McDermott Completes First Year In Mexice
It has been one year (March 10, 1995) since McDermott took over the shipbuilding/repairing facility Talleres Navales del Golfo (TNG) in Veracruz, Mexico. Since then, the management team, headed by Paul Albert, has concentrated on refurbishing the yard — for which approximately $12 million has already been invested — for the ship repair (70 percent) and the offshore (30 percent) industries. Both docks, the larger with an 80,000 dwt capacity, have been used solely in the ship repair industry while McDermott looks for suitable newbuilding contracts. It is expected that such contracts will be placed by this summer, at which time the yard will commence the building of a Panamax-sized floating dock, the design of which has been supplied by Crandell Industries.
The recent North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) agreement allows the yard to bid for Jones Act ships from the U.S. at a reduced rate of import duty; the import duty is to disappear by 1998. Workhour rates and steel prices at the yard are more in line with levels Singapore.
Since the yard opened last year, 28 ships have been drydocked, mainly for repair work. This list has included two ships from Houston-based tanker owner Coastal Corp., the 51,313 dwt Coastal Corpus Christi and the 39,357 dwt Coastal New York, which are operated by Coscol Marine Corp., and the 65,402-dwt Bahamas self-unloading limestone carrier W.H. Blount, owned by Bulica Shipping Co. of Pasadena, Calif., and managed by Barber Ship Management.
Currently in the yard are two former Russian super-Atlantik class trawlers, which are being converted to fish processing ships for Ocean Resources Management, Seattle. Undergoing general repair work were two Mexicanowned offshore supply vessels Don Henrique II and Don Rodrigeuz II, products carrier Navado and Navimin's 23,420-dwt, Mexicanregistered sulfur carrier Otapan (alongside repairs). Also under repair is jack-up rig Jalapa. Another visitor to the yard was the 38,200-dwt Bahamian self-unloading bulk carrier Atlantic Erie, which is owned by CSL International, and is due in the yard for 29 days of steel renewal and general repairs.