Shipbuilding News June 2011

Harvey Gulf orders 310-foot multipurpose light construction vessel

Harvey Gulf International Marine reached agreement with Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Fla., to build a 310-foot multipurpose light construction vessel. 

Harvey Deep-Sea will also be certified as Enviro+, Green Passport by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and equipped with an active heave-compensated 165-ton knuckle boom crane capable of lifting or setting 100 tons at depths up to 10,000 feet. Harvey Deep-Sea is scheduled for delivery in March 2013.

Harvey Gulf International Marine also launched the first in a series of three green 300-foot offshore support vessels (OSV) at Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Harvey Supporter, scheduled for delivery this October, will be the first offshore support vessel in the United States to be built to Enviro+, Green Passport certification standards of ABS, making her the most environmentally friendly OSV in Gulf of Mexico.

These vessels will be constructed entirely with certified environmentally friendly materials that can either be completely recycled or that break down without harm to the environment. They are equipped with high-tech alarms for fuel tanks and containment systems.


General Dynamics Nassco awarded $744 million contract

General Dynamics Nassco announced that it has received from the U.S. Navy a $744 million modification to its Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) contract to fully fund construction of the first two ships of this new class. Construction of the first ship will begin immediately, with delivery to occur by the spring of 2013. 

The contract includes an option for the construction of a third MLP, which, if exercised, would increase the total contract value to approximately $1.3 billion.

The MLP is a new class of auxiliary ships for the Navy. Once delivered, these ships will join the three Maritime Prepositioning Force squadrons that are strategically located around the world to enable rapid response in a crisis. 

MLPs will provide a “pier at sea” that will become the core of the Navy and Marine Corps sea-basing concept. This capability will allow prepositioning ships like Large, Medium Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off ships (LMSR) and Dry Cargo/Ammunition ships (T-AKE) to offload equipment and supplies to the MLP for transshipment to shore by air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC) or other vessels. MLP ships will be 765 feet in length, with a 164-foot beam and a design draft of 29 feet. The deadweight tonnage is in excess of 60,000 metric tons.

This new contract will significantly reduce the number of employees affected by the previously announced potential layoffs at General Dynamics Nassco. As ship construction gets underway, the total number of employees at the shipyard may increase by the end of 2011.


Weeks Marine to build oceangoing dredges

Weeks Marine Inc. (WMI), a construction contractor based in Cranford, N.J., announced plans for two major additions to its dredge, tugboat, booster, hopper barge and industrial workboat fleet.

By the end of 2011, Weeks 315, a new ocean class, 30-inch, hydraulic cutter suction dredge will join Weeks Marine’s pipeline dredge fleet. 

Approximately two years later, a new large 8,500-cubic-yard hopper dredge, Weeks 475, will become WMI’s third hopper dredge. Weeks 475 will be WMI’s largest, fastest, most fuel efficient, most powerful pumping and most highly automated hopper dredge. The dredge would double WMI’s current hopper dredge capacity.

Both new dredges will be the most advanced U.S. vessels in their respective categories. They are designed specifically for conditions found offshore of the United States and are part of WMI’s three-year, $200 million-plus capital investment program in five vessels.

“The two new dredges alone, built in U.S. shipyards, represent new investment exceeding $125 million and will result in the creation of 125 permanent new well-paying jobs,” said Richard S. Weeks, WMI President. 

Construction of Weeks 315 is currently underway in an Ohio River shipyard. The new dredge is the product of WMI’s in-house engineering effort. The keel has been laid, all major components are on order and delivery is expected by the end of the year.

The Weeks 475 engineering package was developed jointly by WMI and IHC Merwede of the Netherlands. The keel is scheduled to be laid in October 2011. Both vessels will be equipped with EPA Tier II engines and will feature the latest in world-class dredging technology, including state-of-the-art AC drives to power the pumps, winches, cutter, jetting and other systems, all of which will be controlled by fully integrated and advanced automated systems.


VT Halter builds new offshore ATB

VT Halter Marine, of Pascagoula, Miss., a subsidiary of VT Systems, has won a contract to build a 112-foot offshore articulated tug/barge (ATB) for New York-based Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. The tug will be similar to others built for Bouchard in previous years by Halter Marine.

Measuring 112 feet by 35 feet, the 4,000-hp tug is classed by ABS as A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode, and it will be equipped with an Intercon Coupler System. Construction of the vessel begins in June 2011 at VT Halter Marine’s Moss Point Marine shipyard in Escatawpa, Miss., with delivery expected in September 2012. The vessel will enter into Bouchard’s fleet in New York, N.Y.

“Bouchard is pleased to have renewed our long-standing relationship with Halter which was started by my father, Morton S. Bouchard Jr., in 1970 with the building of the Morton S. Bouchard Jr. and Frederick E. Bouchard. Halter went on to build several barges and tugs for Bouchard over the next three decades and they met the high-quality standards demanded by Bouchard. I look forward to the same standards today as in the past, which I know VT Halter Marine will deliver”, said Morton S. Bouchard III president and CEO of Bouchard Transportation. 

The company has 1,800 workers at yards in Moss Point, Pascagoula and Escatawpa.


Aker Philadelphia Shipyard secures funding from Caterpillar Financial

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. has entered into a loan agreement with Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. (Cat Financial) for a construction loan facility and contingent floor plan loan facility totaling $80 million. 

Under the agreement, Cat Financial will fund up to $40 million per ship toward the construction cost of two product tankers currently being built for the shipyard's own account. The loan agreement, in conjunction with other funding transactions, secures construction financing for the two product tankers under construction.


Ingalls builds the U.S. Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship

Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, has begun construction on the U.S. Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, John P. Murtha (LPD-26). The company was recently awarded a $1.5 billion contract to build LPD-26, a San Antonio-class ship at the Mississippi facility.

The next milestone for LPD-26 will be the ship's keel laying, scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. LPD-26 is scheduled to be launched in the third quarter of 2014 and delivered to the Navy in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the company.

The San Antonio-class ships are 684 feet long and 105 feet wide and displace approximately 25,000 tons. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine expeditionary units and brigades. 

The ships can carry up to 800 troops and have the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion or conventional landing craft, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22. These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions.


About the author

John Snyder is a longtime contributing editor to Ocean Navigator magazine and regular contributing writer for Professional Mariner. He is also an experienced marine photographer.


By Professional Mariner Staff