US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports
Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…
Corpus Christi Port to Build Oil Export Terminal
Port to build oil export terminalPrivate equity firm Carlyle Group will partner with the Port of Corpus Christi, the top oil export hub in the United States, to develop a major crude oil export terminal on Harbor Island.Carlyle's announcement comes as infrastructure in the U.S. oil industry struggles to keep up with record levels of production, driven by the Permian shale patch in West Texas. Both international buyers and American producers are waiting for export capacity to increase.Corpus Christi has its own plan to expand operations to handle larger export tankers.
Shipyard Focus: Vigor
Diverse Newbuild & Repair Business Buoys 2018The year 2018 is off to good start at Vigor. The Harbor Island facility welcomed a new drydock christened the Evolution. The $20 million Evolution is the third drydock at Vigor’s Seattle facility and largest in the Puget Sound region, measuring 640 x 115.5 ft. with a lift capacity of 22,000 LT.Other investments in Seattle include a buildout of a dedicated aluminum production facility which greatly expands Vigor’s fabrication capabilities and capacity for workboats…
Vigor Delivers Third Passenger Ferry to San Francisco
Argo is now in operation on the Alameda/Oakland routes in San Francisco.Vigor recently delivered Argo, the third of four all aluminum, 400 passenger ferries to the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) in San Francisco, Calif.The hull was constructed at Vigor Ballard and the superstructure in Vigor’s new aluminum fabrication bay at its Harbor Island facility. “The new fabrication bay significantly expands Vigor’s production capabilities and capacity for our portfolio of aluminum workboats…
Vigor Adds $20 Mln Drydock
Vigor built on its ongoing investments in critical infrastructure in the Puget Sound in 2017 with the $20 million investment in another drydock. At 640 ft. long with a clear width of 116 ft., the new dock will be the third, and largest, at Vigor’s Harbor Island shipyard. The drydock is expected to be operational in early first quarter 2018 and is part of Vigor’s ongoing commitment to make Harbor Island a primary destination for ship repair and conversion on the West Coast for both commercial and government customers.
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.
Vigor to Add Third Drydock in Seattle
Vigor said it has entered into an agreement to purchase a drydock from a Korean seller, continuing the shipbuilder’s ongoing infrastructure investments and expansion of U.S. West Coast drydock capacity. At 640 feet long with a clear width of 116 feet, the new dock will be the third, and largest, at Vigor’s Harbor Island shipyard. “The purchase of another drydock in Seattle allows Vigor to better service valued customers like Washington State Ferries, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy,” said Adam Beck, Vigor Executive Vice President of Ship Repair. Beck and his team had been actively looking for the right drydock at home and abroad for a number of months. The one selected happened to be in Korea.
Third Olympic Class Ferry Joins WSF fleet
The new ferry Chimacum joined the Washington State fleet on Friday, April 7 as Washington State Ferries officially accepted the vessel from builder/contractor Vigor. The Chimacum will carry ferry riders on the Seattle/Bremerton route this summer after crews complete vessel outfitting, operational training and drills. Christened Chimacum, the new ferry’s name honors the Chemakum tribe’s gathering place, which is now the present day town of Chimacum near Port Townsend. “We’re excited to welcome the Chimacum to our fleet,” said Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton.
Vigor to Build 2 More San Francisco Ferries
Vigor said it was awarded the contract to build two additional ferries for WETA (the Water Emergency Transportation Authority) in San Francisco, Calif. The shipbuilder started constructing the first two WETA ferries in this class in spring 2015, said Tim Kolb, General Manager of Vigor Ballard. Under the latest contract, the two new hulls will be constructed at Vigor Ballard (formerly Kvichak) and the superstructure at Vigor’s Harbor Island shipyard. Designed by Incat Crowther…
WSDOT Christens New Ferry Chimacum
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Chimacum, the third Olympic Class vessel to join the Washington State Ferries (WSF) fleet. The ceremony took place at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, and marked the vessel’s final stage of construction and its preparation for sea trials. In a traditional maritime ceremony, Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith broke a bottle of champagne to officially welcome the new ferry to the fleet. Gov.
Shipbuilding: P3 Projects (with a Twist)
Private partnerships, executed perfectly – that’s West Coast boatbuilding in today’s challenging business climates. P3 Partnerships: no, we’re not talking about infrastructure funding. But, in our P3 version, boatbuilding in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska is alive and well, because of it. Long-standing enterprises and relative newcomers are all experiencing an uptick in projects. Here, as part of our annual MN100 top company profiles, we take a look at how three organizations have either merged and/or partnered with complementary companies to expand skills…
Keel Laid for Washington's New Ferry Suquamish
The Washington State Department of Transportation continues to grow its Olympic Class ferry fleet with a keel laying ceremony marking the beginning of construction of its newest vessel, Suquamish. On Tuesday, May 10, Gov. Jay Inslee, state Sen. Christine Rolfes, and Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman struck ceremonial welds on the keel of the Suquamish, at Vigor’s Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle. Inslee welded his granddaughter’s initials, Rolfes, an orca whale, and Forsman, a circle with a dot, the ancient design element found at “Old Man House” in the early Suquamish winter village.
Interview: Frank Foti - President & CEO, Vigor Industrial
For nearly two decades, Frank Foti has led Vigor’s transformation from a single, struggling shipyard to a thriving, increasingly diversified industrial company with 2,500 employees, 12 locations and approximately $700 million in annual revenue. According to Vigor, Foti often describes his motivation in three words: “Industrial Jobs Matter.” Committed to improving long-term, family-wage job opportunities workers and their families and communities, Foti and his management team have…
Texas Orders Diesel-electric Ferry
Southwest Shipyard of Houston, partner of Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), has been selected by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to build the third vessel in a new class of 28-car ferries for the city of Port Aransas. Two ferries of the new class were delivered in 2011, and construction of the latest vessel, which is a diesel-electric version, will begin this fall. EBDG will serve as the owner's representative. EBDG has provided support to TxDOT since 2008. Following…
Salvors Remove Debris Left by Environmental Protesters
Dive and salvage teams worked to remove debris used as anchor blocks by environmental activists protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling aboard a barge in Seattle’s Alki Seacrest Park on May 19. A dive team from Global Diving & Salvage, Inc., along with divers from Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) Seattle, collaborated to remove several concrete blocks and thick steel mooring cables that held barge Solar Pioneer in place as the activists protested Shell’s Polar Pioneer arctic drilling rig then housed at Seattle’s Harbor Island Terminal 5.
Four Rescued From Burning Boat in Lake Michigan
The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued 4 people after their 20-foot boat caught fire on the Grand River, Sunday. A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Haven was on an afternoon boat safety patrol near the Grand Haven Power Plant at about 3:45 p.m. when they witnessed a person jump from a boat and into the water. When they arrived on scene to pull that person out of the water, three other people jumped in the water from the same boat, seconds before the boat burst into flames. Neither person who jumped into the water was wearing a life jacket.
Drydock Vigilant Expected at Vigor Seattle
The 14,000-long ton capacity drydock Vigilant that will support hundreds of family-wage industrial jobs at Vigor Industrial’s shipyard on Harbor Island is scheduled to arrive in Elliott Bay late Saturday or early Sunday. The 528-foot long drydock, which is being towed from Portland by tugs from Seattle’s Harley Marine Services, will enable Vigor to continue to compete with California and U.S. Gulf Coast shipyards for ship repair, maintenance and construction contracts. The Vigilant replaces a sister drydock that was decommissioned in February.
Harbor Police Rescues Stranded Sea Lion
Sea lions are a common sight in San Diego Bay, but a sea lion wandering a busy roadway and then ending up in the back of a patrol car is slightly rarer. The San Diego Harbor Police Department received a call on February 18 of a sea lion in the roadway of Harbor Island Drive, near a local restaurant. Encountering the uninjured sea lion, responding officers Christine Sperry and Luis Martinez used salmon to lure the adult female sea lion into the water. Within minutes the wayward sea lion was back up on the sidewalk and nudging Officer Sperry in with her nose.
America's Last Manned Lighthouse to be Renovated
Plans to commence a $1.1 million project to repair and renovate structures at Boston Light in order to honor the 300-year service and iconic value of Boston Light to the Coast Guard’s maritime heritage have been announced. The project, outlined during a public presentation by lighthouse keeper Sally Snowman, is intended to preserve the structural integrity of the lighthouse tower and surrounding buildings and assists in preparing for the light station’s upcoming tricentennial celebrations in 2016.
Shipbuilding: Vigor Industrial Grows Stronger
Vigor Industrial has ballooned from a modest shipyard in Portland, Oregon, to the largest shipbuilder in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Vigor increasingly thinks big and builds big. The company’s new floating dry dock will be the largest in the United States. And Vigor wants to get even bigger. CEO and owner Frank Foti expresses an ambition to grow to twice the current size in the “next few years.” Foti, who is also chairman of the Shipbuilder’s Council of America, says he is, “striving for critical mass.
Back to School
For Vigor Industrial, a privately-held shipbuilding and repair company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the future looked bright and a bit ominous at the same time. Work was coming in, dock space was filling up, future orders were signed, and new properties purchased; in short, business was booming. But dark clouds crept in around the edges of this rosy picture. As recruiters set out to find new talent to meet the growing demand, they encountered a candidate pool without the necessary skills to pick up a welding torch and go to work.
Vigor Industrial has emerged as a leading consolidator of shipbuilding prowess on the U.S. West Coast, and the company continues to invest in new capability and infrastructure. “Over the past year there has been a marked increase in vessel fabrication opportunities of all kinds, including for ferries, tugs, barges, and fishing vessels,” said Vince Piscitello, VP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Earlier this year Vigor signed an agreement to build the largest floating drydock in the United States, and construction is currently underway.
Laying the Keel; Carefully
Looking toward the future and with a weather eye on what could come next, Oregon-based Vigor Industrial launched a six-month training program this July in welding, fabricating and fitting with South Seattle Community College at a new center on Harbor Island. Vigor acquired the site overlooking downtown Seattle when it bought Todd Pacific Shipyards in 2011. And, as an active bidder for the U.S. Coast Guard’s coveted Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, Vigor also knows that they’ll need to perform when the time comes. A skilled workforce will be an important part of that equation.