Sunday, February 28, 2016

Just a thought

Actually, I could use the work.

Smaller boats at Big Sandy Harbor, part 2

While I was at Virginia Point Park in Kenova WV eight days ago, I saw the William B of McGinnis Inc. come across the Ohio River and head up the Big Sandy. I was too far away to get a good picture of it passing a group of people, but here is one that I did get.

A few minutes later, the MAP Runner and the Kyova came out of the Big Sandy. The Kyova turned up the Ohio to some barges at South Point, Ohio, while it looked like the MAP Runner was turning left to go down to Catlettsburg, KY.

And then the William B came back out of the Big Sandy after a short trip up there.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Smaller boats, part 1

I was down at the mouth of the Big Sandy River this past weekend, and I saw several of the smaller boats that work the harbor. This entry and the next will have some pictures of them. Today, it's the Chris Arden of McGinnis Inc.

I don't have the Inland River Record in front of me, but I think the Chris Arden was built in 1978 by McGinnis, and it has about 850 horsepower.

This next one is a closer view, taken as a cloud came between us and the sun.

This one is a bit different. It shows depth numbers on the side of a barge. The numbers are aboutto disappear as the barge in the left foreground is pushed forward.

Next: The MAP Runner, the Kyova and the William B.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

M/V Charleston on the Kanawha

For your reading pleasure, an article and photos about the towboat Charleston and a trip on the Kanawha River.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

News and stuff

If you're tired of hearing about last night's Iowa caucuses and you're not yet ready to jump into Super Bowl madness, try some of these river-related things from around the Internet.

The hydroelectric plant at the Smithland Locks and Dam is one of several projects mentioned in an article by International Water Power and Dam Construction.

People in Indiana are talking about building a riverport near Cincinnati.

And two wastewater treatment plants in the Dayton, Ohio, area want more time to comply with regulations limiting how much phosphorus they can discharge into a tributary of the Ohio River. The regulations have to do with slowing the growth of algae blooms like the one we had last year.

Wall Street Journal video on aging locks

A tip of the hat to my two-time former coworker Taylor Kuykendall at SNL Financial for pointing me to this video about lock and dam infrastructure on the inland waterways from the Wall Street Journal. It's a good introduction to the problem of aging facilities, and I was pleased to see some familiar faces on it.

The down side is that whoever did the captions apparently doesn't know the difference between "phase" and "faze" or the difference between "steel" and "steal." I mean, two references to the "steal industry"?

I would provide a link to the print story, but it's behind a paywall.

Monday, February 1, 2016

AEP and $550 million

Ever wonder what AEP did with the $550 million it received from ACBL in that big sale from last fall?

From last week, when AEP issued a news release on its quarterly and year-end earnings: "We are reinvesting the proceeds from the sale of AEP River Operations back in our core, regulated businesses." -- AEP CEO Nick Akins.

Again last week, from AEP's quarterly conference call with investment analysts. Again, Nick Akins: "AEP sale of River Operations occurred during the fourth quarter and the transaction occurred according to plan. The cash proceeds were redeployed in advance of the sale by raising our capital forecast for transmission and then by raising our overall capital plan to $5 billion for 2016 at the November EEI Financial Conference, focus on additional regulated operating company and transmission activities. So, we have successfully converted that portion of volatile earnings to a more consistent, regulated earnings profile."

In the fourth quarter, AEP River Operations recorded net income of $13 million, versus $33 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Remember, River Operations was in business as an AEP operation for only about half of the quarter.

For the full year, River Operations posted net income of $29 million, down from $50 million in 2014.

AEP wants to focus on its regulated business and get out of business that is not regulated by states' public utilities or public service commissions. That's why it's also looking at selling its generating assets in Ohio now that that state is deregulated.

M/V Jincy (again)

Here are a few more shots I got of the Jincy as it rearranged barges at Virginia Point Park at Kenova WV a couple of days ago.

First, a view of the boat from several angles.

Here's a deckhand doing what deckhands do.

And here's a guy in the pilothouse. I guess he's sitting on what I've heard called the liar's bench.

As noted before, I rarely get this close to a Crounse boat. It's a company that prefers to fly (or sail) under the radar and not draw a lot of attention to itself. I've been aboard boats that belonged (at the time) to Ashland Oil, Ingram, AEP, Ohio River Co., Amherst Madison, Marathon, Marathon Ashland, McGinnis, Murray Energy, Neale, Merdie Boggs, White Brothers and maybe ACBL. I may have forgotten a couple. But Crounse is one company whose boats I have not touched.

Yet. Maybe someday.