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COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

US Offshore Wind Survey Contract for Fugro Atlantic

Fugro Atlantic to undertake a geological and geophysical survey for the Virginia Wind Energy Area for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The survey area covers over 45,000ha in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and is seen to be a key step forward in developing offshore energy supplies in the region. In awarding the contract, Commonwealth of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell said: “[This is] a positive move forward toward the development of offshore wind energy, an important and promising component of my plan to develop all of the commonwealth’s domestic energy from local resources to make Virginia the ‘Energy Capital of the East Coast’.” Fugro Atlantic vice president Tom McNeilan, indicated that the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf has never been developed for energy purposes and there is little record of how installed structures have performed and only basic knowledge of the character of the seafloor and sub-surface is available. Fugro’s successful execution of detailed geotechnical and geophysical investigations for the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, which is set to be the first commercial-scale, offshore American wind farm, led to Fugro being selected to complete this important survey of the Virginia Wind Energy Area. Source: New Civil Engineer


Rail-Barge Service from Eastern Shore to Resume

Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the Bay Coast Railroad Car Barge will resume service next week as a result of a partnership between the Commonwealth, area localities, and the Bay Coast Railroad.  The barge, which was removed from service last year, provides connecting service between the Virginia’s Eastern Shore and Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Last year, the Bay Coast Railroad suspended service on the barge when it identified $1 million in structural deficiencies critical to


Virginia Passes Bill to Ban Solid Waste Barges

The 1999 session of the Commonwealth of Virginia's General Assembly passed legislation prohibiting the transportation of solid waste on the Commonwealth's navigable waterways. State Senator William T. Bolling (R) introduced Senate Bill 1308 in response to the volume of solid waste transported to Virginia for disposal, as well as the possibility that New York City will seek to increase this volume because existing city landfills are scheduled to close by 2001.


Interior Holds Second Sale for Renewable Energy in Federal Waters

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, the Interior Department completed the nation’s second competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters, garnering $1,600,000 in high bids for 112,799 acres on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Virginia. Virginia Electric and Power Company is the provisional winner of the sale, which auctioned a Wind Energy Area approximately 23


VDGIF Gets 2 New Safeboats

Conservation police officers with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) unveiled their newest tool in serving as First Tier Responders for small craft engaged in suspicious water-based activities today at an event at Osborne Boating Landing. The two, new 21-foot, 12-man Safeboats will enhance conservation police officers' surveillance, detection, and intervention capabilities as they patrol the Norfolk, Newport News and Portsmouth harbor areas.


Gamesa, Northrop Grumman Launch Offshore Wind Technology Center

Gamesa Technology Corp., a global wind energy company, and the shipbuilding operations of Northrop Grumman Corp., America's largest shipbuilder, launched the Offshore Wind Technology Center to jointly develop the next generation of offshore wind systems that will be deployed in the United States and around the world. Plans call for the development of North America's first offshore wind turbines by late next year.  


General Dynamics Awarded Second U.S. Navy Sub

The U.S. Navy has released $1.2b for the construction of the 14th Virginia-class submarine, SSN-787, to General Dynamics Electric Boat, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).  This award marks the beginning of production of two submarines per year on the Virginia-class program.   The release of the funding allows procurement of long lead-time components that will support the planned official construction start later this year on the as-yet-unnamed submarine at


Northrop Grumman Delivers New Mexico Sub

Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered the sixth submarine of the Virginia class, New Mexico (SSN 779), to the U.S. Navy, four months ahead of schedule. New Mexico's 70-month construction period represents the shortest overall construction time of any Virginia-class submarine. The keel for New Mexico was authenticated April 12, 2008, and the ship was christened on Dec. 13, 2008. New Mexico, named for "The Land of Enchantment


Indian Ocean Offshore Joint Management Zone Actioned

Indian Ocean Islands, Seychelles & Mauritius join forces to manage exploitation of world's largest offshore continental shelf area. With the help of the Commonwealth Secretariat Seychelles and Mauritius have established a joint commission, the first of its kind, to manage an offshore zone comprising 400,000 sq. kilometers of continental shelf. This development comes after their successful joint claim to the continental shelf before the United Nations.


More Matson Rates to Increase

20130813232138ENPRNPRN-MATSON-LOGO-0605-1y-1-1-1376436098MR.jpg

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. (Matson) will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) and Micronesia services by $275 for both westbound and eastbound containers, effective January 26, 2014. The increase will be filed with the Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Maritime Commission. The rate increase also applies to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands


Dredging Project to Protect Virginia Shoreline

Dam Neck Annex at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Va. Navy photo

Outer Continental Shelf sand will protect infrastructure, restore dunes and habitat   The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Naval Air Station Oceana at Dam Neck, Virginia, expect to begin a shore protection project at the Dam Neck annex within the next month.  


USCG Crews Work to Break Ice In Mid-Atlantic

Photo courtesy USCG

  The crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Capstan, Cleat and Chock are working this winter to break ice and maintain navigable waterways from the Delaware River, through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, down to Tangier Island, Virginia.


DNV GL Launch Joint Industry Project

Dr Jens Petter Tronskar, DNV GL Vice President and CTO of the Deepwater Technology Centre in Singapore

  Sour service fluids from wells place significant demands on pipeline material, particularly in deeper water. This can present major technical and financial challenges for pipeline operators as the fluids can cause fractures and cracks which affect pipeline performance and reliability


CSX Train Hauling North Dakota Crude Derails

A CSX Corp train hauling North Dakota crude derailed in West Virginia on Monday, setting a number of cars ablaze, destroying a house and forcing the evacuation of two towns in the second significant oil-train incident in three days. One or two of the cars plunged into the Kanawha River


West Coast Ports Backups Prompt Coffee Traders to Switch Ports

A lot of coffee is handled at West Coast ports Courtesy Port of New Orleans

  U.S. coffee importers have begun diverting shipments bound for West Coast roasters to ports on the Gulf and East Coasts due to a labor dispute that has caused prolonged backlogs in California, market sources said. Traders said they began re-routing ships carrying coffee from El Salvador


Road Show Scouts Female Submariners

Lt. Jennifer Carroll, the Women in Submarines coordinator at Submarine Forces Atlantic, speaks to Sailors during an all-hands call at Naval Base San Diego. The Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Show is visiting different m

  Capt. Rod Hutton, deputy commander for the Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force, led the Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Show to different military bases in the San Diego area Feb. 9-11. The road show is spreading the word that the submarine force is now open to female enlisted


Bennett Named BOEM’s Chief for OREP

Jim Bennett (Photo: BOEM)

New leadership for BOEM’s Office of Renewable Energy Programs   The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced James (Jim) F. Bennett as BOEM’s new Chief for the Office of Renewable Energy Programs (OREP)


Kalmar Bags Virginia Port Order for Shuttle Carriers

Kalmar hybrid shuttle carriers  Photo Courtesy Kalmar

  Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has gained an order for three Kalmar hybrid shuttle carriers from the Port of Virginia, a multi-terminal container and breakbulk cargo complex located in Virginia, 18 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The 1-over-1 hybrid shuttle carriers will be dedicated to


WR Systems Awarded NAVSUP Contract

 WR Systems, Ltd. (WR) of Norfolk, Virginia has been awarded an order for the establishment of a Mini Stock Point for wireless communication and navigation systems by the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS).  The period of performance is February 2


Making Sailors 'SAFFiR'

U.S. Navy Firefighting Robot (image: courtesy U.S. Navy)

Navy Unveils Firefighting Robot Prototype at Naval Tech EXPO.   Scientists unveiled a firefighting robot prototype Feb. 4 at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO, revealing details about its successful demonstrations last fall.


US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast.   The 2017 to 2022 drilling plan begins a process that could take many years before waters off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina


Accelerating Sea Level Rise Threatens Coasts

Sea level rise in the past two decades has accelerated faster than previously thought in a sign of climate change threatening coasts from Florida to Bangladesh, a study said on Wednesday.   The report, reassessing records from more than 600 tidal gauges


Matson Lowers Fuel Surcharge

Picture: Matson Inc

Continuing decreases in bunker fuel prices has prompted Matson to drop its fuel-related surcharge by 4 percentage points. Matson announced it will lower its fuel surcharge for service to Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia, effective Sunday.  


SeaRiver Names New US-flag Tanker

Eagle Bay, the second of two new U.S.-flag crude oil tankers for Exxon Mobil Corporation’s marine affiliate SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., was named at a ceremony at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard.   The first-in-class vessel constructed at the shipyard incorporates the latest safety


New Virginia-Class Attack Submarine Named

Virginia-class submarine

  Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that SSN 795, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Hyman G. Rickover. Mabus named the submarine to honor U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the man credited for developing USS Nautilus (SSN 571)






 
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