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Ocean Business


July 2013 Issue

Mississippi River Floods, Locks Closed
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed locks on the Mississippi River twice in June, spanning a stretch of the river from Iowa to Missouri, Reuters reported. Heavy rains forced the river to flood over, with more rain expected for the area at press time. Among the locks to be closed were Locks 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22 and 24.

Given the unpredictable weather, the Corps could not give an estimate of when the locks would be reopened.

The loading of grain barges was interrupted by flooding because the rising waters prevented the vessels from positioning themselves beneath the loading spout above the river.

Senesco Marine Delivers Commercial Floating Dock
Senesco Marine (North Kingstown, Rhode Island) launched a commercial floating dry dock in the northeast United States. Senesco built the dry dock for Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Co. Inc. (Staten Island, New York). The dry dock is 420 feet long and has a 100-foot-wide, open pontoon deck.

It was designed to accommodate large tank barges, tugs, workboats and U.S. Coast Guard cutters. The dock has 8 pairs of compartments with a safety deck 12 feet above the pontoon deck. The design incorporates large side openings through the wing walls to allow machinery and personnel access to the pontoon deck.

Ocean Observatories Initiative to Receive Echosounders From Kongsberg
Echosounders from Kongsberg (Kongsberg, Norway) will play a part in the American Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) for the monitoring of subsea life along both U.S. coasts. OOI is a cable-based array of scientific sensors designed to monitor the marine habitat. Everything from fish and plant life to chemical, physical and geological changes will be measured.

Similar initiatives are taking off on the coasts of Australia, Canada and Africa, as well as in Norway's Arctic waters of Lofoten.

Geomarine Completes North American geoROV Survey
Geomarine Ltd. (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) completed a geoROV CPT survey in North America.

The geotechnical survey in the Gulf of Mexico was in support of a pipeline construction project, and work comprised of in-situ testing, interpretation and production of the final reports.

The geoROV is an ROV-conveyed geotechnical testing and sampling system.

Greensea Delivers Navigation Systems
Greensea Systems Inc. (Richmond, Vermont) ended a research and development effort with the delivery of four navigation and control systems. The deliveries consisted of navigation and control software suites for a standalone inertial navigation system (INS), a 1,000-meter-rated commercial AUV, a 6,000-meter work-class ROV and a retrofit for a miniature ROV. The effort focused on modularizing Greensea's software architecture to allow for more flexibility and portability across hardware platforms. The ROV systems provide autonomous operating modes, route following, station keeping, dynamic positioning and vehicle control on top of an integrated INS core.

Decline in Panama Economic Growth
Panama's economy sunk to its lowest point in two years in March, reported Reuters. According to the nation's government, there was less activity at the canal and ports as delays in expansion have postponed the opening.

The loss of business from two prominent companies could result in $40 million less in revenue for the coming year. The companies are redirecting shipping routes to pass through the Suez Canal, which allows for larger ships carrying greater loads. In 2012, the country saw more than 10 percent economic growth. But the number dropped to 8 percent in three months.

The canal is expected to open in mid-2015.

Tidal Data Available in Herradura, Costa Rica
The Los Suenos Marina (Herradura, Costa Rica) now has daily tidal data available for its users and the nearby community. Original specifications for the system were for routine monitoring, with a future upgrade to a tsunami warning station planned. Data transmission is via NOAA's GOES Satellite Service. Data will also be received and managed by the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center (UHSLC), based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The UHSLC collaborates with agencies within host countries for the installation and maintenance of a global network of tide gauge stations, which meet standards that range in resolution from tsunami warning to global sea level rise.

Home-Grown Buoy System for Brazil
RDSEA International (St. Pete Beach, Florida) assisted AMBIDADOS (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and the Oceanographic Institute, University of Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brazil) with the deployment of Brazil's first home-grown buoy system, ATLAS-B, in the Atlantic.

Averaged data are transmitted daily for post-processing and dissemination. The system has a 100 percent data stream, with data flowing from the western Atlantic. Full meteorology is also incorporated into the buoy's data set. These data will support ocean and climate research being conducted in the southeastern Brazilian Bight region.

Court Allows Savannah Construction to Begin
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel accepted the settlement agreement between all parties involved in the mediation over the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) in an order that dismissed the federal litigation pending against the proposed deepening of the harbor channel.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently signed a 2014 state budget that includes $50 million in state bonds for SHEP construction, bringing the total state dollars allotted to the project to $231.1 million. The harbor deepening is necessary to better accommodate the larger container ships that already arrive through the Suez Canal and soon will transit the Panama Canal, when its expansion is completed in 2015.

Autoship System Supplied to Fisheries Research Institute
Autoship Systems Corp. (ASC) of Vancouver, Canada, sold its marine CAD/CAM software to the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) located in Cochin, India. Because of an expansion of the design team, this is the second order by CIFT for ASC software.

CIFT is the only technology Institute in India to focus on strategic and applied research in the development of designs for fuel-efficient fishing vessels, as well as research on the sustainable fisheries catch.

The software will be used by CIFT's team of naval architects to produce fishing-boat designs that are engineered to meet the conditions of Indian inland and offshore fisheries.

Upswing in Brazil Economy
In the first quarter of this year, Brazil's container trade grew 1 percent and imports increased, reported Reuters. The trade deficit the nation experienced was a result of global economic struggles that caused a drop in demand for Brazilian goods, and failing infrastructure has extended wait times at the nation's ports. However, the growth of both trade and imports is a positive sign that the economy is recovering. Recent legislation allowing further private investment in ports is expected to help boost the economy.

Littlejohn & Co. Invests in Gulf Coast Shipyard Group Inc.
Littlejohn & Co. LLC (Greenwich, Connecticut) has made an equity investment in Gulf Coast Shipyard Group Inc. (Gulfport, Mississippi). Gulf Coast manufactures offshore supply vessels, tank barges, military patrol vessels, tugs and superyachts from two facilities. The company also has a presence in the military vessel market.

Littlejohn & Co. intends to work closely with the existing Gulf Coast management team and continue investments in both shipyards.

BISSO MARINE Acquires Three New Barges
BISSO MARINE (Houston, Texas) has three new offshore construction assets: the 800-ton-capacity derrick barge Ex-IOS 800, the combination derrick lay barge Ex-IOS Pipeliner and the 400-by-100-foot support barge Ex-International Frontier.

The barges will be in the shipyard and drydocked to receive some modifications and upgrades. They will be renamed before being put into service.

Bollinger Delivers Response Cutter to USCG
Bollinger Shipyards Inc. (Lockport, Louisiana) delivered the Paul Clark, the sixth fast response cutter (FRC), to the United States Coast Guard (USCG). It has a flank speed of 28 knots, command, control, communications and computer technology, as well as a stern launch system for the vessel's 26-foot cutter boat.

Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard member who distinguished himself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Fireman First-Class Paul Clark, who served in the military during World War II.

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