Port Bureau Updates

Watco Supply Chain Services makes strategic Investment in MID-SHIP Group, LLC

Watco Supply Chain Services, L.L.C. (WSCS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Watco Companies, L.L.C. (Watco), announced on April 30 the strategic purchase of an interest in MID-SHIP Group L.L.C (MSG) of Port Washington, New York. MSG operates under the three main divisions: Marine, Logistics, and Kinder Morgan Logistics (KML).

Watco and MSG have had a long and successful business relationship, particularly among MSG’s Logistics and KML business units and Watco’s WSCS and Terminal and Port Services assets and operations. April’s announcement further deepens that relationship and extends the companies’ cooperation into marine chartering and international market expansion. Watco joins the existing MSG ownership group, which includes an affiliate of Kinder Morgan, Inc., and the executives of MID-SHIP Marine, Inc., including its chairman, Jeff Armstrong.

Armstrong said, “We are pleased to integrate with our key partner, Watco, and believe this combination will lead to an expansive service offering for MSG and Watco customers. The core principals of client first service and dedication to our customers’ business success are shared by both Watco and MSG. By leveraging MSG’s ocean marine, barge and bulk trucking expertise with Watco’s rail, highway logistics, and supply chain expertise, we will provide our customers an expanded operations service and technology offering for all their logistics needs via our global network of U.S. domestic and international offices.”

Under a veteran leadership team including Eric Wolfe, president of WSCS and newly appointed CEO of MSG, the company will continue to place top-priority on delivering an industry leading customer experience throughout all aspects of the supply chain.




Strasburger & Price and Clark Hill announce merger

Clark Hill, an international, full-service legal and professional services firm with more than 450 lawyers in 17 offices, and Strasburger & Price, a highly respected firm with nearly 200 lawyers in 9 offices in Texas, New York, Washington, D.C. and Mexico City, announced plans to merge effective April 11, 2018. Together the two firms will have more than 200 years of combined history providing legal services to clients.

“Strasburger’s core values and culture are well aligned with ours and its commitment to the highest levels of client and community service is just as strong,” said John Hern, CEO of Clark Hill. “This merger aligns perfectly with our strategy of expanding into high growth markets which is also where our clients are moving and where they need our services.”

The combined firm will have nearly 650 lawyers with 25 offices in 12 states, the District of Columbia, Ireland, and Mexico and will be known as Clark Hill except in Texas, where it will operate as Clark Hill Strasburger.

This combination will strengthen and enhance Clark Hill’s resources in the booming energy, oil and gas, construction, retail, tax and healthcare sectors in Texas where Strasburger has offices in Austin, Beaumont, Collin County (Frisco), Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. It will provide Strasburger with a significantly enhanced national platform with resources in many more U.S. financial and business centers.

“Both firms already have deep regional roots and together have a national reach in the key industries and practices driving the global economy,” said Daniel L. Butcher, Managing Partner of Strasburger. “This combination will expand our ability to help clients take advantage of business opportunities and resolve their legal challenges.”

Founded in 1890, Clark Hill is an entrepreneurial firm that provides business, government and public affairs, and personal legal services to clients in the U.S. and abroad from offices coast to coast and in Dublin, Ireland.




AET Tankers and Shell enter into time charter arrangements for two LNG fueled Aframax tankers

London, AET Inc. Limited and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited formalized arrangements in April for the long-term charter of AET’s two newbuild LNG dual-fueled Aframax tankers.

AET’s two 113,000 dwt vessels are currently being built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and are due for delivery in Q3 of 2018. April’s arrangements will see Shell take both vessels on a long-term charter commencing in Q4 of this year. When operating in gas mode, the two AET tankers will emit up to 30% less CO2, 85% less NOx, 99% less SOx and 95% less particular matters, making them among the cleanest Aframax tankers in the market.

“As a world leading owner and operator of petroleum vessels, we have a responsibility to embrace the future of sustainable shipping,” said AET’s president and CEO, Capt. Rajalingam Subramaniam speaking at a ceremony commemorating the time charter conclusion. “AET strives to proactively adapt and embrace the opportunities that emerge from the industry and global environment. Therefore, we took the decision to begin building LNG dual-fueled Aframax vessels some time ago and these two Aframaxes are amongst the first to take their place in our global fleet.”

Both Malaysian-flagged vessels will be fitted with twin LNG tanks, allowing them to trade worldwide on LNG and with LNG more readily available now, this makes them ideally suited to operate in the 0.1% sulphur SECA regions of North America, Northwest Europe and Asia, and ensures full compliance with the incoming 2020 sulphur cap.




LyondellBasell Bayport Complex receives prestigious safety award

LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, announced on May 21 that its Bayport Complex located in Pasadena, Texas, has received the Distinguished Safety Award (DSA) from American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) for exemplary safety performance in 2017. The DSA Award represents the highest achievement in safety and reflects excellence in occupational safety, process safety and occupational health in the domestic refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries.

“Safety is a core value for LyondellBasell and we are very proud of the Bayport Complex for this recognition of safety excellence,” said Dale Friedrichs, vice president, Health, Safety and Environment. “It is not about measuring the number, it’s about knowing our people go home safe at the end of every shift, every day.”

The LyondellBasell Bayport Complex is one of only three manufacturing sites in the country to receive the prestigious honor this year. The announcement was made at the AFPM National Occupational and Process Safety Conference in San Antonio on May 16.

The AFPM Safety Awards Program is part of a comprehensive safety program developed by AFPM’s Safety and Health Committee to promote accident prevention in the petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries.






Jason Tieman
Texas A&M Foundation

TAMUG names Jason Tieman Director of Development

The Texas A&M Foundation announced Jason Tieman as director of development for Texas A&M University Galveston (TAMUG) Campus. He is a 1997 marine transportation graduate of TAMUG serving as a professional mariner operating harbor tugs along the Texas Gulf Coast. In 2000, Jason accepted an active duty commission as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and served a combination of 15 years of active and reserve service holding various leadership roles at marine safety offices. Jason later joined the corporate world, spending 11 years as a director in development and solutions to increase optimization of maritime software and assets to enhance safety and security in the maritime transportation and oil/chemical industries. He is an accomplished industry speaker, author of numerous trade articles, and an “expert witness” providing investigative support for marine causalities as a factual witness in federal maritime cases.


TWC awards funds for mariner training at San Jacinto College

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently awarded $382,548 to San Jacinto College to train new mariners and promote current mariners for 211 jobs in the industry.

Maritime companies requested the Texas Workforce Commission Maritime IV Consortium Grant to fund training to meet new U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations, upgrade training for incumbent workers and newly hired employees, and to enhance the safety culture.

San Jacinto College maritime offers more than 80 USCG-approved courses and has awarded more than 5,500 USCG-approved course completion certificates program.

Shared Quarters National Maritime Conference focuses on local maritime workforce training

San Jacinto College and the Texas A&M Maritime Academy will host the Shared Quarters National Maritime Conference, June 5-6. The conference will bring together industry professionals and educators from across the country to focus on the expansion of the maritime industry and efforts to incorporate community colleges for the training of the maritime workforce.

Rep. Gene Green (TX-29), Janiece Longoria, chairman of the Port of Houston Authority Port Commission, Jeff Brandt with the National Maritime Center, and Dr. Shashi Kumar and Kevin Tokarski with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) will be among the guest speakers. Chairman Longoria will serve as the conference’s keynote speaker.

“The Shared Quarters Maritime Conference promises to be an event where we can discuss the issues facing maritime and ways that we as maritime educators can help meet the industry’s growing needs to compete globally,” said John Stauffer, associate vice chancellor and superintendent of maritime at San Jacinto College. “We’re excited to partner with the Texas A&M Maritime Academy in hosting these discussions and look forward to this national maritime event.”

San Jacinto College will host the first day on June 5 at the Maritime Technology and Training Center on the Maritime Campus in La Porte, Texas. The Texas A&M Maritime Academy will host the second day on June 6 at its Galveston, Texas, campus. In addition to guest speakers, the conference will include panel discussions on the topics of innovative workforce programs, college alignments with the maritime industry, and the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence program.

In 2017, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence legislation as part of the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation authorizes federal support for two-year community and technical colleges, allowing the colleges to expand their capacity to train domestic maritime workers by admitting more students, training faculty, expanding facilities, creating new maritime career pathways from associate degree to baccalaureate degree programs, and awarding credit for prior learning experience, including military service.

  • Date June 6, 2018
  • Tags 2018 May