Marine Link
Monday, November 19, 2018

Block Island News

Op/Ed: Opportunities for US Shipyards in 2017 and Beyond

Matthew Paxton (Photo: SCA)

SCA’s Matt Paxton weighs in on the state of domestic shipbuilding – workboat building & everything in between. As President of the Shipbuilders Council of America, the national trade association representing the U.S. shipyard industrial base, we are constantly evaluating the status of the nation’s commercial vessel building and repair base. American shipyards continue to build to the highest standards for diverse range of customers. These vessels built by American workers go on to serve an integral part to our national economic well-being and basic security responsibilities.

Smarter Energy Policy Will Broaden Offshore Recovery

For the past few years, depressed commodity prices, stricter regulatory requirements and competition from onshore development at home and from other countries offering attractive offshore lease and royalty terms have had severe impacts on new exploration in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, the tide appears to finally be turning.In August, Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 drew increased competition for offerings and $178 million in high bids, $53 million more than previous sale held in March.

The Jones Act and Offshore Wind in Light of the Aeolus Energy Announcement

Emily Huggins Jones

As the domestic offshore wind industry comes to life, U.S. flag vessels will necessarily be part of that expanding equation.A potential sea change came with the recent announcement from Aeolus Energy Partners that the renewable installation and operation company was investing in a fleet of Jones Act-compliant vessels dedicated to the offshore wind industry. Long a barrier to entry for foreign and domestic prospectors alike, the Jones Act, a portion of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920…

U.S. Announces Major Offshore Wind Developments

Gulf Island Fabricators constructed offshore wind turbine  jackets for Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Project off Rhode Island. BOEM Photo/Sid Falk

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced three major developments in American offshore wind energy spanning from coast to coast.The Secretary spoke at the American Wind Energy Association’s Offshore Wind Conference and announced 1.) much-anticipated wind auction in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts; 2.) the environmental review of a proposed wind project offshore Rhode Island; and 3.) the next steps to a first-ever wind auction in federal waters off of California.“I'm very bullish on offshore wind…

Blount, MAPC Ink Deal for Building South Boats’ CTV Designs

A 26-meter South Boats design (Image courtesy Blount Boats)

Rhode Island shipyard Blount Boats, Inc. said it has signed a sublicense agreement with Marine Applied Physics Corp. (MAPC) of Baltimore, Md., for the building of crew transfer vessels (CTV) designed by U.K. builder South Boats.South Boats has designed and built approximately 30 percent of the wind farm crew transfer vessels operating on European windfarms, and Blount Boats has held the U.S. license for the firm’s designs since 2011.In 2016, Blount delivered a South Boats 21-meter transfer vessel, Atlantic Pioneer, to Rhode Island Fast Ferry. The vessel is the first U.S.

Buoy Shot and Sunk off Block Island

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis observe a submerged buoy in the water off Block Island on April 24, 2017. The Ida Lewis is a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Newport, R.I. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Patrick Morkis)

A U.S. Coast Guard crew was conducting regular aids-to-navigation maintenance when they found a buoy submerged near Block Island, R.I. When the crew raised the 12,000-pound buoy on Monday, they discovered it was riddled with 20 bullet holes. Clay Head buoy number 7 marks a large rock three feet below the water's surface and is supposed to be key navigational tool for mariners. Instead it turned into a navigational hazard on a route frequently transited by ferries providing critical supplies to Block Island.

Undersea Technology: A Strategic Rhode Island Advantage

Molly Donohue Magee

In 1869, the U.S. Navy’s first research facility—the Naval Torpedo Station—was built on Newport, Rhode Island’s Goat Island. This rich history continues today, as the state is home to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, which provides the technical foundation to ensure the U.S. Navy’s undersea superiority. Fitting for “the Ocean State,” we have identified more than 170 Rhode Island organizations that touch undersea technology—and we believe that is a conservative count. We are a cluster leader not just in New England but indeed in the entire country.

NOIA Appoints Four to BoD

Martin Stauble

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Chairman David Welch has appointed four new members to the association’s Board of Directors. The appointments were announced today during NOIA’s fall meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the association is commemorating 45 years of commitment to America’s offshore energy industry. Today, the oil and gas industry, long centered in the Gulf of Mexico, produces 17% of America’s domestic oil and 5% of our domestic natural gas, while off the coast of Rhode Island…

MN100: Blount Boats, Inc.

Marcia Blount (Photo: Blount Boats)

Over time, the Blount shipyard has built more than 365 vessels. Today, Blount Boats’ clients include Fire Island Ferries, Casco Bay Island Transit District, Puerto Rico and Municipal Islands Maritime Authority, Spirit Cruises, Circle Line Statue of Liberty (Hornblower), South Ferry on Shelter Island, Long Island, and the Kwajalein Army Base on the Marshall Islands. Blount has been building high quality, innovative shallow draft designs for 66 years. Blount’s designs have created…

Wind Energy Workboats: A US Offshore Build-up

Pioneers: Block Island, RI, America’s first wind park. (Photo: AWEA/Deepwater Wind)

Block Island — U.S.-based Deepwater Wind’s five-turbine, 30-megawatt wind park — was the first. It showed what was possible, what might not have been optimal and how long it all takes. Since then, incentives for onshore-wind have been curbed, while a tax credit for offshore wind has been extended. Wind parks are in the works. States have power companies buying offshore wind energy, and experienced offshore operators are hiring the new wind-service vessels from elements of their oil-and-gas supply chain. The Jones Act, too, is being overcome by fleet owners and designers joining the U.S.

Volvo Penta Stakes Position in Wind Farm Support Vessels

Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta has emerged as a leading supplier of propulsion systems for support boats in the booming offshore wind farm industry in Europe, and is poised to capture a significant position as new wind farms come into service in North America. “Wind farm support vessels operate under some of the world’s most difficult conditions,” said Jens Bering, vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta of the Americas. “They must be able to work 24/7 in high winds and heavy seas delivering crew and materials quickly and safely to the offshore towers without wasting time and fuel.

Plan Introduced to Drive US Offshore Wind Energy

Photo: U.S. Dept. of Energy

A new collaborative strategic plan has been published today which aims to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States. Announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the plan, entitled National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, details the current state of offshore wind in the U.S., presents the actions and innovations…

D-Day Ship Turned Ferry Repowered

Photo: Twin Disc

As part of the June 6, 1944 Normandy landings, the USS LST-510 (landing ship for tanks) delivered 200 GIs, and 70 tanks and jeeps to Omaha Beach. She then anchored offshore to serve as an impromptu hospital ship for the over 150,000 Allied wounded. For three months following the invasion, she ferried injured soldiers back to England and supplies back to the front, evading German U-boats and dive bombers. She was awarded a Battle Star for her meritorious participation. Thought to be the last D-Day ship still in active service…

US Offshore Wind Comes to Life

(Photo: Robert Kunkel)

Marine News contributor Robert Kunkel asks: Are we ready to support the farms? On August 19, 2016, we watched as the fifth tower and associated nacelle was raised on the Deepwater Offshore Wind Farm approximately 3 miles offshore of Block Island, Rhode Island. This is the first Offshore Wind farm erected in the United States and, without a doubt, a huge step forward for this controversial project and alternative energy supply. The Block Island Wind Farm has a total generating capacity of 30 megawatts and is projected to produce approximately 125,000 megawatt hours annually.

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

For the lifetime of the Block Island project, Atlantic Wind Transfers, using the Jones Act compliant and Blount-built Atlantic Pioneer, will provide crew and equipment transfer services to meet these key logistical requirements. (Photo: Blount Boats)

Offshore wind power continues to gain momentum in the United States. How will the Jones Act affect the development, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms? After years of planning and some unsuccessful attempts, offshore wind power developers finally have their first success in the United States. The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm.

Offshore Wind Drives Demand for US Support Vessels

(Photo: Volvo Penta)

The offshore energy boom: more than wind. Domestic offshore wind also promises to generate demand for new, efficiently propelled support vessels. The U.S. offshore wind farm industry, now in its infancy, is on the verge of a massive growth surge, and the boom will be felt throughout the American maritime industry. The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy reported last year that there is a “robust pipeline of projects to ensure growth in the country’s nascent offshore wind market…

Yacht Sinks after Crash with a Lobster Boat

U.S. Coast Guard photo

A yacht and a commercial fishing vessel collided Tuesday about 10 miles east of Block Island, Rhode Island. No injuries have been reported. The 40-foot lobster boat, Squeeze Play, manned by a two-man crew, was struck by the yacht Lucia, which had four people aboard. The yacht was reported to be sinking after suffering a hole in its bow. Squeeze Play’s crew then helped the four people transfer from Lucia to their lobster boat. The U.S. Coast Guard launched a 45-foot response boat crew as well as a MH-60 Jayhawk air crew to assist on scene.

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, Seacor Team Up for US Offshore Wind Market

Photo: Fred. Olsen Windcarrier

Falcon Global, a subsidiary of Seacor Marine Holdings and Fred. Olsen Windcarrier  a wholly owned subsidiary of Bonheur ASA announced that they have reached a cooperation agreement whereby each party will exclusively contribute vessels and marine/installation crews to the market and operate a full spread of offshore wind installation and feeder vessels for the US offshore wind market. The Falcon Global fleet consists of one of the largest existing US-flag and Jones-Act compliant lift boats in the U.S.

Top Five Trends in Offshore Wind

A turbine at the Hywind Scotland floating wind farm offshore Scotland (Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen / Statoil)

As technologies mature and dramatic cost-cutting continues, the future is looking bright for offshore wind. Below are five trends to keep an eye on.Follow the LeaderOffshore wind’s established leader, Europe, will continue to show the way forward and build capacity. At the end of 2016, nearly 88 percent of the world’s offshore wind installations were located in European waters. In 2017, Europe saw a record 3,148 MW of net additional offshore wind capacity installed, with 560 new offshore wind turbines across 17 wind farms, according to WindEurope.

Gladding-Hearn Begins Rhode Island Ferry Build

(Photo: Gladding-Hearn)

Massachusetts based shipbuilder Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, said it has begun building a second high-speed passenger ferry for Rhode Island Fast Ferry, Inc., scheduled to be delivered in 2019.The new 320-passenger, all-aluminum catamaran will operate on a new seasonal route between Quonset Point, R.I. and Block Island.The newbuild follows the 2012 delivery of Ava Pearl, the operator’s first high-speed catamaran built by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard, which…

First US Offshore Wind Farm Powers Up

The Block Island Wind Farm has begun commercial operations, becoming the first wind farm to deliver energy to the American power grid (Photo: Deepwater Wind)

Power developer Deepwater Wind said its Block Island Wind Farm has begun delivering electricity into the New England region’s grid, becoming the United States’ first commercially active offshore wind farm. The energy produced from the Block Island Wind Farm is linked to the New England grid via Block Island and mainland Rhode Island by National Grid’s new sea2shore submarine transmission cable system. The milestone concludes the two-year offshore installation of the wind farm, which Deepwater Wind said was completed on-time and on-budget with the help of more than 300 local workers.

Statoil Wins Offshore Wind Lease in New York

Just days after Deepwater Wind said its Block Island Wind Farm has begun delivering electricity into the New England region’s grid, Statoil reports that it has been declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity. Statoil submitted a winning bid of $42,469,725 during the online offshore wind auction concluded by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Innovative Boats: Marine News' Best of 2016

Image: Vard Marine

Marine News looks back at the past 12 months and showcases the best of North America’s workboat design shop and shipyard output. In a year where some stakeholders might not rank 2016 as the best of years in the shipyard or on the waterfront, we might disagree. And, there is plenty to write about. New contracts, deliveries and designs all combine to show that the collective workboat waterfront is moving forward, with technology, the environment and replacement tonnage requirements as the main drivers.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2018 - Workboat Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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