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Mississippi River Barge Operators: Economy at Risk (USA)

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The American Waterways Operators, National Waterways Conference, Waterways Council, Inc., and 15 other national organizations submitted a letter to President Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting a presidential declaration of emergency and seeking “immediate assistance in averting an economic catastrophe in the heartland of the United States.”

The request was made pursuant to section 501(b) of the Stafford Act.

The letter calls attention to the worsening situation on the Mississippi River which has already seen near historic low water levels that have restricted barge traffic on the nation’s critical water transportation artery since this summer. The existing crisis has been heightened even further as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun the reduction of water to the Mississippi River from dams on the upper Missouri River.

Alarmed that as the effects of reduced flows from the Missouri River are felt downstream and rock pinnacles are exposed near Thebes and Grand Tower, Illinois, significantly impairing the flow of commerce by mid-December, the groups are requesting that the President declare an emergency and direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately remove the rock pinnacles and release such water from the Missouri River reservoirs as is necessary to preserve a nine-foot channel on the Mississippi River to sustain commercial navigation.

The groups warn that the economic impacts of a Mississippi River closure would be dire, placing $7 billion in key products such as corn, grain, coal, petroleum, chemicals and other products at risk in December and January alone, including:

– Over 7 million tons of agricultural products worth $2.3 billion;

– Over 1.7 million tons of chemical products worth $1.8 billion;

– 1.3 million tons of petroleum products worth over $1.3 billion;

– Over 700,000 tons of crude oil worth $534 million; and

– 3.8 million tons of coal worth $192 million.

Recognizing the importance of the Mississippi River as a critical national transportation artery and economic cornerstone, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, as well as 15 U.S. Senators and 62 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, have written the Administration calling attention to the severity of the situation and urging action to keep the river open to navigation.

The time for action is now, because once the water levels on the Mississippi drop, this will be an even harder problem to solve,” said Tom Allegretti, AWO’s President & CEO. “An emergency declaration is needed now to allow the swift removal of the rock pinnacles and assurance of sufficient flows from the Missouri River while the rock removal work is taking place, both needed measures to ensure the Mississippi River can remain open at a sufficient depth to keep waterborne commerce flowing.”

“Understanding the consequences of further impairment, or certainly cessation of Mississippi River navigation during the critical winter months, this situation necessitates immediate action,” said Amy Larson, NWC President & CEO. “This can be done in a balanced and measured manner respecting other river interests, but it simply must be done.”

The ripple effect of failing to efficiently move $7 billion in key commodities would be staggering,” said Mike Toohey, President and CEO of WCI. “The most immediate effects would be felt up and down the river, but would spread quickly from those that work on the river to those that ship on the river to manufacturing workers and eventually to all of us as consumers. This is an economic disaster in the making and the Administration needs to act now to stop it.”

Dredging Today – Mississippi River Barge Operators: Economy at Risk (USA).

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Singapore: Dyna-Mac Receives LOIs from Leading FPSO Operators

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Dyna-Mac Holdings Ltd. , a provider of detailed engineering, procurement and construction services (“EPC”) to the offshore oil and gas, marine construction and other industries, has secured orders worth a provisional sum of S$115 million, boosting its order book to a provisional value of S$190 million as at to date.

The Group has signed Letters of Intent (“LOIs”) with leading operators of floating production, storage and offloading vessels (“FPSOs”), including Modec, Bumi Armada Berhad and SBM Offshore, for the fabrication of nine topside modules, nine piperacks and one turret. These offshore structures are for FPSO OSX 3, FPSO D1 and FPSO Quad 204 and the projects are expected to be completed progressively by the end of 2013.

UK, India, Brazil

According to the vessel’s owner, OSX 3 Leasing B.V.,FPSO OSX 3 will be deployed within the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil, on the Waikiki field upon completion.

Bumi Armada’s FPSO D1 will be chartered to India’s State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and deployed in the D1 field, 200km off the west coast of Mumbai, India.

FPSO Quad 204 will be deployed in the UK North Sea and its turret design is a large internal mounted system with a bogie wheel bearing arrangement, which will moor the FPSO in harsh environmental conditions. The Quad 204 turret has a total weight of 10,000 tonnes and is provided with arrangements for connecting 20 mooring lines and up to 28 flexible risers and umbilicals. The turret topside structures consist of 5 decks and a gantry accommodating the process piping, manifolding, equipment and swivel stack for handling a total fluid throughput of 320,000 barrels per day.

Mr Desmond Lim Tze Jong the Group’s Executive Chairman and CEO, said: “We have been in talks for these projects, amongst others, for some time and we are very pleased to have finally sealed these projects, which boosts our current order book to S$190 million. Our tender book remains healthy and we are confident about our growth outlook given that current market dynamics continue to encourage higher spending on exploration and production of oil. Our optimism is also supported by Dyna-Mac’s strong track record and reliable reputation as a FPSO / FSO topside module specialist among our customers, many with whom we have entrenched working relationships.”

115 million Singapore dollars = 88.27814 million U.S. dollars

190 million Singapore dollars = 145.85084 million U.S. dollars

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