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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mississippi River News

10 May 2021

Valero Charters Tanker for Storage as Cyber Attack Shuts U.S. Pipeline

Image by Bernard Delmont/

Valero Energy chartered an oil products' tanker for storage in the U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday amid a cyber attack that shut the Colonial pipeline, the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline, two sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.The tanker, called the Nave Titan, is currently in the Mississippi River in southern Louisiana, according to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data.Nave Titan can hold up to 330,000 barrels of oil, according to the tanker data.Other Gulf Coast refiners were looking to book tankers for storage this weekend as the outage affected shipments of refined products to the East Coast…

06 May 2021

Impact of Dredging on Maritime Law

© Bill Chizek / Adobe Stock

In 1875, the General Moultrie was the first suction dredge built in the United States and was used in the Charleston River — until it sank within a year. During the same era, the city of Houston and other port towns formed companies like the Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel Company to build special-purpose vessels to clear and connect waterways for commercial vessel traffic. Toward the end of the 19th century, the cutter suction dredge made its appearance and effectively dug and maintained water channels.

03 May 2021

USACE Towboat Reassigned and Renamed

Quincy was built in 2008 and joins five other vessels in the Mississippi River Structures Maintenance fleet located at the Mississippi River Project Office in Pleasant Valley, Iowa. Its function is to serve as the primary towing vessel for the fleet’s new Quad Cities Crane barge. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Rock Island District held a christening ceremony in Quincy, Ill., on Friday for the latest towing vessel to joins its fleet.The vessel, which has been renamed Quincy, was built in 2008 by Texas shipyard Orange Shipbuilding for $5 million and is being relocated from the Corps' Louisville District.Originally named the Gordon M. Stevens, the vessel was designed and contracted by the USACE's Marine Design Center and served as part of the construction…

22 Apr 2021

Bollinger Buys Gulf Island’s Shipyard Facilities

The Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Bottoms is a Fast Response Cutter built by Bollinger Shipyards. (Photo: Patrick Kelley / U.S. Coast Guard)

Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards has acquired Gulf Island Fabrication’s shipyard facilities in nearby Houma for approximately $28.6 million.The purchased site encompasses 437 acres on the west bank of the Houma Navigation Canal, of which 283 acres is unimproved land that is available for expansion. The facility includes 18,000 square feet of administrative and operations facilities, 160,000 square feet of covered fabrication facilities and 20,000 square feet of warehouse facilities. It also has 6,750 linear feet of water frontage, including 2,350 feet of steel bulkheads.

31 Mar 2021

NOAA Launches West Coast, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Models

© Alexandre / Adobe Stock

NOAA on Wednesday announced two new coastal condition forecast models intended to help enhance decision making for mariners along the West Coast and Northern Gulf of Mexico. The models provide continuous quality-controlled data on water levels, currents, water temperature and salinity out to 72 hours.Forecasts from both models are used by commercial and recreational mariners, fisherman, emergency managers, search and rescue responders, and National Weather Service marine weather…

24 Mar 2021

Blakeley BoatWorks Delivers Towboat to CMT

Gretchen V. Cooper (Photo: Cooper/T. Smith)

The U.S.’ first linehaul towing vessel powered by Tier 4 Caterpillar high-speed engines with selective catalytic reduction( SCR) was built by Blakeley BoatWorks (BBW) and is now operated by Cooper Marine and Timberlands (CMT).In March 2021, Blakeley BoatWorks completed construction of M/V Gretchen V. Cooper, a state-of-the-art, Tier-4 inland linehaul tow boat. This 3,400-horsepower vessel is 110-feet long, 33-feet wide, and expands CMT’s fleet to 20 vessels.Currently, Tier-4 diesel engine standards are the strictest U.S.

17 Mar 2021

Interview: Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO

Jennifer Carpenter (Photo: AWO)

Jennifer Carpenter joined The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry, in August 1990 and became its president and CEO in January 2020. She weighs in on the unprecedented challenges encountered over the past year and addresses top priorities along the uncertain path ahead.The world has changed drastically in the year since you took the helm at AWO. How have priorities shifted, both…

05 Mar 2021

Plimsoll Marine Takes Delivery of Pushboat Rock Solid

(Photo:  Plimsoll Marine)

Bayou La Batre, Ala. shipbuilder Master Marine, Inc. (MMI) has delivered the 67’ x 28’ pushboat Rock Solid to Plimsoll Marine. The Rock Solid is the third of four vessels that MMI is scheduled to deliver to the Lower Mississippi River push boat operator.“The delivery of the Rock Solid marks another milestone in our effort to build and maintain our industry’s most modern and capable fleet of push boats,” said Angus R. Cooper III, President, Cooper/T. Smith. “Our team prides itself…

23 Feb 2021

American Cruise Lines Adds Sixth Ship to Pacific Northwest

American Harmony (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

American Cruise Lines now has six ships in the Pacific Northwest for 2021, with four of them operating on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.One of the line’s riverboats American Harmony completed its recent journey from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest via the Panama Canal. The newest addition to American’s Columbia River fleet comes at the same time that the line is preparing to introduce two more new riverboats to the Mississippi River.Upon arrival in Astoria, Ore., American Harmony joined modern series sister-ship American Song…

10 Feb 2021

MacGregor Wins Order for 36 Traction Winch Systems

(Photo: MacGregor)

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured an order from SIA Solutions LLC to deliver 36 traction winch systems, 72 storage reel brakes and electrical control systems to the specialised concrete mat sinking unit, Armor 1, currently under construction at Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC, Houma, La. for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).The order was booked into Cargotec’s 2020 fourth quarter order intake. Equipment delivery is planned for the middle of 2021, with…

02 Feb 2021

Southern Towing Company Acquires Devall Towing

MV Laura Tamble. Photo: Southern Towing Company

Memphis, Tenn.-based Southern Towing Company (STC) said Tuesday it has acquired family-owned Devall Towing, in a deal that expands STC’s towing operations into specialty chemical products.Headquartered in Sulphur, La., Devall is a towboat and barge operator for specialty chemicals along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Lower Mississippi River, operating 36 towboats and 125 liquid tank barges.The combination of Devall’s operations with STC’s upriver capabilities allows Devall and STC to provide integrated marine transportation solutions across the Gulf Intracoastal and U.S.

27 Jan 2021

Barge Worker Missing in the Mississippi River

© bruce / Adobe Stock

Responders are searching by air and sea to locate a barge crew member who went missing Tuesday near mile marker 105 in the Lower Mississippi River, the Coast Guard said.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders in New Orleans were notified around 3 p.m. Tuesday that one of Zito Fleeting's barge workers had fallen overboard near Jefferson Heights in Jefferson Parish, La. Missing is 44-yeard-old Elisander Alvardo, last seen wearing coveralls and no life jacket.The Coast Guard issued…

26 Jan 2021

US Maritime Industry Praises Biden's 'Buy American' Order

President Joe Biden signs the Strengthening "Buy American" Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers executive order (Photo: The White House)

President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order aiming to use government spending to strengthen domestic manufacturing and create markets for new technologies, in a move widely praised by America's maritime industry.The executive order, titled Strengthening "Buy American" Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers", calls for increasing the amount of U.S. content that must be in a product for it to be considered made in America under existing "Buy American" requirements.

08 Apr 2021

Marine News' Top Boats of 2020

General MacArthur (Photo: Callan Marine)

This year, despite innumerable challenges and setbacks, a great number of new U.S.-flagged vessels made their way into service. In addition to Maid of the Mist's new electric tour boats James V. Glynn and Nikola Tesla featured Wednesday, the newbuilds highlighted below are some of the most noteworthy to come out of U.S. shipyards in 2020.DredgerU.S. dredging contractors have been adding tonnage in a big way. This Spring, Callan Marine added a significant piece to the U.S. fleet with its new Jones Act cutterhead suction dredge (CSD) General MacArthur.

29 Dec 2020

Historic Dredging Unlocks the Might of the Mississippi

(Photo provided by the Big River Coalition as captured by P.J. Hahn of Pelican Coast Consulting)

Humanity will forever remember 2020 as the “Year of COVID-19” fraught with the pains of a pandemic and its impacts on our physical and mental health. Yet, as a navigation representative along the Mississippi River Ship Channel (MRSC), I will always be able to see the bright side. In this case, that is life outside of COVID. The Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening began in 2020, oddly enough on another date tied forever to a tragic time in our history. As a major focus for the Big River Coalition…

18 Dec 2020

US Inland Waterways: Cheer the Year!

© Rick Lohre / Adobe Stock

As we head toward the end of a very chaotic and COVID-filled 2020 and try to reflect on the positives, the inland waterways had a pretty good year overall. Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI), whose members depend on a modern, efficient inland waterways system, offers this look back, with hopes ahead for the passage of a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2020 with our construction cost-share adjustment priority in the lame duck session of Congress.A disappointing FY21 budget requestIn February…

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…

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…

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

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.

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…

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.

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%…

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