ARCO Marine, Inc. unveiled its first state-of-the-art Millennium Class tanker at a christening ceremony at Litton Avondale Industries in metro New Orleans. The 125,000 dwt crude oil tankers are setting the standard for safety at sea, with double hulls, twin engine rooms, twin propellers
, twin rudders and a sophisticated navigation and control system, which allows the control of the ship from a single joystick.
The sponsor is Teresa Sullivan, wife of John Sullivan, vice-president engineering, ARCO Marine. She christened ARCO Endeavour with the traditional champagne bottle. The Millennium Class "next generation" tankers measure 895 ft. (272.7 m) in length, with a beam of 152 ft.(46.3 m) and a depth of 83 ft. (25.2 m) They were designed specifically for the roundtrip transport of crude oil from Valdez, Alaska to Cherry Point, Wash., and the port of Long Beach, Calif., through the most severe trade routes in the world. They are estimated to make approximately 33 voyages a year.
The ship's total capacity of just over one million barrels of oil will be carried in 12 cargo tanks. The inner and outer hulls of the Millennium Class tankers are separated by a distance of 10 ft., which exceed legal requirements by 50 percent. This design allows for greater protection of cargo tanks and limits oil release if damages reach both hulls. The double hull design will reduce spills by 75 percent.
ARCO Endeavour is expected to make its maiden voyage to Alaska in the Fall of 2000. Construction is well underway at Avondale on the second tanker, ARCO Resolution and Avondale will
begin work on the third ship ARCO Discovery.