Shipbuilding Interview: Ron Baczkowski, VT Halter
VT Halter in Pascagoula, MS has been on a strong run, capped by its winning the high-profile contract to build the U.S. Coast Guard’s next generation of icebreakers. Maritime Reporter recently spoke with Ron Baczkowski, President and CEO, VT Halter Marine, for insights on the shipyard’s recent success and future prospects. Globally, the shipbuilding industry has gone through some ‘interesting’ times of late. How has it looked from your perspective?The shipbuilding market and activity at VT Halter during the past 12 months has been dynamic.
HII Announces Leadership Changes At Shipyards
Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today leadership changes at its Ingalls Shipbuilding and Newport News Shipbuilding divisions.Premo Sabbatini has been promoted to vice president of central planning and process excellence at Ingalls Shipbuilding. He succeeds Rick Spaulding, who has accepted a position as vice president of business process standardization at Newport News Shipbuilding.Sabbatini will transition from Ingalls’ amphibious assault ship (LHA) program, where he is the program manager, later this year.
Rep. Gunn Addresses Ingalls Graduates
Huntington Ingalls Industries hosted a graduation ceremony on Saturday for the company’s apprenticeship program at Ingalls Shipbuilding. Nine different crafts were represented among the 159 graduates of the 2019 class.Mississippi Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn, delivered the keynote address. “The prosperity of Mississippi begins with people like you,” he said. “The careers for which you are now prepared are the backbone of America. Over 60 percent of the jobs in America are held by people like you who make up a skilled and educated workforce.
Pacific Basin Hopeful on Dry Bulkers
The dry bulk freight market is expected to benefit in the second half of 2019 and early 2020 from many larger ships being taken out of service for several weeks for scrubber installation, said Hong Kong-based Pacific Basin Shipping Limited.The maritime transport company engaged in international dry bulk shipping through the operation of a fleet of vessels to carry diverse cargoes for many of the world's leading commodity groups said: "We believe the market for smaller dry bulk ships like ours will benefit also over the longer term…
Kirby Announces 2019 Q2 Financials
Kirby Corporation (“Kirby”) (NYSE: KEX) has announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 of $47.3 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with earnings of $28.6 million, or $0.48 per share, for the 2018 second quarter. Excluding a one-time charge related to the retirement of Kirby’s Executive Chairman, 2018 second quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $46.8 million, or $0.78 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 second quarter were $771.0 million compared with $802.7 million reported for the 2018 second quarter.David Grzebinski…
Coast Guard Responds to Tugboat Casualties
The Coast Guard has transitioned from pollution response to the investigation phase of a major marine casualty that occurred July 5, 2019, involving three vessels that sank in the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois.Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 20.7 on the Illinois River. Sector UMR responded to the scene to find all three vessels fully submerged.The vessels were identified as Chatty Sue Smith…
St. Louis Regional Freightway: Prepare now for Lock Closures
Lock Closures Starting on the Illinois Waterway This Summer May Result in More Freight Flowing Through St. Louis Region.Businesses that move or handle commodities on the Illinois Waterway system are being encouraged to start making alternative plans due the scheduled closure of locks on that inland waterway system. With a two-week closure planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning as early as August 2019 and closures of 90 to 120 days expected in the summers of 2020 and 2023…
US Gulf Production Restarting After Barry
U.S. oil companies on Monday began restoring some of the more than nearly 74% production shut at U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of Hurricane Barry, the U.S. offshore drilling regulator said.There was 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil production off line in the U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, about 80,000 barrels less than on Sunday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).Workers also were returning to the more than 280 production platforms that had been evacuated.
INSIGHTS: Edward C. Schwarz, ABB VP of Sales, New Builds
Based in Miramar, FL, ABB Vice President Ed Schwarz is today responsible for developing and leading the newly created new sales team for ABB in North America.He is the firm’s leading advocate for new build opportunities in US and Canada and more importantly, developing the business strategy necessary for bringing hybrid and electric solutions to North America market. A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering and Shipyard Management in 2000.
Big Easy Braces for Barry Flooding; Emergency Declared
New Orleans braced for severe flooding with residents told to hunker down as a growing tropical storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico headed for landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019.U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana late on Thursday, hours after the region's oil production was cut by half as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities and a coastal refinery.Tropical Storm…
Belle Chasse Marine Repowers with Volvo Penta
Reliability, Power, Fuel Savings and Minimal Downtime Key Factors in Repower Decision.Belle Chasse Marine Transportation, the largest launch service on the Lower Mississippi, puts a lot of hours on its fleet of crew and supply boats, which run day and night. One thing they can’t afford is downtime.“The river never closes, and neither do we. Our customers expect us to give them reliable round-the-clock service no matter what the conditions,” said Dillon Entrekin, port engineer at Belle Chasse.
VT Halter Wins U.S. Navy 'Champ' Contract
VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT Halter Marine), a company of ST Engineering North America, has won a contract worth nearly $2.9 million by the Naval Sea Systems Command.VT Halter Marine was one of four U.S.-based companies awarded a contract under the Common Hull Auxiliary Mission Platform – called CHAMP. VT Halter Marine’s contract win is $2,899,252.In 2018, the Navy implemented the CHAMP study to find a replacement for several types of auxiliary ships that are rapidly approaching the ends of their service lives – hospital ships…
New Orleans Braces for TS Barry
Some residents and visitors prepared to flee New Orleans on Thursday as Tropical Storm Barry closed in and city officials warned of severe flooding if it makes landfall by early Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2019 season.The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 kph) as of 10 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) on Thursday, the National Weather Service said.Forecasters issued a storm-surge warning for a stretch of Louisiana coastline south of already-sodden New Orleans stretching from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach.
Tropical Storm Barry Forms in Gulf of Mexico
Tropical Storm Barry formed on Thursday with heavy rains expected across the north-central U.S. Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.Barry, the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, was located about 95 miles (150 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River at about 11 a.m. EDT with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles (65 km) per hour, the Miami-based weather forecaster said. (Reuters, Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Editing by Bill Trott)
Shipping Losses Lowest This Century as New Dangers Emerge
The Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2019 provides a unique and in-depth look at the emerging risks facing international shipping stakeholders.Large shipping losses are now at their lowest level this century having declined by over 50% year-on-year, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2019. The annual study analyzes reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons (GT). AGCS provides global marine and shipping insurance for all types of marine risk…
National Hurricane Center Miami Issues Hurricane Watch
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Pearl River to Intracoastal City. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River northward to the Mouth of the Pearl River.A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic available at hurricanes.gov.
ARG, Sea Ready Enter Marine Lube Deal
American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) announced its new partnership with veteran-owned small business Sea Ready Marine Petroleum, as ARG has designated Sea Ready as its global distributor of its refinery’s marine lubricants.Already the largest zinc-free (ZF) railroad-engine oil supplier east of the Mississippi River, ARG is taking its marine line of Specialty Lubricants to sea. The full line includes formulations customers have relied upon and trusted for decades, particularly its…
Admiral Schultz Emphasizes Maritime as a Driver of U.S. Commerce
Last month Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was invited to join Admiral Karl Schultz, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, on a trek to New Orleans for an underway tour on board a mid-stream transfer operation in the Mississippi River. As the U.S. inland waterway system has endured historic water levels for more than six months, the destination provided a perfect backdrop to discuss several key messages coming from USCG leadership: the maritime industry’s critical role in facilitating U.S.
USCG Responds to Three Tugboats Sinking
The Coast Guard is responding to three vessels that sunk on the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois, Sunday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report Friday of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 21 on the Illinois River.The sinking tugboats are holding approximately 4,850 gallons of diesel and oil.Sector Upper Mississippi River dispatched personnel to work with the tugboat company…
Maritime Simulation & Training: a partnership that pays off
It is truly no accident that Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate so closely.Zero incidents, zero injuries and eliminating critical barge and equipment failures doesn’t just happen by osmosis. It’s a result of continual safety training that breeds operational awareness and confidence to anticipate a difficult situation on an inland waterway before it actually occurs.With a high school education, Capt. Shelden Detrafford started out making $25/day in the 1960s.
Mat Sinking Unit in Modernization Drive
Millions of dollars of goods are transported up and down the Mississippi every year. This transportation is made possible, in part, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mat Sinking Unit and its crew, who work tirelessly each season to protect the riverbanks with concrete mats and prevent erosion.The Mat Sinking Unit was built in 1940, widened in 1960 and is being replaced over the next several years with new and improved plant. The new design will double the number of mat squares that can be placed in a season.USACE Vicksburg District (MVK)…
Charleston is Home for New USCG Cutter
The U.S. Coast Guard announced that Charleston, S.C., will be the home of its newest National Security Cutter.“I am pleased to announce that Charleston, South Carolina will be the home of the Coast Guard's 11th National Security Cutter,” said Admiral Karl L. Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard. Construction on the 11th National Security Cutter is scheduled to begin by spring of 2020. Charleston is already home to two of the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters, the JAMES and HAMILTON. In 2017, the Coast Guard announced that the ninth and tenth National Security Cutters, currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, will join the Charleston-based National Security Cutter fleet in the coming years.
Charleston Gets 11th Natl Security Cutter
Charleston, South Carolina will be the home of the Service’s newest National Security Cutter, said U.S. Coast Guard.Admiral Karl L. Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard said: "I am pleased to announce that Charleston, South Carolina will be the home of the Coast Guard’s 11th National Security Cutter."Construction on the 11th National Security Cutter is scheduled to begin by Spring of 2020. Charleston is already home to two of the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters, the JAMES and HAMILTON.In 2017…