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Working In Alaska

Vigor to Acquire Alaska Ship & Drydock

Alaska Ship & Drydock: current view & planned development. (Image courtesy:

Vigor today announced its plan to acquire Alaska Ship and Drydock Inc. (ASD), further consolidating the business of ship repair on the U.S. West Coast.  ASD intends to transition its business and assets to Vigor pending approval of the transfer of ownership by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the owner of the Ketchikan Shipyard where ASD is based. The private companies hope to finalize their agreement on or before March 1st. ASD would operate the Ketchikan Shipyard (KSY) as the Alaska Ship & Drydock LLC subsidiary, in continuation of its thirty year AIDEA operating agreements. ASD employees and customers will notice little change in day-to-day operations, said ASD owner Randy Johnson, a Ketchikan resident who has directed operations at KSY since 1994. Johnson will continue with the company, becoming ASD Vice Chairman. “The purchase of ASD by Vigor will increase the capacity and competitiveness of the Ketchikan Shipyard in many ways, positioning Ketchikan and the State of Alaska to not only continue our high level of service to existing customers, but to significantly participate in exciting new markets emerging in the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans,” Johnson said. Vigor Industrial currently owns and operates leading maritime services in the Pacific Northwest at facilities from Portland through Puget Sound.

DoD's Increased Arctic Attention Welcomed by AAPC Co-Chairs

US warship in ice: Photo courtesy of USN

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Co-Chairs Senator Lesil McGuire and Representative Bob Herron have approved of a recent DoD report, introduced by United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, but pointed out that the overarching language is short on details and lacks a plan for implementation. Background Chuck Hagel, announced the release of his agency's 14-page “Arctic Strategy”, touting it as a plan to ensure security

NOAA to Hold Public Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska

NOAA's Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) is holding a Public meeting, May 22-24, 2012, Anchorage, Alaska.   Navigation areas of focus for this public meeting include: NOAA's charting and hydrographic surveying products, services and information for the Alaska/Arctic region; and NOAA's geospatial, tide and currents products, services and information. Maritime transportation representatives presenting at the HSRP Anchorage meeting include: the Marine Exchange of Alaska

Crowley Appoints Tornga as VP - Stakeholder Relations

Crowley Veteran Craig Tornga

  Crowley Maritime Corporation announced today that company veteran Craig Tornga has assumed the role of vice president of stakeholder relations for Alaska, and will coordinate with all of Crowley's Alaska business units to leverage relevant company relationships. Tornga will relocate from Houston to Anchorage, and continue to report to Rocky Smith, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum distribution and marine services.

Washington State Issues Fine to Tanker Company

Alaska Tanker Company was fined $25,000 by the state for allowing an estimated 462 gallons of crude oil to spill from the tanker, Prince William Sound, into Port Angeles harbor. The spill partly stained two miles of beach inside Ediz Hook. The state Department of Ecology's investigation found that the tanker's crew allowed a deck-drain system to fail because there was no check valve in place to prevent it from overflowing in Port Angeles Harbor on a journey from Valdez, Alaska

Norway's Statoil to Exit Alaska

Photo: Statoil

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday it will pull out of Alaska as its exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea no longer looked competitive.   "Since 2008 we have worked to progress our options in Alaska. Solid work has been carried out, but given the current outlook we could not support continued efforts to mature these opportunities," Statoil exploration chief Tim Dodson said in a statement.  

Derecktor and Alaska Government Officials Sign Contract

Paul Derecktor, Alaska Governor Tony Knowles, State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Perkins and several Alaska State Officials were in attendance last week at the State Capitol in Juno, for the signature of the contract that entrusts Derecktor Shipyards with the construction of two new high-speed ferries for the Alaska Marine Highway System. This contract will be the first time a U.S. yard builds passenger-vehicle high-speed ferries

Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Crowley Workers Reach 10 Million Hours

Photo courtesy Crowley Maritime Corp.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) has announced that its workforce has achieved a major safety milestone: 10 million hours worked without an OSHA Day Away From Work Case (DAFWC). Of those hours, Crowley contributed towards working 20 percent of them, or 2 million hours, safely. This means that since June 2009, no TAPS worker, including the more than 225 Crowley employees, has been injured to the extent that they missed a day of work.

U.S. Coast Guard Hosts Spill Seminar

More than 75 senior agency officials from the Department of Homeland Security, NSS and National Response Team agencies participated. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo

The U.S. Coast Guard hosted the 2013 Spill of National Significance Executive Seminar at its headquarters Monday. As a follow up and identified best practice to the 2012 Spill of National Significance (SONS) Executive Seminar, the Coast Guard hosted the 2013 Executive Seminar to explore national level policy issues associated with Arctic spill response and to exercise national-level coordination of Senior Officials during an Arctic SONS.

Derecktor Awarded High Speed Ferry Contracts

Derecktor Shipyards won the contract for the construction of the first two passenger /vehicle high-speed ferries for the State of Alaska's Marine Highway System. The NGA design presented by Derecktor competed in a bid race that lasted several months and ended with the notice of intent to award going to Derecktor Shipyards. This project, funded by the Federal Government, allows the State of Alaska to link Sitka to Juneau with fast modern boats, capable of a one-day round trip

Tote Cargo ship adrift near Haida Gwaii

M.V. North Star loading operations. Photo: U.S. Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS)

 The MV North Star, a cargo ship that is owned by TOTE Maritime, spent more than half a day adrift Tuesday off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.   The Canadian Coast Guard reported late Tuesday that the cargo ship lost propulsion and was adrift near the coast of Haida Gwaii.

Alaska Buys TransCanada AK LNG Stake

Alaska LNG project. Photo by

 The State of Alaska has finalized a deal with TransCanada to buy out the pipeline company's share in the proposed Alaska liquefied natural gas export project for nearly $65 million.   Alaska has completed the buyout of TransCanada’s interest in the Alaska LNG project

Cadmatic Used for Alaska Ferry Design

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) has awarded the Alaska Class Ferry project to Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan, Alaska, where construction is currently underway. Providing production design for the ferry is Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering consultancy Glosten

Update: Statoil Follows Shell out of Alaska

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday it will pull out of Alaska's Chukchi Sea, just weeks after Royal Dutch Shell abandoned the treacherous waters there after spending billions on oil exploration work.   The latest pullback comes as oil companies slash spending on expensive offshore

Statoil’s Exit from Alaska ‘Disappointing’ -NOIA

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

NOIA President Randall Luthi, issued a statement on Statoil’s decision to exit the Alaskan Arctic, calling the departure “disappointing” yet “understandable” due to a tough economic and regulatory climate.  

Crowley Approved to Import Canada-sourced LNG

Photo: Crowley

Crowley Maritime Corp. ’s petroleum distribution group has been granted approval by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Energy Board – Canada (NEB) to import Canadian-sourced liquefied natural gas (LNG) for supply

US Leads Arctic Search and Rescue Exercise

The United States Government, led by the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Defense (USNORTHCOM and Alaska Command), and the Department of State, held Arctic Zephyr, an international Arctic Search and Rescue table-top exercise, at the University of Alaska Anchorage from October 19-22

Is Oil Industry Backing Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling ?

Prirazlomnaya platform. Photo: Information Directorate, Gazprom

 The principal difficulty for Arctic offshore drilling right now, according to oil industry think tank, is economic.  The companies may be back for another try at Arctic offshore drilling, in U.S. waters or elsewhere, if economic conditions change, reports AP.  

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

The Obama administration has taken steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for

NOIA Response : Cancellation of Alaska OCS Lease Sales

Outer Continental Shelf Image courtesy NOIA

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding the Interior Department’s decision to cancel two offshore Alaska lease sales and deny requests to extend current Alaska offshore leases:

U.S., Alaska End Exxon Valdez Legal Action

The Exxon Valdez remains in place in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska after running aground on Bligh Reef March 23, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil (USCG photo)

U.S. and Alaskan authorities have ended their efforts to seek additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp over the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent settlement, the Department of Justice said on Thursday. The department said in a statement that it is "bringing to a close the

Captain of Ill-fated El Faro was Known as Trusted Mariner

El Faro (File photo: TOTE)

The captain of the ill-fated cargo ship that sank in a hurricane off the Bahamas with no survivors last week was an experienced and highly trusted mariner who had spent a lifetime on the water, friends and colleagues said.   The captain of El Faro, Michael Davidson of Windham, Maine

MARAD to Fund Study on LNG Conversions

Midnight Sun will be converted to dual fuel LNG propulsion starting in December 2015 (Photo: TOTE)

MARAD provides funding to further study LNG as marine fuel for containerships The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced it has entered a $900,000 cooperative agreement with Totem Ocean Trailer Express Inc. (TOTE) to study the costs and benefits of converting vessel to liquefied natural

Four CMA Cadets Awarded Crowley Scholarships

Left to Right: CMA cadets Griffin Sims, Alex Leonard, Bonnie Claire Muchnick and Crowleys Victoria Ellis (Photo: Crowley)

Four California Maritime Academy (CMA) cadets were awarded Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial scholarships from the Crowley Maritime Corporation. The scholarships were presented to cadets Andrew Leonard, Griffin Sims, Bonnie Claire Muchnick and Alex Yonkman by Crowley’s manager for marine

House Bill Introduced to Block Arctic Drilling

Jared Huffman (Official photo)

Rep. Huffman introduces Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act; bill would prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean   U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (Dem.-Calif.) introduced a bill Monday called the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015

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