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SCA Weekly Report | September 7-11, 2020

Shipbuilders Council of America

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SCA Weekly Report | September 7-11, 2020





Remembering the Bravery of the 9/11 Maritime Evacuation


Today marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The maritime community is especially grateful for the role that the Coast Guard and civilian mariners played in saving nearly 500,000 people who were trapped in Lower Manhattan.


As the gravity of the attacks on the World Trade Center unfolded, many streets in Lower Manhattan were blocked, subways and tunnels closed and crowds began to gather on the shoreline, hoping that they could get out by water. The Coast Guard began to coordinate the boatlift, putting out a radio call asking civilian mariners to help: “All available boats. This is the United States Coast Guard. Anyone available to help with the evacuation of Lower Manhattan, report to Governor’s Island…”


Almost immediately, ferries that were already in the vicinity, assisted by the NYPD, arrived and began loading passengers. Over the next eight hours, more than 800 mariners on 125 vessels responded, navigating their vessels into harm’s way and transporting half a million people away from the city to safety.



SCA 2021 Dues Survey


Each year, the SCA team is required by our bylaws to conduct dues surveys of our partner and shipyard members to ensure an informed budget process for the following year and we are beginning to plan for 2021. With COVID, it is more important than ever that you complete this information on behalf of your company. If you are unsure if your company has already submitted the information, or if you have any other questions, please contact Paula Zorensky at paula.zorensky@arlaw.com.







Registration Now Open:

2020 SCA Virtual Fall Membership Meeting


The 2020 SCA Virtual Fall Membership Meeting will be held online on October 7-8, 2020. The meeting will feature speakers from the Department of Defense, Congress, and other government officials. This meeting is free for SCA members to attend.


SCA will hold Board and Committee Meetings on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and the Fall Meeting General Session on Thursday, October 8, 2020.


A draft schedule of events can be found HERE.


  • To register for the 2020 Virtual Fall Meeting General Session, CLICK HERE
  • To register for the open session of the Industry Partners Committee Meeting, CLICK HERE


Confirmed Speakers:

  • Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report
  • Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)
  • Rear Admiral Eric Ver Hage
  • Rear Admiral Tom Anderson
  • Rear Admiral John Polowczyk
  • Ron O’Rourke, Congressional Research Service 
  • FireEye Representative


Invited Speakers:

  • Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations
  • ASN James Guerts
  • Vice Admiral Bill Galinis
  • Sen. John Kennedy
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio
  • Rep. Joe Courtney
  • Rep. Sam Graves


Sponsorship opportunities for the meeting are now available. To view available sponsorship's, CLICK HERE


Please contact SCA staff if you are interested in sponsoring the SCA Virtual Fall Membership Meeting.




Thornberry: Final NDAA Bill Won’t Be Ready Until After the Election  

The final conference report on the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act won’t be ready until after the Nov. 3 election, the outgoing ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee said on Wednesday. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said the conference report between the House and the Senate on the NDAA is likely to come out “pretty quickly” after the election.  While the two committees largely agreed on the major parts of the bill, both the Senate and House versions of the bill include language that would start the process of renaming installations and ships currently named after Confederate leaders, a stance that has prompted a veto threat from President Donald Trump. Thornberry said there were other considerations in the bill that have caused the current hold.




White House Seeks Spending Flexibility in Stopgap Funding Bill

The Trump administration wants lawmakers to grant greater flexibility for funding the Navy's new fleet of ballistic missile submarines and the new Space Force in an upcoming stopgap funding bill. Continuing resolutions are meant to keep the government running before a full appropriations bill is passed, but they don't permit the Pentagon or other agencies to start new programs or ramp up existing ones unless lawmakers grant anomalies that allow the military greater spending flexibility for specific programs. 


The administration is requesting that a CR include provisions authorizing the Navy to procure two Columbia-class ballistic missile subs simultaneously, a move that shipbuilding advocates have said could shave money off the costly program. It also requested authority for incremental funding for the subs, where shipbuilding costs come in stages rather than fully funding a ship at the time it's procured. "Without the anomaly, DOD would be unable to begin design and construction activities for these ships and the Navy would be unable to meet U.S. Strategic Command requirements," according to a document from DOD obtained in news reports this week. (attached)


Defense Officials to Brief Esper on Shipbuilding Plan Next Week

In remarks to a virtual event hosted by Defense News, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist said this week that top officials will brief Defense Secretary Mark Esper next week on the results of a study on what the future naval fleet should look like. "We are up to 296 ships, an increase from 2016, but we still need more. A strong future fleet is a top priority for Secretary Esper," said Norquist.


In its latest budget submission, the Navy is projected to grow to just 305 ships by the end of what could be Trump's second term. Dissatisfied by the Navy's most recent shipbuilding plan, Esper early this year tasked Norquist to lead a "future naval forces" study, which brought together officials from the Navy, Marine Corps, Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and outside advisers to determine the makeup of the fleet by 2045. 




6 Companies Awarded Contracts to Start Work on Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle

Last week, the Navy awarded six companies contracts to take the first steps in determining what the service’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) will look like. The announcement highlighted $42 million in in contracts for LUSV studies, with Austal USA, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Fincantieri Marinette, Bollinger Shipyards, Lockheed Martin and Gibbs & Cox each winning about $7 million to kick off work on the program. The Navy anticipates the companies finishing the work by August 2021, but options could extend the work to May 2022. The contracts’ total value with options is $59.48 million. The contract announcement comes after the Navy had to alter its acquisition approach for LUSV due to lawmakers’ concern over the untested technology being rolled out too quickly.


Navy Studying Slow-Moving USVs for Data Collection; Potential Market Survey to Follow

The Navy urgently contracted the use of five wind-powered, unmanned surface vessels for data collection during a major exercise with the intent to survey industry for other capabilities if the demonstrations are successful. The Office of Naval Research awarded the $500,000 contract, made using special acquisition authorities to bypass a full-and-open competition, to Saildrone.


The contract includes "services of a fleet of five unmanned surface vessels to simultaneously supply near-real-time reports of in situ meteorological, oceanographic and visual imagery data to a web-based command and control center for a period of up to 14 days during the Trident Warrior 2020 (TW20) exercise in the coastal ocean around San Diego, CA," according to a Navy justification and approval document published yesterday.




N.J. Lawmakers want to Pull Offshore Wind Farm's Approval

The president of the New Jersey Senate has asked regulators to rescind approval of a major offshore wind development off the coast of Atlantic City. In a letter to regulators, state Sen. Steve Sweeney (D) asked the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to investigate whether Denmark's Ørsted misrepresented the economic benefits of developing Ocean Wind. Specifically, Sweeney wants to know what happened to an agreement Ørsted signed with a German monopile foundation manufacturer to bring manufacturing opportunities to the region. Sweeney, who was joined by two other lawmakers, wrote that the economic benefits as promised aren't happening, and they want the BPU to suspend its approval of state subsidies for Ørsted until the matter is investigated. 


Dominion Orders Huisman Crane for First Jones Act Installation Vessel

Dominion Energy has selected Huisman Equipment to fabricate the crane for the United States’ first Jones Act compliant offshore wind installation vessel. Huisman joins a consortium of offshore wind industry leaders to build the vessel, which Dominion calls “strategically important to the U.S. offshore wind market.” The crane will have a lifting capacity of 2,200 short tons which corresponds to roughly 1,980 metric tons. It will be able to install the latest generation of offshore wind turbines.


Vote Delays New Jersey's Planned First LNG Terminal on Delaware River

Plans for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to be located on the Delaware River were recently stalled again as the commission overseeing the river voted to delay its initial approval of the project pending an appeal from an environmental group. The proposed project would be New Jersey’s first LNG export terminal on the Delaware River. Initially approved in June 2019, the plan calls for the construction of a 1,600-foot pier at the Gibbstown Logistic Center on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River not far from the Philadelphia International Airport.





Fincantieri Upgrading Shipyard Ahead of Frigate Construction

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) is preparing to upgrade their shipyard equipment and facilities this year to assist with work on the Navy’s new guided-missile frigate. FBS is partnering with its sister shipyard Fincantieri Marinette Marine, who was awarded the contract for the Navy’s first-in-class frigate April 30, 2020. FBS will build large portions of the frigate hull then ship them by barge across Lake Michigan to Marinette.


Blount Boats Delivers Tug to New York Power Authority

Recently the tug, Breaker II, completed its delivery voyage to the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, operated by the New York Power Authority, the nation’s largest state power organization. The tug, which carries a crew of four to eight, was designed with a reinforced hull for breaking ice efficiently. It will operate in seasonal ice near the entrance to and within the upper Niagara River. The dual-purpose vessel will prevent ice flow from clogging the intakes to the hydroelectric power plant and facilitate the installation and removal of ice booms.


Russia Orders 10 More LNG Carriers to Expand Arctic LNG Operations

As part of Russia’s ongoing efforts to develop its northern oil and gas fields and promote Arctic shipping, Sovcomflot (SCF Group) and NOVATEK announced a deal to build 10 additional icebreaking LNG carriers. This latest contract is part of a program that was launched in October 2019 to develop Russia’s LNG shipment capabilities. Initially, one LGN vessel was ordered domestically followed by four additional orders in January 2020. The SCF Group said that the orders were part of its growth strategy with a special focus on operations in challenging climatic and ice conditions. 



If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paula Zorensky on the SCA staff.