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Monday
Jul032017

Senate Committee Authorizes Procurement of Six New Polar-Class Icebreakers 

Polar Star (courtesy of USCG)The Senate Armed Services Committee recently completed markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and voted unanimously (27-0) to advance the bill to the Senate floor. The NDAA includes a provision authored by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and co-sponsored by Senator Angus King (I-Maine) authorizing the procurement of up to six polar-class icebreakers, including polar-class heavy icebreakers and polar-class medium icebreakers.

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Thursday
May252017

PODCAST - Risk Management in a Modern Marine Economy 

The so-called “blue economy” is evolving at a rapid pace.  As a result, innovative marine-based businesses are finding themselves exposed to risks when technological development outpaces legal development.  This podcast discusses the risk of worker’s compensation exposure that modern marine businesses face and how best to manage that exposure. Listen to the podcast below or download it on Soundcloud or iTunes

Monday
Mar132017

A New Model for Offshore Windpower?

According to an article in Maritime Executive, offshore renewable power developers are about to sign an agreement for the construction of islands in the middle of the North Sea as bases for offshore wind facilities. As the article states: “[t]he generated wind energy could then be distributed from the islands over direct current lines to the North Sea countries of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Belgium. Transmission cables would simultaneously function as interconnectors between the energy markets of the countries, so that besides transmitting wind electricity to the connected countries, the countries could also trade electricity.”

While this approach has some obvious business and environmental ramifications – and undoubtedly unanticipated issue as well – it at least prompts a needed public discussion of what alternative technical approaches and business models might possibly accelerate the implementation of offshore renewable energy, be it wind or hydrokinetic.

See, http://maritime-executive.com/article/north-sea-wind-power-islands-planned

Monday
Feb272017

China Proposes New Rules for UAVs

Photo courtesy of General Dynamics CorporationChina has proposed new requirements for underwater autonomous vehicles operating in what it claims to be its waters. The proposal, which many maintain is unrealistic, underscores the need for reaching real, implementable international accords for the operation of sea-going drones, both on and below the surface. For the summary discussion, see the South China Morning Post website.

Friday
Feb242017

An Interview with Ben Ford: Increased North Atlantic Trade and Maine 

In a new episode of Verrill Voices, Ben Ford discusses significant developments in the Arctic and the overall impacts that increased North Atlantic trade will have on Maine. Ben explains that the newly opened Northwest Passage will allow ships to navigate to the region more easily, translating into increased economic activity, including resource extraction and activity between ports. Specifically, he describes that from a cost-based geographic perspective, Maine is now as close to Tromsø, Norway, which is located 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, as it is to Baltimore, Maryland. Companies like Eimskip that have invested in Maine are making shipping to the Arctic more appealing and potentially impactful.

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