'Costa Concordia' Owners Fined in Italian Court
Italian cruise firm Costa Crociere has been fined €1-million (US$1.3-million) for the sinking which killed 32 people. Costa had asked for a plea bargain deal to respond to the administrative sanctions, which under Italian law are for companies whose employees commit crimes, and Judge Valeria Montesarchio accepted that plea after a hearing at the Tuscan tribunal, reports 'Herald Scotland'. Costa, a division of Miami-based Carnival, has sought to blame the disaster entirely on Captain Francesco Schettino, and prosecutors are seeking indictments for Schettino and five other people on charges including manslaughter. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday but it is not clear if the judge will make a decision then on whether to order a trial.
Great Lakes Wind Energy Project Taking Off
A LEEDCo official has informed 'The News-Herald' that more than 3,000 people in Northeast Ohio so far have signed up to pledge to buy a portion of their future electricity needs from offshore wind power. LEEDCo has begun work on a five to nine turbine wind energy demonstration project in Lake Erie named "Icebreaker," which is slated to be completed in 2017. It would be the first freshwater offshore wind project in the nation. The Icebreaker project involves the installation of six 3-megawatt American-made Siemens wind turbines approximately 7 miles off the coast of downtown Cleveland in Lake Erie. Officials also have a 1,000 megawatt target in mind by 2020.
Two Vessels Grounded off Scotland Coast
Two ships ran aground Tuesday off the west coast of Scotland, according to Herald Scotland. The first vessel, the 87-meter passenger cruise vessel Serenissima, was lodged on sand and gravel at a spot known as the Corran Ledge in Oban Bay Tuesday night as it made its way from Ireland to the port of Oban, Herald Scotland reported. Aboard the ship were 61 passengers and 51 crew members. With help from the ship’s crew and the Oban RNLI lifeboat team, Serenissima was refloated and inspected without any damage or pollution.
Calls for Improvement for Sydney Ferries
The State Government has ordered Sydney Ferries to come up with a way to lift its performance by next week, saying too many vessels were out of service. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, at least 80 percent of ferries were supposed to be available, but the rate over the past two months has been 77 per cent - too low to ensure ferry services run on time. The Herald revealed that half of Sydney's most modern ferries, including most of the RiverCats, were lying idle at the Balmain maintenance depot. The ferries' 80 per cent availability requirement is not as high as that for State Transit, which needs to have at least 90 percent of its bus fleet on the road at morning peak hour. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)
Former Western Ferries Director Paid $5.7m
Ken Cadenhead, the former managing director of privately held Western Ferries, left his post last year with $5.7 million after the company bought his 22% stake, The Herald reported. The figure implies Western Ferries, which is locked in a battle with state-subsidized Caledonian-MacBrayne for the Dunoon-Gourock route, has built itself into a company worth $26 million with just one route on the Clyde. Around 10 ferry operators are awaiting tender documents, expected to be issued next month, that could spark a bidding war for the service. Western Ferries operates the rival service to CalMac and attracts the vast majority of vehicular traffic on the route, which logs more than 600,000 car journeys a year.
First US Big Ship LNG Bunkering Terminal Proposed
A partnership including Calgary-based Ferus Natural Gas Fuels has unveilled plans to build in Florida the first U.S. terminal to supply liquefied natural gas as fuel for cargo ships, reports 'The Calgary Herald'. The Eagle LNG partnership was announced in September 2013, and includes Ferus, General Electric Co. and Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the transportation-fuel company co-founded by billionare investor T. Boone Pickens; all three are equal equity partners in the project. Citing Ferus chief executive Dick Brown…
Oldenburg Group Gets Subcontract to supply LCS Vessels
According to a Jan. 14 report from the Pierce County Herald a Milwaukee firm will get over $200m to provide material handling systems for the new U.S. Navy ships to be built in Marinette and Alabama. The Oldenburg Group said it would build cranes, launching systems, lift-platforms, and hatch covers for the 55 littoral combat ships recently approved by Congress. (Source: Pierce County Herald)
Canadian Supply Ships in Bad Shape
According to a report from the Chronicle Herald, the Canadian navy has spent millions of dollars over the past three years to keep old supply ships afloat. Canada’s sole tanker supply ships are about 40 years old. The situation was exacerbated this summer when a $2.9b project to replace the ships was placed on the backburner. (Source: The Chronical Herald)
Eastern Shipbuilding Looking for Workers
According to a Dec. 6 report from the News Herald, Eastern Shipbuilding Group is looking to hire 80 to 100 additional full-time employees, a company official said Wednesday, at a time when multiple area companies have announced temporary or permanent job cuts. Eastern Shipbuilding currently needs pipefitters, heavy equipment operators, painters, carpenters, inside/outside machinists and welders. (Source: News Herald)
Samsung Wins Tanker Contract
According to a Korea Herald report, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. won a $422.5 million deal to build three arctic tankers for Russian state-owned shipper Sovcomflot. Samsung is the first Korean shipbuilder to receive an order for ice-breaking oil-carriers. Sovcomflot plans to operate the artic tankers over the Barents Sea between the Varandiy oil well in the Arctic Ocean and Murmansk harbor in Russia, according to the report. As oil development in the arctic region progresses, demand for at least 20 arctic tankers is expected by 2015. Source: The Korea Herald
Shipbuilding Academy Planned
Construction on a shipbuilding academy proposed for Jackson County could begin as soon as next year according to an April 26 report from the Sun Herald. Gov. Haley Barbour invited interested parties to submit a full application to the Mississippi Development Authority on May 12 for a $20 million Community Development Block Grant. The money is part of Katrina-recovery funds earmarked for economic development and disbursed through the MDA. (Source: Sun Herald)
New Zealand Oil Well Inspector Too Busy
According to a report from The New Zealand Herald, New Zealand has just one inspector to oversee safety in its oil exploration industry. A government-ordered review released last week found the inspectorate is significantly under-resourced. New Zealand has one inspector at least seven installations. Australia has one inspector for every three installations, Britain one for every two and Norway one per installation. (Source: The New Zealand Herald)
Bridge Collapsed By Chain of Barges
According to a report from the Sun Herald, on March 22, salvage crews removed debris from the Back Bay two days after a chain of eight barges crashed into the Popp’s Ferry Bridge in Biloxi, MS. The collapsed spans were lifted from atop one of the barges. Two cranes, tugboats and other heavy equipment were moved in to do the work. (Source: Sun Herald)
Ship Island Excursions to Sell Ferry
The Sun Herald has reported that Ship Island Excursions, a Gulfport harbor-based passenger ferry service, announced that it would sell one of its three ships because of a dramatic falloff in business. The company has put its 100-ft., 300-passenger capacity Captain Peteup for sale with ship broker Pinnacle Marine Corp. for $1 million. Selling the ferry will leave Ship Island Excursions with the larger 374-passenger capacity Gulf Islander and the 200-passenger capacity Pan American Clipper. Source: Sun Herald
Halifax Dock Sinking Won’t Impact Navy Work
A May 12 story from The Chronicle Herald reported that the Canadian navy’s frigate modernization program at Halifax Shipyard will be unaffected by the sinking of the Scotia Dock II, according to union officials. Layoffs were not expected but there may be some shift changes as a result of the sinking. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has a maintenance contract worth about $549m for the Canadian navy’s East Coast frigates. (Source: The Chronicle Herald)
B.C., N.S. Lobby for Competing Shipbuilding Bids
According to a report from The Chronicle Herald, the week before last Nova Scotia unveiled a plan to lobby Ottawa on behalf of Irving Shipbuilding Inc.’s Halifax Shipyard, all in a bid to win a $35b contract to build 20 navy ships over 30 years. In an effort to compete with that bid, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark announced that she will go to Ottawa to promote the bid by Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. Source: The Chronicle Herald
Hyundai, Samsung Clash in Drillship Market
According to a report from the Korean Herald, the competition in the market for drillships is heating up with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. threatening Samsung Heavy Industries Co.’s dominance. Hyundai Heavy has turned its eyes to the market in recent years. The company’s first drillship was delivered late last year and Samsung Heavy has lost its place at the top of the drillship market to Hyundai Heavy. Source: The Korean Herald
Carnival Profits Fall, Costly Second Quarter
According to a report from the Miami Herald, soaring fuel costs, deployment changes and steep discounting took a chunk out of Carnival Corp.’s second-quarter profits, despite higher revenues year over year. The company earned $206m for the period that ended May 31, an 18% drop from $252m during the same time in 2010, but Carnival’s stock still gained $1.51, or 4.23%, to end trading at $37.24. Source: Miami Herald
East Isle Christens Pair of Tugboats
(Source: The Chronicle Herald)
Memorial Service Held 30 Years After Ferry Tragedy
Grieving families affected by the Herald of Free Enterprise RO/Ro passenger ferry disaster gathered to mark the 30th anniversary memorial service in Dover on March 6. The Herald capsized in just 90 seconds after setting sail from Zeebrugge, Belgium, on Friday, March 6, 1987. It was on course for Dover when tragedy struck and 193 people lost their lives. During the service staff from the Port of Zeebrugge at the time handed over the bell recovered from the ship to Sailors’ Society CEO Stuart Rivers and Brian Gibbons, the last survivor to be pulled out alive. The former Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Bishop James Jones KBE, spoke at the service, which is held annually at St Mary’s Church by maritime charity Sailors’ Society.
Navy Objection May Sink LNG Project
The U.S. Navy could help scuttle plans of a developer that would have LNG tankers trolling through the Navy's torpedo test range in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay, according to a report in the Boston Herald. Last month, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center asked federal regulators to reconsider the decision to approve a new liquefied natural gas storage facility in Fall River – which would get its LNG via giant ships passing through the bay. The developer, Weaver's Cover LLP, has criticized the center's intervention in the controversial case, saying it was made too late. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year temporarily put a freeze on all proceedings until it can decide whether it should rehear the Weaver's Cove LNG proposal.
California: Crews Battle Benicia Dock Fire
According to a report from the Times-Herald, Benicia firefighters fought a dock fire for several hours Friday night and Saturday morning. A boat from Valero Refinery, the tugboat Millennium Fire, and Fireboat 295 from East Contra Costa Fire Protection District helped extinguish the blaze under the dock surface. A Benicia Public Works heavy equipment crew also helped by opening the pier's surface to help firefighter access. Vallejo, Valero and Fairfield fire departments, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, provided mutual aid and helped bring the fire under control by about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Source: Times-Herald
Drydock Explosion Kills Five
An explosion on board the vessel Seamec II in the Curaçao ship repair company CDM killed five workers, the Daily Herald reported. The workers had made a hole in the hull of the offshore oil platform support vessel to remove a machine that required electronic work. As usual, the company’s chemist checked for possible gasses or other dangerous substances and gave the green light. What exactly happened is unclear, but the suspicion is that there was somehow a gas leak. The first explosion was followed by a second, and then a fire with a lot of smoke. The Fire Department had to deal with the smoke and the fact that the fire heated up the boat’s steel construction. There was also the risk of more explosions.