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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Port Arthur News

Ed Grimm, (second from left) CEO, Southern Towing Company during a crew visit.

Interview: Ed Grimm, CEO, Southern Towing Company

“In God we trust. All others must have data.”When Ed Grimm took the helm of Southern Towing Company (STC)as President and CEO, he inherited an enviable team of leaders, engineers, mentors, communicators and analysts. Today STC is a clear leader on the inland waterways, pioneering and proving the business and safety value of Z-Drives on the river towboats.How did you come to the top spot at Southern Towing Company?I started in the energy industry at 16 working at an oil storage depot in New York Harbor, working there through high school and putting myself through college.

Chauncey Naylor (Photo: Resolve Maritime Academy)

Naylor Named Resolve Maritime Academy Director

Resolve Maritime Academy, the learning arm of the Resolve Marine Group, has welcomed Chauncey Naylor as the Academy’s new Director responsible for operational management, strategic course, and certification development. Naylor comes to Resolve from Williams Fire and Hazard Control in Port Arthur, Texas with extensive experience leading safety management and emergency service teams.For the past 23 years, Naylor has been a driving force behind Williams’ response teams earning himself the prestigious Red Adair Industrial Community Award.

Photo: Roll Group

Roll Group Transports Ethane Cracker Modules

Roll Group has been awarded a contract to transport 24 modules for the Total Ethane cracker project in the USA. The transport will cover seven single voyages, using both RollDock and BigRoll vessels. The services and expertise of Roll-Lift will also play a part in the completion of the land transport aspects of the project.The first voyage is scheduled within the next two weeks. The other transports will be undertaken between April and August 2019. The modules are currently in the process of building in Hamriyah (UAE).

Elaine L. Chao (Photo courtesy of  AAPA)

14 Port-related Projects Awarded BUILD Grants

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has (Dec. 11) announced $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The grants, 14 of which will go to port-related projects, are made through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants program and support road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.Port-related projects will receive a total of $229.23 million…

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

US DOT Announces Major Infrastructure Funding Grants

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $1.5 Billion in BUILD Transportation Grants to Revitalize Infrastructure Nationwide. Some of the 91 projects include port grants, as well. WASHINGTON –  U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The grants are made through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants program and support road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.

Pic: Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy Signs New Mexican LNG Terminal

Sempra Energy, the US group that aims to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility near Ensenada, Mexico, to serve customers in Asia moved closer to becoming reality as the natural gas utilities holding company  announced agreements with three international firms.The San Diego-based company announced in a press release that  that its subsidiaries Infraestructura Energetica Nova  (IEnova) and Sempra LNG & Midstream have signed three Heads of Agreements (HOAs) with affiliates of Total, Mitsui & Co. and Tokyo Gas Co.

Orion Bags $10 Mln Dredging Contract

Specialty construction company Orion Group Holdings, Inc. said it has been awarded an approximately $10 million dredging contractThe deal was awarded to company’s marine segment from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the dredging of the Sabine-Neches Waterway in Orange and Jefferson counties, Texas, including the lower reach of the Neches River, the Sabine-Neches Canal and Turning Basin and the Port Arthur Canal.The project is expected to begin late in the fourth quarter of 2018 with a duration of approximately six months.

Ship Strikes Dredging Pipeline in Sabine Pass

Several vessels, including two oil tankers and one carrying liquefied natural gas, were stalled and unable to enter the Sabine Pass shipping channel near the Texas-Louisiana border due to draft restrictions, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.Port Arthur's Vessel Traffic Service implemented 32-foot restrictions on draft, or vessel depth, on Wednesday, after a 24-inch steel dredge pipeline was struck and pulled out to sea by a ship moving through the Sabine Pass Channel to the U.S.

Colonial Pipeline Allows Port Arthur Refiners to Ship Fuel after Harvey

Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel system in the United States, said on Monday that Port Arthur, Texas refiners can use their own pumps as a temporary solution to get gasoline and other products into its main lines. Flow rates on Colonial's lines, which supply more than 3 million barrels a day of fuel to the populous U.S. east coast, have been sharply reduced after Hurricane Harvey caused massive floods and damaged supply points, including at Port Arthur. The Port Arthur facility connects directly to Total and Valero's refineries in Jefferson County, Texas.

Beaumont Port Still Restricted after Harvey

While crude deliveries by larger ships to Beaumont in Texas remain restricted after Hurricane Harvey, a workaround using pipelines can supply Exxon Mobil's refinery there, shipping sources said. Silt and clay lingering in the Port of Beaumont still threaten to entrap large ships, two weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, but pipelines are available to move crude up to refineries there from nearby terminals which are less affected by sediment. Beaumont's port has been closed to ship traffic over 26 feet (8 meters) since Sept. 9 by the U.S.

Corpus Christi Ship Channel Reopened

The Corpus Christi Ship Channel is open to restricted operations following a record six-day closure caused by Hurricane Harvey. Harvey has left many Gulf Coast petroleum refining centers either completely shut down or with operations significantly scaled back. An estimated 25 percent of the region’s refining capacity is operational, positioning Corpus Christi as the largest refining center on the Texas Coast that is fully operational. The ship channel’s restricted opening, authorized by the U.S.

Shipping Firms Pay $1.9 Mln for Pollution Cover-up

Two shipping companies based in Egypt and Singapore will pay $1.9 million in penalties after pleading guilty in federal court to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice for covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage into the sea. Defendants Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management are the owner and operator of the offending vessel, the 57,920 gross ton, 809-foot long, oceangoing, oil tank ship called the M/T ETC Mena. The plea agreement was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H.

Capt. Brian Penoyer transferred command of Sector Houston-Galveston to Capt. Peter Martin during a change-of-command ceremony Friday Photo USCG

USCG Change of Command in Houston-Galveston

Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer transferred command of Sector Houston-Galveston to Capt. Peter Martin during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at the Bayport Cruise Terminal near Houston. Martin assumed command of Sector Houston-Galveston and responsibility as Captain of the Port for operations along the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to the Colorado River in Matagorda, Texas. This extensive area of responsibility includes 10 units and eight cutters between Texas City, Galveston, Port Arthur, Freeport, Sabine and the entirety of the Houston Ship Channel.

LNG Plant Courtesy Woodside

Woodside, Sempra Energy Ink LNG Terminal Deal

Woodside's affiliate, Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. (WUSA), has entered into a Project Development Agreement (PDA) with Sempra LNG & Midstream (Sempra), an affiliate of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Under the PDA, WUSA and Sempra will continue discussions and assessments of a potential Port Arthur LNG natural gas liquefaction facility in Port Arthur, Texas. The PDA builds upon the non-binding memorandum of understanding previously signed by the parties in June 2015 and provides a framework within which Sempra and WUSA will contribute their experience and share costs related to the technical design…

Sulfur-Laden Bulk Carrier Grounds off Port Arthur, TX

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with state and local partners in response to a bulk carrier loaded with sulfur that ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, while transiting outbound from Neches Industrial Park. At approximately 1:30 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Control Port Arthur received a call from the pilot aboard the 615-ft.Panamanian flagged vessel Jian Qiang, stating they ran hard aground approximately 1 mile from the westernmost jetty, outside buoys 33 and 34, in the Gulf of Mexico. There were no reports of significant damage, injury or pollution discharge.

Workers at Largest U.S. Refinery OK Deal

More than 700 union workers at the largest U.S. refinery unanimously approved a new contract in a vote at their union hall in Port Arthur, Texas, on Tuesday night, said union officials. The United Steelworkers union (USW) also said workers at three Tesoro Corp refineries on the West Coast were making progress in finalizing contracts. Return-to-work agreements, usually the final step before ratification votes, were under discussion. USW members at the Motiva Enterprises Port Arthur, Texas, refinery walked off their jobs on Feb. 21 as part of the nation's largest refinery strike in 35 years.

Refinery Strike Affects One-Fifth of U.S. Capacity

The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years entered its fourth week on Sunday as workers at 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of national production capacity were walking picket lines. Sources familiar with the negotiations said talks may resume by mid-week to end the walkout by 6,550 members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) at 15 plants, including the 12 refineries. Representatives of both sides said no date has been set to restart negotiations, however. The strike comes as U.S. workers seek more pay in a strengthening economy. Wal-Mart Stores Inc has said its U.S.

Captain George “Joe” Paitl

LNG America Taps Paitl for VP Marine Ops

LNG America welcomes Captain George “Joe” Paitl to position of VP Marine Operations and HSSE Compliance. Capt. Paitl is a retired US Coast Guard senior officer who most recently held the position of Commanding Officer and Captain of the Port, Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, where he oversaw safety, security, law enforcement, and environmental regulatory compliance across a 39,000 square mile area spanning Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana; the Port Arthur unit includes the nation's busiest commercial military cargo port…

Ray Ruiz (Photo: AEU)

AEU Hires Ruizas as Loss Control Manager

The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU) recently hired Ray Ruizas Loss Control Manager. Ruizas’ safety experience includes five years at a large shipyard in Port Arthur, Texas, where he implemented management systems, conducted incident investigations, oversaw safety inspections and conducted shipyard safety training for supervisors and employees in both English and Spanish. He has numerous certifications from OSHA and the Texas Department of Health and is a Shipyard Competent Person and certified in HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations)…

New USCG Policy on Tank Cargo Transfer

USCG revises policy on transfer of cargo by foreign tank vessels The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Houston-Galveston has established a policy governing the transfer of cargo by foreign tank vessels in advance of overdue safety compliance inspection to help minimize cargo transfer delays within the Houston-Galveston (including Texas City, Freeport, Port Arthur and Lake Charles) area of responsibility (AOR), GAC reported. As a result the Cargo Waiver Request form has been revised.

Keal Woodruff

OIMO Adds Woodruff to Executive Team

Offshore Inland Marine & Oilfield Services, Inc. (OIMO), a company in Topside and Riding Crew repair services, announced the appointment of a new executive to the company’s leadership team – Keal Woodruff, Vice President of Projects. In this role, Woodruff will be leading the production and project management teams, as well as engineering services and estimating. He will also hold a contributing role on the senior management team. Woodruff brings three decades of experience across…

GAC Opens New U.S. Office

GAC opened a new office in Galliano, La., which the company said is part of its response to the increase of offshore oil and gas activity in the region. The new GAC Shipping USA office near Port Fourchon, Morgan City and Amelia enables the provider of shipping, logistics and marine services to better serve the needs of customers with vessels calling at the ports. Port Fourchon is the region's main port supporting offshore oil and gas activity, whilst Morgan City is considered the birthplace of the U.S.

Saudi Aramco Charter 3 VLCC's for U.S. Crude Import

The very large crude carriers (VLCC's) will load at Ras Tanura terminal for deliveries to a US Gulf Coast port next month. The very large crude carriers will each load 280,000 metric tons of oil at Saudi's Ras Tanura terminal between April 3 and April 9 for the voyage via the Cape of Good Hope to the Port Arthur, Texas terminal, reports Bloomberg from various sources. Saudi Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) operate refineries through Motiva Enterprises LLC.

Gulf Copper's new dry dock, Mr. Morris.

New Ship Repair Capability in Port Arthur

On January 18 Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corp. completed the refurbishment and re-naming of its newest dry dock, the Mr. Morris. "This dry dock gives us access to a market that has not been served recently in Port Arthur," said Steve Hale, CEO, Gulf Copper & Manufacturing. Now in service, the Mr. Morris adds a valuable asset to Gulf Copper's dry dock capabilities, enabling the ship repair yard to accommodate a range of larger vessels in its Port Arthur South Yard. After a recent naming ceremony…

Scott Elphison, senior marine inspector for the Coast Guard Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise, addresses students and fellow instructors in a cruise ship inspection on Oct. 31, 2009. The lesson was part of an Advanced Foreign Passenger Vessel Examination course.

The Center(s) of Expertise

U.S. Coast Guard's Safety Strategy Incorporates Tightly Focused Training at Carefully Chosen Venues. The U.S. Coast Guard opened seven National Centers of Expertise in 2009, locating three alone on the busy Gulf Coast, The concept of national centers of expertise – or “centers of excellence” – dates back to the 1960s when technology became more advanced and required new skill sets. The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps all operate such hubs, as do federal agencies, foreign governments and industries ranging from manufacturing to health care.

USDOT’s Maritime Administration Announces $9.98 Million in Grants to Small Shipyards

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $9.98 million in grants to 13 small shipyards throughout the United States to help modernize facilities, increase productivity, and help make the country’s small shipyards more competitive in the global marketplace. Over 50,000 Americans are employed by small shipyards in more than 30 states. The facilities vary in size, from family-owned businesses employing a few dozen workers to state-of-the-art facilities with hundreds of employees.