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Exporting Ships From U.S. To China

In another boost to U.S. yard expansion into commercial business, Alabama Shipyard was recently tapped for participation in a containership project facilitated by the popular Title XI financing program.

COSCO Line (America) and Alabama Shipyard have completed the contract process for four 600-ft. (182-m), 1,432-TEU containerships. The vessels will be financed with the long-term financing guarantees provided by the U.S. Maritime Administration's Title XI program in the amount of $138 million.

"This is significant recognition by a premier international shipping line that America can effectively compete in the international market," said U.S. Maritime Administrator Albert J. Herberger. "It also is the first time that the People's Republic of China and the U.S. have entered into a ship construction agreement." Engineering will commence immediately, and the first ship is scheduled for delivery in 1999. The ships will be propelled by a slow-speed, two-cycle, direct reversible crosshead diesel engine driving a FP, five-blade propeller, producing a planned service speed of 19.1 knots.

The ship will feature a bulbous bow, raked stern and a transom stern with the deckhouse located over the machinery space aft of the No. 4 cargo hold.

The ship is divided by eight watertight transverse bulkheads providing five cargo holds with a maximum carrying capacity of 522 twenty and 40-ft. containers below deck, and 835 twenty and 40-ft. containers above deck. There will be 130 receptacles for refrigerated containers (a mix of water-cooled and aircooled boxes). The ship will be built in accordance to ABS rules.

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