Friday, September 2, 2016

Hanjin Shipping Files for Bankruptcy Protection

By Mark Edward Nero

Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh largest container carrier, filed a receivership application with the Seoul, South Korea Central District Court on Aug. 31 seeking court receivership after losing the support of financial institutions that had been providing it credit.

The company also stopped accepting new shipments in the wake of the filing, including at the Port of Long Beach’s Total Terminals Intl., in which Hanjin owns a majority stake.

Multiple banks, including state-run Korea Development Bank, withdrew backing for Hanjin on Aug. 30, stating that a funding plan was inadequate to tackle the company’s roughly $5 billion in debt.

The Central District Court, which accepted the receivership allocation on Sept. 1, will now decide whether Hanjin Shipping should remain in business or be dissolved. The process usually takes up to two months.

Financial problems, which have ailed the South Korea-based shipper for some time, reached a peak over the past week. Workers in the Korean port of Busan refused to work on a ship in recent days because the company hasn’t paid dues, forcing the cancellation of a berthing.

This led to three of Hanjin’s vessels being idled off the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex this week, while one was stranded near the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

Another vessel was seized in Singapore on Aug. 29, while about 10 more were impounded at Chinese ports, for failing to pay service providers, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

According to South Korea’s Financial Services Commission, Hyundai Merchant Marine, which is the country’s second largest shipping line, will look to acquire Hanjin’s healthy assets, including profit-creating vessels and overseas business networks.

POLB Receives 125 Acres of Land from Navy

By Mark Edward Nero

Port of Long Beach officials joined with US Navy, Maritime Administration and California Environmental Protection Agency representatives on Aug. 30 to commemorate the ownership transfer of 125 acres of a former Naval complex to the City of Long Beach.

The acreage was part of the former Long Beach Naval Station & Naval Shipyard that the Navy agreed to transfer to the port as part of the ongoing defense base closures that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s.

US Navy and City of Long Beach officials first worked out a lease agreement for the port to take control of the 500-acre complex on Terminal Island in 1998, allowing the Port of Long Beach to break ground on the new container terminal.

The official transfer of ownership is taking place in stages, as environmental issues are resolved. In 2001, the Navy deeded more than half the property to the City of Long Beach. After the current transfer of 125 acres, there are only two smaller parcels left to be transferred in the next few years.

The land transfer process being completed in stages allows for environmental cleanup of the property as needed. Depending on the condition of the land, the process has allowed for most of the property to be safely developed and used as soil and sediment investigations are being completed.

The Maritime Administration, or MARAD, which works to complete the transfer of surplus federal property for the development of seaports, is facilitating the process for the site.

NASSCO Christens, Launches ‘Eco-Friendly’ Tanker

By Mark Edward Nero

On Aug. 27, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard celebrated the christening and launch of the Constitution, the sixth ship in a series of eight eco-friendly tankers already constructed or under construction by the company.

The Constitution is a 610-foot, 50,000-deadweight-ton, and LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. NASSCO says the vessel symbolizes the transformation of the US shipping industry toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.

The tanker was built for SEA-Vista, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners, and is to be operated by Seabulk Tankers.

As part of the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor, Cristin Thorogood, wife of SEACOR Ocean Transport President Dan Thorogood, christened the ship with a traditional champagne bottle break over the ship’s hull. Twenty-five year NASSCO employee Sandi Dunkel pulled the trigger to release the ship into San Diego Bay.

NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the West Coast of the United States designing, building and repairing commercial and US Navy ships. In July, the company marked its seventh ship delivery in just over a year.

Deliveries within that year included three lead ships: the world’s first containership powered by liquefied natural gas, the US Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base and what NASSCO says is the nation’s most fuel efficient product tanker.

Vancouver USA Welcomes Ship’s Maiden Voyage

By Mark Edward Nero

On Aug. 30, the Port of Vancouver USA and its representatives welcomed the bulk carrier Federal Iris, commanded by Capt. Donald Satsatin Nicolas from the Philippines, on the vessel’s maiden voyage to the United States.

The Federal Iris is operated by Federal Navigation of Montreal, aka Fednav, which is Canada’s largest ocean-going dry-bulk shipping company. The vessel is owned by Panama-based Forward Gloria Navigation.

The Panama-flagged cargo vessel, which is 656 feet long with a deadweight capacity of 63,498 metric tons and a gross tonnage of 35,832, was built in Japan and launched Aug. 9.

During its time at the Port of Vancouver USA, the Federal Iris loaded about 6,700 metric tons of copper concentrate before sailing to Portland, Oregon, to load soda ash. Next, the vessel is scheduled to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to load wheat.

After the North American West Coast, her next scheduled destinations are China and Indonesia.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

NASSCO Building Container Ships for Matson

By Mark Edward Nero
San Diego-based General Dynamics NASSCO said Aug. 25 that it has signed a contract with Matson Navigation Co. to design and build two Kanaloa Class liquefied natural gas-capable containerships with roll-on/roll-off capability.

The 870-foot-long, 3,500-TEU containerships are designed with the ability to transport containers, automobiles and rolling stock, including trailers. The design also incorporates LNG-capable main and auxiliary engines, which are compliant with Tier III emission requirements.

“Our partnership with Matson builds upon NASSCO’s successful track record of constructing high-quality, highly efficient and on-time delivery for the Jones Act trade,” General Dynamics NASSCO and Bath Iron Works President Fred Harris said in a statement.

The Jones Act-qualified ships are to be built at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. Construction of the first containership is slated to begin in early 2018, with deliveries set for 2019 and mid-2020, respectively.

“We are pleased to be working with NASSCO again on new vessels for Matson. NASSCO’s deep history and reputation for quality give us confidence that these new ships will be the most advanced efficient and productive vessels in our fleet,” Matson President and CEO Matt Cox said. “Our last NASSCO vessel, RJ Pfeiffer, has been a mainstay of our Hawaii service and we look forward to adding the superior performance of these new Kanaloa Class vessels to the fleet.”

Once delivered, both ships are expected to serve a trade route between the continental West Coast and Hawaii.

Over the past decade, NASSCO has delivered 28 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customers, including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships. The company partners with Daewoo Ship Engineering Co. to provide ship design and shipbuilding technologies for customers.

First of 2 Fireboats Delivered to POLB

By Mark Edward Nero

The first of two large fireboats designed by Canadian naval architectural firm Robert Allan Ltd. and built at Foss Maritime’s Seattle shipyard has been delivered to the Port of Long Beach, Robert Allan Ltd. revealed Aug. 16.

The first RAnger V-3300 fireboat, Protector, went into service in June of 2016; the second vessel, Vigilance, is expected in mid-2017.

Robert Allan Ltd., which specializes in designing high-performance response vessels, particularly large fireboats for major ports worldwide, was awarded the contract to prepare plans and specifications for a pair of fireboats for the Port of Long Beach in the summer of 2011.

Long Beach’s two new fireboats feature Voith cycloidal drives in a tractor configuration, giving the vessels exceptional maneuverability and the ability to fight fires in any orientation.

During the design phase, Robert Allan Ltd. said, it optimized the hull form, ensuring the vessel meet two important criteria: minimum wake when traveling both ahead and astern at eight knots and good heavy weather seakeeping ability.

“High speed was not a priority for this project; low wake and good seakeeping were deemed to be of greater importance,” the company said in a statement.

The total aggregate pumping capacity of each vessel is 41,000 gallons per minute, with the single largest monitor capable of delivering 12,000 gpm a distance of almost 600 feet. The vessels are also capable of providing over 30,000 gpm of water shore-side through four-inch hoses to support land-based firefighting operations.

The new fireboats are equipped with specialized HVAC filters, a decontamination shower, and chemical detectors, as well as a Command Information Center that enables them to perform on-scene command duties and communicate with other agencies.

The design of the vessels, according to the builder, was heavily influenced by fireboat Warner L. Lawrence – a 2001 Robert Allan Ltd. design that’s homeported at the Port of Los Angeles.

New SF Fireboat Delivered

By Mark Edward Nero

A new $11.8 million fireboat designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle and built by Vigor Industrial of Portland, Oregon has been delivered to the San Francisco Fire Dept.

The vessel is scheduled to be christened in October, after it has undergone testing.

The state-of-the-art 88-foot vessel, which has not yet had a name chosen for it, had been under construction since October 2014. Construction of the new boat was delayed several times for various reasons; at one point, the electrical subcontractor company working on it went bankrupt.

The fireboat was finally delivered to the city of San Francisco in late July after a three-day journey from the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Examiner reported earlier this month.

The vessel, currently known as Fireboat 3, is capable of pumping 18,000 gallons per minute through five water cannons. She is equipped with a stern launch ramp, similar to those US Coast Guard cutters use to deploy pursuit boats to capture smugglers.

Other features of the new vessel include: an enhanced foam firefighting system for the suppression of petroleum-based fires; a patient treatment area for EMS response; radiation detection equipment; remote firefighting systems to prevent firefighters being exposed to heat and smoke; a rapid deployment rescue boat; advanced marine electronics; command center; and an on-board compressor for filling air bottles for firefighting and dive operations.

The SF Fire Dept. says it paid for the new boat mostly with a port security grant along with $400,000 from the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative.

The SFFD also has two other fireboats, Guardian, which entered service in 1990, and Phoenix, which was commissioned in 1955. Although the city says it is still contemplating whether to keep all three fireboats, the Phoenix had previously been scheduled for decommissioning as a cost-saving measure. A christening for the vessel is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 17.

Port Seeks Development Director

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Port Townsend said Aug. 23 that it’s accepting applications for the newly-created position of Director of Operations & Business Development, a job in which the person hired would be responsible for the port’s business operations, property management and business development.

As part of the port’s executive team, the development director would provide input and analysis for strategic planning and implementation. Among the listed duties: attending Port Commission meetings and workshops; carrying out policies set forth by the Executive Director and the Commission; and acting on behalf of the port’s executive director, when required.

Minimum qualifications include a BA or BS degree in business administration, public administration, marketing, engineering, economics, or related area. Applicants must also have a minimum of five years of senior management of industrial operations, marine facilities, property management and development, and business development required.

Excellent negotiating skills and the ability to work in a team environment, are also desired, as well as experience and familiarity with public sector management comparable to the port’s business, operations, and maintenance functions.

The complete job description, job requirements and application are available online at or at the Port of Port Townsend Administration Office, 2701 Jefferson St., Port Townsend between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. First review of applications is set for Sept. 2.

The Port of Port Townsend, located in Jefferson County, Wash., on the northeast corner of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, owns and operate a diverse group of facilities, including three marinas; a marine trades industrial area; boat launches at several sites around eastern Jefferson County; and Union Wharf and City Dock in downtown Port Townsend.