Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Admiralty Case
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an Order granting certiorari in the case of Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company. It also granted motions by the San Francisco Maritime Law Journal and the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO to file briefs as amicus curiae. Plaintiff engineer was injured in a collision between a dredge and a scow. Since the primary purpose of the dredge was for construction work rather than transport, the lower court held that the dredge was not a vessel in navigation and plaintiff was not a seaman for purposes of the Jones Act. The question presented in this case is what is the legal standard for determining whether a special purpose watercraft (such as a dredge) is a Jones Act “vessel”? Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company, Inc., 230 F.2d 461 (1st Cir., 2000).
Engineer in Dredge is Jones Act Seaman
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that an engineer employed on a dredge in navigation is a seaman for purposes of the Jones Act. This decision was rendered when the court’s earlier decision was reversed and remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court. Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company, Inc., No. 99-1487 (1st Cir., August 9, 2005).
Dredge is a Vessel for Purposes of LHWCA
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a dredge not currently in navigation is still a vessel for purposes of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the instant case, a marine engineer was injured while performing repairs on a scow tied up to a dredge. The dredge was capable of only limited movement on its own, dragging itself along using anchors and cables. Otherwise, it had to be towed. The lower court held that, since the primary purpose of the dredge was not navigation or commerce, it was not a vessel and the marine engineer could not recover under the LHWCA. The Supreme Court held that the dredge was a vessel because it was a watercraft used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. Stewart v. Dutra Construction Co., No.
GE Capital Provides $16m in Marine Fleet Financing to the Dutra
GE Capital Corporate Finance provided $16 million in equipment financing to the Dutra Group, Inc. The funds refinance existing debt used to support the company’s marine fleet. Headquartered in San Rafael, CA, the Dutra Group focuses on dredging and marine construction along the west coast, and produces and distributes aggregate materials to support construction projects primarily in northern California. www.gecapital.com
How to Indentify a Jones Act Seaman
By Jeffrey S. The maritime law community is awaiting the next pronouncement by the U.S. Supreme Court pertaining to the definition of a Jones Act seaman. In February, the high court announced that it would review the decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Stewart v. Dutra Construction Co., Inc. The definition of seaman has proven to be a nagging problem; this will be the fifth time since 1991 that the Justices have tackled some aspect of the question. Most injured maritime workers would prefer to pursue recovery as a "seaman". There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, the damages recoverable under the Jones Act are not limited to lost wages and benefits, but also include an important component for "pain and suffering".
Petrobras May Try Cuban Oil Luck Again
Brazil's state oil giant, Petrobras, signed a letter of intent with Cuba on technological exchange as part of a strategy aimed at returning to the island in search for crude. Petrobras President Jose Eduardo Dutra said his company was studying at least one block that should be offered on a concession basis by the Cuban government.
Mobile Harbor Channel Dredge Contract for Dutra
The U.S. Department of Defense informs that Dutra Dredging Co., San Rafael, California, has been awarded an $8,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for dredge rental with attendant plant and operations for maintenance dredging of the Mobile harbor channel, Mobile, Alabama. Funding and work performance location will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is July 14, 2015. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-14-D-0041).
Streamlined Service for the Offshore Sector
In a business where time is money, Signal Ship Repair’s niche ‘high blocking’ repair methods have significantly reduced repair times and increased shipyard efficiencies. If Signal Ship Repair’s (SSR) primary business can generically be described simply as ship repair and conversion, then it can also be said that its practice of ‘high blocking’ to facilitate faster, and more efficient in-house Z drive repairs is its signature service. Utilizing a simple but highly effective shipyard technique…
Turkey Reveals Route for New Canal to Ease Bosphorus Shipping
Turkey announced on Monday the route for a planned canal that would reduce shipping traffic on the busy Bosphorus Strait and transform the European half of Istanbul into an island. Work on the 45-km (28-mile) Kanal Istanbul, linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara west of the Bosphorus, will begin this year, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said, adding it formed part of Turkey's most expensive construction project. The Bosphorus is one of the world's busiest waterways with 42,000 vessels passing through in 2016 - compared with 16,800 that transited the Suez Canal in the same year.
Shell Announces Plan for Penguins Filed Redevelopment
Shell announced the final investment decision for the Penguins field redevelopment project in the U.K. sector, which includes the construction of a new-build Sevan Marine designed cylindrical floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The Penguins field is in 165 metres of water, approximately 150 miles north east of the Shetland Islands. Discovered in 1974, the field was first developed in 2002 and is a joint venture between Shell (50 percent and operator) and ExxonMobil (50 percent).
Dredge, LCS, Submersibe, Figure in Latest DoD Contracts
Dutra Dredging Company, Calif. was awarded a $19,869,500 firm-fixed-price contract for dredging in the Thimble Shoal Federal Navigation Channel and the Cape Henry Federal Navigation Channel, Norfolk Virginia. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity. Austal USA LLC, Mobile, Ala., was awarded an $8,247,342 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-11-C-2301) on Nov. 27, 2013, to exercise an option for littoral combat ship (LCS) core class services. The company will assess engineering and production challenges as well as evaluate the cost and schedule risks from affordability efforts to reduce LCS acquisition and lifecycle costs. Work will be performed in Mobile, Ala. (60 percent), and Pittsfield, Mass.
New USACE Contracts
Dutra Dredging Co., San Rafael, Calif., was awarded on May 15, 2009 an $18,224,915 firm-fixed-price contract for Harbor Improvements Phase III, St. Paul, Alaska, St. Paul, Alaska Dredging approximately 150,000 Cubic Yard (CY) for the entrance channel, maneuvering area, mooring area, and the intertidal beach area, dredging approximately 27,000 CY for the breakwater berth dredge area (optional item), demolish an existing rubblemound breakwater, construct a 435-foot long rubblemound breakwater (attached) in the existing harbor, construct a 160-foot long rubblemound breakwater (detached) in the existing harbor, construct a 485-foot long rubblemound circulation berm in the existing harbor. Work is to be performed in St. Paul Island, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 25, 2012.
APM Terminals Poti to Build Cargo Terminal
APM Terminals Poti and Poti New Terminals Consortium signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a USD 100 million dollar investment in a new bulk cargo terminal that can process 1.5 million tons of dry bulk cargo annually and generate new trade opportunities for customers in the Georgian transit corridor. The new terminal is expected to be built on APM Terminals Poti land and infrastructure and will entail the construction, development and operation of a new breakwater, dry bulk cargo terminal and related infrastructure to serve bulk cargo customers.
TMS Cardiff Gas Places Order at HHI
TMS Cardiff Gas said it signed a contract with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of one 174,000 cubic meter liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, with an option for a second vessel. The newbuild is scheduled for delivery in 2020, when she will enter into a seven year time charter contract with TOTAL Gas & Power Chartering, Limited. This order is the first in the company’s X Carrier Series, which expands the TMS Cardiff Gas fleet of managed vessels to 10 (six LNG carriers and four VLGCs).
Washington State Christens New Ferry Suquamish
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Suquamish, its fourth Olympic Class auto/passenger ferry, to serve passengers on the Mukilteo/Clinton route beginning in 2019. The christening ceremony was held at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, where the new 144-car ferry has entered the final stages of construction and preparation ahead of sea trials starting in mid-2018. In addition to summer operations on the Mukilteo/Clinton route, the new ferry will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel in the winter, filling in when other vessels are out of service.
Govt Approves Yamal LNG Train
OAO Yamal LNG was granted State permission to commission the main technological facilities of the LNG plant’s first stage, including the first liquefaction train, 58 gas wells and the respective infrastructure. Evgeniy Kot, General Director, Yamal LNG, stated: “Obtaining permission to commission the first LNG train is the cumulative result of many months of hard work and dedication by thousands of construction workers, installers, and engineers who have worked and continue to work in Sabetta.
Japan’s KHI Moves Merchant Ship Construction to China
Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) diverts more shipbuilding work to its joint-venture yards in China, local media says. According to a report in Nikkei, KHI will step up commercial shipbuilding in China and scale down production in Japan to improve cost competitiveness as the market rebounds from a yearslong slump. The Japanese firm plans a 50% capacity boost at a shipyard in Dalian, Liaoning Province, that builds mainly large ships, including tankers and bulk carriers. The facility is jointly operated with China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., also known as Cosco.
Jensen Design Selected for NAVSEA Newbuild
Jensen Maritime Consultants, a Crowley company, said one of its workboat designs will be used by a Pacific Northwest boat builder to fulfill a construction project for the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). In support of the project, Jensen will supply a functional and regulatory design package for the 41-foot vessel, which will provide ship- and sub-assist services, as well as other port operational services at U.S. Navy port locations around the world. Jensen’s Bryan Nichols…
Crowley Orders ATB at Bollinger
Crowley Fuels LLC has signed a contract with Bollinger Shipyards for the construction of a new 100,000-barrel-capacity articulated tug-barge (ATB) to transport multiple clean petroleum products in the Alaska market. The Alaska-class vessel will be built at Bollinger Marine Fabricators Shipyard, in Amelia, La., with an expected delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019. The build contract includes an option for a second ATB. Once built and deployed, Crowley will operate the ATB under a long-term charter with Alaska-based Petro Star Inc.…
LCS Manchester Completes Acceptance Trials
The seventh Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) built by Austal, Manchester (LCS 14), has completed acceptance trials December 15 in the Gulf of Mexico, marking the final significant milestone prior to the warship’s delivery in early 2018. This milestone achievement involved the execution of intense comprehensive tests by the Austal-led industry team while underway, which demonstrated to the Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. LCS 14 will be the second Independence-variant LCS Austal delivers to the Navy in less than six months.
Great Lakes Towing, Shipyard to Hire 100
The Great Lakes Towing Company and Great Lakes Shipyard have announced plans to hire 100 employees before the end of January 2018 to support continued growth driven by client demand. The company said it is seeking candidates to fill a wide range of positions, including shipyard welders, shipfitters and more. “At The Towing Company, we’re looking for great people to join our team,” said Joe Starck, the company’s president. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, The Towing Company is the owner and operator of the largest fleet of shipdocking tugboats on the U.S. Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River Seaway.
Crowley’s Solutions Group Reorganizes
Crowley Maritime Corp.’s solutions group announced that it is reorganizing and establishing new leadership to better serve customers in need of engineering, project management and government services. Solutions is the company’s dedicated, full-service engineering, project management and government services team, reporting to Crowley’s Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager, technical services. Jay Edgar, who is new to Crowley, has been appointed vice president and leader of the company’s newly formed engineering services team…
Jensen Get Tankship Construction Management Contracts
Jensen Maritime Consultants , Crowley Maritime's Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering company, has been awarded a new construction management contract for four new 330,000-barrel, Jones Act product tankers, being built by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. With construction scheduled to begin in January, Jensen is already establishing on-site offices and personnel at the Philadelphia shipyard to ensure strong working relationships with Aker staff and a seamless construction and delivery program. Delivery of the new veteran class tankers is expected in 2015 and 2016.