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Ocean Business


May 2013 Issue

Bluefin Tests DARPA UUV
Bluefin Robotics (Quincy, Massachusetts) completed deepwater testing of a specialized UUV for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The system was developed under a Phase II subcontract from Applied Physical Sciences Corp. (Groton, Connecticut) for the Deep Sea Operations (DSOP) Program. DSOP is part of DARPA's Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting program, which develops affordable, distributed technology to address anti-submarine warfare surveillance needs.

My-Villages Relocates to South Florida
My-Villages (Hobe Sound, Florida) has moved from Alexandria, Virginia, to the Jupiter-Stuart, Florida, area, the largest United States boating market and major marine industry hub. More than 30 marine companies now serve as My-Villages partners, helping to craft products that serve both owners and industry; many are located in Florida.

The majority of the My-Villages Industry Advisory Council members, who offer guidance to the company on market conditions and other related matters, are also located in Florida.

Deal Budgets $50 Million More for Port Deepening
The $50 million in additional port deepening funds proposed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal was approved by the state legislature and now awaits the governor's signature.

Along with previous funding, Georgia has allocated $231.1 million toward the state's portion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Deepening the Savannah Harbor from 42 to 47 feet will accommodate an increase in the number of super-sized container vessels transiting the Panama Canal after 2015.

The new funding was part of Deal's fiscal year 2014 budget request, which was included in the final version of the state spending plan passed by the General Assembly.

Mariner to Provide Port Security at POG
The Mariner Group LLC (Columbia, South Carolina) will provide its situation management and response software, CommandBridge, and port-management software, PortFolio, to the Port of Galveston, Texas. The Port of Galveston began as a trading post in 1825 and has grown to more than 850 acres of port facilities today. The port is the gateway to the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.

Tesla Offshore Orders Bluefin-21 AUV
Tesla Offshore LLC (Prairieville, Louisiana) has purchased a Bluefin Robotics (Quincy, Massachusetts) Bluefin-21 AUV.

The Tesla Bluefin-21 AUV is a modular system capable of carrying multiple sensors in a single payload section. It enables extended operations at depths up to 4,500 meters. The design includes swappable payload sections and battery modules for fast surface turnaround, as well as portability and flexibility to operate from various ships of opportunity worldwide.

ITT Exelis to Provide Electronic Support Systems To Australian Anzac, LHD Ships
ITT Exelis (McLean, Virginia) will provide the electronic support measures for Australia's Anzac frigates and the Canberra-class landing helicopter (LHD) deck ships, enhancing the country's national defense capabilities throughout the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

The Exelis ES-3701 electronic support measures system will help improve the Royal Australian Navy's capability to detect radars from other surface ships and aircraft. It provides situational awareness, targeting, self-protection and surveillance.

The system is also being deployed on the air warfare destroyer, another large warship in Australia's fleet.

Bollinger Delivers Margaret Norvell to USCG
Bollinger Shipyards Inc. (Lockport, Louisiana) has delivered the Margaret Norvell to the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The 154-foot patrol craft is the fifth vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC) program. It has a flank speed of 28 knots and a stern launch system for the vessel's 26-foot cutter boat.

Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the vessel in New Orleans, Louisiana, in June 2013.

Shark Marine Technologies to Distribute Connectors to SEA CON
Shark Marine Technologies Inc. (St. Catharines, Canada) has formalized an agreement with SEA CON (El Cajon, California) to distribute a complete line of underwater electrical and fiber-optic connectors.

Included in this line are optical and electrical bulkhead and in-line connectors in dry-mate, wet-mate and underwater mateable configurations, as well as cable and hose assemblies, penetrators and switches.

Economic Boosts Possible for Terrebonne, Lafourche Ports
A fact-finding mission to Panama by representatives of the Terrebonne Parish Economic Development Authority (TEDA) and the Port of Terrebonne in Louisiana has resulted in potentially positive news for the region's economy.

The goal of the trip, conducted in March, was to determine how the region might benefit from the increased shipping that will result from the widening of the Panama Canal. An opportunity was identified in the exportation of LNG. Potential investors need to be identified.

Later steps include expanding deepwater operations and cargo trade.

Liquid Robotics Closes $45 Million Series E Funding
Liquid Robotics (Sunnyvale, California) has closed a $45 million Series E funding round led by Riverwood Capital, a technology private equity firm, with participation from existing investors, including VantagePoint Capital Partners. The funding will be used to expand the company's global sales, partner and services organizations to meet the increasing demand for its ocean observation and monitoring services. This investment will also fund development and delivery of new solutions for the worldwide defense, science and research, and oil and gas markets.

Metal Shark Expansion to Create 222 New Jobs
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Metal Shark Aluminum Boats (Jeanerette, Louisiana) President Chris Allard announced the company will make a $1.52 million capital investment to expand its Jeanerette shipyard in support of military, law enforcement agency and commercial boat contracts. The expansion will create 88 new direct jobs, with an average salary of more than $62,000, and Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in a total of 222 new jobs.

AIRMAR Reports 2012 Revenue Increase
AIRMAR Technology Corp. (Milford, New Hampshire) has reported a 24 percent revenue increase in 2012. Sustained growth has prompted the company to expand operations by building a second facility totaling more than 72,000 square feet. Located directly across the street from the company's existing headquarters, AIRMAR East is scheduled to be ready for occupancy next fall.

VIT Maintains Virginia Terminals Control
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) Board of Commissioners has decided to keep Virginia International Terminals Inc. (Norfolk, Virginia), or VIT, as the operator of the authority's container terminals. VPA turned down two competing bids, one from APM Terminals (Portsmouth, Virginia) and one from the JPMorgan-led consortium Virginia Port Partners LLC, in favor of VIT. The VPA board decided that the APM and Virginia Port Partners bids 'were competitive, but they weren't compelling,' said William Fralin, board chairman.

Workers Call Off Strike at Brazilian Port
After negotiations between the government and union leaders, dock workers in Brazil cancelled plans for a national port strike, Reuters reported. Brazil's crop production has hit record highs, leaving the nation's outdated port infrastructure struggling to support the high volume of exports. The government is looking to change port regulations, which workers feel could jeopardize their jobs.

Trans Marine Appoints US Agent
Trans Marine Propulsion Systems Inc. (Seattle, Washington) has been appointed the U.S. agent for Anglo Belgian Corp. (Ghent, Belgium) diesel engines.

Anglo Belgian Corp. has been manufacturing diesel engines since 1912. It was founded by a group of Belgian entrepreneurs soon after the building of the first licensed Rudolf Diesel engine.

Hollund Industrial Marine Begins Process Of Securing Concessions in Latin America
Hollund Industrial Marine Inc. (Blaine, Washington) has started to secure its first concession in the South American region. Peter Meier, president of Hollund, stated that the company has the opportunity to survey a lake in Latin America, and will look to expand business into the region if the project proves successful.

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