February 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Newport News To Double Capacity For Repairing Commercial Vessels

Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., which has just completed a 150-acre complex for the construction of commercial ships, has announced the first phase of what is expected to be a major facilities expansion and modernization program in its South Yard. When completed in 1985, the program would nearly Designed to Process: • oily bilge • ballast • rainfall runoff • sewer streams • process water • cooling water double the company's present capacity for repair and modification of commercial vessels.

The first phase, design analyses and engineering studies, is expected to be completed this year.

The expansion program itself is planned to include construction of a new drydock, rebuilding and extension of several piers, and i n s t a l l a t i o n of larger-capacity crane service.

"This projected modernization and expansion effort is a significant element in our overall program of broadening our business base and helping to stabilize our workforce," said Ralph W. Cousins, president of Newport News S h i p b u i l d i n g . "We've already achieved a significant increase in our commercial operations—from only 7 percent of total dollar sales in 1972 to 30 percent in 1976— and we plan to continue this diversification.

"When these new and improved facilities are in operation, Newport News Shipbuilding will be able to service virtually any ship currently afloat or under construction." Mr. Cousins added: "Our ship repair operations have been extremely s u c c e s s f u l in recent years, and the quality of the service we provide has earned for our company the respect of shipowners and operators throughout the world. We expect to be even more aggressive in the future in obtaining ship repair, conversion and jumboizing work from both foreign and domestic firms." The entire modernization and expansion project is expected to be financed by internally generated funds made available through Tenneco Inc., the shipyard's Houston, Texas-based parent company.

Features of the recently completed Commercial Yard include an all-weather steel production facility capable of processing 200,000 tons of steel annually, a 900-ton-capacity gantry crane and a 1,600-foot-long drydock, which is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Ship repair facilities in the South Yard currently include four graving docks ranging in length from 546 feet to 961 feet, and six shipways ranging in length from 447 feet to 1,100 feet.

Newport News Shipbuilding is the world's largest shipyard. Located on the James River near Hampton Roads, this Tenneco subsidiary is a leader in naval shipbuilding, c o m m e r c i a l shipbuilding and repair, and the manufacture of specialized products for the power generating industry.

A major manufacturing complex employing nearly 24,000 men and women, Newport News Shipbuilding is Virginia's largest private employer, and the nation's only shipyard capable of building and servicing the full range of nuclear and conventionally powered ships for both the Navy and commercial customers.

Other stories from February 1977 issue


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