Offshore Wind’s Risks, Opportunities Explored in Report

Offshore Wind’s Risks, Opportunities Explored in Report

Offshore Wind (OSW) is a rapidly growing industry with a heightened policy focus under the Biden administration, which is pushing development of OSW around the country, including several planned West Coast projects. It is also a big issue for the commercial fishing industry and has been making commercial fishermen anxious for a number of reasons. Unanswered questions include how floating wind turbines could affect California’s marine life (with noise from building and running wind farms a consideration), as well as whether electromagnetic fields could harm Pacific Coast salmon and other fish stocks. Now, a new report from a global insurer…
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Ocean and Coastal Towing: A Bustling Business

Ocean and Coastal Towing: A Bustling Business

From rescuing vessels in distress to moving millions of tons of cargo, the tugboat, tow boat and barge industry on the West Coast has been bustling with business activity in recent years, a trend that doesn’t appear be easing anytime soon. To prepare for that demand, West Coast towing companies have been investing in new vessels and equipment, many of them built with sustainability in mind, and grow  the workforce. Here’s a look at what various coastal ocean and coastal towing companies are doing in the region and beyond. Crowley Crowley Maritime has experienced growth over the last 12 months,…
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Pacific Northwest Ports: Investing in Infrastructure

Pacific Northwest Ports: Investing in Infrastructure

From multimillion-dollar infrastructure projects to facilities dedicated to the development of the region’s workforce, seaports in the Pacific Northwest are making investments to stay competitive. Those investments in the Puget Sound are being supported by local, state and federal funding. The latest announcement came from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, which announced in early November that four projects in the region were among the recipients in the latest round of Port Infrastructure Development Program grants. That includes $25.3 million for Port of Astoria’s Pier 2 West Rehabilitation Project, $7.7 million toward the Ko’Kwel Wharf Improvements Project in North…
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Oregon Begins Derelict Removal Program at Astoria Shipyard

Oregon Begins Derelict Removal Program at Astoria Shipyard

This past summer, a challenging environmental demolition project was put out for bid by Oregon’s Department of State Lands (DSL). The scrapping of an 86-foot derelict hull named Tiffany was to be a demonstration project for the agency’s new program to remove a number of the state’s larger derelict vessels. This required that the entire process meet strict standards to avoid any chance of oil or chemical spills. The contract was won by Global Diving and Salvage of Seattle, with Astoria-based WCT Marine & Construction sub-contracting the floating assets to salvage the vessel and its secure onshore location to recycle…
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Alaska and Hawaii Shipping: Transformation and Recovery

Alaska and Hawaii Shipping: Transformation and Recovery

The Alaska and Hawaii regions are in the midst of transformation and recovery. The Port of Alaska is not only undertaking long-awaited infrastructure projects to keep goods flowing in the future, the port itself may soon undergo a name change. In July, a panel recommended renaming it the Don Young Port of Anchorage to honor the longtime congressman who died in 2022. A final decision is expected by the state Assembly in the coming weeks. In Hawaii, the community continues to work toward recovery after an August wildfire killed an estimated 97 people, displaced at least 11,000 others and caused…
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Diving, Salvage, Other Underwater Projects Remain Tricky, Require Specific Expertise

Diving, Salvage, Other Underwater Projects Remain Tricky, Require Specific Expertise

While a lot of the work in the maritime industry happens above the water’s surface, often the jobs that take mariners underwater can be particularly tricky. But many of today’s professional divers are proficient in a variety of underwater tasks, including construction and engineering work, vessel salvage jobs, environmental projects and ship repairs. Pacific Maritime reached out to companies along the West Coast that offer diving and salvage services to find out about some of their recent projects. Power Engineering Alameda, Calif.-based Power Engineering Construction (PEC) has a long history of tackling complex jobs “where the risk is high, the…
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Deck Machinery  Update 2023: Innovation Never Sleeps

Deck Machinery Update 2023: Innovation Never Sleeps

The innovation of deck machinery is an ever-present force in the maritime industry. While a winch will always be a winch, a newer model may pack the same power in a smaller footprint. A crane is always a crane, but the modern version may be all-electric. And the list goes on. Herein some of the deck machinery industry’s major players discuss their newest and best-selling products as well as industry trends. Markey Machine Seattle-based Markey Machine saw an ownership shift late last year, closing a growth investment with Christian Schiller and Brian Bogen. “The new ownership arrangement offers many advantages, particularly…
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Infrastructure Projects: Smaller Ports Try to Level Up

Infrastructure Projects: Smaller Ports Try to Level Up

As competition for cargo continues to intensify, so does investment in infrastructure and cargo-handling equipment at seaports across the globe, especially on the West Coast. One of the latest investment efforts has come from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who on July 6 announced more than $1.5 billion in funds aimed at strengthening the supply chain. The funding includes about $450 million dedicated to zero-emission infrastructure, ships and other transportation modes. “These investments—unprecedented in scope and scale—will modernize our ports, reduce pollution, eliminate bottlenecks and create a more dynamic distribution network,” Newsom said in the announcement. Here’s a look at some…
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Navigation Technology: The Useful, the Cool and the Wonky

Navigation Technology: The Useful, the Cool and the Wonky

The march of technological innovation continues, and the maritime navigation space is no exception. From reckoning with newer artificial intelligence and augmented reality capabilities to more traditional evolutions of larger multifunction displays and more accurate compasses, the modern mariner might think he is facing a science fiction novel as he peruses a product catalogue. Pacific Maritime spoke with a number of notable leaders in the maritime navigation technology industry to keep abreast of notable innovations and products on their radars – pun intended. The challenge for all parties: navigating the boundless imaginations and profit-seeking motives to find the tools mariners…
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Ferries Focus on Cutting Emissions, Repowering, Adding Service

Ferries Focus on Cutting Emissions, Repowering, Adding Service

There’s been a lot of work recently that has kept West Coast ferry operators busy, including refits, new terminals, additional amenities and new infrastructure, as well as plans for cutting emissions. Some developments are innovative and forward-looking, some are focused on passenger needs, while other projects are investing in strengthening and supporting the ferry service. To find out about the latest news and projects, Pacific Maritime reached out to a number of West Coast ferry operators. Some notable updates include the successful fueling and sea trials of the world’s first commercial hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferry; selection of the design…
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