USCG Shuts Upper Houston Ship Channel Amid Protests
The U.S. Coast Guard closed the upper Houston Ship Channel on Thursday morning as 11 Greenpeace USA protesters blocked a portion of the country's largest oil port near Baytown, Texas, the agency said.The channel is closed from Light 102A to Light 104, the Coast Guard said in a notice.The closure of the Ship Channel at that location blocks tanker ship traffic to and from five major refineries in the Houston area, including Exxon Mobil Corp's 560,500-barrel-per-day refinery in Baytown, which is 26 miles (42 km) east of downtown Houston.One ship was waiting to enter the Ship Channel, which links the Gulf of Mexico and the Port of Houston…
Enterprise Products to Build GoM Crude Terminal
Enterprise Products Partners LP said on Wednesday it expects to take about two years to construct its oil export project called Sea Port Oil Terminal, or SPOT, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.Permitting for the terminal was expected to reach the final stages by the end of the first quarter of 2020 and final approval was expected during the second quarter, a company executive said on its second quarter earnings call.Enterprise Products signed long-term agreements with Chevron Corp to support the development of SPOT…
BY THE NUMBERS: Replace your Workboat Engine (now)
New Research Doubles Service Life Estimate of Marine Workboat Engines, Reveals Big Opportunities for Diesel Emissions Reductions.It turns out that commercial workboat engines are staying in service more than two times longer than predicted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according new research from the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). That says a lot for the quality of marine engines, but at the same it isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Houston Widens Ship Channel
The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…
Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston
Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data.The Houston Ship Channel reopened this week with operating restrictions following a fire at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas. That blaze sent fuel and chemicals into the waterway, which connects Houston to the…
Houston Ship Channel Reopened
The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday reopened portions of the Houston Ship Channel with restrictions on waterways affected by the petrochemical leak outside Houston that has disrupted ship traffic.The busiest U.S. oil port, shut last Friday after a chemical leak into the water, led Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries to cut production on Monday, according to people familiar with their operations.In a midday announcement, the Coast Guard said it is allowing daytime transits only through the ship channel…
Houston Terminal Fire May Last Two More days
A massive fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel may burn for two more days, an official said on Monday as the blaze spread a plume of black smoke across the city, shutting schools in two nearby communities.The fire began Sunday morning in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile substance used to create octane-boosting components of gasoline.No injuries were reported from the fire but nearby residents were encouraged to remain indoors. The entire city of Deer Park, Texas, a Houston suburb, was told to shelter in doors all day Sunday.
DTF: Longer Workboat Engine Life Impacts Environment
New Research Doubles Service Life Estimate of Marine Workboat Engines, Reveals Big Opportunities for Diesel Emissions Reductions. New Research also Underscores Cost-Effective Opportunity to Upgrade to New Diesel Engines and Reduce Emissions for Vulnerable Communities. Commercial workboat engines, which are essential for maritime commerce, are staying in service more than two times longer than predicted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to new research from the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Houston Pilots Withdraw Tariff Adjustment Application
In an unexpected reversal, it has been reported that the Houston Pilots yesterday notified Chairman Janiece Longoria of the Port of Houston Authority that they had withdrawn their latest application for a change in pilotage rates. Beyond this, the pilots requested in their letter dated October 18 that the application be removed from the agenda for the upcoming October 30 Board of Commissioners meeting.Upon being notified of the rate change application in September, no less than 15 shipping companies…
Proposed Rate Hikes for Houston Ship Pilots Under Fire
No less than 15 shipping companies, many of them top 10 liner companies, have written to Port of Houston Chairman Janice Longoria to reject the latest call for substantial rate hikes on the Houston Ship Channel. Local pilots already earn salaries that approach $500,000 annually.Like any other major U.S. port, registered foreign flag vessels must use a local state pilot on the Houston Ship Channel. According to local shipping stakeholders, the rates for those mandated services have spiraled more than 50% in the past 14 years alone.The rate increase proposal…
ASA hosts Response Training for Houston Authorities
More than 40 U.S. Coast Guard, State of Texas, maritime industry and local emergency responders attended the American Salvage Association’s (ASA) Marine Salvage and Emergency Response training course last month in the Houston-Galveston area presented by the ASA Training Committee. Designed to train students on how to coordinate proactive marine casualty response operations, this two-day program exposed students to a wide variety of course modules led by ASA members and industry experts in salvage law…
Propeller Club elects RADM Whitehead as International President
At its 91st annual convention last month, the International Propeller Club of the United States elected and installed its leaders for the coming year and beyond. Representatives of the Club’s more than 75 chapters from around the world elected Rear Admiral Joel Whitehead, US Coast Guard (retired) to a two-year term as International President. RADM Whitehead is a member of the Club’s Port of New Orleans chapter. Niels Aalund, a member of the Club’s Port of Houston and the Senior Vice President…
Seafarers' Center Honors Houston Port Executive Director
The "Bronze Anchor Award" recognizes an individual, company or organization that has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to promoting the HISC mission and vision, and served as a leader and advocate for the welfare of seafarers. Guenther will be officially honored as a "Bronze Anchor Award" recipient at the HISC Maritime Gala to be held May 6, 2017. The gala will be held earlier in the year than normal and will coincide with the Seafarers' Center's upcoming move to a new location at the Port of Houston.
USCG Recognizes Houston Pilots
RADM David Callahan for the US Coast Guard (USCG) 8th District presented Meritorious Public Service Awards to two Houston Pilots - Captains Michael McGee and Michael Phiilips - for their bravery last September aboard the crippled and burning tanker AFRAMAX RIVER. The USCG ceremony highlighted the fifth annual meeting of the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee, announced Captain Robert M. Shearon, presiding officer -- Houston Pilots. Captain McGee and Captain Phillips were dispatched September 6 to the M/T AFRAMAX RIVER at Houston Fuel Oil Berth 3.
Port Houston Box Volumes Continue to Rise
“Port Houston handled close to 10 million tons of total tonnage, reflecting an increase of eleven percent over 2016,” Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther announced during the April meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority. During the first quarter of this year, Port Houston facilities handled 607,000 TEUs. Guenther said the majority of this increase is largely due to an increase in container volumes, which showed an increase of 18 percent.
Houston Pilots Train for Post-Panamax Vessels
Members of the Houston Pilots recently participated in two custom-built simulation courses vital to their Pilotage duties in the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston, the largest landlocked Port in America. Each course was two days long, and was provided by the Maritime Simulation Resource Center (MSRC), at their Quebec City, Canada-based facility. The Houston Pilots face a multitude of factors when piloting ships in their waterways, including weather and wind, particularly with large ships, a very small turning basin, as well as intricate 24/7 traffic management.
Konecranes Won Repeat RTG Order from Port Houston
During the second quarter 2017, Konecranes received an order for 9 RTGs from Port Houston, Texas, USA. This is a repeat order, the first Konecranes RTGs to Port Houston were delivered in 2003. The nine cranes will be delivered to Port Houston Bayport Container Terminal in early fall 2018. Port Houston is an economic engine that produces jobs and economic prosperity for the local and state economy. It is the largest port on the Gulf Coast, the biggest port in Texas and the only port in Houston. Port Houston strives to be America’s hub for the next generation.
US Agents Move against Illegal Timber Imports from Amazon
U.S. agents searched the offices of a California-based wood importer this week as part of a broadening government crackdown on imports of illegally harvested timber, according to a previously unreported federal search warrant seen by Reuters. The Department of Homeland Security agents are probing whether privately held Global Plywood & Lumber Inc violated U.S. and Peruvian law by importing wood that officials say was taken from the Amazon without proper permits, according to the warrant filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego on Monday and executed on Tuesday. No charges have been brought against the company. A Homeland Security spokesman in Houston said the investigation was ongoing.
Contanda Secures Prime Waterfront Acreage on the Houston Ship Channel
Contanda Terminals LLC, a provider of bulk liquid storage and logistics services in North America, has announced a multi-year commercial agreement with the Port of Houston Authority for 339 acres of prime deep-water access property located on the Houston Ship Channel. The land acquisition enables Contanda to continue to develop its key strategic business objective of doubling its terminal storage capability over the next five years, and expanding into the bulk petrochemical and hydrocarbon markets. This will further strengthen the company’s presence along the U.S.
Bahri Reinforces Americas Commitment
Reinforcing its three-decade-long presence in North America, transportation and logistics firm Bahri took part in Breakbulk Americas, being held from October 17-19, in Houston. The Bahri booth at Breakbulk Americas was opened by Mr. Sultan bin Abdullah Al-Angari, Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Houston, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the first day of the annual event in the presence of Amal Al-Ruwaii, Director for Trade and Investment, Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in United States of America…
Bouchard Hosts Leadership Training Course
Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. During the weeks of July 18-21, and August 1-4, Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. partnered with SUNY Maritime College and privately hosted the required USCG Leadership & Managerial Skills Course at Bouchard’s corporate headquarters in Melville, N.Y. for all Bouchard tug captains and chief engineers. Bouchard is the first operator to privately host this class for their vessel employees. Effective March 24, 2014, additional training and/or assessments became required for certain Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) endorsements.
Port of Houston Expecting Record Cargo Year
“We fully expect to top last year’s container volume with another record year in 2016,” said Roger Guenther, Port of Houston Authority Executive Director, speaking to the Port Commission during its latest meeting. The Houston Port Authority said it has handled more than 1.6 million TEU through its container terminals to date this year, and it expects to maintain “strong growth” through the remainder of the year. All told, the port’s general cargo and container terminals handled more than 26 million tons of cargo through September.
THE Alliance Sets Out Service Plans
The members of THE Alliance announced the details of the plan for their product starting from April 2017. THE Alliance plans to deploy a fleet of more than 240 modern ships in the Asia /Europe, North Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade lanes including the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf/Red Sea. The start of THE Alliance as the most integrated liner shipping consortia is scheduled for April 2017 (subject to completion of all relevant regulatory requirements). “The product of THE…