OCTOBER 19, 2012 — Representatives from Canadian short sea shipping specialist Oceanex Inc. were in Flensburg, Germany last week for the cutting of first steel for Oceanex Connaigra at shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft. The newbuilding will be the largest Canadian flag container/roll on roll off (ConRo) ship. The twenty knot, ice-class vessel is designed for world-wide trade and will be 210 meters in length with a deadweight carrying capacity of 19,500 metric tonnes.
Oceanex Executive Chairman, Captain Sid Hynes, says that construction of the ship represents an investment of more than $100 million and "demonstrates Oceanex's commitment to meeting the needs of our customers throughout Eastern Canada and particularly the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Oceanex Connaigra has been designed to meet the company's anticipated growth for the next 30 years."
Flensburger Schiffbau President and CEO Peter Sierk says "the vessel will be one of the most modern, innovative, environmentally friendly and adaptable ConRo ships in the world. Leading the industry, this eco friendly vessel will be equipped with a dry scrubber exhaust gas cleaning system for main engines and diesel generators and thus exceed the requirements of the proposed restrictive air emissions regulations. In fact, the vessel is classed by DNV as a 'clean ship,' which confirms a higher environmental standard, particularly with respect to air emissions."
The ro/ro weather deck of the Oceanex Connaigra is designed for a conventional lift-on/lift-off containership operation and is able to accommodate all relevant sizes of containers, including the Oceanex high cube 53 ft units — with a weather-deck load capacity of 11,000 metric tonnes of containers. Liftable ramps provide access to all five ro/ro decks which allow for the transportation of up to 95 tractor trailers and 500 automobiles. The ship is designed with a 40 ft wide stern ramp to accommodate over dimensional loads that can weigh several hundred tonnes. Captain Hynes says this is critically important to the construction and development projectsthroughout Atlantic Canada.
The addition of a side ramp and starboard side door promotes more efficient and faster loading and unloading of automobiles.
This state-of-the art vessel is equipped with leading edge technology, such as the latest generation engines using a common rail fuel management system to provide high efficiency and smokeless operations. With the extreme weather conditions of the North Atlantic, three passive anti-roll stability tanks and a gyro controlled active fin stabilizer system have been added to ensure cargo safety and crew comfort along with the highest quality European standard accommodation for the ship's crew.
Delivery of the Oceanex Connaigra to the Newfoundland service is expected in the fall of 2013 at which time it will join the current Oceanex fleet composed of the MV Cabot, the Oceanex Sanderling, and the Oceanex Avalon.
JANUARY 7, 2013 — The Unified Command reports that At approximately 10:10 p.m., the Shell drilling vessel Kulluk which grounded New Year's Eve (see earlier story) was refloated from its Sitkalidak Island position.
Initially, the Unified Command reported the Kulluk as attached to the Aiviq by tow line and "currently floating offshore while personnel are assessing the condition of the vessel. Three additional tugs are on standby along with the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and two oil spill response vessels."
But as of 3 a.m.this morning, Unified Command reported the Kulluk as remaining in tow by the Aiviq traveling at 4.8 knots (5.5 mph) with its location 19 miles from land
NOVEMBER 9, 2012 — Planned reductions in water releases from dams threaten to bring vessel commerce on the Mississippi River to a halt early next month. The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and Waterways Council Inc. (WCI), are calling upon Congress and the Administration to address this developing situation.
Water releases from dams on the upper Missouri River are planned to be significantly scaled back later this month and these reductions are expected to negatively impact the Mississippi River water level between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., beginning December 1. Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower, Ill., which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows. The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around December 10, say AWO and WCI.
"Congress and the Administration need to understand the immediate severity of this situation," said Tom Allegretti, AWO's President & CEO. "The Mississippi River is an economic superhighway that efficiently carries hundreds of millions of tons of essential goods for domestic use as well as national export. We need to address this situation swiftly, cut through bureaucratic red tape, and prevent the closure of the Mississippi."
AWO and WCI are urging Congress and the President to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the removal of the rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower before the Mississippi River reaches critical low water levels in December. The groups stated that additional measures should also be explored to preserve water levels that support navigation on the Mississippi through the winter months.
"Along with 150 million tons of agricultural products, nearly 180 million tons of coal, 150 million tons of petroleum, and all of the associated manufacturing jobs those and many other commodities support, the effects of stopping commerce on the Mississippi River will be felt harshly across the country," said Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO of WCI. "We need to find a way to keep commerce moving, and I am confident the government can do so without having a significant impact on the many other beneficiaries of our inland waterways system whose need for water we recognize," he continued.
JANUARY 8, 2013 — Unified Command confirmed yesterday that the Kulluk has arrived in its final safe harbor location in Kiliuda Bay where it will undergo assessment. At approximately 12:15 p.m. Alaska Time yesterday the Kulluk’s anchor was lowered to the bottom of the Bay.
Unified Command also confirmed:
Support vessels Alert, Lauren Foss and Corbin Foss remain connected to the Kulluk.
The Aiviq has disconnected from the Kulluk but is standing by.
A Coast Guard overflight yesterday did not observe any sheen in the vicinity.
The Warrior, Ocean Wave, Perseverance, Nanuq and Alex Haley are standing by.
FEBRUARY 8, 2013 — Damen Shipyards Group is the new owner of Dutch ship repairer Shipdock. With roots dating back to 1877, Shipdock operates shipyards in Amsterdam and Harlingen. Shipdock Harlingen services ships up to 120 m and Shipdock Amsterdam services vessels up to 250 m. Shipdock will continue its ship repair and conversion services, with its personnel and management remaining in place to guarantee a seamless transition into the Damen Shipyards Group.
The Damen group currently includes more than 50 shipyards, repair and conversion yards and related companies.
René Berkvens, CEO Damen Shipyards Group, says: "The Shipdock yards bring added value to Damen, both separately in their own markets and regions and as a whole – together they have ample experience in shipbuilding, ship repair, conversion and steel construction. Damen is an established player in the ship repair industry and we are determined to become even better."
Mr. Berkvens notes that Damen has recently founded a new division, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, in which all its repair yards will be represented and organized efficiently.
"Shipdock and its 130 employees are welcomed most heartily within our repair and conversion division," he says. "The integration into Damen can only be done with a motivated workforce. I, for my part, am confident that they will live up to their motto: 'Going the extra yard'!"
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