Shipbuilding News, August 2018

VT Halter delivers Crowley’s first LNG-powered con-ro

Crowley Maritime has taken delivery of El Coqui, the first of two Jones Act-compliant, LNG-powered container/roll-on/roll-off ships (con-ros) built in Pascagoula, Miss., by VT Halter Marine.

El Coqui is the lead vessel in Crowley’s Commitment class. It is one of the first vessels of its kind anywhere in the world. The ship will carry cargo between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

El Coqui and its sister vessel Taino, which is still under construction, are 720 feet long. They can carry up to 2,400 TEU in containers and up to 400 vehicles in ventilated weathertight ro-ro decks.

“This delivery represents another milestone in our unwavering commitment to Puerto Rico and the Jones Act,” said Tom Crowley, chairman and CEO. “We have dedicated significant time, effort and more than $550 million, which includes these new ships, to transform our Puerto Rico shipping and logistics services to world-class standards. We thank the men and women at Crowley, VT Halter Marine and other partners, who have dedicated themselves to bringing this magnificent new ship to life.”

VT Halter President and CEO Rob Mullins also praised the shipbuilder’s work force.

Liquefied natural gas is gaining wider acceptance in the shipping industry, in part because it burns substantially cleaner than marine diesel. LNG emits 100 percent less sulfur oxide and particulate matter and 92 percent less nitrogen oxide. Carbon output is about 35 percent less on a per-container basis, Crowley said.

The new vessels will take fuel in Jacksonville from a depot developed with Eagle LNG Partners.

NYC Ferry welcomes 350-passenger vessel

Amid rising demand, NYC Ferry has taken delivery of a new vessel that holds more than twice as many people as its standard ferries.

The 350-passenger Ocean Queen Rockstar was scheduled to enter service in late July carrying passengers on four routes around New York City. Metal Shark built the ferry based on an Incat Crowther design, and the Louisiana-based shipyard will deliver five more in the coming months.

Ocean Queen Rockstar will help us meet growing demand for this service and get even more New Yorkers to their destinations throughout the city,” said James Patchett, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corp.

The 16 other vessels in the NYC Ferry fleet are set up for 149 passengers. The larger vessel has additional seating space inside on the main deck and above on the open second deck.

The city agency has partnered with Hornblower to operate the service, which includes routes serving four of New York City’s five boroughs. The service has carried more than 5 million people since its launch in May 2017. Demand is expected to reach 9 million people a year in 2023.

Eastern Shipbuilding wins contract for Bisso tugs

E.N. Bisso & Son has selected Eastern Shipbuilding for two new Tier 4 ship-assist and escort tugboats designed by Robert Allan Ltd.

The 80-foot RApport 2400 tugs will be powered by twin 2,550-hp Caterpillar engines paired with Rolls-Royce z-drives. Electrical power will come from John Deere gensets. Other components will include a Stang firefighting monitor and Markey Machinery winch and capstan.

E.N. Bisso is a longtime Eastern customer. The Panama City, Fla., shipyard has delivered four vessels for the New Orleans operator since 2006. Delivery details on the new tugs were not disclosed.

URI to receive new National Science Foundation ship

The National Science Foundation is building a new oceanographic research ship that will be operated by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography based in Narragansett Bay.

Gulf Island Shipyard of Houma, La., is building the 199-by-41-foot ship outfitted with science labs, modern research equipment and comfortable accommodations. It will have a 13-person crew and berthing for up to 16 scientists. Its cruising range will be 5,400 miles.

The $100 million ship designed by Seattle-based Glosten will be used by the East Coast Oceanographic Consortium led by URI. Other members of the consortium include Harvard University, the University of New Hampshire and the University of South Florida.

“This is particularly exciting news for the new School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at UNH,” said Larry Mayer, director of the school. “As a member of the East Coast Oceanographic Consortium with access to this new state-of-the-art research vessel, UNH scientists will have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a range of important coastal and deep-sea research experiments.”

The steel-hulled science vessel is one of three that Gulf Island is building. The lead vessel in the class will be operated by Oregon State University, which is managing construction of all three vessels.

Delivery of the vessel bound for Narragansett Bay is scheduled for 2021. It will replace the 185-foot research ship Endeavor, which has logged more than 1 million nautical miles during more than 40 years of service.

Gunderson Marine gets order for ATB barge

Gunderson Marine of Portland, Ore., announced on Aug. 1 that it is building a 204,000-barrel oil and chemical tank barge for Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG).

The 581-foot U.S.-flagged tank barge will be paired with two of the operator’s existing tugs to form an articulated tug-barge unit. The vessels will work in the coastwise Jones Act trade, according to Gunderson parent company Greenbrier Cos.

“The Gunderson Marine contract for construction of a new barge is an exciting development for OSG,” said Sam Norton, OSG’s president and CEO. “This transaction represents the first significant new capital investment into our Jones Act businesses in nearly a decade and is an affirmation of our commitment to operate ATBs, as well as tankers, within this market.”

Delivery is scheduled for mid-2020. The contract also includes an option for a second barge that would be delivered in late 2020.

MarAd awards $20 million to small shipyards

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) has awarded grants worth more than $20 million to 29 small American shipyards to support large-scale capital improvements.

Since 2008, the agency’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded more than $183 million. The recipients all have fewer than 1,200 production employees.

“By supporting small shipyards, we are investing in the maritime infrastructure of the country,” said Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby.

MarAd, which is within the U.S. Department of Transportation, noted that American shipyards provide 400,000 jobs, which generate more than $37 billion annually in economic activity.

Grant recipients include Master Boat Builders of Bayou La Batre, Ala., which got $1.3 million toward the purchase of a 182-ton crawler, 55-ton mobile crane and 30-ton rough terrain crane; Washburn & Doughty of East Boothbay, Maine, which received $618,750 toward the purchase of robotic welding machines and a CNC lathe; and Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, Md., which received $492,047 for four extending booth forklifts, a mobile crane and other needs.

Click here for the complete list of shipyard grant recipients.

By Professional Mariner Staff