Mississippi News

24 Nov 2020

American Cruise Lines' New Riverboat American Melody Launched

American Melody being launched into the Wicomico River at Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Salisbury, Md. (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines said its fourth new Modern Series riverboat launched last week at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md. is on schedule for its inaugural Mississippi River cruise season beginning in summer 2021.Once complete, American Melody will have five decks, and accommodate 175 guests in 91 staterooms. American Melody will highlight the Line’s new interior design, showcasing a multi-story glass atrium at the center of the ship, 100% private balcony accommodations…

18 Nov 2020

US Inland Waterways: High Waters & Swirling Currents

(Photo: Ingram Barge)

The inland waterway system, flowing through the United States heartland, is a microcosm of all that has been happening in 2020: trade tensions, infrastructure issues, shifting trends in fuel consumption and the pandemic that has gripped us since the winter months. Shortly after the initial coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S., maritime workers were deemed to be “essential”, paving the way for cargo flows to recover from their springtime nadir. As COVID-19 infections turned up on U.S. shores, the boats continued plying the waterways, albeit with reduced volumes in some cases.

02 Nov 2020

US Shipyards: Always on the Job Hunt

Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corp is constantly on the lookout for quality tradesmen. (Photo: Gulf Copper)

American shipyards form an important economic engine, supporting nearly 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income and $37.3 billion in gross domestic product (GDP), according to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD).It’s a good thing, then, that U.S. shipyards were deemed essential businesses amid COVID-19 and have remained up and running throughout the pandemic. And it’s even better that most yards have been able to keep their workers employed despite less than stable market conditions…

22 Oct 2020

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Moving Its HQ to Houston

(Photo: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock)

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. announced Thursday it is moving its corporate headquarters to Houston, positioning the nation’s largest dredging services provider nearer to major regional projects and opportunities. The firm will also open regional offices in Jacksonville, Fla., and Staten Island, N.Y.The move to Houston from from Oak Brook, Ill., which stems in part from changing industry dynamics, places the company closer to key regional customers and new markets, especially along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River…

22 Oct 2020

New Towboat Gets a Complete Thordon Propulsion Package

(Photo: Thordon Bearings)

A  1,600-horsepower towboat delivered to Harvey, La.-based operator L&L Marine Transportation in June is now operational with a full range of Thordon oil-free and grease-free bearings.Designed by Entech, the 65-foot twin-screw towboat Amelia Ray is purpose-built by Rodriquez Shipbuilding in Coden, Ala. for the transportation of petrochemicals along all inland and coastal waters in the southern states of the U.S.In addition to newest towboat addition, L&L Marine operates the 2,000-horsepower Melissa Lee and three 1,200-horsepower vessels Angela Rae, Myrna Ann and Madeleine Michelle.

19 Oct 2020

Interview: Bob Merchent, CEO, Halter Marine

Robert "Bob" Merchent, president and CEO of Halter Marine (Photo: Halter Marine)

Please describe your professional background and what attracted you to your current position.In June 2020, I was named president and chief executive officer of Halter Marine. I had been retired around six years. My wife and I bought a piece of property outside of Brookhaven, Miss., and we were enjoying retired life split between our country property and our home in Gautier, Miss. Earlier this year, I was asked if I would consider a consulting role for Halter Marine, which led…

19 Oct 2020

New US Riverboat Nearly Ready for Launch

American Melody moves to launch ways at Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Salisbury, Md. (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines says its next new ship is already being readied for launch, just two months after the U.S.-flag operator accepted delivery of its latest newbuild, American Jazz. The forward hull section of American Melody was moved from a hull fabrication building to the launch ways last week, where it will be joined to the aft section and launched into the Wicomico River.The hull section utilizes a heavy-lift ground-transfer system that distributes and levels the load as it moves.

15 Oct 2020

Bridge Heights Are Not Guesswork: Accuracy Is Imperative

© Lisa L. Bell / Adobe Stock

“Your true pilot cares nothing about anything on earth but the river, and the pride in his occupation surpasses the pride of kings.” -Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883).That statement made by the great chronicler and river pilot over 137 years ago is arguably as true today as it was then. But what has changed dramatically in the almost century and a half since then is the variety and complexity of the daily challenges that river pilots confront on our increasingly busy inland waterways.

15 Oct 2020

MARAD Awards $220 Mln in Port Infrastructure Grants

© Stuart Westmorland, Danita Delimont / Adobe Stock

More than $220 million in discretionary grant funding has been awarded to improve U.S. port facilities in 16 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Thursday.“This $220 million in federal grants will improve America’s ports with nearly half the projects are located in Opportunity Zones, which were established to revitalize economically distressed communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L.

12 Oct 2020

Port Security: Autonomous ANTX

Graphic representation of the exercise; met-ocean data collection operations running concurrently with simulated threats, detection and mitigation assets. Image from ION.

Geophysical seismic surveys and port security may appear to have little in-common. However, it turns out that managing complex marine seismic operations, where 10km-long seismic streamers have to be deployed harmoniously alongside other offshore marine assets, isn’t that dissimilar to managing – and protecting – port facilities.It's an area that ION Geophysical, more known for seismic data acquisition technology, has recently been proving its expertise in, using its Marlin system for marine operations management.

12 Oct 2020

Oil Firms Restoring Output as Hurricane Exits Gulf of Mexico

Shenzi platform - Credit: Hess

U.S. energy companies were returning workers and restarting operations at storm-swept production facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday, two days after Hurricane Delta barreled through the area.Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BHP Group were returning workers to production platforms in the U.S.-regulated northern Gulf of Mexico, the companies said.BHP expect[ed] to complete the return of workers to its Shenzi and Neptune production platforms on Sunday, spokeswoman Judy Dane said…

09 Oct 2020

Bay Shipbuilding Delivers Self-unloading Barge to VTB

Michigan Trader (Photo: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding)

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has delivered a newly built self-unloading barge to VanEnkevort Tug & Barge for operation on the Great Lakes.The new barge, named Michigan Trader, measures 740 feet in length, 78 feet in beam, and 45 feet in depth. The barge has a 265-foot unloading boom and capacity for up to 37,000 long tons of cargo.David Groh, president of VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, said Michigan Trader will be the fourth self-unloading barge in the company's Great Lakes fleet. The barge will be the 10th in the VTB fleet…

06 Oct 2020

Scania USA Taps Laborde Products as Gulf Coast and Inland Distributor

(Photo: Scania USA)

Engine manufacturer Scania USA said it has appointed Laborde Products as its new distributor for Scania Marine products for the Gulf Coast and inland waterways regions, effective November 1.The Covington, La. headquartered engine and power systems distributor will take on sales, service and dealer development for Scania marine engines, ranging from 220 to 1,150 horsepower, for Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, Southern Ohio…

05 Oct 2020

Halter Marine Partners with Local College to Launch Apprenticeship Program

(Photo: Halter Marine)

Pascagoula, Miss. shipbuilder Halter Marine is creating jobs, and through its partnership with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC), training the apprentices to fill them. The recently launched apprenticeship program is designed in three components: on-the-job training, classroom training and a progressive wage increase as participants reach set milestones. It offers training in the craft labor fields of welding, ship fitting, pipe fitting, pipe welding and electrical.

01 Oct 2020

Charter Signed for First-ever U.S.-flagged Jones Act Compliant SOV

Credit: Orsted

Offshore vessel operator Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) will build and operate the first-ever U.S. flagged Jones Act compliant Service Operations Vessel (SOV), used for offshore wind farm operation and maintenance works.Edison Chouest Offshore, Ørsted, and Eversource announced Thursday the execution of a long-term charter agreement for the provision of the SOV."The SOV will be engineered, constructed and operated by ECO as an integral part of the operation and maintenance of the Revolution Wind…

30 Sep 2020

History and Overview of U.S. Cabotage Laws

© bbourdages/AdobeStock

The United States domestic maritime sector recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passage by Congress of the Jones Act. It is considered the most significant of various US cabotage laws. Few mariners though appreciate the long history of cabotage laws in this country.Cabotage laws here are older than our nation. The British Navigation Acts and its predecessors were designed to develop, promote, and regulate British ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its colonies, including the restriction of foreign participation in its colonial trade.

25 Sep 2020

MetalCraft Delivers High-performace RIBs in Mississippi

(Photo: MetalCraft Marine)

Shipbuilder MetalCraft Marine said it delivered two 34-foot high performance patrol RIBs to be used by the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources Police in the coastal bay areas and offshore checking on commercial and sport fishing compliance.Each boat is equipped with triple Suzuki 300-horsepower outboards, enabling the vessels to reach speeds up to 64 miles per hour.According to MetalCraft, the Interceptor hulls are noted for their "Soft Dry Ride", with a fine entry which easily parts the waves and makes the boat very quiet.The vessels feature a robust T-top and supporting structure…

16 Sep 2020

GLDD Reports $118.8 Million in New Dredging Contracts

(Photo: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation)

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation has secured several major dredging awards totaling $118.8 million, the U.S.' largest dredging services provider announced on Wednesday.The awarded deepening, coastal protection, and maintenance dredging work includes projects in South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and New York.The Post 45 Contract 4 Charleston Lower Harbor New Work Dredging Project (Capital, S.C., $52.9 million) consists of maintenance and new work dredging of material from the Charleston Lower Harbor to Hugh Leatherman Terminal.

15 Sep 2020

Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf

Hurricane Sally (Photo: NOAA)

Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…

14 Sep 2020

Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening Begins

(Photo: Big River Coalition)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officially kicked off the project to deepen of the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet Friday, as Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge Captain Frank started dredging 5 miles above the Head of Passes.The USACE awarded this first contract for the Ship Channel deepening to Weeks Marine on September 3, 2020, and the Captain Frank started the deepening Friday. The USACE awarded the second cutterhead dredge contract to Manson Construction on September 8, 2020. Manson’s cutterhead, the Robert M. White, is expected to begin deepening in late September.

10 Sep 2020

Master Marine Delivers Towboat to Plimsoll Marine

Iron Lady (Photo: Plimsoll Marine)

Master Marine, Inc. (MMI) has delivered the 67- by 28-foot Iron Lady, the first of four new push boats it is building for Lower Mississippi River operator Plimsoll Marine.The four vessels are designed by Entech Designs, LLC. and are fully compliant with all U.S. Coast Guard regulatory requirements.Towboat Iron Lady is powered by two Laborde Products, Inc. Mitsubishi 803 HP Tier III diesel marine engines operating at 1,400 RPM and coupled to Twin Disc 5321 gears. Laborde Products…

01 Sep 2020

New Riverboat Delivered to American Cruise Lines

American Jazz (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines announced it has taken delivery of a new riverboat from Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md.The 190-passenger American Jazz is the latest in American’s series of five new modern riverboats and will be added to the company’s fleet on the Mississippi River. American’s building plans have continued at full strength, despite this year’s pause in cruising.“American Jazz and the modern riverboats we currently have under construction demonstrate our commitment to leading the U.S. river cruise market by adding new small ships each year,” said Charles B.

25 Aug 2020

Five Minutes with George Whittier, CEO, Fairbanks Morse

George Whittier, CEO, Fairbanks Morse.

Fairbanks Morse recently won an order by Huntington Ingalls Industries to build and deliver the four main propulsion diesel engines that will power the U.S. Navy’s newest Landing Platform/Dock (LPD) ship, LPD 31, the second of 13 in the LPD Flight II class of ships. We caught up with George Whittier, CEO, for his insights on this contract, COVID-19 and business overall.How long have you been at the helm at Fairbanks Morse?I returned to Fairbanks Morse in January where I previously served as CEO from 2009 to 2012.

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