FEBRUARY 10, 2013—Google-backed Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), Princeton, NJ, has picked Bechtel as its Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor and Alstom as its HVDC technical advisor for the first phase of its New Jersey Energy Link, an electricity transmission system proposed for off of the New Jersey coast.
With several wind farms proposed off of New Jersey and the East Coast, the idea behind the New Jersey Energy Link is to connect both traditional and alternative energy resources onshore and off with users throughout the state. The subsea cable will run the length of New Jersey 12 to 15 miles offshore and when complete will have the capacity to transmit 3,000 MW of electricity.
The power grid is seen as an essential element in developing offshore wind off of New Jersey, as well as bolstering an aging East Coast energy infrastructure to deliver electricity to residents, industry and government.
The New Jersey Energy Link will be built in three phases, with construction expected to begin in 2016. The first phase will be in service in 2019.
In future phases, the power grid could eventually stretch down to Delaware and Virginia.
As EPC contractor for the New Jersey Energy Link, Bechtel will engineer, design, and install onshore transmission lines and substations: two onshore convertor stations and one offshore converter station that will make up the New Jersey Energy Link backbone. Bechtel will also oversee the installation of advanced HVDC converter technology and high voltage DC cables to bring power from the offshore wind turbines to the onshore converter stations.
“We are building a landmark high-capacity transmission superhighway that will deliver offshore wind energy to New Jersey using the most advanced technology available today,” says Toby Seay, President of Bechtel’s transmission business line.
As the HVDC technical advisor, Alstom will provide technical advice concerning the manufacture and delivery of the 320 kV HVDC multi-terminal system components. With their HVDC MaxSine Voltage Source Converters (VSC), they are one of only a few firms in the world versed in technology related to multi-terminal HVDC systems including the project’s plans to provide connections with a series of 1 GW offshore converter “hubs” to onshore converters. This multi-terminal HVDC offshore network will transform the 138 kV or 230 kV alternating current output from offshore wind farm electric service platforms into DC for transmission at 320 kV DC to onshore converters that will be connected to the PJM grid.
Patrick Plas, Senior Vice President, Alstom Grid, says “Based on our proven capability to design, manufacture and supply large HVDC and HVAC projects and equipment worldwide we are confident we can provide the HVDC expertise required by the project."
The Atlantic Wind Connection backbone transmission project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect with Atlantic Grid Development as the project developer and Google, Bregal Energy, Marubeni Corporation and Elia as backers.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 — Houston headquartered Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE: ATW) reports that a subsidiary has been awarded a drilling services contract for the Atwood Advantage by a subsidiary of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) for a worldwide program commencing in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Atwood Advantage is a 12,000 foot water depth capable, dynamically positioned drillship currently under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard in South Korea.
The agreement specifies an operating rate of approximately $584,000 per day and a firm duration of three years, exclusive of the mobilization period from DSME to the first drilling location.
The Atwood Advantage is scheduled to be delivered from the DSME shipyard in September 2013, after which it will mobilize for a period of approximately eighty days to its first location in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The contract adds $639 million in revenue backlog, bringing Atwood's total revenue backlog to approximately $2.9 billion as of October 1, 2012.
Rob Saltiel, Atwood's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are extremely pleased to be working with Noble Energy with the Atwood Advantage. Our companies have enjoyed a long and productive working relationship, and this agreement exemplifies the spirit of collaboration that exists between our companies. Atwood is committed to providing outstanding drilling service to Noble Energy with our state-of-the-art drillship, and we are proud to have been selected for this important drilling program."
JANUARY 30, 2013 — All efforts to tow the minesweeper USS Guardian off a reef in the Philippines having failed, the Navy has decided that the only way remove the ship without causing further damage to the reef is in pieces. Meantime, investigators are looking into whether faulty digital chart data might have been a factor in the grounding.
U.S. Navy salvage assessment team members board the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5)
ABC News reports Capt. Darryn James, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, as saying that the Navy now plans to cut the ship into pieces to get it off the reef. Two heavy lift ship-borne cranes will arrive at the scene by Friday to begin to salvage the ship. The process is expected to take a month
USS Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef the night of January 17. The 23 year old Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship had just completed a port call in Subic Bay and was en route to Indonesia and then on to Timor-Leste to participate in a training exercise when the grounding occurred.
Tubbataha Reef, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island and located about 400 miles south of Manila, is both a Philippines natural park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A U.S. Navy investigation to assess the circumstances surrounding the grounding that occurred in Philippine waters will include information on faulty digital navigation chart data that misplaced the location of Tubbataha Reef.
The U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has provided the Navy preliminary findings of a review on Digital Nautical Charts (DNC) that contain inaccurate navigation data and may have been a factor in the grounding.
This action followed up on initial contact made by NGA when the mapping organization first realized there might be a potential inaccuracy regarding the Tubbataha Reef digital chart. NGA has reviewed data from more than 150,000 square nautical miles in the surrounding area and found no additional errors.
Since DNC mapping is used for safe navigation by Guardian and other U.S. Navy ships, Navigator of the Navy Rear Adm. Jonathan White has released precautionary guidance to all Fleet and ship commanders. White's message states, "initial review of navigation data indicates an error in the location of Tubbataha Reef" on the digital map.
"While the erroneous navigation chart data is important information, no one should jump to conclusions," said U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James. "It is critical that the U.S. Navy conduct a comprehensive investigation that assesses all the facts surrounding the Guardian grounding."
FEBRUARY 12, 2013 — Classification society DNV and Process Systems Enterprise Ltd. (PSE), a specialist in process modeling technology, have released the results of the maritime CCS (carbon capture and storage) research and development project.
The project has developed a concept design for on-board chemical CO2 capture. The system consists of a chemical absorption plant that separates CO2 from flue gases, a liquefaction unit where the captured CO2 is compressed and condensed using a refrigerant and two storage tanks where the liquid CO2 product is temporarily stored until discharge into transmission and storage infrastructures at the next suitable port.
The results show that the concept is technically feasible and capable of reducing ship CO2 emissions by up to 65 percent. For a VLCC tanker, this could correspond to capturing more than 70,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, transforming them from emissions to a tradable product.
"In response to more stringent environmental regulations and complex market conditions, we see an increased demand for innovative solutions towards higher efficiency and greener operations," says Dr. Nikolaos Kakalis, Head of DNV Research & Innovation Greece. "Our R&D activities, such as the carbon capture initiative which is completely new in the field of maritime transportation, pave the future towards next-generation solutions for achieving more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable maritime transportation".
Prof. Costas Pantelides, Managing Director of PSE, says "This has been a challenging design problem with tight constraints. Applying a model-based engineering approach has been key to exploring the process decision space rapidly and effectively, and developing technically feasible and economically viable solutions."
Maritime CO2 emissions are estimated at over 1,000 million tonnes per year, or 3 percent of total emissions, and are expected to reach 2,000 to 3,000 million tonnes by 2050. The U.K. government has included maritime emissions in the reduction targets set by a Climate Change Bill, and there are likely to be continued efforts by IMO to reduce emissions from international shipping.
Because ship emissions are concentrated – unlike other forms of transportation – the potential to capture CO2 at source has been the key focus of the project.
The Maritime CCS project was jointly financed by the two partners, the UK's Technology Strategy Board and the Research Council of Norway under the EUROSTARS initiative.
The project took into account the unique challenges posed by the maritime environment – constant movement, limited space and access to utilities, stringent safety requirements and the need for energy efficiency.
OCTOBER 2, 2012 — Crowley Petroleum Services, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, was recently awarded a $16,506,028 firm-fixed-price contract with reimbursable elements for the Jones Act time-charter of one U.S.-flagged, articulated tug barge, ATB Coastal Reliance, in support of Defense Logistics Agency-Energy missions. The primary area of performance under the contract will be the U.S. West Coast. The contract is expected to be completed by Oct. 12, 2013. This contract was competitively procured via a solicitation posted to the Military Sealift Command, Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities websites, with more than 50 companies solicited, with three offers received. The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00033-12-C-5428).
According to Crowley the Coastal Reliance / 550-4 is one of four Crowley owned and operated 550 class ATBs, which are about 20,000 deadweight tons, and 605 feet in length and 78 feet in breadth. This class of ATBs, since their construction in 2001 and 2002, has operated on the U.S. West Coast, Canadian West Coast and Alaska for a variety of customers. These vessels were developed and designed by Crowley specifically for West Coast operations and weather conditions, with advanced safety features such as double hulls, inert gas generator systems, segregated ballast and radar gauging systems.
Earlier this year Crowley Maritime Corporation used the Coastal Reliance to make its first delivery of petroleum products to the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (see earlier story).
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