Seattle: With oil prices remaining at low levels, Foss Maritime is focusing on new areas to keep busy, principally the Arctic. Seattle-based Foss Maritime has more than 200 tugs and barges. Its latest addition to the fleet is a 360 ft barge built specifically for transporting large modules in shallow draft regions of the Arctic, while the first of three Arctic-class tugs built at its own shipyard in Oregon was christened on April 9.
“When it comes to our harbour service business,” Paul Stevens, the firm’s ceo says, “what we see immediately before us is a west coast market that has been adversely impacted by a labour disruption, congested terminals and a further continuation of vessel alliances. This, along with a drop in tanker calls as a result of crude oil deliveries by railcar to west coast oil refineries, has reduced tanker escorts and put a strain on operating efficiencies.”
As a result the harbour service group remains very focused on cost control.
Looking ahead, Stevens is optimistic that the US ban on oil exports will be lifted and his tugs will support the various tankers that are required to carry these exports.
As for Foss Maritime’s marine project business, activity is on the rise as it positions itself to serve the activities in the Arctic.
“There are maritime opportunities in Russia, Alaska and Canada that match Foss’s capabilities,” Stevens says.