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SCA Weekly Report | February 8 - 12, 2021

Shipbuilders Council of America

20 F Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20001



SCA Weekly Report | February 8 - 12, 2021





2021 National Ship Repair Industry Conference (NSRIC) Registration Now Open


Registration for the 2021 National Ship Repair Industry Conference (NSRIC) is now open. NSRIC 2021 will take place virtually on 23 March 2021 from 1300-1600 EST.


Due to the pandemic, the in person portion of NSRIC will be deferred to 2022. However, we will continue with the NSRIC tradition of having senior Navy, Coast Guard and MSC leadership speak to the companies that make up the Ship Repair Industrial Base.


Invited Speakers include:


  • CNO, Admiral Gilday
  • VCNO, Admiral Lescher
  • VADM Galinis
  • VADM Kitchener
  • RADM Moton
  • RADM Wettlauffer
  • RADM Boubolis, USCG
  • RDML Ver Hage


This event is free to attend for SCA and SRA members.





Strong Maritime Support Evident in House Hearing

Earlier this week, the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing on the “State of the U.S. Maritime Industry: Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Among those testifying was Ben Bordelon, Chairman of the Shipbuilders Council of America.


In respective opening statements, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), chair of the full committee, and U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-California), subcommittee chairman, expressed unwavering support for the industry. DeFazio stated, “In the year since the virus was first detected in the United States, the maritime industry has endured significant hardships and has experienced substantial impacts to business. It is vitally important that this committee understand how the pandemic has affected the reliability and efficiency of our maritime industry and its workers, the gaps that still exist in protecting the workforce from the virus, the lessons that have been learned from the federal government’s response to the pandemic so far, and potential next steps to better protect the maritime industry and workforce from COVID-19 and any future public health crisis we may confront.”


Carbajal briefly reviewed the key components of American-flag shipping and then added his support for the nation’s freight cabotage law. “The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 or Jones Act safeguards our country and economy and provides guaranteed work to American merchant mariners; ensuring government and civilian goods, people and equipment are carried by U.S.-flagged ships and U.S. citizens,” he said. “In my district, which encompasses Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, and portions of Ventura County, maritime and seafaring is an essential way of life.”


Senate Reveals Appropriations Committee Leaders

The Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled its roster today, divulging the much-anticipated assignments for subcommittee leaders in charge of crafting government funding bills over the next two years. Among the shakeups, nine of the 12 subcommittees have new chairs and three have new ranking members, along with a slew of other new assignments on each panel. Sen. Jon Tester has been picked to lead the Defense panel, charged with allocating almost $700 billion in military funding each year. The Montana Democrat was seen as the favorite to succeed Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) atop the subcommittee, since Durbin relinquished the post in his rise to chair of the Judiciary Committee.


Other subcommittees with new chairs:

— Agriculture-FDA: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

— Financial Services: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

— Homeland Security: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

— Interior-EPA: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

— Legislative Branch: Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

— Military Construction-VA: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)

— State-Foreign Operations: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)

— Transportation-HUD: Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)


Subcommittees with new ranking members:

— Energy-Water: Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.)

— Financial Services: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.)

— Legislative Branch: Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)


Shelby Won't Seek Re-Election in 2022

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced Monday that he won’t seek reelection to a seventh term after more than four decades in Congress. Shelby, who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee until Democrats won control of the chamber last month, has long been seen as likely to retire in 2022. The 86-year-old Republican is the fourth most senior member of the upper chamber and the longest-serving senator from Alabama. He has chaired several committees over the course of his career, including the powerful Appropriations Committee, where he's still the top Republican, and the Banking Committee, of which he’s the longest-serving member.


The Alabama Republican’s announcement officially kicks off a mad scramble in the state for the primary to replace him. Rep. Mo Brooks, who lost in the primary in the 2017 special election, confirmed in a statement that he’s considering a run. Other potential candidates include Katie Boyd Britt, a former chief of staff to Shelby who leads the business lobby in the state, Secretary of State John Merrill, who dropped out of the 2020 race, and Rep. Gary Palmer, who contemplated running last cycle but passed.




Biden Orders New Pentagon Review of China Strategy

Earlier this week, President Biden announced the creation of the Pentagon's new China Task Force, intended to review the U.S. military's strategy for countering Beijing. The task force will "provide a baseline assessment of DOD policies, programs, and processes on China-related matters and provide the secretary of defense recommendations on key priorities and decision points to meet the China challenge," according to a DOD fact sheet. The task force is slated to provide recommendations to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks within the next four months. Though no final public report is anticipated, the department "will discuss recommendations with Congress and other stakeholders as appropriate," according to the fact sheet.




Crowley Announces Offshore Wind Energy Partnership with Watco

Recently, Crowley announced a partnership with transportation services specialist Watco to create a single-source terminal and supply chain management system to support the growing number of offshore wind projects planned for the U.S. East Coast. Crowley says it will provide its offshore logistics expertise through the utilization of its Jones Act-compliant fleet, engineering services and cross-over expertise in oil and gas. This will include the design and operation of service operation vessels (SOVs), crew transfer vessels (CTVs), turbine maintenance, offshore substation repair and maintenance, and additional services necessary to sustain offshore wind energy operations, according to Crowley.





Fincantieri Marinette Marine Breaks Ground on Major Expansion Project

On Tuesday, Fincantieri Marinette Marine broke ground on a new enclosed fabrication facility to accommodate production of the U.S. Navy's new FFG(X) frigate. The multi-million dollar building is just one component of Fincantieri's $200 million capital expansion in Wisconsin. Across the bay at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, construction is already under way on several new buildings where large blocks of the frigate’s hull will be constructed, then shipped to Marinette, where they will be joined together.


Alaskan Delegation Responds to Canada’s Cruise Ship Ban

Recently, Canadian Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, extended the ban on cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers from Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. Alaska’s elected officials responded to Canada’s year-long ban on large cruise ships and pleasure crafts by calling the action “unexpected” and “unacceptable” due to the extensive damage it would cause to the state’s economy and the dangers to their residents. Expressing their disappointment in the decision they joined with the cruise industry and said they would explore what actions could be taken.


‘Tesla of the Seas’ – British Company Unveils Zero-Emission Ship Concept

A British company has unveiled a new conceptual design for a commercial ship which uses a combination of wind-assist, solar, and carbon capture to achieve “true zero” emissions. Windship Technology calls its design “The Tesla of the Seas,” featuring a 48-meter-tall triple-wing rigs which can be stowed on deck to help with navigation in height-restricted waterways. Its diesel-electric drive system will also incorporate large solar arrays, carbon capture, an optimized hull, and specialized weather routing software into the overall design package to eliminate CO2, NOX, SOX and particulate matter to “True Zero”.



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