I’m providing the following as a “For Your Information“….
- As you recall, earlier this year persistent fog conditions closed navigation from Algiers Point down through SWP.
- The fog not only shutdown navigation for vessels; it also shut down the USACE survey operationsand severely hampers dredging operations.
- The USACE survey vessel(s) do not operate in fog conditions nor at night.
- The lack of surveys caused the BAR Pilots to reduce draft from 44’ to 40’ on February 8, 2019.
- After a few ships transited SWP, the draft was returned to 44’.
- The draft was lowered again in March to 41’, and finally back up to 44’ in April.
- We continue to have a 44’ recommended draft, 3’ below the ’normal’ 47’.
Some estimates have the cargo cost of losing draft at $1M a foot per vessel.
Here is what I understand:
- The USACE uses several survey boats that utilize single beam sonar that takes a ’shot’ every 3’ at a 500’ – 1000’ cross-sections.
- A computer interpolates the bottom contour in between the actual cross-sections.
There are new technologies deployed by commercial contractors thatutilize multibeam sonarreporting:
- They can take 1 shot per square foot providing 100% coverage.
- Also, the commercial contractors report they can operate in fog and at night.
To the point….
- CRPPA has contracted with a commercial company to conduct a 30-day Beta Test to conduct daily surveys from the Jump to the HOP (10.5 Miles).
- Those surveys will be over laid the USACE surveys for comparison purposes.
- The surveys can be found at http://MRTIS.com, then click on “Surveys”.
Note: CRPPA will ‘expense’ the cost of the test in their annual true-up. Therefore, as all Pilot expenses, it will be part of their Tariff in 2020.
If the Beta test provides the results promised, a decision on the way-forward will have to be made.
Updates will be provided.
End of report.