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(SAN DIEGO) – General Dynamics NASSCO has received $1.4 billion in U.S. Navy contract modifications for construction of a sixth expeditionary sea base ship (ESB 8) and two additional John Lewis-class fleet oilers (T-AO 211 and 212). This award comes in addition to $600 million already received to procure long lead-time materials for the same ships.

The contract modification also provides an option for the Navy to procure an additional oiler, T-AO 213, bringing the total potential value to $2.7 billion for the four ships.

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4)

“NASSCO is committed to working together with the Navy to deliver these much needed ships to the fleet,” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “As partners with the Navy, we remain dedicated to ensuring the success of both of these programs to help enhance and expand the Navy’s forward presence and warfighting capabilities while providing sustained growth for our workforce.”

Construction of the four ships is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027.

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created mobile landing platform program, USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program evolved, adding USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), the future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), configured as ESBs.

ESB ships are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including air mine countermeasures, special operations forces and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile sea base, this 784-foot ship has a 52,000-square-foot flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor and H1 aircraft operations. The future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7) are currently under construction.

In 2016, the Navy awarded NASSCO a contract to design and build the first six ships in the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis class. Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy ships operating at sea, the 742-feet vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil and significant amounts of dry cargo, as well as providing aviation capability while traveling at speeds up to 20 knots.

The first ship, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), was delivered to the Navy in July 2022. USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207) and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) are currently under construction.

— General Dynamics NASSCO


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Guilford, Conn., based American Cruise Line’s latest modern riverboatAmerican Symphony, completed sea trials late last week and is on its way to New Orleans for an on-time start to its inaugural season on the Mississippi River.

American Cruise Lines reports that it accepted delivery of the vessel from Chesapeake Shipbuilding as scheduled. The ship is the fifth riverboat in the Line’s ground-breaking new series and the 15th small ship built by the Salisbury, Md., shipyard for American.

The 175-passenger riverboat will immediately join the company’s expanding Mississippi River fleet. It is set to depart New Orleans August 27, and American Cruise Lines plans to christen it during its inaugural cruise, on August 30 in Natchez, Miss.

American Symphony is part of our ongoing commitment to leading the U.S. river cruise market by introducing innovative small ships every year,” said American Cruise Line’s president and CEO Charles B. Robertson. “Smaller is better on the rivers. We look forward to American Symphony’s first season on the Mississippi, as well as the introduction of sister ship American Serenade early next year.”

Accommodating 175 guests, American Symphony has five decks and offers 100% private balcony staterooms, including suites and single rooms. The new riverboat has an elegant design with a stunning use of glass, allowing for unparalleled views throughout the ship, which also showcases American’s patented opening bow and retractable gangway, as well as a top deck skywalk with an ellipse that cantilevers dramatically over the café below.

Source: https://www.marinelog.com/inland-coastal/inland/american-symphony-completes-sea-trials/


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There has been immense interest in mapping out the impacts of the national lockdowns China imposed in the second quarter. However, going by new data released on Sunday by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC), the nation appears to have shrugged off most of the predicted impacts on its economy.

Specifically, July has seen a significant recovery. Despite signs that global consumption would slow in July, outbound shipments grew by 18 percent, the fastest pace yet this year, compared to 17.9 percent rise recorded in June. This performance exceeded expectations of a 15 percent gain.

Analysts had pegged their outlook on results of a global manufacturing survey, which showed demand weakened in July with orders and output indices falling to their lowest levels since the onset of Covid-19. Another official China’s manufacturing survey corroborated the decline; showing industrial activity had contracted in June, resulting from widespread lockdowns in spring.

But the unexpected positive performance in July points to recovery of supply chains at China’s major export hubs. In addition, China’s special relief measures for small and medium-sized enterprises, including tax reductions, could have had some effect, according to trade researcher Bai Ming of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

The high export volume recorded in July is also reflected in increasing number of TEUs handled at Chinese ports. Foreign trade container throughput at eight of the Chinese major ports rose by 14.5 percent in July, compared to the 8.4 percent gain seen in June, according to data by the China Ports and Harbors Association.

“Amid negative real interest rate and surging inflation, July exports may have been buoyed by frontloaded orders by some European and US customers to ensure they had goods on hand with lower costs,” noted Bruce Pang, Chief Economist and head of research at Jones Lang Lasalle Inc.

Meanwhile, imports remain weak, suggesting a soft domestic demand in China. Imports rose by only 2.3 percent from a year earlier against the forecasted 3.7 percent rise.

For instance, crude oil imports in July fell by 9.5 percent from a year earlier while the volume of imported integrated circuits – a major Chinese import – dropped by 19.6 percent, according to Reuters’ calculations. The slow growth in import volumes will be visible in the last half of the year, as China’s imports are components of goods that are then re-exported.

Source: https://maritime-executive.com/article/china-s-exports-still-growing-despite-global-inflation-fears


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Critics of China’s Belt and Road program have long warned of the potential military uses of the Chinese-operated port at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, and successive Sri Lankan governments have denied that the port would benefit China’s PLA Navy. This past weekend, a Chinese missile tracking ship tried to call at the port, setting off a minor diplomatic scuffle with India and providing new evidence for the critique.

In 2016, a Chinese state-owned enterprise took over the port of Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on exceptionally favorable terms. The Sri Lankan government was heavily in debt to China, and to raise funds, it granted a 99-year lease on the underutilized port complex to China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port) in exchange for $1.1 billion. For critics of China’s Belt and Road development program, Hambantota immediately became the go-to example of Beijing’s “debt diplomacy”: saddling a developing nation with debt to build unneeded infrastructure, then taking control of the distressed assets.

As a deepwater port, Hambantota also has dual-use application as a potential naval resupply point, which China’s critics in New Delhi and Washington, D.C. were quick to point out. Sri Lanka’s government has pushed back on this suggestion over the years. “There are no foreign naval bases in Sri Lanka,” Ranil Wikremesinghe, then prime minister of Sri Lanka, said in 2018. “The Hambantota Port is a commercial joint venture between our ports authority and China Merchants.”

These suspicions were put to the test this month with the planned arrival of the spy ship Yuan Wang 5, a ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship in China’s research vessel fleet. She was due to transit to Hambantota, arriving August 11 and departing August 17 after conducting replenishment. Her mission in the Indian Ocean, according to the China-oriented consultancy Belt and Road Initiative Sri Lanka (BRISL), is to “conduct space tracking, satellite control and research tracking in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean region through August and September.”

However, India protested the plans for the ship’s arrival. India and Sri Lanka share a defense treaty that prohibits Colombo from allowing a foreign military (like China’s PLA Navy) to use Sri Lankan ports if the use damages India’s interests. The timing was particularly sensitive because India had just provided Sri Lanka with $4.5 billion in aid to bail out its collapsing economy.

After New Delhi’s objections, the (newly-formed) Sri Lankan administration of President Ranil Wickremesinghe asked the Chinese embassy to postpone the Yuan Wang 5’s port call “until further consultations.”

“Letting the Chinese military vessel dock at Hambantota would have compounded Sri Lanka’s other India-unfriendly actions since 2014, when two Chinese submarines separately docked at a new, Chinese-built container terminal in Colombo Port,” said Indian defense strategist Prof. Brahma Chellaney, speaking to the Times of India.

Source: https://maritime-executive.com/article/sri-lanka-turns-chinese-naval-vessel-away-from-port-of-hambantota


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A group of Japanese technology leaders (MTI, Japan Marine, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Furuno, Japan Radio, BEMAC, ClassNK and NAPA) have come together to establish a cooperation program called “Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering” (MODE), at the University of Tokyo from the 1 October. The program aims to promote and enhance digital engineering technology and skills for the maritime sector by building cooperative simulation platforms. Japan’s maritime industry is facing challenges, such as developing and implementing new technologies in the context of global decarbonization, maintaining shipping services by integrating autonomous ships to assist seafarers and improve safety, and ensuring high productivity among increasing complexity in ship design and manufacturing processes.

MODE aims to address these challenges by using model-based development (MBD) and model-based systems engineering (MBSE), which are increasingly being introduced in the automobile industry.

MBD and MBSE approach problems by examining the functions of products and components as computer models, and then checking their behaviors through simulations. MBD and MBSE enable not only the optimization of complex system designs, but also the creation of a collaborative development process (“Maritime and Ocean Digital Engineering”) involving a wide range of stakeholders, including shippers and operators.

The program for research and education on MBD and MBSE for the maritime field will be established by a forming broad network between the Graduate Schools of Frontier Sciences and Engineering at the University of Tokyo and other universities and research institutes around the world that are promoting advanced engineering initiatives, and relevant experts from other industries such as automobiles, aerospace and aviation.

The program aims to develop, implement, and upskill users in the deployment of new technologies. It is also expected to expand into maritime fields such as offshore wind power generation and subsea resource development.

An inaugural symposium is scheduled for the afternoon of 4 October this year at the University of Tokyo.


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The maritime industry in the Northern Netherlands is pooling its knowledge and capabilities to take on the technological challenges and become a global player in “green”, clean shipping and digital shipbuilding. A European grant of 1.4 million euros is to support these developments.

The grant goes to the “Green Maritime Coalition”, a consortium of 21 technology developers, shipping companies, shipyards, suppliers, laboratories, universities of applied sciences and the University of Groningen.

The “Green Maritime Coalition” is initiated by the Groninger Maritime Board and Conoship International and is planning to lead the way in the transition to large-scale zero-emission shipping and digital shipbuilding. This process is aiming on industrial development and application of techniques such as hydrogen propulsion, VentiFoil-wind propulsion, Redox Flow full electric propulsion, Ship Based Carbon Capture and Storage and robotisation of production processes.

Maritime innovation ecosystem

‘The energy transition provides the innovative northern Dutch maritime industry great opportunities to become a global player in developing and delivery of “green” technologies for clean shipping,’ says Guus van der Bles, Director Development of Conoship International. ‘Cooperation between technology developers, shipbuilders, shipowners and knowledge institutes is essential for this, in combination with robotisation of ship production to build the innovative zero-emission ships in the Northern Netherlands. The support from the Province, EFRO and SNN will stimulate this co-operation, and accelerate innovations and development in this region.’

On Wednesday 13 July, deputy of the Province of Groningen, IJzebrand Rijzebol, handed over a cheque to the initiators of the innovation project: 1.4 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRO).

Rijzebol: ‘The maritime industry in the Northern Netherlands is innovative and strong and of great importance for employment. In the coming years, this industry will direct and make the transition to sustainable shipping. I am pleased that this challenge is being taken up in a unique collaboration between business and knowledge institutions. A northern maritime innovation ecosystem could develop into an employment powerhouse.’

Project partners

Initial project partners of the Green & Digital Maritime Innovation Ecosystem Northern Netherlands are Conoship International BV, MSN BV, Holthausen Clean Technology BV, eCONOwind BV, Bouman Industries BV, Bijlsma Wartena BV, Doze Management BV, Royal Niestern-Sander BV, Eekels Technology BV, Cadmatic BV, Wijnne & Barends’ Cargadoors- en Agentuurkantoren BV, Wagenborg Shipping BV, ROC Friese Poort, Stichting NHL Stenden Hogeschool and the University of Groningen.

Source: https://swzmaritime.nl/news/2022/08/09/northern-dutch-maritime-industry-wants-to-become-global-player-green-ships/


Greece has installed its new LNG Floating Storage Unit (FSU) near the Revithoussa land based terminal and says the FSU will be ready to receive LNG shipments by the end of August

During a visit to the site, Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostas Skrekas was quoted by Greek media outlet Kathimerini as saying “The new tank is ready to receive the first shipments of LNG by the end of August. This will make it possible to ensure our country’s supply of natural gas, a large percentage of which is used for electricity generation, and thus to shield our country in the coming days.”

Mr Skrekas visited the LNG carrier-turned-FSU Methane Lydon Volney accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Environment, Giorgos Amiras and the Secretary General for Energy & Mineral Resources, Alexandra Sdoukou and Greek gas grid operator DESFA’s CEO Maria Rita Galli.

Ms Galli also addressed the vessel’s capabilities and the impacts Russia’s war in Ukraine is having on energy markets.

“During this critical time, DESFA was on the frontline of current developments, implementing a series of investments to strengthen its infrastructures and further diversify Greece’s sources of [energy] supply, and significantly reduce the country’s dependence on natural gas coming from Russia.”
She added “With the addition of the FSU, we increase the total storage capacity of Revithoussa to 360,000 m3 and contribute decisively to ensuring alternative sources of supply via LNG unloadings and overall to the country’s security of supply, through our technical experience and infrastructure.”
The FSU is a GasLog-owned steam turbine 145,000m3 LNG carrier installed as a floating storage unit. The FSU is moored near the Revithoussa LNG Terminal – currently the only LNG terminal in Greece.
GasLog’s LNG carrier is one of two vessels in the LNG operator’s fleet chartered to DESFA for 12 months.

Source: https://www.rivieramm.com/news-content-hub/greece-welcomes-gaslogs-lng-carrier-installed-as-a-fsu-72331


General Dynamics NASSCO, a subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), announced today that it received $1.4 billion in U.S. Navy contract modifications for construction of a sixth Expeditionary Sea Base ship (ESB 8) and two additional John Lewis-class fleet oilers (T-AO 211 and 212). This award comes in addition to $600 million already received to procure long-lead time materials for the same ships. The contract modification also provides an option for the Navy to procure an additional oiler, T-AO 213, bringing the total potential value to $2.7 billion for the four ships.

“NASSCO is committed to working together with the Navy to deliver these much needed ships to the fleet,” said Dave Carver, President of General Dynamics NASSCO. “As partners with the Navy, we remain dedicated to ensuring the success of both of these programs to help enhance and expand the Navy’s forward presence and warfighting capabilities while providing sustained growth for our workforce.”

Construction of the four ships is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027.

U.S. Navy Ships
Credits: NASSCO

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created Mobile Landing Platform program, USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program evolved, adding USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), the future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), configured as ESBs. ESB ships are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including Air Mine Counter Measures, Special Operations Forces, and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile sea base, this 784-foot ship has a 52,000 square-foot flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations. The future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7) are currently under construction.

In 2016, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first six ships in the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class. Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy ships operating at sea, the 742-feet vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil and significant amounts of dry cargo, as well as providing aviation capability while traveling at speeds up to 20 knots. The first ship, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), was delivered to the U.S. Navy in July 2022. The USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) are currently under construction.

General Dynamics NASSCO specializes in the design and construction of Navy and commercial ships and is a major provider of repair services for the U.S. Navy, with capabilities in San Diego, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Mayport, Florida; and Bremerton, Washington. More information about General Dynamics NASSCO is available at www.nassco.com.

General Dynamics is a global aerospace and defense company that offers a broad portfolio of products and services in business aviation; ship construction and repair; land combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; and technology products and services. General Dynamics employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and generated $38.5 billion in revenue in 2021.

Reference: NASSCO


The first-ever repair of a US Navy ship in India signifies the capabilities of Indian shipyards in the global ship repairing market and adds a new dimension to the burgeoning Indo-US strategic partnership.

As Indian shipyards offer a wide-ranging and cost-effective ship repair and maintenance services using advanced maritime technology platforms, the US Navy had awarded a contract to L&T’s Shipyard at Kattupalli for undertaking maintenance of the ship.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area Rear Admiral S Venkat Raman and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence visited the shipyard to welcome the vessel. The US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin and Defence Attaché at the US Embassy at New Delhi Rear Admiral Michael Baker were also present.

“We are indeed pleased to welcome US Naval Ship USNS Charles Drew to India, for making her voyage ready. India’s initiative also assumes special significance in furthering the strategic partnership between India and the US. It marks the beginning of a new chapter for deeper engagements,” said Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar terming the event as a red-letter day for the Indian shipbuilding industry and the Indo-US defence relationship.

He added that the arrival of USNS Charles Drew for repairs is a sign of a maturing Indian shipbuilding industry.

“Today, India has six major shipyards with turnover of nearly $2 billion. We are making ships not only for our own requirements. We have our own design house capable of making all kinds of state-of-the-art ships. The country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant is a shining example of the growth of the Indian shipbuilding industry.

“Under the new innovation ecosystem, vessels capable of undertaking autonomous missions have been built by Goa Shipyard Limited and some of our start-ups. The shipbuilding industry today is not just carrying out conventional things, but is also amalgamating the latest technologies with it,” he said.

US Ship

The Defence Secretary also asserted that the ties between India and the US have been expanding in scale and scope and are based on common values and beliefs of an open, inclusive and rule-based order in Indo-Pacific and rest of the global common systems. He added that there has been a tremendous amount of traction in the defence industry cooperation over the last couple of years between the two countries.

“Indian defence exports have seen a massive increase in the last four-five years. Exports, which were worth about Rs 1,500 crore in 2015-16, have now grown by 800% to around Rs 13,000 crore. A major destination for Indian exports is the US,” said Kumar. He thanked the US partners for their cooperation and support to the Indian defence industry, hoping that the defence exports will increase further in the times to come.

The USNS Charles Drew will be at Kattupalli shipyard for a period of 11 days and undergo repairs in various areas.

“In April, at the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin affirmed their intention to explore utilising Indian shipyards for repairs on US Navy vessels. This inaugural repair of USNS Charles Drewis a landmark development to be celebrated as a symbol of our strengthened US-India partnership,” said US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin.

Rear Admiral Michael Baker, the Defence Attache at the US Embassy at New Delhi, said that the shipping industries positively contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific by partnering to deliver effective, efficient, and economical repair of military vessels.

The Marine Sealift Command of the US Navy had undertaken rigorous evaluation of select shipyards in India and cleared L&T for undertaking repairs on their vessels.

“It is a recognition for the modern infrastructure at the shipyard built to global standards,” commented JD Patil, Member of the Executive Council and Advisor to the CEO of L&T for Defence and Smart Technologies.

Source: https://www.indianarrative.com/world-news/indian-shipyard-begins-first-ever-repair-of-a-us-navy-warship-189276.html


Aug 7, 2022 (Bloomberg) –Karpowership, the Turkish company seeking to supply more than 1,200 megawatts of power to South Africa, said its appeal to overturn an environmental ruling against its plans has failed in another blow to the country’s attempts to resolve a power crisis.

The company, which supplies ship-mounted gas-fired power plants, will be allowed to correct “perceived gaps” in its application, it said in a statement sent to Bloomberg on Sunday.

Karpowership last year won more than 60% of an emergency power tender to secure 2,000 megawatts of electricity to ease power shortages that have plagued the South Africa since 2008. While the companies were originally meant to commence supply this month, projects worth only 150 megawatts have concluded their financial arrangements and are more than a year away from commissioning.

Barbara Creecy, South Africa’s environment minister, last year dismissed Karpowership’s initial application after environmental activists lodged complaints about its impact on fishing, local ecosystems and potential greenhouse gas emissions.

“We respect Minister Creecy’s exercise of her powers, but we are very disappointed with the outlook especially given the time it took to make a decision,” Karpowership said in the statement. The company will refile its submission and hopes “that the process will be much timelier than it has been to date,” it said.

Last month South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the country’s power legislation in a bid to encourage private developers to supply the electricity that state utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has failed to. The country is on course for its worst year of power cuts to date.

“South Africa needs dispatchable power now,” Karpowership said. “ We remain committed to being part of South Africa’s energy security solution and are ready to deploy our Powerships immediately.”

The amount of power Karpowership plans to supply could meet the needs of more than 800,000 homes.