By Chris Philips
Managing Editor 

Regional Report: Puget Sound

 

The Composite Recycling Technology Center at Port Angeles will turn carbon fiber composite scraps, previously bound for landfills, into new products. Photo courtesy of the Composites Recycling Technology Center.

Puget Sound has been a active place this year, with new vessel construction and port and terminal infrastructure upgrades. At Anacortes, in northern Puget Sound, Dakota Creek Shipyard has been busy building ships for the North Pacific fishing industry. In February the yard delivered the 242-foot by 54-foot Coastal Standard to Seattle's Coastal Transportation Company. The unique new cargo vessel carries palletized frozen product below decks from the company's facility in Dutch Harbor, Alaska to the dock at Seattle where it is transferred via on-dock rail to waiting refrigerated boxcars or trucks. The weather deck has space for containerized or breakbulk cargo.

A unique elevator installed on the Coastal Standard allows the vessel to load and offload palletized frozen cargo quickly via forklift. The side-mounted elevator is split into two platforms to move cargo between decks and down to dock level.

Each platform can be used independently carrying two pallets at a time, or a total of 4 pallets if locked together, when they can lift loads as long as 20 feet and weighing up to 13,000 pounds. The system is capable of moving up to 200 pallets an hour.

The same yard recently delivered the 191-foot freezer/longliner Blue North to Seattle-based Blue North Fisheries.

The Blue North is the company's first purpose-built bottom longline freezer/processor, and the first in the United States to have molded hull construction, a Norwegian design that allows the vessel to travel more efficiently through the water because of decreased resistance.

The $36 million vessel is also the only freezer longliner in the Alaska fisheries with a fillet line, and includes safety features such as a climate controlled indoor working space to gaff each fish coming into an internal moon pool, from a line coming up through the bottom of the boat. The moon pool is a 5-foot diameter opening in the hull that allows the crew to retrieve the gear from inside the vessel.

The cutting-edge vessel uses computerized diesel-electric propulsion through azimuthing drives. Heat recycled from engine cooling systems creates potable water, hot water and heats the ship.

Another state-of-the art fishing vessel, designed by the same Norwegian naval architects, is under construction at the yard and expected to be delivered in late 2018.

Infrastructure Upgrades

At Fairhaven, the Port of Bellingham is engaged in a remediation and infrastructure upgrade project at Fairhaven Shipyard, owned and operated by Puglia Engineering. The port is performing a multi-million dollar replacement of the timber portion of the shipyard pier to eliminate heavy load restrictions, as well as reconfiguring the shipyard and providing additional upland work areas to support expansion of the shipyard and to improve operational efficiency. The port will also clean up historic contamination and improve utility services.

On Bellingham's central waterfront, construction is well underway on a $10 million project to build a new manufacturing facility for local boat builder All American Marine. The 57,000 square foot marine trades facility, to be completed in early 2017, will allow All American Marine to expand and hire additional employees. The cost of the manufacturing facility will be repaid through a new 25-year lease with the Port.

The project is part of a massive revitalization of the Bellingham waterfront that represents one of the largest waterfront cleanup efforts in the state. The redevelopment of 237 acres on Bellingham's central waterfront that was formerly a pulp and tissue mill began with a $35 Million cleanup of the Whatcom Waterway, completed this year. The port says the project removed historic contamination, restored salmon habitat, rebuilt marine trades infrastructure along the shoreline and created a significant number of construction jobs and long-term employment opportunities.

As part of the project, the Bellingham Shipping Terminal was dredged for increased navigation depth, and will see repairs of the main pier and the roofs on the terminal warehouses. Other plans include increasing the amount of surrounding upland work areas, improving utility services, including stormwater, paving and power, and upgrading the rail span and stub pier.

At the C- Street Terminal and Whatcom Waterway, derelict structures were removed, and a new barge terminal will be developed, including new bulkheads, moorage dolphins, haul-out floats, a heavy loading area and a loading ramp. The marine terminal area upgrades include new utilities and a storm water system.

Along with maritime industrial development, the project will see the development of 19 acres for four large-scale residential projects within the next several years, including waterfront condominiums with underground parking as early as next year. Additional projects will include commercial office space, a retirement and assisted living complex, and a potential hotel and conference center.

Logs Outbound at Everett

The primary export for Eastern Car Liner (ECL) through the Port of Everett, Washington is empty aerospace containers for transport back to Japan, but in late September Everett-based log supplier, Forest Marketing Enterprises, Inc. (FORMARK) delivered nearly 3.3 million board feet of logs to the Port of Everett to be loaded under the deck of the ECL chartered ship. The shipment was the second of six total shipments for the year, of what is expected to be a multi-year business partnership.

"This is a strategic partnership that will benefit jobs, commerce and natural resources in Everett and Washington State," said Carl Wollebek, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Everett.

The logs come from partners at the Colville Tribe in Eastern Washington. The tribe's natural resources were badly damaged in fires that plagued the region, but while the bark was burned, the inside of the wood was not damaged, and was suitable for export. Logs were also sourced from other suppliers.

"We have been harvesting burnt wood since this time last year, and are now preparing for a massive replanting program," said Bob Anderson, Resource Manager for the Colville Tribe. "This partnership is definitely a positive on our end, because the domestic market is saturated, and being able to trade our wood ensures it doesn't go to waste."

ILWU longshoremen spent four days loading logs waterside at Pier 1 before they loaded the aerospace containers on the upper deck. The vessel transited to Japan to offload the aerospace containers, then on to China to discharge the logs.

In July the Port of Everett was awarded a $10 million US Department of Transportation (DOT) competitive grant to modernize the South Terminal through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

The $55 million South Terminal Intermodal Modernization Project will allow the port to serve larger vessels, in particular Panamax class ships carrying containerized aerospace cargo. The project will allow the Port to meet the heavier containers being used to transport parts for the new Boeing 777X program and other breakbulk export cargoes that utilize port facilities. Wharf strengthening is needed for the intermodal transfer of goods from ship to shore, and rail infrastructure upgrades are needed to stage the cargo for transport to the inland states without creating congestion on the BNSF mainline to the Midwest.

The project includes the strengthening of 560-feet of dock and the installation of crane rail to create a 700-foot modern berth and additional roll-on/roll-off cargo berthing capacity. New high voltage power systems will provide power and equipment to allow shipping vessels to "cold iron" while at berth, and approximately 3,300 lineal feet of additional rail sidings will increase on-site storage from 46 cars to a total of 106 cars. Finally a new warehouse will be constructed to support intermodal cargo movement at the South Terminal.

Rail improvements are expected to be substantially complete by spring of 2017, with the entire modernization expected to be finished in early 2019.

High-Tech at Port Angeles

In August, community leaders from Port Angeles, Washington and Clallam County celebrated the completion of a new advanced manufacturing center expected to bring jobs and economic development to the region. The Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) is said to be the only facility on the planet to transform uncured carbon fiber composite scraps, previously bound for landfills, into new products.

Not only will the facility bring new jobs to Clallam County, it will also house Peninsula College's Advanced Manufacturing – Composite Technology program, to give students classroom and hands-on training in advanced materials recycling and remanufacturing techniques.

The CRTC will take uncured carbon fiber scraps, diverted from landfills, and utilize it in direct manufacturing of new products. In addition to product manufacturing, CRTC is engaged in research and development (R&D) efforts to advance the composite manufacturing industry. CRTC recently announced an agreement with IACMI –the National Composite Institute – which has already resulted in funding for a research and development project involving automotive weight reduction through the use of recycled carbon fiber materials.

The Port of Port Angeles received funding for the new facility through a $2 million grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration; $1 million from the Washington Department of Commerce, Clean Energy Fund, and $1 million from Clallam County Opportunity Funds. Additional support was provided by the City of Port Angeles in the form of services for utility infrastructure, road infrastructure improvements, and in-kind staff support.

The Port of Port Angeles provided funding for architectural design and engineering work, as well as funding for 91 kilowatts of installed solar photovoltaic capacity on the roof of the facility. The solar panels have already generated 22,000 kWh of clean electricity, and offset 38,000 lbs. of CO2. The Port has also committed to an "Economic Development Services Agreement" with the CRTC of $1.9 million over three years.

The CRTC has moved into the new space and is ramping up for start of production and product launch, which will be celebrated at a Grand Opening ceremony this month.

In addition to the CRTC, the new facility also houses Peninsula College's Advanced Manufacturing – Composite Technology program with space for classrooms, offices, and lab facilities, including a hands-on composites manufacturing Lab. The program gives students classroom and hands-on training in advanced materials recycling and remanufacturing techniques.

Peninsula College has relocated their full composites program into the state of the art facility on the Port's Composite Manufacturing Campus, in time for start of classes the next quarter. The co-location with CRTC provides students with unequaled opportunities for internships, hands on manufacturing and R&D experience, and exposure to production operations.

"It's exciting that Port Angeles has the only facility in the world to recycle uncured carbon fiber composite into new products, and even better to see that this effort is bringing good jobs into our region as well as training the next generation of workers," said Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach.

 
 

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