Shipbuilding News, December 2013

Marinette Marine delivers new NOAA ship

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) took delivery of Reuben Lasker in November. The vessel is the agency’s newest high-tech fisheries survey vessel and was built by Marinette Marine Corp. (MMC), a Fincantieri company. The 208-foot ship will primarily support fish, marine mammals and turtle surveys off the U.S. West Coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Built at MMC’s shipyard in Marinette, Wis., and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Reuben Lasker is the fifth in a series of Oscar Dyson-class ships built for the agency. The ship is equipped with the latest technology for fisheries and oceanographic research, including advanced navigation systems, acoustic sensors and scientific sampling gear.

The ship is engineered to produce much less noise than other survey vessels, allowing scientists to study fish populations and collect oceanographic data with fewer effects on fish and marine mammal behavior. The ship's comprehensive environmental sampling capabilities will enable researchers to gather a broad suite of marine life data with unprecedented accuracy.

“The fisheries survey vessel Reuben Lasker is designed to produce so little sound that our scientists can survey marine species without disturbing the animals’ behavior or compromising the capabilities of our most sensitive acoustic equipment,” said Richard Merrick, chief scientist for NOAA Fisheries. "The vessel will support research that is essential to sustain and rebuild our nation's marine resources.”

The ship is named after the late Reuben Lasker, a pioneering fisheries biologist who served as the director of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s coastal fisheries division and as adjunct professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. Lasker directed a renowned research group that focused on the survival and transition of young fish to adulthood, a topic with implications for fisheries management throughout the world.

NOAA plans to commission Reuben Lasker in 2014. The ship will be based in San Diego.


Shallow draft tender for Alaska’s Norton Sound

Kvichak Marine Industries Inc. of Seattle in November was awarded a contract by Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. to build an all-aluminum 66-foot Shallow Draft Tender to be used for multiple fisheries in and around Norton Sound in Alaska.

Designed by Kvichak Marine, the 66-foot-by-25-foot tender will be powered by twin Cummins QSM11 marine diesel engines rated for 450 bhp at 2,100 rpm. The engines are coupled to ZF 360 transmissions that drive NiBrAl four-blade propellers.

Delivery is scheduled for spring 2014.


Eastern Shipbuilding delivers Bravante V

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. announced the delivery of Bravante V on Nov. 29 to Boldini SA, Bravante Group of Brazil.

The vessel is the first in a series of five STX SV290 design vessels which are all ABS, SOLAS, DPS-2, AC Diesel-Electric powered, twin z-drive-propelled platform supply vessels measuring 284 feet by 60 feet by 24.5 feet. The vessels feature four Cummins QSK-60DM 16-cylinder turbo-charged IMO Tier II diesel generator engines each rated at 1825 kW at 1,800 rpm.

Cummins also furnished the four Marathon model 744 690VAC main generators. Main propulsion power is provided by two 690VAC electric motors driving two Schottel Combi-Drives SCD 202, single fixed pitch props with nozzles rated at 2,500 kW at 750 rpm each for a total of 6,700 hp. Schottel provided two STT 4 fixed pitch reversing tunnel thrusters rated at 1,180 kW at 1,170 rpm, each with directly coupled Hyundai 690VAC electric motors. GE Energy provided the complete system integrated diesel electric package, including the thruster drives, motors, control systems, DP system, switchboards, motor control centers, automation and navigation/communication electronics. The vessels are capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots with a cruising speed of 12 knots. The fully integrated bridge is arranged for increased visibility and features the latest technology in navigation/communication equipment.


Nuvera Fuel Cells and Fincantieri collaborate on new fuel cell technology

Nuvera Fuel Cells of Billerica, Mass., will be working with Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri, on a program to power marine vessels with advanced fuel cell technology. Nuvera has been commissioned to produce and deliver eight of its Orion fuel cell stacks (total power 260 kW), which will be used as range extenders for use on marine vessels. Nuvera’s fuel cell auxiliary power units will provide marine vessels with air-independent propulsion (AIP). This is the same technology used in non-nuclear submarines, which allows them to operate without the need to surface for oxygen. AIP generates electricity, which in turn drives an electric motor for propulsion or for recharging the boat's batteries. One of the outcomes of using this is silent operation. The usage of hydrogen fuel cells in marine vessels reduces the exhaust emissions, vibrations, noise and costs associated with marine diesel power plants. Orion fuel cell stacks are Nuvera’s line of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), which offer best-in-class power density in sizes ranging from 10 to 300 kW. The program is scheduled to begin in December. Nuvera is aiming to deliver all eight Orion fuel cell stack prototype units by mid-2014.


Silver Ships awarded Navy HSMST contract

Silver Ships Inc. of Theodore, Ala., has been awarded a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for the construction of High Speed Maneuverable Surface Targets (HSMSTs). The U.S. Navy maintains an inventory of HSMSTs to be utilized mainly for weapon system test and evaluation and fleet training exercises at nine seaborne target operating ranges. This order of 100 HSMSTs includes trailers, shipping cradles and spares for a first year awarded contract value of roughly $11.7 million. The total estimated ceiling value of the awards is $48 million. Work is expected to be completed by November 2018.


VT Halter builds first LNG ConRo ships for Crowley

Crowley announced on Nov. 25 that it has signed a contract with VT Halter Marine, of Pascagoula, Miss., to build two of the world’s first LNG-powered ConRo ships. The ships are designed to travel at speeds up to 22 knots and carry containers ranging in size from 20-foot standard to 53-foot-long, 102-inch-wide, high-capacity units, along with hundreds of vehicles in enclosed, weather-tight car decking.

Dubbed Commitment class, the 719-foot Jones Act ships are scheduled for delivery in second and fourth quarter 2017 and will replace Crowley’s towed triple-deck barge fleet, which has served the trade continuously and with distinction since the early 1970s. The new ships will be named El Coquí (ko-kee) and Taíno (tahy-noh).

By Professional Mariner Staff