Shipbuilding News August 2011

Aker to build two Aframax tankers

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard has announced that its sole operating subsidiary, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI), has signed a letter of intent with SeaRiver Maritime Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp.'s U.S. marine affiliate, for the construction of two Aframax tankers (less than 120,000 dwt, beam of 106 feet). The 820-foot-long, 115,000-deadweight ton tankers are intended to be used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound to the U.S. West Coast.

Project planning work is currently underway in conjunction with APSI's technical partner, Samsung Heavy Industries. Construction of the first vessel is expected to begin by mid-2012 and both vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2014. The vessels will be equipped with double-hull protection, the latest navigation and communications equipment, and energy efficient engines. 

It is expected that the parties will enter into definitive agreements based on the letter of intent during the third quarter of 2011. 

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is currently constructing two 46,000-dwt product tankers for delivery in late 2012 and early 2013, respectively.


VT Halter Marine delivers final ATB to Crowley

VT Halter Marine Inc., a subsidiary of VT Systems, Inc., announced the delivery of the final in a series of 10 185,000-barrel articulated tug barge (ATB) units built for Crowley Maritime Corp.'s subsidiary Vessel Management Services Inc. Since construction of the first ATB unit in 2005, all 10 185,000-barrel barges have been built at VT Halter Marine's Pascagoula operations while the 9,700-hp tugs were built at its Moss Point Marine operations.

Barge 650-10, like its sister vessels (650-1 thru 650-9), is certified by ABS Classification Society to comply with the International Maritime Organization's Green Passport program. Additionally, 650-10 has a crude oil washing (COW) system whereby oil tanks are cleaned out with crude oil instead of water, which makes the cleaning process far more effective. The COW system is mandatory on new tankers under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. All of Crowley's ATBs are built under the ABS SafeHull program for environmental protection.

The 650-class barge measures 587 feet in length, 74 feet in breadth and 40 feet in depth. It has a fully loaded draft of 30 feet and a 27,000-dwt capacity. VT Halter Marine has a separate contract with Vessel Management Services to design and build three 330,000-barrel 750-series ATBs.


Maersk Line wins MSC contract

Maersk Line Ltd. (MLL) , a U.S. company, has been awarded a multiyear contract for the operation and maintenance of five container and roll- on/roll-off ships in support of the Military Sealift Command's and the Marine Corps' Prepositioning Program.

"We are extremely honored and proud of this award. Winning this contract once again after our resubmission is a true testament of MSC's trust in our capability and performance. We feel confident in our ability to support our customer's requirements by drawing from our extensive operational and technical experience," said Scott Cimring, MLL's senior director of Government Ship Management.

These Bobo-class vessels, essential in the U.S. military's readiness strategy, will be crewed by civilian mariners and deployed worldwide to preposition equipment and supplies at sea. MSC strategically places military equipment and supplies aboard these ships in key ocean areas to ensure rapid availability during military operation and humanitarian relief.

The contract will begin in September 2011, and consists of a base period of 30 days with four one-year options. If all options are exercised, the total contract value will reach approximately $126 million.


Bermuda orders new pilot/rescue boat from Gladding-Hearn

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, of Somerset, Mass., took an order from the Bermuda Department of Marine and Ports Services to replace the pilot/rescue boat St. David, built by the shipyard in 1986. Delivery is scheduled for 2011.

Designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates and classed to Lloyd's Register, the high-speed, all-aluminum pilot/rescue boat measures 61 feet overall, with an 18-foot beam and a 6-foot draft. Designed and built to serve as a pilot boat, the vessel will also be equipped for offshore search and rescue missions, with a rescue well recessed into the transom, a tow bitt, a 12-foot inflatable tender and space for a Stokes litter basket stretcher.


Jensen completes tugboat design work for Harley Marine

Jensen Maritime Consultants Inc., a naval architecture and marine engineering firm owned by Crowley Maritime Corp., completed the custom design work for a new azimuthing stern drive (ASD) tugboat, Bob Franco, for Harley Marine Services. The tug, with a length overall of 120 feet and a beam of 35 feet, is one of the first to be powered by Tier III CAT C175 engines. Tier III engines, which have lower emissions than Tier II models, are more environmentally friendly.

Construction on the new vessel is underway at Diversified Marine Inc., Portland, Ore., and is expected to be completed in 2012. 

"The construction of a tugboat that meets Tier III emissions compliance is a great step forward in environmental protection for our industry," said Jensen's Johan Sperling, vice president. "It was important for us to design a powerful and capable tugboat for Harley, but also one that takes care of the environment in the process." 

Bob Franco, to be home ported in Seattle, will have a crew capacity of 13. The vessel is the fourth in a series of these tugboats designed by Jensen. The first three were designed and built for Western Towboat in Seattle. Once construction is complete, Bob Franco will be used to assist barges delivering supplies to rural communities in Alaska. As such, the tugboat was designed with highly capable z-drives, which offer increased maneuverability. 

"Being selected to design this tugboat was an honor," said Sperling. "We look forward to seeing it in action and know that Harley Marine Services will be very pleased with the design, quality and performance." 

Harley Marine has been recognized for its environmental initiative, commitment and stewardship. Since 2009, the company has been awarded four major environmental awards: the 2011 Marine Environmental Business of the Year for Environmental Initiative from the Port of Seattle and Propeller Club of Seattle; first place for Environmental Initiative in the 2010 WorkBoat Environmental Awards; the 2010 EPA Environmental Quality Award (the first marine environmental award from the EPA); and third place for Environmental Management System in the 2009 WorkBoat Environmental Awards. Some of the environmental initiatives have included an aggressive overhaul and replacement program to upgrade tugboat engines to reduce NOx emissions, a new generation of patented barge mounted vapor recovery units that exceeds all air quality requirements, and a very robust environmental management system that has been implemented in all segments of the company.


Huntington Ingalls consolidates headquarters in Newport News

As part of its transition into a stand-alone company, the Newport News-based shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries is consolidating its staff in a new corporate headquarters at 2401 West Ave. in the Herbert H. Bateman Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center.

Huntington Ingalls is the parent company of the 20,000-employee Newport News shipyard that builds aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy and two more shipyards on the Gulf Coast that build Navy destroyers and amphibious ships and cutters for the Coast Guard. The company has $6.7 billion in annual revenues.

About 40 corporate staff members have been moved into new offices on the sixth and seventh floor of the 118,000 square-foot, seven-story office tower that opened in 2001. Huntington's executive team, including CEO Mike Petters, is among those who have made the move.

When the consolidation is complete later this summer, more than 100 Huntington corporate staff members will have offices there, including workers in human resources, finance and business management, communications, strategy and corporate operations, said Beci Brenton, a Huntington spokeswoman.

They'll move from three other Huntington buildings scattered throughout downtown, including the 19th century brick building just inside the yard's gates on 41st street.

Newport News officials courted Huntington executives with a $300,000 incentive package to base its corporate headquarters at City Center, but the yard ultimately chose the downtown location.

By Professional Mariner Staff