Crowley, UIC Form Joint Venture In Arctic

Long time marine transport providers Crowley Marine Services and Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation or UIC Bowhead have formed a joint venture to help meet the growing demand for services in the Arctic.

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Jim Dwight is general manager of Bowhead Transport Company. He says as on and offshore development ramp up in the arctic, the UIC Bowhead Crowley partnership will be ready for the challenges:

“We’re there year round, we’ve been there year round. It’s operations that Crowley and Bowhead from a logistics point of view, marine transportation point of view, lighterage, very special, shallow draft vessels for going, virtually anywhere between the Canadian Border and Kotzebue Sound. We have all the gear to get into all the little nooks and crannies along the way,” Dwight said.

Dwight says the services they will provide to oil, gas and possibly mining companies will not be new or unique, but the work will considerably expand their fleet.

“The range on that is anywhere from seven or eight million dollar landing craft to a 40 to 50 million dollar specialized tug and barge set with various capabilities for pollution control and anchor work and that sort of thing. So there’s a wide range of vessels and cost that we’re looking at, in the big picture here and the big picture is a five to 15 to 20 year program,” Dwight said.

Dwight says he can’t say yet how many more jobs it will translate into. He says they are targeting Shell and ConocoPhillips for the transport and pollution control equipment needs they will have as they work on offshore development. Dwight adds they immediately have several years of work at the Point Thomson site, located 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori