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NEWPORT NEWS: Tackling The Commercial Market With New Product Tanker Design

Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) is hoping the debut of its new product tanker design, dubbed the Double Eagle 333, will mark its return to the commercial shipbuilding market.

The shipbuilder unveiled its plans at the recent Shipping '94 show in Stamford, Conn.

The word "Double" in the name refers to its double hull design, a feature built in to comply with the future requirements for ships operating in U.S. waters. The "Eagle," a traditional symbol for the U.S., hammers home the fact that the product is American-made. The "333" stands for the ship's cargo capacity, which is 333,000 barrels of product.

"We believe that Double Eagle 333 will meet a significant worldwide market demand for affordable, double hull ships," said Greg Cridlin, vice president, commercial. "It's an excellent design, offering the owner top performance and a wide variety of options. And it will be a very producible ship. But, more importantly, it's being offered at a price that is very competitive. We understand that now, more than ever, cost will drive the purchasing decisions of ship owners and operators." VESSEL SPECIFICS The Double Eagle will be 649 feet (197.8 m) long and 102 feet (31 m) wide. It will have a deadweight of approximately 42,000 tons (design draft) and 45,435 tons (scantling draft). The design for the new ship was reviewed by an internationally renowned consultant and a number of key customers, according to NNS.

FOCUS ON AFFORD ABILITY Partly based on extensive market research, it was concluded that the time was right to enter the Double Eagle into the commercial market, said Ed Waryas, director of commercial marketing. "Forecasters are TOP: Edward A. Waryas, director of commercial marketing at Newport News Shipbuilding, addresses a luncheon crowd at the recent Shipping '94 to introduce the shipyards new product tanker design.

BOTTOM: Pam Waryas prepares to "christen" Newport News' Double Eagle 333 at the Shipping '94 luncheon.

projecting that U.S. clean air legislation will lead to more petroleum products being shipped to America instead of being produced here," he said. "That will mean more ships will be needed.

"The U.S. legislation requiring t h a t ships be double hull construction...will also lead to more demand." NNS, however, has not relied solely on forecasts, and has enlisted the aid of agents worldwide in making business contacts. The shipbuilder is also hoping for U.S. government support, specifically in the form of defense conversion funds. NNS is actively working to obtain some of those funds to enhance production processes to commerciallycompetitive standards.

STRONG HISTORYPROMISING FUTURE The last commercial vessel built at NNS was the U.S.T. Pacific, a 1,187-foot (361.8 m) very large crude carrier (VLCC) delivered in 1979.

Over the history of the yard, NNS has actually built more commercial ships than warships. For the past dozen years, the company has been out of the commercial shipbuilding market.

In two years since the decision was made to reenter the commercial market place, managment concluded that the best way to begin, considering the strong competition from shipbuilders in Europe and Asia, was an agressive effort in the commercial ship repair business.

NNS business has gone from no repair work to having completed 60 ships to date.

"Double Eagle has been an outstanding team effort," Mr. Waryas said. "We've had everyone from engineering to purchasing, contracts, cost engineering and production control working long hours, sideby- side." For additional information on the Double Eagle 333, Circle 115 on Reader Service Card

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