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Ocean Business


April 2014 Issue

Robix Appoints Strategic Advisor for New Division
Robix Alternative Fuels Inc. (Lethbridge, Canada) announced that it intends to create a new business division, through a subsidiary entity, to enter into the marine industry. In connection with the new marine division, the board of directors approved the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary to be named Corris Marine Ltd., which will have an office in Montreal, Canada. In addition, the corporation announced that Rick Carson will be joining Robix as a strategic advisor.

Aqueos Corp. Commissions Dive Support Vessel
Aqueos Corp. (Broussard, Louisiana) commissioned the build of the SPLASH (special purpose liveboat and survey hull) vessel to address safety concerns with traditional methods of liveboating. SPLASH is a purpose-built, 75-foot catamaran hull incorporating proprietary technology with water jet propulsion. Its integrated specialty dive equipment includes built-in diver control and survey station, temperature-controlled deck decompression chamber module, nitrox breathing system, diver-operated jet pump, built-in hydraulic tooling unit and deck-mounted crane. The vessel will have a nautical mile range of about 1,000.

BWT System Secures IMO Type Approval
Trojan Technologies (London, Canada) announced that the Trojan Marinex ballast water treatment (BWT) product suite has obtained International Maritime Organization (IMO) Type Approval from Det Norske Veritas (Høvik, Norway) on behalf of the Norwegian Maritime Directorate.

Land-based testing was conducted up to 1,250 cubic meters per hour to verify the efficacy of the system at higher flow rates, meeting the requirements of the IMO Guidance on the Scaling of Ballast Water Management Systems. To date, this is the largest flow land-based test of a BWT system.

Tax Credits Could Boost Start of Offshore Wind Industry
Launching the first offshore wind turbine near the coast of Maine, the University of Maine and Cianbro Corp.'s (Pittsfield, Maine) floating prototype could bring jobs to the state and encourage growth for the industry. Cianbro, along with two other businesses looking to start offshore wind farms, headed to Capitol Hill to ask representatives to renew tax credits for wind power. The two credits, which expired last year, would afford a tax break on energy production or an investment.

TRIAXYS With ADCP Wave Buoys to Support Dredging Operations
AXYS Technologies Inc. (Sidney, Canada) announced that Observator Instruments (Ridderkerk, Netherlands) will soon be receiving four TRIAXYS with currents directional wave buoys, each equipped with the Next Wave II sensor and a Nortek (Rud, Norway) ADCP current profiler. Once the buoys are deployed, Van Oord (Rotterdam, Netherlands) operations will receive real-time wave and current profile data via radio telemetry to support their operations.

DeepWater Buoyancy Delivers Offshore Products
DeepWater Buoyancy Inc. (Biddeford, Maine) has relaunched the oceanography/marine measurements line of syntactic foam ADCP buoys, StableMoor floats and trawl resistant bottom mounts formerly manufactured by Flotation Technologies (Biddeford).

DeepWater Buoyancy opened January 1, 2014 after securing the designs and manufacturing rights to the Flotation Technologies' line of oceanographic products. This month, the company is shipping StableMoor buoys, ADCP buoys, and a wide range of cable floats and custom parts.

US Terminates Iran Economic Sanctions Imposed Against Associated Shipbroking
The United States, acting through the U.S. State Department, terminated all economic sanctions imposed against Associated Shipbroking (ASM), based in Fontvieille, Monaco, under the U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, after determining that ASM met and satisfied the criteria for the termination of sanctions under relevant U.S. economic sanctions laws. Specifically, the State Department determined that ASM was no longer engaged in sanctionable activities and that it is not likely that ASM will engage in such activities in the future.

Shipwreck Hunters Obtain Exploration Permit
Global Marine Exploration Inc. (GME), based in Tampa, Florida, announced the approval of a new exploration permit for an undisclosed area off the east coast of Florida. Operations commenced in March 2014.

In preparation for the permit, GME has been engaged in research of the area for several years.

President and CEO Robert Pritchett commented that 'GME will be putting forth our best efforts to continue the success of existing operations in other areas as conditions allow.'

Seaborn Networks Mandates Natixis for Underwater Cable Project
Seaborn Networks (Beverly, Massachusetts) and Natixis (Paris, France) announced that Seaborn has mandated Natixis to act as sole structuring bank, underwriter and lead arranger for a fully underwritten, $290-million senior secured project financing debt for the development and installation of Seaborn's new subsea fiber-optic cable system. The system will run between the commercial and financial centers of Brazil and the United States. Natixis is also expected to serve as COFACE facility agent and security agent for this project debt.

Agreement Reached in Panama Canal Locks Project
The Panama Canal Authority announced the end of talks with the new locks project contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC), based in Panama City, Panama, through which a conceptual agreement has been reached subject to documentation, review and final signature by the parties.

The conceptual agreement falls within the terms of the contract for the design and construction of the third set of locks and does not include any payment for claims. GUPC's claims must be processed through the mechanisms within the contract.

The price of the contract remains the same and is not modified by this agreement.

Social Media Site for Seafarers Exceeds 100,000 Members
Crewtoo, the largest online network dedicated to seafarers, has surpassed 100,000 members just 16 months after it was founded by KVH Media Group (Middletown, Rhode Island). The online network gives seafarers a way to post comments and photographs from their vessels, chat with colleagues on other ships, take part in seafarer-related polls and votes, and keep up with maritime news. The rapid growth of Crewtoo suggests that seafarers are turning to social media as a way to address the isolation of working at sea.

Delta SubSea Announces Frame Agreement
Delta Subsea (DSS), based in Montgomery, Texas, announced a frame agreement with FORUM Subsea Technologies (Houston, Texas) Dynaon business as a preferred vendor of standard LARS designs. This agreement increases DSS's ability to fulfill its growth plan while maintaining the quality of equipment. In support of this agreement, Dynacon has committed its resources to support DSS with service and spares globally. DSS's ROV fleet is focused on solutions for customers in the inspection, repair and maintenance, construction, drilling and decommissioning market segments.

Positive Trends Mark Start to Port Authority Year
Revenue generation, cargo throughput, professional performance and international recognition were highlighted at the monthly meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority.

Operating revenue exceeded $20 million with increases in all major areas of cargo, including 400,000 tons of steel handled, yielding an increase of 36 percent. Bulk cargo of 1 million tons was 30 percent higher, and overhead expenses were down 10 percent compared to January 2013.

Deep-Diving Exosuit on Display
The Exosuit (Sea Technology, December 2013), a next-generation atmospheric diving system capable of taking a diver down 1,000 feet at surface pressure, was on temporary display at the American Museum of Natural History from February 27 to March 5 in the Irma and Paul Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life.

Measuring about 6.5-feet tall and weighing more than 530 pounds, the hard-metal suit offers divers protection from the ocean's pressure while maintaining the dexterity and maneuverability to perform delicate tasks, such as sampling and imaging marine biodiversity with high-resolution underwater cameras.

Marine Grant Program Opens
West Marine (Watsonville, California) is seeking applications for marine conservation grants. Five to 10 grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 per recipient. Applications are available online at www.westmarine.com/bluefuture. The closing date for entries is May 1, 2014, and winners will be announced on World Oceans Day, which is June 8, 2014.

The 2014 marine conservation grants will again focus on projects that enhance fish populations.

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.