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Friday, December 14, 2018

Washington News

Hepburn and Sons Appoints Crone as Director

CAPT Timothy Crone (Photo: Hepburn and Sons LLC)

Hepburn and Sons LLC team has welcomed CAPT Timothy Crone as its newest Director. CAPT Timothy Crone, USN (Ret) will serve as Hepburn’s Director, Advisory Services.CAPT Crone, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the US Naval Academy and completed a Master of Science in Justice, Law and Society from American University. He has also received a Master of Arts in National Security Policy and Strategic Studies from the U.S.

Russia's Novatek Plans to Speed Up LNG Reloading After U.S. Criticism

Photo courtesy of Novatek

Leonid Mikhelson, the head of Russia's gas producer Novatek, said on Tuesday the company will need to speed up construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) reloading facilities after Washington slammed Norway for helping it to tranship gas.Allowing ship-to-ship transfers in Norwegian waters from Yamal in Arctic Russia, one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, undercuts Europe's energy diversification efforts, the U.S. State Department said last month.Mikhelson…

Coast Guard Commandant Optimistic About Icebreaker Funding

A file image of the Coast Guard's lone heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star. Image CREDIT: USCG

The United States may soon get funding for a new heavy icebreaker ship, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday, as global warming spurs the race to stake out the Arctic, which is rich in oil, gas, and minerals.The United States has two operational icebreakers - a heavy one, the Polar Star, which is more than 42 years old and has outlived its life expectancy by a dozen years, and a medium one, the Healy cutter.By comparison, Russia has about 40 to 50 icebreakers, purpose-built vessels that can rescue other ships…

The Tipping Point: U.S. Exports more Oil than it Imports

© VanderWolf Images/Adobe Stock

The United States last week exported more crude oil and fuel than it imported for the first time on record, underscoring the nation's growing influence as a supplier of oil to the world.Exports of crude surged in the week to Nov. 30 to more than 3.2 million barrels per day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.When adding in all imports and exports of crude and refined products, for the week the U.S. exported a net 211,000 bpd – the first time that has happened, according to U.S.

Interview: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz visits with Coast Guard crews stationed in
New York City. U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was offered the opportunity to interview Admiral Karl Schultz, the 26th Commandant in the history of the United States Coast Guard, in his office in Washington, DC. Just five months into his tenure, his plate is predictably full with a number of challenges, including: Attracting and retaining future U.S. Coast Guard personnel; addressing a number of assymetric threats, including cyber attacks; and ensuring captial and operating budgets are adequate to safely and efficiently carry out a global mission envelope, to name but a few.

Moose to the Rescue

This West Coast boat builder stays busy creating high quality fireboats for a diverse set of demanding, multi-missioned first responders. For Moose customer satisfaction is the name of the game. This year, they’ve got that box checked.Vallejo,CA-based Moose Boats builds aluminum catamaran and monohull vessels designed to meet a variety of mission-specific applications for military, law enforcement, emergency response, firefighting and security patrol purposes. It’s been a busy year for Moose…

ATB Push Tug Island Raider Enters Service

Island Raider / ITB Resolution in Burrard Inlet (photo credit: Carolyn Matt, Island Tug)

Canada-based provider of oil cargo transportation services Island Tug and Barge Ltd informed that s new ATB push tug the Island Raider has entered service pushing the double hulled refined petroleum products barge, ITB Resolution.The Island Raider is the first of two, twin Z-drive, ATB push tugs for service on the West Coast of North America. Constructed at Island Tug’s Annacis Island Shipyard on the Fraser River, the Island Raider is connected by an articulating pin system to…

Russia Ignores Western Calls to Free Captured Ukrainian Ships

© andriano_cz/Adobe Stock

Russia on Monday ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships it fired on and captured near Crimea at the weekend and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict.Kiev in turn accused Russia of military aggression and put its armed forces on full combat alert, saying it reserved the right to defend itself. Ukrainian lawmakers were due to decide whether to introduce martial law for two months later on Monday, a move President Petro Poroshenko…

Passenger Vessel Fire Subject of NTSB Meeting

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday its intent to hold a board meeting, Dec. 11, 2018, to determine the probable cause of the Jan. 14, 2018, fire aboard the passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River near Port Richey, Florida.One passenger died and 14 others were transported to area hospitals in the accident that left the vessel so damaged it was declared a constructive total loss.The Island Lady had 53 people aboard when at about 4 p.m. the captain received a high-temperature alarm for the port engine’s jacket-water system.

Former U.S. Navy Captain Pleads Guilty in Corruption, Fraud Probe

File Image: AdobeStock / © Renaschild

A retired U.S. Navy captain pleaded guilty to criminal conflict of interest charges and a former U.S. Navy master chief was sentenced to 17 months in prison today on corruption charges. The defendants are among the latest U.S. Navy officials to plead guilty and be sentenced in the expansive corruption and fraud investigation involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his Singapore-based ship husbanding company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Adam L.

EPA Funds Diesel Pollution Abatement Efforts in Mid-Atlantic Region

file Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © tarasov

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced funding for three clean diesel projects totaling $4.7 million to reduce air pollution from aging diesel engines in the Mid-Atlantic region.The funding will go to the Maryland Environmental Service (MES), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association, (MARAMA) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (WashCOG).“Taking steps to reduce emissions from older diesel engines rates among some of the most cost-effective measures we can take to improve the air we all breathe…

U.S. Flag Vessel Safety

Image: NTSB

Congressional and Agency Actions to Implement Changes to U.S.-Flag Vessel Safety Requirements Three Years after the M/V El Faro IncidentOctober 1, 2018 marked three years since the tragic sinking of the M/V El Faro – ranking as one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history and resulting in the highest death toll for a U.S. commercial vessel sinking in almost 40 years. Following this incident, both the  National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and U.S. Coast Guard spent considerable  effort to investigate this incident.

Metal Shark Completes Passenger Ferries

Image courtesy Metal Shark

A pair or 105-ft., 150-passenger high speed aluminum ferries built by Metal Shark have completed construction and are ready to enter service for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA). The first boat was completed earlier this year and delivered to New Orleans in July. The second vessel is 100% complete at Metal Shark’s Franklin, La., shipyard where it passed U.S. Coast Guard inspections at the beginning of October and is ready for delivery to New Orleans at RTA’s discretion.The new passenger ferries…

Afghan Launches India-Iran Shipping

Map: Strategic Frontier Research for Defence

Afghan Ministry of Transportation will soon launch a commercial shipping line with the assistance of the Islamic Republic of Iran to conduct business activities between Chabahar Free Trade Zone and India.IRNA reported quoted the Afghan Ministry of Transportation as saying that the shipping sector would soon be formed and the ships could operate commercial activities with the flag of Afghanistan in free waters.The other local media hailed the move saying that Afghan will soon establish a department of shipping and ships will plough the ocean flying the Afghan flag.

DSC Dredge CEO Wetta Delivers Ghana Fact-Finding Trip Report

Bob Wetta, President and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC, right, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during PAC-DBIA. (Photo: DSC Dredge)

As a member of the President’s Advisory Council – Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), Bob Wetta attended the September 26, 2018 Fact-Finding Trip Report meeting in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and 13 other U.S. Government officials. Their purpose was to deliberate and adopt the final report of the 2016-2018 term of the PAC-DBIA. Prepared by IBM’s Takreem El-Tohamy, but unfortunately unable to attend the meeting, Bob Wetta presented the Ghana information…

US Grants Temporary Iran Oil Waivers to Eight Countries

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

The United States has granted exemptions to eight countries allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, as Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran's banking, energy and shipping industries.Some of the eight countries - China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea - include OPEC member Iran's top customers.Pompeo said more than 20 countries have already cut their oil imports from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1 million barrels per day.(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Susan Heavey and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing

Port of Everett Becomes First Port to Receive Federal Rail Loan

Pic: Port of Everett

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau will provide up to a $5.95 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to the Port of Everett in the State of Washington. The Port of Everett is the first Port to make it through the complex loan process.“I’ve been proud to work with the Port of Everett to secure federal investments to ensure the Port continues to meet the demands of the 21st century economy, and I’m thrilled to see the federal government bring even more resources to the table.

U.S. Soybean Growers Mull Box Shipping as Trade War, Record Harvest Loom

Shortsea Container Shipping (File image / CREDIT Samskip)

Illinois Soybean Association Rallies U.S. Growers to Consider Shipping Via Container to Find New Markets for Anticipated Record Harvest.The anticipated bumper harvest of U.S. soybeans this fall amid a trade dispute with China presents an opportunity for growers to reach new international markets with containerized shipping. Farmers this spring sowed more soybeans than corn for the first time in 35 years. But prices have dropped since China, the world’s biggest market for soybeans, placed a 25 percent tax on imported U.S. soybeans, in response to U.S. tariffs on a swath of Chinese goods.

No Waiver for Japan on Iran Sanctions

File Image / AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Japan said on Thursday it had not yet been granted a waiver from a U.S. plan to reimpose sanctions aimed at cutting Iran out of international markets, while the top two customers for Iranian oil, China and India, were awaiting word on possible exemptions.The United States has said it is considering waivers on sanctions for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil. The renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran are set to come into effect on Nov. 4."Japan-U.S. talks have been conducted four times so far on U.S.

Meet USCG Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz

Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard. Photo: USCG

Last week Maritime Reporter & Engineering News had the opportunity to sit with Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, in his office in Washington, D.C. for a wide ranging discussion on all matters coast guard and maritime. The 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard has occupied the top seat for just under five months, and he  is starting to clearly shape the major initiatives that will define his tenure. Diversity in the Coast Guard ranks…

Washington State's New Ferry Starts Operations

Suquamish in Elliott Bay during sea trials in July 2018. (Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation)

The newest auto/passenger vessel to serve the United States' largest ferry system has made its debut on the U.S. West Coast.Washington State Ferries (WSF) began carrying passengers aboard the newest state ferry, Suquamish, sailing from Clinton, Wash. on October 4.The 1,500 passenger and 144 vehicle capacity Suquamish, constructed by U.S. shipbuilder Vigor and christened earlier this year, is the fourth and last of the funded Olympic Class ferries, built to replace the midcentury-era Evergreen State Class vessels.

US Navy Returns to Israeli Port in Sign of 'Deep Alliance'

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Mediterranean Sea Sept. 3, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Ryan U. Kledzik)

A U.S. Navy warship has docked in the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, the first such visit there in almost 20 years, in what officials from both sides hailed as a sign of their strong ties in the face of shared adversaries like Iran.Foreign navies generally prefer northern Haifa as their Israeli port of call, so the destroyer USS Ross's arrival at Ashdod potentially signaled Washington's interest in broadened berthing options for its Mediterranean Sixth Fleet."This visit has significance.

Lady Washington Opens for Public Visit

Photo: Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority

Tall Ship Lady Washington will be docked at Jack London Square at the foot of Broadway, Saturday and Sunday, informed a press release from Port of Oakland.Visitors can experience maritime history by taking a vessel tour for a small donation to the floating museum. There are also ticketed sailing trips on San Francisco Bay.Lady Washington was built in Aberdeen, Washington, by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority and launched in 1989. She is a full-scale replica of the…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2018 - Great Ships of 2018

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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