Friday, October 9, 2015

Willard Marine Wins NOAA Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Anaheim-based boat builder Willard Marine has won a contract to provide the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with three aluminum hydrographic survey launch (HSL) ships, the company announced Oct. 1.

The three 28-foot vessels are to be used on the coastal waters of the United States to conduct oceanographic surveys with hull-mounted and towed sonar units. A Cummins QSC8.3 engine capable of 510 HP will power the boats through a ZF Marine 305-2 transmission.

Outfitted to support traditional manned survey operations, the HSLs will, according to Willard Marine, offer additional flexibility to add unmanned autonomous capability. Two Willard Marine HSLs are expected to be built for the 208-foot NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson, and an additional Willard Marine HSL is planned for the 231-foot NOAA ship Rainier.

The crews of the Thomas Jefferson and Rainier conduct hydrographic surveys for the primary purpose of updating NOAA’s suite of nautical charts. Commercial shipping, commercial fishing and recreational vessels all rely on accurate NOAA nautical charts for safe navigation of coastal water in the United States.

“NOAA has been procuring fiberglass SOLAS rescue boats from Willard Marine since 2004,” Willard Marine President Ulrich Gottschling said, “and we are proud to continue serving them with larger, aluminum survey ships to support their very important charting responsibilities,” Gottschling added.

The customized HSLs for NOAA are derived from a former SeaArk Marine commercial boat design that Willard Marine acquired the licensing rights to last year. The HSLs are scheduled to be delivered to NOAA in fall 2016.

King County Dedicates New Water Taxi

By Mark Edward Nero

King County Dedicates New Water Taxi
King County Executive Dow Constantine and a host of other dignitaries were on hand recently for the dedication of the M/V Doc Maynard, a ferry built by Bellingham, Washington-based All American Marine.

The ferry is currently replacing the M/V Sally Fox, which was also built by All American and is being removed from service for scheduled warranty work. When Sally Fox is back in service, Doc Maynard will move to the Seattle-West Seattle route.

“This new boat – the first all-new water taxi from West Seattle to downtown in generations – will improve what is already a fast, reliable link for thousands of commuters,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said during a mid-September dedication ceremony. “Like its twin, the Sally Fox, the M/V Doc Maynard has highly efficient engines, uses cleaner-burning biodiesel, and can carry more passengers than the boat it is replacing.”

The M/V Doc Maynard is larger than the catamaran it’s replacing; the vessel carries 278 passengers. It also has indoor and outdoor seating, ADA accessible bathrooms and wheelchair tie-downs, space for 26 bicycles and video screens that will display safety, schedule and trip information.
Dock modifications are being planned to accommodate the larger vessel.

The Doc Maynard and Sally Fox both support King County’s climate change goals by using a 10 percent blend of homegrown biodiesel. By using biodiesel, each vessel is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 140 metric tons annually, the equivalent of powering 20 homes for a year.

Harley Marine Adds Execs

By Mark Edward Nero

Seattle-based Harley Marine Services announced Oct. 7 that it is adding two members to its management team: it has named Don Martin to the position of Vice President & General Counsel and Steve Carlson as Vice President of Engineering.

Carlson joins Harley Marine Services from Alaska Marine Lines, where he served as General Manager of Marine Engineering. Prior to joining AML, he held senior leadership positions with Kvichak Marine and the US Coast Guard.

Carlson retired from the Coast Guard at the rank of captain after 24 years of service, with his last assignment being Chief of the Office of Naval Engineering where he oversaw engineering and logistics support to the entire Coast Guard fleet of over 230 ships and 1,500 boats.

He has advanced degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from the University of Michigan, an executive development program certificate from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree from the US Coast Guard Academy.

He is also a licensed professional engineer in Washington state.

Martin joins Harley Marine after a stint as Vice President and General Counsel for Delta Western and Hawaii Petroleum where he oversaw all aspects of safety, risk management and regulatory compliance for the fuel distribution companies.

Prior to Delta Western, he was the Director of US Flag Shipping for ConocoPhillips and previously held positions with Crowley Maritime, Exxon Shipping and Olympic Tug & Barge, a subsidiary of Harley Marine.

He attended the University of Washington, the California Maritime Academy, and holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of the Puget Sound.

Seattle Port Names Maritime Director

By Mark Edward Nero

Lindsay Pulsifer, who was selected as the interim Maritime Division Managing Director for the Port of Seattle in August, has been confirmed by port CEO Ted Fick as being chosen to hold the position in a full-time capacity.

“As the Port of Seattle undergoes tremendous growth and change, Lindsay embodies the culture and values we seek to achieve,” Fick said in an Oct. 5 statement. “She will provide stability and continuity to the organization, with full ownership and accountability to lead the division.”

Pulsifer fills the void that opened with the departure of former Maritime Division Managing Director Linda Styrk, who in July accepted a new position as Executive Director for the Puget Sound Pilots, the group that works with ship captains to safely direct vessels into and out of harbors and waterways.

In her new role, Pulsifer is responsible for directing the strategic and daily operations of Maritime Environmental Services, Harbor Services, Marine Maintenance, Industrial Properties and Cruise Operations.

Pulsifer has been with the port more than 30 years, having started out on the docks as a crane mechanic. In addition to her years of experience, Pulsifer holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington.

“The Maritime division is full of talented, hardworking folks,” Pulsifer said. “I am thrilled to have the honor and responsibility to lead the division.”

Monday, October 5, 2015

Diesel Spill at Astoria Port

By Mark Edward Nero

Personnel from the US Coast Guards Columbia River sector, along with other local agencies, responded to a diesel fuel spill from a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier at Pier 1 in the Port of Astoria on the morning of Oct. 2.

The M/V Global Gold, a 565-foot Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier, spilled 1,100 gallons of diesel fuel into the Columbia River after the vessel allided with the pier the night of Oct. 1.

USCG watch standers received the initial report from a facility security officer at about 12:50 a.m. Oct. 2 after the vessel reportedly sustained damage and was leaking diesel oil from a four-foot gash in the hull on the port side above the waterline after it hit the pier while pulling in.

Responders surrounded the Global Gold and the pier with a protective boom and then the unified command composed of the Coast Guard, Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality, Washington State Department of Ecology and the responsible party completed the cleanup of diesel fuel spilled near Pier 1 of the Port of Astoria, Sunday.

The Global Gold now has a soft patch in place on the damaged section of the hull and is not taking on water, according to the USCG, and all diesel fuel was either cleaned up or dissipated.

Cleanup contractors on scene at Pier 1 demobilized the morning of Oct. 4.

The investigation phase of the response is still on-going and the Global Gold has not been cleared to take on a load or move from the pier, USCG marine inspector at Sector Columbia River Lt. Samud Looney said. The ship has submitted a vessel repair plan to the captain of the port that includes having the repairs completed at Pier 1.

POLA Sees Record Pollutant Reductions

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Los Angeles has set new records for cutting harmful emissions from port-related sources, findings from a 10th straight year of tracking air pollution show.

The ports 2014 Air Emissions Inventory, which was released Oct. 1, reports NOx emissions are down 52 percent, while diesel particulate matter is down an unprecedented 85 percent and sulfur oxides are bordering on total elimination, having plummeted 97 percent since 2005.

The data shows that the port has surpassed its 2014 emission reduction goals set in 2010 for DPM, SOx and nitrogen oxides.

Our aggressive clean air program at the Port shows that we can grow our economy while reducing pollutants up to 97 percent, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. Overall, the business of moving cargo through America's no. 1 container port is cleaner than ever.

The detailed inventory measures emissions of key pollutants from ships, trucks, locomotives, cargo handling equipment and small harbor craft. The latest findings are based on data collected during calendar year 2014. The baseline is 2005, the year before the landmark San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan was adopted, allowing the port to measure the full impact of the comprehensive program from the start.

The port attributes much of the progress in 2014 to vessel emission reduction measures. Leading programs include plugging into shore power under the states at-berth regulation, which took effect Jan. 1, 2014. At least half of most container, refrigerated and cruise ships calling at Californias six largest ports are now required to run their auxiliary engines on shore-based electricity, which eliminates virtually all emissions while a vessel is at berth.

Also in 2014, the state required vessels entering California waters to switch to the cleanest available marine fuel. As of Jan. 1, 2014, ships must run on fuel whose sulfur content is at or below 0.1 percent within 24 nautical miles of the California coast. The regulation took effect a full year ahead of a requirement now in place out to 200 nautical miles for all North America.

Vessels also played a major role in a six percent uptick of NOx emissions at the port in 2014. During a temporary period of congestion in the last quarter of the year, container ships waiting at anchor increased 69 percent from the previous year. Since plugging into shore-based electricity to power auxiliary engines was not an option, emissions increased.

The short-lived situation, which carried over into the first quarter of 2015, is expected to be a factor in next years inventory.

Oakland Lands Emissions Reduction Grant

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Port of Oakland a $277,885 grant to help with upgrading cargo-handling equipment and reduce exhaust emissions on the waterfront.

The funds are for use at the TraPac marine terminal, one of five terminals operating in Oakland. The port said it contacted all four terminal operating companies in Oakland about pursuing the environmental grant. Several expressed interest, but ultimately TraPac was the only one that stepped forward.

Under the EPAs National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant, TraPac will use the funds to upgrade four rubber-tired gantry cranes and a top-pick equipment used in container yards to load boxes onto trucks for delivery to customers.
All are to be be re-engineered with clean diesel engines or exhaust filters.

The retrofits and upgrades are expected to result in significant emissions reductions, including a 94 percent reduction in carbon monoxide; a 92 percent drop in oxides of nitrogen; a 44 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter; and a 41 percent reduction in hydrocarbons.

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2016.

These reductions represent another great step towards our progress in meeting the ports goal of reducing health risk related to diesel particulate matter emissions by 85 percent, Richard Sinkoff, the director of environmental programs and planning at the port, said.

TOTE, MARAD Partner on LNG Study

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) said Oct. 5 that it has entered into a $900,000 cooperative agreement with TOTE Maritime to develop knowledge regarding the costs and benefits of vessel conversions to liquefied natural gas propulsion.

The demonstration project on the use of LNG for containership propulsion is a part of an ongoing program to promote increased use of alternative fuels and technology in the maritime industry.

TOTE is converting the containership M/V Midnight Sun to operate on LNG and will work with MARAD to obtain pre and post-conversion air emissions data, and operational information to assist maritime stakeholders in assessing the potential of LNG conversions.

The study is expected to be completed by 2018.

The M/V Midnight Sun is a roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) cargo ship that provides round-trip shipping service between the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Anchorage. TOTE signed a contract with Finnish corporation Wärtsilä in late 2013 for the conversion of the Midnight Sun and its sister ship, the M/V North Star, to run on LNG. The conversions are expected to be among the largest ever undertaken in North America.