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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

July 24, 2009

Chouest to build 360 ft ice class AHTS

Shell has awarded a contract to Edison Chouest to build a 360 ft ice class AHTS. The Fairbanks, Alaska, News Miner quotes a Shell spokesman as saying the vessel will play a major role in Shell's Alaska exploration plan and symbolizes Shell's ongoing commitment to technology and environmental stewardship.

The vessel is slated for 2012 delivery and is being designed for zero discharge and low engine noise and emissions, and will be reinforced with a steel double hull. These modifications were made, in part, based on feedback from North Slope residents who expressed concern about the potential impact increased vessel traffic could have on marine mammals and the environment.

According to the Houma Daily Comet, the building contract is worth $150 million and will be Chouest's largest vessel ever.

As with the company's other vessels, notes the Daily Comet, hull 247 will be built by the company and staffed by Edison Chouest personnel and is slated to operate in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas of the Outer Continental Shelf.

It will either be built at the new LaShip yard, currently under construction in Houma, or at TampaShip, Chouest's Florida yard acquired last year. That decision will be made by the end of the year.


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