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Port of Houston to expand Houston Ship Channel by investing $450M

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Port of Houston to expand Houston Ship Channel by investing $450M. Image: Port Houston
Port of Houston to expand Houston Ship Channel by investing $450M. Image: Port Houston
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The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority met in a special session and awarded two of the largest contracts in the organization’s history. The Commission approved the staff’s recommendation to award Weeks Marine and Curtin Maritime Corporation contracts totaling $430 million to complete the remaining Galveston Bay segments of the Houston Ship Channel expansion project.

“It’s an exciting day for Port Houston and the entire region and the millions of people who rely on the Houston Ship Channel for their livelihood and to bring them essential goods,” Chairman Ric Campo said. “One of today’s contracts to support Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11 is historic and, to our knowledge, the largest award ever made.”

Port Houston staff recommended Weeks Marine and Curtin Maritime Corporation based on the best value, including cost, schedule, environmental components, and Small, Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprises inclusion.

“The teams recommended were the top proposers in all of these areas – best schedules, lowest costs and estimated NOx emissions, and most S/MWBE inclusion,” Executive Director Roger Guenther said in his report. “Nearly 32% of the contracts will go to S/MWBE companies,
furthering our commitment to business equity, which is a priority for Port Houston.”

Also noteworthy, nearly 52% of the contract amounts are dedicated to the creation of marshes, bird islands and oyster reefs. Both Campo and Guenther expressed appreciation to all involved in the historic collaborative effort, especially the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Houston Pilots, and industry partners.

According to the USACE, the Houston Ship Channel is the busiest waterway in the nation. Port Houston’s eight public terminals and more than 200 private facilities have an economic impact of nearly $802 billion in annual activity to the nation, and support more than 2.1 million U.S. jobs.

Project 11 is 82% funded, and efforts continue to secure the remaining federal funds. When complete, the USACE study shows Project 11 should add more than $133 million annually in national economic value. The Port Commission approved all of the items on the agenda, totaling $450 million supporting the channel expansion efforts.

“The Houston Ship Channel is vital in our region and we are proud to continue to invest in our collective future,” Chairman Campo said.
Last month, during its regular meeting, the Port Commission also awarded approximately $30 million towards continued investments in landside infrastructure and terminal operations.

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Maritime

TotalEnergies, Corio Generation and Qair to develop two floating windfarms in the Mediterranean Sea

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TotalEnergies, Corio Generation and Qair to develop two floating windfarms in the Mediterranean Sea. Image: Pexels
TotalEnergies, Corio Generation and Qair to develop two floating windfarms in the Mediterranean Sea. Image: Pexels
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A consortium of TotalEnergies, Corio Generation and Qair has been pre-selected by the French Directorate General for Energy and Climate to participate in a competitive tender to develop two floating windfarms in the Mediterranean Sea. The two projects of about 250 MW each could supply enough clean energy to meet the annual electricity consumption of almost one million people.

Opportunity to develop an innovative value chain

The TotalEnergies, Corio Generation and Qair consortium is delighted with this new call for tenders, which will help to achieve France’s objective of 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050.

The partners intend to support the development of a local Mediterranean industrial value chain for offshore wind power. To this end, the consortium plans to consult regional stakeholders, promote the local economy and ensure communities benefit from employment opportunities.

Combining complementary expertise

The consortium will leverage each company’s technical expertise, strong financial resource and extensive experience in the offshore wind sector:

  • TotalEnergies, a multi-energy company, has expertise in offshore operations and maintenance through its historical activities. TotalEnergies is already developing offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of more than 11 GW, including more than 2 GW of floating projects in France, the United Kingdom and South Korea.
  • Corio Generation, a global specialist offshore wind developer, has more than 20 GW of projects under development worldwide, including 2.5 GW in floating wind. Corio is a portfolio company, operating on a standalone basis, of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.
  • Qair, a European renewable energy producer, is a French pioneer in floating wind energy. With over 30 years of experience and a strong local presence in France, Qair operates 1 GW of assets and is developing a pipeline of 20 GW.

Proven cooperation in offshore wind

The consortium’s joint bid is based on a productive track-record and partnership history, including on the following projects:

  • The 250 MW floating windfarm tender in France’s South Brittany region (Qair, TotalEnergies and Corio Generation),
  • The 30 MW Eolmed floating offshore wind pilot project in France (Qair and TotalEnergies)
  • Over 2 GW of floating wind projects in South Korea (Corio and TotalEnergies)
  • The 2 GW West of Orkney Windfarm project in Scotland (Corio and TotalEnergies)
  • The 1.5 GW Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind project in the UK (Corio and TotalEnergies)

“After Brittany’s tender, we are delighted to renew our partnership with Qair and Corio to contribute to the development of floating wind in the Mediterranean and thus to the energy transition in France. If successful, we intend to mobilise our collective expertise to provide the best solutions to meet the technical, commercial and societal challenges of the project,” said Olivier Terneaud, VP Offshore Wind at TotalEnergies.

“Corio Generation is delighted to combine forces with TotalEnergies and Qair. We truly believe France can become a world leader in the development of offshore wind. With its deep waters and industrial heritage, the Mediterranean is fantastically placed to benefit from floating wind technology, creating significant job and investment opportunities. Deploying new projects at scale will be critical to realising the full potential of France’s wind resources and unlocking a significant clean, reliable and affordable source of electricity for generations to come,” said Jonathan Cole, CEO of Corio Generation.

“We are happy to bring once again our partners TotalEnergies and Corio together around their complementary expertise in the development, financing and construction of offshore wind projects. In association with the Mediterranean territories, we will be keen to participate in the acceleration of the energy transition by developing locally the French floating offshore wind industry to come,” said Jérôme Billerey, France Managing Director at Qair.

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Container Shipping Lines

“K” Line enters into long term time charter contracts with QatarEnergy

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"K" Line enters into long term time charter contracts with QatarEnergy. Image: Unsplash
"K" Line enters into long term time charter contracts with QatarEnergy. Image: Unsplash
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Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. has announced that the execution of seven long term Time Charter contracts through joint venture companies with QatarEnergy.

The joint venture companies have concurrently executed Shipbuilding contracts for 174,000m3 LNG carriers with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. QatarEnergy is one of the world’s largest LNG producers and will allocate the newbuilding vessels to transport LNG around the world.

The newbuilding vessels will be equipped with X-DF 2.1 iCER and Air Lubrication System which will contribute to reduction of GHG emissions and realize the ease of environmental impact by lower fuel consumption in operation. Since the delivery of “Bishu Maru” in 1983 as the first Japanese LNG carrier, “K” Line has been establishing expertise on LNG transportation and developing its worldwide network for
nearly 40 years.

X-DF 2.1 iCER is a low speed dual-fuel engine with gas at low pressure. Air Lubrication System is technology to curb the resistance between the ship’s hull and seawater by generating air bubbles on the ship’s bottom.

“K” LINE and QatarEnergy have had long-term relationship through several existing projects. The new contracts have been executed as a successful result of supervision of vessel’s construction with abundant experience, the high-quality ship management, and the highest
level of safe and commercially optimized operation.

In our Medium-Term Management Plan published in May 2022, “K” LINE has placed LNG business as one of the top priority areas in the future investment. “K” LINE will further expand long-term contracts and accommodate growing energy demands by responding to various customers’ needs.

Main Particulars of the Vessel

Shipyard: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.
Delivery: From 2025 through 2026
LOA: About 299m
Beam: 46.4m
Tank Capacity: 174,000m3
Propulsion System: X-DF
Speed: 19.5knt

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Container Shipping Lines

Yang Ming to add ‘YM Throne’ – a new 11,000 TEU container vessel

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Yang Ming to add 'YM Throne' - a new 11,000 TEU container vessel. Image: Unsplash
Yang Ming to add 'YM Throne' - a new 11,000 TEU container vessel. Image: Unsplash
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Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. will add one more new 11,000 TEU container vessel, ‘YM Throne’. The vessel is chartered from Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. and built by Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. The naming ceremony of YM Throne took place at Imabari Hiroshima Shipyard. Yang Ming’s attendees joined the ceremony remotely at their Taipei office.

To further strengthen Yang Ming’s mid- to long-term operational efficiency, the company ordered a total of fourteen 11,000 TEU newbuildings through long-term charter agreements with ship owners. YM Throne is the thirteenth in the series and will be delivered in late August. This type of vessels has a nominal capacity of 11,860 TEU and is equipped with 1,000 plugs for reefer containers. With a length of 333.9 meters, a width of 48.4 meters, a draft of 16 meters, these vessels are designed to cruise at a speed up to 23 knots. The containerships incorporate various environmental features including scrubbers, Water Ballast Treatment Plant and Alternative Marine Power system.

This type of vessels adopts the twin-island design to increase loading capacity and navigational visibility to ensure more efficiency and safety. The ship hull form optimization will further increase energy saving, reduce overall emissions and increase fleet diversity. In addition, the ships are designed with shorter length and beam, which makes them easier to maneuver during berthing or departure. The new dimensions enable these ships to call at major ports worldwide and pass through the new Panama Canal with no restriction, and facilitate greater flexibility in vessel deployment.

Yang Ming started taking delivery of these new vessels from 2020. These additions can lower the average age of Yang Ming’s global fleet, reduce unit cost and achieve energy efficiency. In addition, these newbuildings will help the company to proactively cope with the challenges faced by the fast-changing shipping industry. YM Throne will be deployed on Yang Ming’s Trans-Pacific service PN3 after delivery. The new vessel will not only meet customer needs but also maximize capacity utilization. The joining of YM Throne will significantly enhance the competitiveness of Yang Ming’s global fleet and service network.

The port rotation for the 1st voyage of YM Throne in PN3 is Hong Kong – Yantian – Shanghai – Pusan – Vancouver – Tokyo – Kobe – Pusan – Kaohsiung – Hong Kong.

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