Shipbuilding News May 2011

Algoma shows increased commitment to Great Lakes shipping

Algoma Central Corp., a major shipper of dry bulk products, plans to invest as much as $400 million in Great Lakes shipping with the purchase of five new Equinox-class vessels. 

Equinox-class ships are the next generation of bulk carriers on the Great Lakes. They will be able to carry significantly more cargo and move faster than conventional vessels. Newer engine technology will result in reduced fuel consumption, which means lower fuel costs and lower emissions. The new ships will emit 60 percent less emissions than the oldest steamships still transporting grain on the Great Lakes and about 40 percent lower emissions than many existing motor vessels. The new ships are designed to accommodate engine-exhaust gas scrubbers to reduce emissions and accommodate ballast-water treatment solutions. The first of the new ships is expected to be in service by 2013.


Aker Philadelphia Shipyard delivers 12th product tanker 

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard delivered the yard’s 12th Veteran-class MT-46 product tanker to American Shipping Co. Named Overseas Tampa, the 46,000-dwt vessel will come under the operation of Overseas Shipping Group to transport petroleum products. 

The delivery marks the conclusion of a shipbuilding program that began in April 2005. The new double-hull vessels represent a move toward more environmentally-friendly vessels and cleaner operating engines.

Aker is also in the process of building two additional product tankers in its newest construction program. The first vessel is already under construction. Production on the second is scheduled to begin this summer. Both vessels are scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2013.


Bollinger launches the first Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter for the U.S. Coast Guard

Bollinger Shipyards announced the launch of the first in the Sentinel class of U.S. Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters, Bernard C. Webber, from its Lockport, La., facility.

The design is based on the Damen Stan Patrol 4708 patrol boat and the Coast Guard’s successful 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat project, also built by Bollinger. The Sentinel class will be able to conduct missions, such as ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; drug and illegal migrant law enforcement; search and rescue; and national-defense operations. 

The new vessel is 154 feet long and is capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots. It is armed with one stabilized remotely operated 25-mm chain gun and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns. The cutters will be able to operate independently for five days at sea, accommodating a crew of 23. 

A sophisticated command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) system will be fully interoperable with other Coast Guard assets as well as those of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. 

The cutters will also have a 40-knot rigid inflatable boat which can be rapidly deployed using an innovative stern launching system that was first presented to the Coast Guard by Bollinger aboard the 87-foot Marine Protector class cutters.

Bernard C. Webber will be based in Miami, Fla., and serve in vital law enforcement and national security missions throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.


U.S. Barge delivers combination deck/tank barge

U.S. Barge LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vigor Industrial LLC, announced delivery of a combination deck and tank barge to NorthStar Gas LLC, an Alaskan petroleum distributor. The barge, named Cauneq, was christened on April 15, and will start making deliveries in May to the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Western Alaska coastal regions.

The engineering and design work for the vessel was performed by Elliott Bay Design Group, of Seattle. Fabrication and outfitting were done in-house by U.S. Barge, in Portland, Ore. 

Cauneq measures 162 feet by 44 feet 6 inches. The non-self-propelled, single-hulled, combination deck and tank barge is intended for inland service. The shallow-draft design allows the barge to navigate in waters as shallow as three feet.

The barge can carry up to 200,000 gallons of Grade B and lower petroleum products. The main deck is over 3,000 square feet and can accommodate a minimum of seven standard 20-by-8-foot ISO containers.


Second U.S. Navy submarine awarded to General Dynamics

The U.S. Navy has released $1.2 billion for the construction of the 14th Virginia-class submarine, SSN-787, to General Dynamics Electric Boat. The funding award marks the beginning of production of two submarines per year on the Virginia-class program. 

The release of the funding allows procurement of long lead-time components that will support the planned official construction start later this year on the as-yet-unnamed submarine at Electric Boat and its teammate, Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Va.

The Virginia class is the first U.S. Navy warship designed from the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War era. Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced-capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.


Marinette Marine lays keel for Alaska region research vessel

In April Marinette Marine Corp. of Wisconsin held the keel-laying ceremony for the Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV) R/V Sikuliaq.

Designed and engineered by Guido Perla & Associates Inc., the vessel is a cold-climate, oceanographic research ship. It replaces R/V Alpha Helix, which is more than 40 years old. 

Sikuliaq, owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, will sail its first science mission in 2014. 

The vessel has an overall length of 261.5 feet, a maximum beam of 52 feet and a design waterline draft of 19.5 feet. The displacement at the design waterline is 4,065 long tons. Design speed is 14 knots. The vessel also has mild icebreaking capabilities for ice of up to two and a half feet thick.


Gladding-Hearn delivers third launch to Maryland Pilots 

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding/Duclos Corp. has delivered a new Chesapeake class pilot boat to the Maryland Pilots. Designed by Ray Hunt & Associates, the all-aluminum pilot boat is 52.5 feet in length overall with a beam of 16.6 feet and a draft of 4.7 feet.

Powered by twin Detriot Diesel series 60, 600-hp engines, the boat is expected to have a speed of 25 knots.


Crowley contracts with Bollinger to build four new tugs

Crowley Maritime Corp. has contracted with Bollinger Shipyards to build four new Ocean-class tugs, with the first vessel scheduled to be delivered from Bollinger in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Ocean class is a new design featuring a length of 146 feet, beam of 46 feet and draft of 26 feet. The boats will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-280-12 Tier II engines, developing 10,880 hp. The double-hull vessels will be outfitted with twin-screw, controllable-pitch propellers in nozzles and high lift rudders for a combination of performance and fuel economy. 


Maritime Administrator Matsuda signs $241 million federal loan guarantee for Eastern Shipbuilding

U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda announced a $241 million loan guarantee that will allow Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Fla., to build five platform supply vessels (PSVs) for export to Brazil, where they will provide service in new deepwater oil fields there.

“This project means good jobs for Panama City today and a stronger economic future for our country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. 

Eastern Shipbuilding Group has built eight PSVs since 2003, with three more under construction. The vessels, built for Boldini S.A. of Rio de Janeiro, are expected to result in 300 new jobs over the next three-and-a-half years. 

By Professional Mariner Staff