« Back to Article

SCA Weekly Report | May 3 - 7, 2021

Shipbuilders Council of America

20 F Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20001



SCA Weekly Report | May 3 - 7, 2021





Registration Now Open: 2021 SCA Spring Meeting


June 17, 2021

1:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern Time

This event will be held virtually


Registration for the 2021 SCA Spring Meeting is now open. Due to gathering capacity restrictions in Washington, D.C., the meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, June 17, 2021.



It was the sincere intent of SCA to hold the general membership portion of this meeting in person, however the size limitations on gatherings in Washington. D.C. prevented us from doing so. We are pleased to announce that the the SCA Board of Directors and Industry Partners Committee Meetings will be held in-person in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2021.


As was the case for the previous virtual meetings, we will provide sponsorship opportunities for SCA Members during the virtual event and in our notebook materials. There will be more information to come on sponsoring the 2021 Spring Membership Meeting in our Friday Weekly Reports.  


SCA is planning to hold all aspects of the Fall Membership meeting in-person in San Diego on October 13-15, 2021.




USNI Interview: Elaine Luria Says Navy Needs to Build ‘Battle Force 2025’ Instead of Divesting to Prepare for a 2045 Fight

In an interview with USNI News, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) discussed how the Navy needs to focus on what threat China could pose this decade. Luria, who serves as the vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee, does not support the Navy’s “divest to invest” strategy of ridding the fleet of aging and expensive-to-maintain ships and systems to free up money for the development of unmanned platforms and other new technology, saying the sea service needs to focus on getting ready for a near-term battle instead of looking too far out into the future. The full interview can be found HERE.


House Hearing on Ship and Sub Maintenance

On May 6, 2021 the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee held a hearing on "Ship and Submarine Maintenance: Sustainment Considerations for a Changing Fleet." The hearing featured jointly prepared testimony of Adm. William Galinis, head of Naval Sea Systems Command; Rear Adm. (Upper Half) Eric Ver Hage, director of surface ship maintenance and modernization at NAVSEA; and Rear Adm. (Upper Half) Howard Markle, deputy commander of logistics, maintenance, and industrial operations at NAVSEA. More information on the hearing including a video of the proceedings can be found HERE.


The Navy is working on a 20-year, $21 billion Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP), which has faced criticism from Congress for its length. Subcommittee Chairman John Garamendi (D-CA) asked the Navy for a specific plan for the next five years on how the service will implement the SIOP, and what funding it needs to do so.


The committee is looking at the cost of accelerating the program, as well as the impact on planned maintenance availabilities; if there is enough construction and material capacity in the shipyards to support an accelerated SIOP; the ability of private shipyards to take on additional maintenance work and what authorities are needed to increase the SIOP’s velocity, the Navy’s testimony states.


The admirals' written testimony stated that while the Navy has made some progress in addressing long standing maintenance delays, more work needs to be done.


The Navy has reduced its days of maintenance delay from 1,528 in fiscal year 2019 to 360 days in FY-20, according to the testimony. However, lawmakers remain concerned about the service's long standing maintenance issues, especially as the Navy moves to grow the fleet.




Navy Announces New Flag Assignments; Including New Undersea Warfare Director

The Navy on Friday unveiled a series of promotions and new assignments for flag officers, including a new undersea warfare requirements officer. Rear Adm. Doug Perry, who has led Submarine Group Nine since January 2019, will head to the Pentagon as the new director of undersea warfare on the chief of naval operations’ staff (OPNAV N97). Perry was previously at U.S. Fleet Forces Command, where he was the joint and fleet operations director, according to his service bio. The Pentagon last week disclosed that Rear Adm. William Houston, the current N97, is up for a promotion to vice admiral and to lead Naval Submarine Forces. A full list of the flag assignments can be viewed HERE




Bipartisan Focus Intensifies for Crucial Weeks Ahead as Path Narrows on Infrastructure

President Joe Biden and senior congressional Democrats plan to make a sustained push for a bipartisan agreement on a scaled-back infrastructure proposal over the next two weeks, according to aides and White House officials.


Biden has made clear he sees the coming weeks as a key test for whether the parties can find a path forward, officials say. He's instructed his staff to engage in continued negotiations and invited the lead Senate GOP negotiator, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, to the White House next week and informed her she could choose the colleagues she wants to attend. He'll also host congressional leadership next week.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has the barest of majorities and moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia have said they won't support Democrats moving forward unilaterally without a substantive bipartisan effort first.


While Manchin has become the public face of that position, it's one held privately by a handful of other Democratic senators as well, according to two Senate Democratic aides.


Sen. Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat up for reelection in 2022, has echoed the sentiment.


"We all recognize we have failing infrastructure," Kelly said recently. "My preference is to do this in a bipartisan way. Work together and come up with a plan that can get both the support of Democrats and Republicans."




BOEM to Prepare EIS for Revolution Wind Project off Rhode Island

Late last week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in the Federal Register its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the review of a construction and operations plan (COP) submitted by Revolution Wind LLC. Revolution Wind is a 704 MW offshore wind farm owned by Ørsted and Eversource. Revolution Wind's COP proposes the construction and operation of a wind energy facility 15 miles off Rhode Island with export cables connecting to the onshore electric grid in North Kingstown, R.I.




Industry Report: Offshore Wind needs more Installation Vessels ASAP

According to a new report by industry analysts, IHS Markit, the offshore wind industry needs to build at least four additional heavy-lift wind turbine installation vessels to meet global demand for building the next generation of maritime wind turbines in this decade.


The Biden administration set a goal of 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power capacity by 2030. But there are infrastructure hurdles to getting it built, IHS Markit analysts say. One is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, the federal statute that regulates commerce in U.S. waters. The law’s requirements for using U.S. flag vessels and U.S. citizen mariners has long been seen as an impediment by European-based offshore wind developers.


"The United States has targeted a particularly ambitious offshore wind goal by 2030, but despite the restrictive terms of the Jones Act, the only U.S.–built and flagged WTIV is not set to enter service until 2023," the report says, referring to Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s WTIV now under construction at Brownsville, Texas. “In order to hit its target, the country must either relax its maritime rules to permit foreign-built vessels to operate, or ensure new vessels are built and put into service promptly.”


Any notion of getting broad Jones Act exemptions is a political non-starter, considering tight relations between the maritime community and the Biden administration and Congress.





Salvage Crews Begin Removing Fuel from Overturned Liftboat

Earlier this week, salvage crews started removing the fuel from Seacor Power's fuel tanks, after spending the weekend arriving on scene and becoming familiar with the equipment approximately eight miles off Port Fourchon, LA. Salvage crews are using a method called hot tapping, which allows for drilling into the fuel tanks and making a hose connection without ruining the integrity of the tank or causing pollution impacts. Divers are performing this process above and below the water, connected to an air hose, and it is imperative that mariners respect the one-mile safety zone during these evolutions.


CDC Issues Final Guidance to Restart U.S. Cruises

Cruise lines can soon begin trial voyages in U.S. waters with volunteer passengers helping test whether the ships can sail safely during a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave ship operators final technical guidelines Wednesday for the trial runs. The CDC action is a step toward resuming cruises in U.S. waters, possibly by July, for the first time since March 2020.


Each practice cruise — they’ll run two to seven days — must have enough passengers to meet at least 10% of the ship’s capacity. Volunteers must be 18 or older and either fully vaccinated or free of medical conditions that would put them at high risk for severe COVID-19. The ship operator must tell passengers that they are simulating untested safety measures “and that sailing during a pandemic is an inherently risky activity,” the CDC guidelines state. Passengers must be examined for COVID-19 symptoms before and after the trip, and at least 75% must be tested at the end.


Restrictions on board will include face masks and social distancing. Ships must make at least one practice run before resuming regular cruises in U.S. waters, although operators will be able to avoid the requirement if they vouch that 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated.


Port of Corpus Christi Plans LNG Bunkering Infrastructure

The Port of Corpus Christi in Texas is the latest in a growing list of port authorities to announce efforts to support the growth of LNG as a marine fuel. The Port of Corpus Christi Authority and Stabilis Solutions plan to construct LNG fueling infrastructure as they seek to expand the port’s support of the decarbonization efforts by the maritime industry. The introduction of LNG capabilities will help Corpus Christi to complete with Galveston, which has developed LNG bunkering capabilities with a ship-to-ship supply. Port Fourchon, LA is the only other port along the Gulf Coast currently able to provide LNG bunkering with its tank-to-ship operations. The Port of Corpus Christi did not announce a target date for when its LNG bunkering operations would be available.


Foss Builds First U.S. Tug With Autonomous Capabilities

U.S. tug and logistics operator Foss Maritime is installing an autonomous control system aboard its latest tug, the Rachael Allen. The new ASD harbor tug will be the first in the United States to integrate autonomous systems into real-world commercial operations, and it marks a significant milestone for the small but growing class of autonomy-equipped workboats on the global market. The system will be provided by Sea Machines Robotics, a Boston-based vessel autonomy startup. The 90 ton bollard pull tug will be the most powerful vessel that Sea Machines has ever outfitted. When completed, this high-spec tug will be deployed in California, where it will provide tanker escort and ship assist services for vessels of any size class.



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