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Ship Channel

BOSTCO Opening to Ease Houston Ship Channel Congestion

When Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal (BOSTCO) on the Houston Ship Channel starts operations in October, ship channel congestion is likely to be lessened. BOSTCO will start operations in October 2013 with 2.84 million barrels of residual fuel oil and feedstock storage, about 40% of its earlier-announced 7.1 million-barrel capacity, report Platts, citing sources close to the project and Gulf Coast fuel oil traders.
 The BOSTCO terminal will offer two ship docks and three barge docks. The ship dock will be able to accommodate ships with a beam of 168 feet and draft of 45 feet and displacement tonnage of 205,000 mt. The barge docks can load a total of 12 barges each having a maximum length of 300 feet and a draft of 12 feet, according the company's website.
 Fuel oil blenders along the ship channel are eagerly awaiting BOSTCO's completion, which they say will open up more dock space and ease loading delays and costs.
 Source: Platts

Waterways to Reopen after Rita

The U.S. Coast Guard announced that the Houston Ship Channel is open to vessels of less than 35 ft., daylight transit only. The Freeport Ship Channel is open to vessels of less than 40 ft. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is open for daylight transit from MM 317 to MM 242. The Neches River is open to daylight transit of tug and barge traffic from Beaumont to Sabine Pass. The Calcasieu River is open to daylight transit of tug and barge traffic from the I-10 Bridge to Cameron

Traffic Continues Transits in Calcasieu Channel

In the Calcasieu Ship Channel, six vessels transited safely into the port and three are expected to transit outbound. The temporary Vessel Traffic Service staffed by Coast Guard personnel and industry stakeholders will control these movements. Contingency operational plans have been devised, as well as equipment and temporary dams placed in at risks areas, in the event of heavy rainfall in the area to counter any problems that may arise from such an event.

Houston Ship Channel Re-opens

An evacuation alert was rescinded Wednesday afternoon for a one-mile ring around a Rohm and Haas Co. chemical plant near Houston after a dangerously overheated tank of highly flammable acrylic acid was cooled by firefighters, the company said. A mile-long stretch of the Houston Ship Channel, which had been closed as a precaution on Wednesday morning, was reopened at about 6:00 p.m. local time. It was the second evacuation along the row of refineries and plants near Houston in three days

Houston Ship Channel Reopened – Again

Houston Ship Channel reopened Friday after shutdown due to fog   The Houston Ship Channel reopened to all inbound and outbound vessel traffic on Friday after shutting on Thursday afternoon due to heavy fog, according to the Houston Pilots.   The largest U.S. petrochemical port was partially shut from midday Monday to early Thursday after a collision between a tanker carrying a gasoline additive and a bulk ship carrying steel. Fog forced another shutdown hours later.  

Shelter-in-place lifted, Houston Ship Channel reopened

Picture of Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Houston of the barge impact on the Houston Ship Channel.

  A shelter-in-place was lifted and the Houston Ship Channel was reopened at 2:08 p.m. Wednesday, after an incident in the upper ship channel that caused the release of as much as 23,000 gallons of naphtha (PTN). The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies and responders are working together to ensure the safety of people in the area, responders and to minimize any impact to the environment if possible.

Collision Closes Houston Ship Channel

A chemical tanker collided with a moored barge near the San Jacinto Monument at approximately 9 p.m. today. The Captain of the Port Houston/Galveston closed the ship channel at 11 p.m. from San Jacinto Port Dock 4 to Light 133 due to oil spilled from the collision. The tanker Ievoli Splendor, a 544-foot chemical tanker, was mooring up at the Vopak Terminal in Deer Park, Texas, when the collision with the Kirby Marine barge happened causing a spill of heavy grade fuel oil C5.

Houston Ship Channel Closed Due To Sunken Tugboat

A mile-long stretch of the Houston Ship Channel was closed to through traffic on Tuesday because of a sunken tugboat, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The channel, one of the nation's main shipping routes for oil and petrochemical products, was closed near the Washburn Tunnel after the 77-foot-long tugboat Vecturian sank, said Coast Guard Lt. Robert Schoen. Schoen said the cause of the accident was not yet known, but that the vessel, owned by Capital Towing, was slowly leaking the 25

T&T Bisso Refloats Sunken Tug

Photo courtesy T&T Bisso Marine

T&T Bisso refloated a tugboat that sank in the Houston Ship Channel. The company used the C/B Curtis T to prepare the sunken tug for lifting after its dive team recovered the body of a missing crewmember onboard the vessel. The vessel then was lifted to the surface by a derrick barge and dewatered. The 56-ft tug sank with five people aboard near the Sims Bayou turning basin. The other four crewmembers were rescued by nearby refinery workers.  

USACE Gets Bird’s-eye View of Houston Ship Channel Growth

Lt. Gen. Bostick prepares for liftoff in a city of Houston helicopter used in patrols over the Houston Ship Channel Security District, which includes PHAs terminal facilities.

The 53rd U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, visited the Port of Houston Authority last week and was given an aerial tour of the Houston Ship Channel as part of a briefing that highlighted economic growth along the federal waterway. He and Corps staff from the Galveston District met with Port Authority officials to review and discuss federal projects currently under way and planned for the Houston area

Part of Houston Ship Channel Shut; Tankers Stopped to 4 Refineries

Four Houston-area refineries were unable to receive crude oil from tankers on Tuesday after a portion of the Houston Ship Channel was shut due to a fire aboard an empty tanker, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.   In Texas, Valero Energy Corp's Houston refinery

Houston Ship Channel Re-opens to Some Vessel Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel re-opened to some vessel traffic on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said, after an early morning tanker fire prompted closure of the waterway.   The U.S. Coast Guard Houston Vessel Traffic Service said it would commence with tow vessel transit outbound from

Kirby to Pay $4.9 Mln Penalty over Oil Spill

(USCG photo by Andrew Kendrick)

Kirby Inland Marine LP has agreed to pay $4.9 million in civil penalties to settle claims stemming from a 4,000-barrel oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel in March 2014, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.   The company, a subsidiary of Kirby Corp

ABS Hosts Ship Operators Cooperative Program

Jim Watson presenting at SOCP Photo ABS

Forum promotes improved safety, security, productivity, efficiency and environmental performance through collaboration and innovation. ABS hosted the fall meeting of the Ship Operators Cooperative Program (SOCP) in Houston October 5 and 6, welcoming representatives from industry

Grounded Bulker Suffered Major Hull Damage

Sparna reportedly briefly ran aground while transiting the Columbia River near Cathlamet, Wash., March 21, 2016. The vessel is safely anchored, and is maintaining position, with the assistance of two tugs, as an approved salvage and repair plan is developed. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Levi Read)

A damage assessment revealed significant damage to the motor vessel Sparna, which ran aground Monday in the main shipping channel of the Columbia River near Cathlamet, Wash. The damage assessment showed multiple fractures were found, the largest being a 25-foot by 5-foot wide fracture with a

US Polar Icebreaker Visits San Diego

Passengers and the crew of CGC Polar Star gather to observe their first encounter with ice during Operation Deep Freeze 2016 in the Southern Ocean Jan. 3, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Grant DeVuyst)

The U.S. Coast Guard’s polar icebreaker Cutter Polar Star has made a brief stop in a warmer climate, mooring in San Diego before returning to Seattle after a four and a half month-long deployment to the Antarctic in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2016.  

Boston Harbor Dredging Project to get Underway

Courtesy Boston Harbor Association

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Board today voted to approve to execute a Project Partnering Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and MassDOT to start the Boston Harbor Dredging Project.  A signed agreement allows the ACOE to bid contracts for construction on a

Concordia Settles: $9.25m for Grounding

Concordia Maritime entered into a settlement agreement regarding a dispute associated with Stena Primorsk’s grounding in the Hudson River in December 2012. According to the settlement agreement, Concordia Maritime will pay $9.25 million to the counterparty.

Investigators Probe into Houston Ship Collision

NTSB to meet to consider collision Houston Ship Channel collision The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it will meet June 7 to determine the probable cause of the March 9, 2015 collision between the bulk carrier Conti Peridot and the tanker Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship

Lack of Communication Led to Houston Ship Collision -NTSB

The probable cause of the 2015 collision of the Conti Peridot and the Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel was the inability of the pilot on the Conti Peridot to respond appropriately to hydrodynamic forces after meeting another vessel during restricted visibility

Houston Ship Channel Closed after Benzene Spill

A section of the Houston Ship Channel has been closed following the release of approximately 500 gallons of benzene from the tanker Maritime Jingan while moored at Vopak Terminal Thursday afternoon.   The U.S. Coast Guard said it is responding to the incident along with the Harris County

Enterprise to Export First Ethane Cargo from Houston Terminal in August

Enterprise Products Partners on Thursday said the first ship to load ethane for export from its new terminal on the Houston Ship Channel will arrive on Aug. 1, the first such export of the light natural gas liquid from the U.S. Gulf Coast.  

Piracy on the Rise in Malacca and Singapore Straits

Image: PGI’s Risk Portal

 According to PGI’s Risk Portal, there were at least 81 incidents of piracy or attempted piracy in or around the Singapore and Malacca Straits between April 2015 and April 2016.    The majority of these incidents have occurred on the western approach to the narrow waterway

Delaware River Ship Arrivals Continue Gains in 2016

Image: Maritime Exchange

Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay President Dennis Rochford has announced the tristate port vessel arrival statistics for the first six months of 2016. “On top of last year’s increase in vessel arrivals over 2014 activity

NOAA Engineers a Better Current Sensor for Mariners

Max Ivanov and Scott Mowery with NOAAs Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services install an improved current sensor system on a navigation buoy in Chesapeake Bay. The system transmits real-time current speed and direction observations via satellite to help mariners more safely navigate busy shipping channels. (Photo: NOAA)

Navigating into seaports is now safer and more efficient for mariners thanks to improved NOAA technology that ships rely on to give them information about currents. The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) developed a more reliable

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