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San Diego Firm To Develop Oregon Site For Shipbuilding

Pacific Marine and Steel, Inc. (PMSI) will establish the firm's Marine and Construction divisions at North Tongue Point, Ore., the San Diego company has announced. Bill Kelley, operating manager of Seattle-based Cresmont, Inc., said that this was a significant step in his company's program to develop the former Navy base on the Columbia River near Astoria into a thriving marine-related industrial park.

"With PMSI employment expected to grow to 150 people by year's end, this represents a welcome addition to an area seeking to supplant lost lumbering jobs," he said.

"Signing up for this kind of company also firmly establishes a base for seeking further companies in the marine, environmental, and metal fabrication fields that can make use of the impressive docks and facilities at the site." "Since this was a cooperative effort between Cresmont, PMSI, and state and county economic development agencies to bring the company to North Tongue Point," Mr. Kelley went on, "it was a successful forerunner of how we hope to develop additional enterprises at the facility." The firm is seeking business such as homeporting for fishing vessels, other types of marine construction and repair, and vessel berthing and storage, among other activities," he said.

A PMSI spokesman, David Webb, said that the company has in excess of $100 million in backlog to build fishing vessels, jackup offshore vessels, and prefabricated houses for international markets. PMSI will immediately begin to prepare the North Tongue Point facilities for production and expects to begin fabrication operations within 60 days, he said.

PMSI has leased approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of office and manufacturing space, and 4.5 acres of outdoor space that includes the option for use of Tongue Point's piers and launching ramps.

Current contracts for the PMSI Marine division include 20 longline fishing vessels for a company in Tahiti and five jackup vessels for a Panamanian company. Jackup vessels feature supports that can be lowered to seabeds to stabilize vessels used for certain kinds of exploration and site development. North Tongue Point, located about five miles from Astoria, Ore., is a former U.S. Navy seaplane base. The State of Oregon acquired the land in 1980. It is managed by the Oregon Division of State Lands. However, Cresmont, Inc., won a 30-year lease for the 140-acre industrial site in 1994 when the state sought a partner to develop industry there.

Mr. Webb said that PMSI decided to establish its fabrication divisions at North Tongue Point because of the piers which give access to deep water and economic incentives offered by Oregon, a state trying to increase the economic base in areas hard hit by cutbacks in logging. North Tongue Point offers access to the Columbia River channel, and direct highway and rail access to Portland and beyond. Five 30-ft. (9.1-m) wide concrete and steel piers, 1,000 to 1,550 ft. (304.8 to 472.5-m) in length extend into a 43-ft. (31.-m) deep channel.

Mr. Webb explained that PMSI's $ 18 million contract to build 20 longliners for Tahitian interests includes options for 180 additional vessels at the rate of 20 vessels a year. The five jackup vessels for Panamanian interests involve a $75 million contract for 154-ft. (46.9 m)vessels that incorporate 250-ft. (76.2-m) jacking pinions for work at underwater sites. For more information on Cresmont Inc. Circle 77 on Reader Service Card




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