February 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Peterson Receives $33.6-Million Contract For Two Heavy-Lift Ships

Robert J. Blackwell, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Maritime Affairs, has announced the award of the first constructiondifferential subsidy (CDS) contract ever placed for heavy-lift roll-on/roll-off cargo ships.

The award covers two vessels to be built by Peterson Builders, Inc., Sturgeon Bay, Wis., for American Heavy Lift Shipping Company, Pittsburgh, Pa. The Maritime Administration, the Department of Commerce agency headed by Mr. Blackwell, will pay $14,140,000 or 42.15 percent of the total cost of $33,540,000 for the two vessels. This represents the difference between the cost of building the vessels in the U.S.

and a shipyard in Western Europe.

The Government will pay an additional $54,000 for national defense features to be incorporated in the two ships.

With the addition of this contract, the number of ships ordered under the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 now totals 66 vessels aggregating 6 million deadweight tons.

American Heavy Lift Shipping Company, incorporated in Delaware, is 75 percent owned by Gulf Oil Corporation. It is 25 percent owned by Deutsche Dampschiffahrts- Gellschaft (Hansa), a German company which owns and operates 28 heavy-lift vessels.

The new heavy-lift ships will be operated under the U.S. flag by a Gulf Oil subsidiary, Gulf Trading and Transportation Company.

They will be operated in foreign trade serving all U.S. coasts, including the Great Lakes, and on occasion, may operate in foreignto- foreign service, carrying heavy or odd-size cargoes.

Mr. Blackwell noted that this contract is of particular significance for a number of reasons.

"These vessels will provide the U.S.-flag merchant fleet with the commercial capability to penetrate a freight market now monopolized by foreign-flag ships, the entry of an American corporation into this market is also propitious in terms of potentially greater employment opportunities for American seafarers. These two ships alone, during their 25- year economic lives, will provide approximately 1,000 man-years of employment. In addition, their h e a v y - l i f t and roll-on/roll-off cargo-handling capabilities are uniquely suited for logistic support of military operations." The heavy-lift vessels will provide 580 man-years of employment for Peterson Builders shipyard workers, and an equal number of man-years for workers in allied marine supply industries.

Each of the twin-screw, dieselpropelled ships will be fitted with two heavy-lift cranes capable of lifting 216 metric tons (MT) each, or 432 MT in tandem. Bow and stern ramps will provide 1,000 MT additional capacity for wheeled and tracked vehicles.

Rated at 3,000 MT deadweightcapacity and operating with 21 U.S. crewmen, each vessel will be able to attain speeds of 13.5 knots fully loaded. They will be 300 feet long, have a 55-foot beam, and a 16.9-foot draft.

Heavy-lift cargo is defined as a single unit weighing more than 50 tons. Some heavy-lift cargoes, such as railroad locomotives, powerplant machinery, and construction equipment, may weigh as much as 500 tons or more per unit. These cargoes are difficult to transport on modern merchant vessels designed to load and unload cargoes in smaller increments, although Lykes Bros.

Steamship Company has transported heavy-lift cargoes on its SEABEE barge-carrying vessels.

This is the second CDS award to a Great Lakes shipyard. The first such contract was awarded September 28, 1976, to Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wis., to build the tug components of two integrated tug-barge vessels for Coordinated Caribbean Transport, Inc. of Miami, Fla.

These tugs, costing a total of $13.7 million, will be joined to barges under construction at Seatrain Shipbuilding Corporation of Brooklyn, N.Y., and will be operated between Miami and Central America.

Other stories from February 1977 issue


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