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UPDATE biz notes Nichols Brothers wins ferry contract GIANT ULSTEIN-DESIGN OCV to be built at chouESt YarD The nexT generaTion of offshore vessels is upon us. Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) and Island Offshore have ordered two new offshore construction vessels (OCV) based on the newly developed U l s tei n SX165 de sig n, t h roug h Louisiana-based Island Ventures II LLC. OCV will be built in the U.S. at one of Chouest’s sh ipya rd s a nd t he ot her at Ulstein Verft, Norway. Each of OCV will measure 145.7 m x 28 m—that’s 478 ft x 92 ft—with accommodations for 200. The OCV will be equipped with two cranes that can lift 400 tons and 140 tons, respectively; a large moon pool measuring 11.2 m x 12 m; plus two smaller moon pools with ROVs. T he ve s s el ’s de sig n i nc lude s t h re e sepa rate eng ine rooms to prov ide operational reliability. The OCVs will be fitted with an SCR catalyst system for NOx emission reduction. “We are very pleased to develop the next generation of offshore vessels together with ECO and Island Offshore,” says Ulstein Group CEO Gunvor Ulstein. The contract, which includes an option, marks the first time an Ulstein-designed vessel will be built in the U.S. “The cooperation between our companies is excellent and we look forward to working with Ulstein on the construction of these multifunctional vessels,” says ECO CEO Gary Chouest. The design, the largest ever to be built at Ulstein Verft, will be challenging but Kristian Sætre, managing director, Ulstein Verft assures that the yard is “ready, and looking forward to the assignment.” Deliver y is set for the third quarter of 2015. nichols BroThers Boatbuilders, Freeland, WA, has been awarded a contract from Washington State’s Wahkiakum County for the construction of the M/V Oscar B, a 115 ft x 47 ft passenger ferry. The ferr y, which will operate at a speed of 8 knots between Puget Island, Cathlamet, WA , and Westpor t, OR, will carry 100 passengers and 23 cars. Designed by Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA, the steel hull, aluminum superstructure vessel will be powered by two Cummins QLS diesels delivering 9,285 hp at 1,800 rev/min coupled to ZF Marine reversing reduction gears with two fixed-pitched propellers. To help pay for the ferry’s construction, the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) granted a $1.1 million zero-interest loan to the county. Nichols Brothers bid $5.68 million to build the ferry. The M/V Oscar B will be delivered from Nichols Whidbey Island shipyard February 2015. Additionally, Nichols was awarded a contract to build a 150 ft x 50 ft Landing Craft vessel for Bowhead Transport, LLC. The vessel was designed by Columbia Sentinel Engineering, Inc. Propulsion will be provided by three Caterpillar C-18 DITA Commercial EPA Tier III diesel engines. The landing craft will operate in coastal villages of the North Slope Borough of Alaska between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. BSEE citES offShorE opEratorS for SEMS deficiencies Bure au of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Brian Salerno cited 12 offshore operators for their failure to demonstrate compliance with the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) requirements of the Workplace Safety Rule, 30 CFR Subpart S. The SEMS requirements were put in place in October 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Per the regulations, offshore operators were required to complete an initial SEMS audit by November 15, 2013. “An effective, fully implemented SEMS program is essentia l to reducing risks across offshore operations,” said Director Salerno. “BSEE must be assured that companies are addressing the key elements of 6 MARINE LOG December 2013 SEMS and that they are not needlessly putting their workers and the environment at risk. We will vigorously enforce compliance with this fundamental requirement.” Beginning Nov. 16, Director Salerno directed five companies to halt operations because they failed to provide BSEE an audit plan and completed audit by the Nov. 15 regulatory deadline, calling into question whether they have implemented a SEMS program. The companies were given three days to reach a safe point in their operations before ceasing work. While most of the companies are conducting plugging and abandonment or other decommissioning activities, the elements of a SEMS program are applicable to all offshore operations. BSEE has determined that the impact of this enforcement action on Gulf of Mexico production is minuscule. Seven additional companies submitted audit plans that were in compliance with regulations, but failed to complete the audits before the Nov. 15 deadline. Those companies have been directed to immediately provide BSEE with a copy of their SEMS program; have the company CEO certify, under penalty of perjury, that their company has implemented the SEMS program ; and complete their SEMS audit without further delay. BSEE may take other enforcement measures if operators do not meet these requirements. For more information visit

December 2013 Marine Log Magazine

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