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Monday, April 12, 2021

Washington News

Jon Nass (Photo: Port of Gulfport)

Port of Gulfport Names Nass CEO

The Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) Board of Commissioners has named Jon Nass the new CEO and executive director of the Port of Gulfport, following a national search led by Tim McNamara, head of Odgers Berndtson’s Transportation and Infrastructure Practice in Washington, D.C. His tentative start date is June 1.“After nearly an eight-month process, the MSPA Commission is very pleased to announce we have selected a new executive director to lead the Port of Gulfport team,” said MSPA President E.J. Roberts.

Alisa Praskovich (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Promotes Praskovich to VP of Sustainability

Crowley Maritime Corporation has promoted Alisa Praskovich to vice president of sustainability to orchestrate Crowley’s environmental, social responsibility and governance (ESG) activities. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., she reports to chief operating officer Ray Fitzgerald.Sustainability responsibilities under Praskovich include supporting Crowley’s continuing commitment to cleaner, environmentally friendly technologies and operations, such as the company’s New Energy Division…

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India Gearing Up to Start Full Operations at Iran's Chabahar Port

India expects to start full-scale operations at Iran’s Chabahar general cargo port it has built by the end of May, the country’s shipping minister said in a boost for regional trade.India has been developing a part of the port on Iran’s south-eastern coast along the Gulf of Oman as a way to transport goods to Iran, but also Afghanistan and central Asian countries, and avoiding rival Pakistan.But U.S. sanctions on Iran slowed down the port’s development and Indian officials are…

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US FMC Commissioners Urge Vaccinations for Maritime Workers

This week, U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioners Daniel B. Maffei and Carl W. Bentzel sent letters to the Governors of major port states urging them to prioritize the vaccination of the maritime workforce to protect the nation’s supply chain.Letters were sent to the Governors of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas and Washington following an earlier letter to the Biden administration encouraging the prioritization of maritime workers for access to vaccinations…

Elaine Chao (Photo: Office of President Trump)

Elaine Chao Used DOT Resources for Family Business - Report

The U.S. Justice Department declined to investigate or prosecute then-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao after the inspector general’s office referred allegations of potential misuse of office for review, a report made public on Wednesday said.The report included allegations that Chao directed staff to research or purchase personal items for her online using her personal credit card or performed other personal errands for her or her father.The report focused largely on Chao’s actions related to her family’s shipping business…

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Lebanese Court Removes Investigator Who Charged Politicians Over Beirut Blast

A Lebanese court on Thursday dismissed a judge who had charged top politicians with negligence over last year’s Beirut port explosion, infuriating families of victims who said it showed that the state would never hold powerful men to account.Judge Fadi Sawan had led the investigation into one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history. In December, he charged three ex-ministers and the outgoing prime minister with negligence.Two hundred people died in the August blast when a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, stored unsafely for years, detonated at the capital’s port.

Photo Source: Port Everglades

Inside Cruise Shipping's Fight for Survival

In early 2021, the somber news from the cruise sector continued. For some cruise brands, their own version of “lockdowns” will have spanned an entire year. By late January, 2021, Carnival and others were hesitantly pegging their restarts for April/May 2021, and for some markets, late summer, under a Conditional Sail Order promulgated late last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).What else to do but look ahead?In preliminary earnings guidance, Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL)…

Thomas A. Allegretti (Photo: The Coast Guard Foundation)

Coast Guard Foundation Elects Allegretti as Chairman

The Coast Guard Foundation said Thomas A. Allegretti has been elected to the position of Chairman of the Board, effective January 7, 2021. Allegretti first joined the Coast Guard Foundation board in 2006 and has served on the Executive Committee and the Audit Committee. In 2020, he led the Foundation’s COVID Management plan.Most recently, Allegretti served as the Senior Executive Officer of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the domestic tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

(Photo: The Maryland Port Administration)

Maryland Dredging Project Benefits the Environment and Economy

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are marking a milestone of environmental stewardship this month on the landmark restoration of Poplar Island near Talbot County. Simultaneously, the agencies are advancing plans for their next partnership using dredged materials to preserve and protect Maryland’s waterways: the Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration.Since 1998, Poplar Island has…

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Beirut Blast Chemicals Possibly Linked to Syrian Businessmen

The company that bought the ammonium nitrate which exploded in Beirut last August had possible links to two Syrian businessmen under U.S. sanctions for ties to President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report by a Lebanese journalist and London company filings.Savaro Ltd, the trading firm which procured the chemicals in 2013, shared a London address with companies linked to George Haswani and Imad Khoury, according to the report by documentary film-maker Firas Hatoum, which aired on Lebanon’s al-Jadeed TV station this week.Haswani…

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US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran

The United States on Friday sanctioned companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.They are the latest in a series of measures aimed at stepping up pressure on Tehran in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration, which ends on January 20.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had sanctioned seven companies, including Chinese-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co.

Will Roberts (Photo: Foss Maritime)

Roberts Named President of Foss Maritime

Seattle-based tug and towing company Foss Maritime said its chief operating officer Will Roberts has been promoted to president.“It was evident to our leadership team that Will’s ability to perform at the highest level along with his business acumen continues to align very well with our organization,” said Jason Childs CEO of Foss' parent company Saltchuk Marine. “As we look to the future, we’re confident that Will is the right person to lead Foss and carry on the long legacy of providing the highest level of service and support to our team and customers in the maritime sector.”Roberts said…

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EU Imposes Duties on Some Turkish Iron, Steel Imports

The European Union will impose tariffs from Friday on hot-rolled iron and steel products from Turkey based on an ongoing investigation into dumping.The duties will range from 4.8% to 7.6% and affect Turkish companies Erdemir, Isdemir, Colakoglu Metalurji and Habas, according to the text of the EU official journal published on Thursday.The complaint shows that EU steel consumption was 4% lower in 2019 than 2016, while Turkish exporters increased their market share to 8.1% from 2.8%…

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Global Cargo Logjam Deepens

Amazon seller Bernie Thompson shifted half of his production out of China to reduce his business risks and still found himself in the crosshairs of logistical chaos besetting the movement of goods around the globe.A surge in demand for furniture, exercise equipment and other goods for shoppers sheltering at home in a worsening COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal trade flows.That has stranded empty cargo containers in the wrong places, spawning bottlenecks that now stretch from factories to seaports.

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US Blacklists Chinese, UAE Companies Over Sale of Iranian Petrochemicals

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on companies based in China and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of supporting the sale of Iranian petrochemicals as Washington increases pressure on Tehran in the closing days of President Donald Trump's term.The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it had blacklisted the four entities for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemical products by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd, which was hit with sanctions by…

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US Axes Environmental Reviews of LNG Marine Transport

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday issued a rule to exclude environmental reviews for marine transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as the Trump administration unleashes last minute rules supporting the fossil fuel industry.The rule, which the Energy Department issued in a pre-publication notice in the Federal Register, frees LNG transport license applications from including environmental reviews that have been required under a bedrock environmental law, the National…

ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki (Photo: ABS)

ABS' Wiernicki Says Talent is Key in 'New Normal'

ABS chairman, president and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki outlined the absolute value of talent in the new normal in a cross-industry lecture on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and digitalization.Wiernicki addressed fellow global business executives spanning multiple industries and top-ranked academia as part of George Washington University’s Frank Howard Distinguished Lecture Series.Wiernicki, who holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from George Washington University and was elected to the school’s Engineering Hall of Fame…

Rear Admiral John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

INTERVIEW: RDML John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

Recently  the United States Navy  and NOAA signed an agreement to jointly expand the development and operations of unmanned maritime systems in the nation’s coastal and world’s ocean waters. RDML John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, shares his insights on the direction and pace of the use of unmanned maritime systems for the Navy’s future.How and when you realized that yours would be a career dedicated to Oceanography?Interesting, I never started out to have a career in Oceanography, but rather in Broadcast Meteorology.

Oil tanker Elisabeth Knutsen, later relabeled as Knut and one of several misidentified tankers hired by phantom companies to export oil from Venezuela, is seen anchored off Las Palmas, near the Canary Islands, before departing to Venezuela's Jose terminal, operated by state-run PDVSA, Spain September 27, 2020. (© Vin Moore / MarineTraffic.com)

Phantom Buyers in Russia, Advice from Iran Help Venezuela Skirt Sanctions

On Aug. 21, a tanker called the Otoman docked at the Jose oil terminal on Venezuela’s coast in the Caribbean to load 1.82 million barrels of heavy crude, according to the state oil company’s internal documents.Yet no tanker with that name is registered in major global shipping databases.Muddying the situation further, the unique identifier for the Otoman listed in the documents - a number used by the International Maritime Organization to identify ships - was assigned to another tanker called the Rubyni, according to the databases.The Rubyni was broken up two years ago, they record.

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MARAD Accepting Applications for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) said Tuesday it is accepting applications from eligible and qualified institutions to apply for a Centers of Excellence (CoE) designation, which will recognize and support community or technical colleges and maritime training centers that prepare Americans for careers in the maritime industry.“These educational institutions benefit America’s national security and economy by growing and strengthening our maritime workforce,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L.

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US Imposes New Iran Sanctions

The United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 banks in an effort to further choke off Iranian revenues as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of the U.S. election.The move freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them, while extending secondary sanctions to those who do business with them. This means foreign banks risk losing access to the U.S. market and financial…

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

Germany Offered to Build LNG Terminals to Avert US Pipeline Sanctions

Berlin offered to spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build two liquid natural gas terminals in a bid to dissuade the United States from imposing sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to bring gas directly from Russia to Germany, Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.The weekly paper said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz made the proposal in an Aug. 7 letter before Washington imposed sanctions on companies involved in building the Baltic Sea pipeline, effectively freezing its…

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US Preparing Tighter Oil Sanctions on Venezuela

The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top U.S. envoy for the country told Reuters on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

Illustration courtesy of Glosten

Kitsap Transit Gets Fed Funds for High-Speed, Low-Emission Ferry Project

As the global maritime community collectively is slowly pushed toward decarbonization, it is generally agreed that there is no ‘silver bullet’ technical solution and that progress will come in steps, led by public/private collaboration and funding.A recent development following that script is the awarding this week of federal funds to a Washington State team working to accelerate ferry technology, with the joint innovation project selected for funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.

(Photo: Bureau Veritas)

Bureau Veritas Expands Marine and Offshore Services in N. America

Testing, inspection and verification services firm Bureau Veritas (BV) said it has taken a number of steps to broaden and deepen its marine and offshore services in North America.The opening of a new remote survey center in Miami is the latest step in the delivery of digital services across the Bureau Veritas network, providing yet further global coverage for remote surveys.Florida-based Tropical Shipping’s fleet has now benefited from remote survey services on three of its vessels sailing in the Caribbean trades.

Tracy Zea is the Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO.

Interview: Tracy Zea, President & CEO, Waterways Council Inc.

We recently checked in with Tracy Zea, Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO, on what’s in store for the U.S. inland waterways for the remainder of 2020.To start, give us some insight on your background and how you came to lead WCI.I was born and raised in Chandler, Ariz., and attended South Dakota State University, receiving a degree in Political Science. After college, I found my way to Washington, D.C. via an internship with Senator Thune (R-S.D.). After the internship, I was hired by the House of Representatives, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.