order (Capital, Delaware, $14.3 million). The scope of work for the four coastal protection projects includes sustenance of beachfronts with sand excavated from off-shore borrow which is then used to rebuild dunes and restore the shorelines eroded by winter storms.

American Harmony (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

Major Hull Section for American Harmony Moved To Launchways

American Harmony’s lower bow section has moved from Fabrication Building #4 at Chesapeake Shipbuilding to the Assembly Launchways. The second new ship in American Cruise Lines five-ship, modern riverboat series is well on its way to completion.American Harmony, like American Song (which just made its inaugural sailing earlier this month), will be equipped with every technical advancement and offer the best in contemporary design including a magnificent five-story glass atrium.

American Song (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

New US Riverboat American Song Nearly Complete

American Cruise Lines' new vessel, American Song, the first modern riverboat in U.S. history, is nearly complete.This week, American Song, under its own power, moved from the East Outfitting Basin at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., to the yard’s outfitting bulkhead for the final outfitting touches.American Song is set to make its inaugural cruise October 6, 2018 on the Mississippi River from New Orleans. The vessel will cruise the Line’s Lower Mississippi River itineraries…

Mark Montgomery (Photo: Ports America)

Montgomery Named CEO of Ports America

New Jersey-headquartered marine terminal operator and stevedore Ports America Group, Inc. has appointed Mark Montgomery as president and CEO. He replaces former president and CEO, Michael Hassing.Montgomery was previously president and CEO of Ports America Chesapeake (PAC) from 2010 to 2014, and currently serves as a senior advisor and operating partner to the Infrastructure Investing strategy of Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (Oaktree), where he brings more than 30 years of…

Photos courtesy of NV Charts

NV Charts Relocates US Headquarters

NV Charts has moved its offices and warehousing facilities to centrally-located Deale, Maryland, U.S. In announcing the move, Hasko Scheidt, CEO, said, “As we’ve grown and need room for expansion, NV Charts has moved to new quarters in Deale, Maryland, a little more than 30 miles south of Annapolis. We're right on the Chesapeake, and in the heart of sailing and boating country, perfectly situated in the middle of the U.S. East Coast to serve our customers from Maine to the Caribbean.” Kimberly Lutz is on duty as office manager.

Dry Dock 1 at Newport News Shipbuilding is flooded prior to the official opening celebration of the shipyard's first dry dock on April 24, 1889.  The Puritan-class monitor USS Puritan waits beyond the dry dock’s gate to enter. (Photo: HII)

Newport News Shipbuilding Rings in 130 Years

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division kicked off its 130th anniversary celebration January 28. Newport News, the sole designer, builder and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines, will celebrate the anniversary throughout 2016 with commemorative videos and employee publications. More than 100 local businesses, museums, schools and civic leaders provided congratulatory video messages that will be released each week throughout the year.

Margo Marks (Photo: PVA)

PVA Elects 2016 Leadership

During the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2016 held January 23-26 in Crystal City, Va., members of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) elected Margo Marks of Beaver Island Boat Company, Beaver Island, Mich. as PVA President for 2016. Margo Marks is President/General Manager of Beaver Island Boat Company, Beaver Island, Mich. The company has provided passenger service, vehicle service and freight service between Beaver Island and Charlevoix, Mich. since 1984. The first ferry service to the island began in 1890.

Herbert Joins Phoenix International

Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. hired Jack Herbert as its Commercial Operations Sales Manager in the Largo, MD office. His responsibilities include executing Phoenix commercial (AUV, ROV, and Engineering) sales objectives, increasing market share, and leading an aggressive commercial marketing and sales program. Prior to joining Phoenix, Herbert worked as a Business Development Manager for Marine Sonic Technology Ltd., Reson Inc., and IxBlue. Clients included AUV builders, Hydrographic Survey Companies, the U.S. Navy, U.S.

NEI takes the next step towards full USCG Type Approval for its Venturi Oxygen Stripping (VOS®) Ballast Water Treatment System

VOS BWTS to Be Tested on APL Containership

Shipboard testing to be conducted on the vessel APL England as NEI takes the next step towards full USCG Type Approval for its Venturi Oxygen Stripping (VOS) Ballast Water Treatment System. NEI Treatment Systems announced that the container vessel APL England will be used for the shipboard testing phase of their VOS Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS), to begin in the early summer of 2015. The APL England is a 67.9K DWT container vessel, trading between China and multiple ports on the U.S. West Coast.

Photo Chesapeake Energy Corp

Struggling U.S. O&G Companies Eye Rare Financing Deals

Some cash-strapped U.S. oil and gas companies are considering creating an unusual layer of debt as a way of surviving the rout in oil and gas prices, according to restructuring advisors. Chesapeake Energy Corp for example is considering the strategy to swap some of its roughly $9 billion debt. Severely distressed companies may issue so-called 1.5 lien debt, sandwiched between the first and second liens, to raise new capital. Investors with a stomach for risk would get a better yield than for the top debt, and have a stronger claim than junior creditors if the company filed for bankruptcy.

Pedram Pebdani (Photo: Jo-Kell)

Jo-Kell Opens San Diego Sales Office

Jo-Kell, Inc., an electrical distribution, engineering and solutions provider servicing the military, commercial marine and industrial marketplaces, is expanding its ability to serve customers on the U.S. West Coast with the opening of a sales office in, the company announced today. Pioneering the company’s California presence is Pedram Pebdani, a sales and engineering professional with extensive experience in the industry and the region. Pebdani holds degrees in Civil Engineering from Azad University and Software Engineering from San Diego State University.

Photo: Chesapeake Shipbuilding

MARAD Grants $4.9 Million for US Shipyards

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today awarded $4.9 million in grants to support capital improvements at nine small shipyards located throughout the United States. Provided through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, the funding supports industrial modernizations that increase productivity, allowing our Nation’s small shipyards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. “Small shipyard grants do more than just improve shipyard infrastructure and equipment or add to the bottom line,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Several volunteers of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum gathered at a reception honoring their service and dedication. Last year, more than 275 volunteers collectively contributed 28,235 hours of service to the nonprofit, helping with all aspects of CBMM’s operations. (Photo: CBMM)

Maritime Museum Honors Volunteers’ Service

On June 18, 2015, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) recognized a team of more than 275 volunteers for their combined 28,235 hours of service toward the museum over the last year. Several volunteers were recognized by CBMM staff for their work in advancement and membership, boat restoration and maintenance, boat donations, buildings and grounds, education, finance and administration, museum store and events and volunteer programming. The reception was sponsored by Garden & Garnish of Trappe, Md.

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

US LNG Exports to Increase: EIA

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook projects that the United States will export more natural gas than it imports in 2017. The U.S. has been a net exporter for three of the past four months and is expected to continue to export more natural gas than it imports for the rest of 2017 and throughout 2018. The nation’ status as a net exporter is expected to continue past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The U.S.

Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta Fosters Next Generation of Technical Talent

High school and college-aged vocational students gathered in Louisville, Ky., last month to demonstrate their technical skills and knowledge at the SkillsUSA National Championships – and Chesapeake-based Volvo Penta was there to support them in their journey. A highlight of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, the Championships attract more than 6,000 career and technical education students who compete in hands-on contests in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations.

Photo: Gladding Hearn

US Boatbuilding: Exports Buoy Bottom Lines

Market conditions dampen some future prospects, but domestic yards have proven that they can compete overseas, and will do so again when the time is right. These are ‘interesting’ times for U.S. shipbuilders. The tail end of one of the biggest boom cycles seen in the last 50 years also finds some builders at the pointy end of once-fat backorder books and searching for new sources of business. This point in the cycle, however, also provides ample proof that U.S. yards can do more than produce expensive blue water Jones Act hulls for the domestic markets.

Michael Rogers  (Photo: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum)

CBMM Welcomes New Shipwright, Apprentices for Edna Lockwood Restoration

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has recently welcomed Michael Rogers of Trappe, Md. as a shipwright, along with three professional shipwright apprentices to work on the 2016-2018 log-hull restoration of the historic 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood. Joining Rogers on the project are apprentices Spencer Sherwood of Newport Beach, Ca., Lauren Gaunt of Pleasant Ridge, Mi., and Michael Allen of Barrington, R.I. The two-year restoration project is being managed by CBMM Boatyard Manager Michael Gorman and Shipwright J.

New Operator Takes over Baltimore's Seagirt Container Facility

In an agreement reached earlier this year between Ports America Chesapeake and CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. (CSXIT), the operational responsibility for CSXIT services at Seagirt Container Transfer Facility was transferred to Ports America Chesapeake in the Port of Baltimore. Accordingly, Ports America Chesapeake will commence these operations on October 31, effectively replacing CSXIT as the lessee and operator of the facility. This transition is designed to immediately enhance…

Michael Atwell (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Awards Scholarship to GLMA Cadet

Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) Cadet Michael Atwell was awarded Crowley Maritime Corporation’s a Thomas B. Crowley, Sr. Memorial Scholarship. He earned the scholarship based on his strong academic record, leadership ability and financial need. Atwell, a senior at GLMA, is in the deck officer program and working to earn an unlimited third mate’s license with first class pilotage. He recently received his USCG Masters 100T license and has captained several small passenger vessels in Chesapeake Bay, Va. A graduate of Broadneck Sr.

Ship Operator Fined $1.8m for Oil Discharge

The Hachiuma Steamship Co., LTD pleaded guilty January 30 to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), arising from the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book concerning the illegal disposal of oil residue and bilge water overboard the cargo vessel M/V Selene Leader. Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Hachiuma Steamship to pay $1.8 million, and placed it on probation for three years during which it is to develop an environmental compliance program. The plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J.

McGee

Chesapeake Hires New Director of Design and Engineering

Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp. said that Steven McGee, P.E. has joined the senior executive team as Director of Design and Engineering at Chesapeake Shipbuilding. With more than 20 years of engineering and maritime experience, McGee will oversee vessel design from preliminary conceptual design to complete Coast Guard and regulatory approvals. Chesapeake Shipbuilding currently has on staff five naval architects and 2 engineers. “McGee’s experience in various positions with the U.S.

An unmanned rigid-hull inflatable boat operates autonomously during an Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored demonstration of swarmboat technology held at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. During the demonstration four boats, using an ONR-sponsored system called CARACaS (Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command Sensing), operated autonomously during various scenarios designed to identify, trail or track a target of interest. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams)

Video: US Navy Tests Autonomous Swarmboats

The U.S. Navy is examining new possibilities for autonomy in future naval missions, putting autonomous unmanned vessels to the test in a recent demonstration in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Officials from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), together with partners from industry, academia and other government organizations, leveraged a combination of high-tech software, radar and other sensors to get a “swarm” of rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and other small vessels – “swarmboats” – to collectively perform autonomous patrol missions with only remote human supervision.

American Constitution (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

American Constitution Completes Inaugural Cruise

American Cruise Lines has announced that its brand new 175-passenger cruise ship, American Constitution, completed its inaugural sailing on Chesapeake Bay.The cruise departed from Baltimore on April 18 for an 11-day, 10-night American Revolution itinerary. “American Constitution has been exceptionally well received and all the spring 2018 American Revolution cruises are already sold out,” a company official said.During the inaugural sailing last week, American Constitution docked inside the District of Columbia at The Wharf…