News: More Ghost Fleet Ships Contracted for Scrap

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) recently awarded a contract for the disposal of obsolete ships in the James River Reserve Fleet. Post-Service Remediation Partners (PRP) of New York will be awarded a payment of $14.8 million to remove a total of 15 ships from the James River Reserve Fleet. This is the largest removal of obsolete ships in a single year from the National Defense Reserve Fleet since 1993.

"As stewards of the environment, the responsible disposal of obsolete ships is a high priority for the Department of Transportation," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. "The award of these contracts is welcome progress and the Bush Administration has been forward-thinking in facing the challenges of the James River Reserve Fleet."

The PRP award was the result of a negotiated Program Research and Development Announcement (PRDA) proposal that offered the removal of fifteen ships. Thirteen vessels will be dismantled in England at the AbleUK facility in Teesside, England. Ownership of two other vessels will be sold to PRP in the form of a $3 million credit through MarAd's disposal authority pursuant to Section 508 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended.

The EPA approved an enforcement discretion in May 2003 to permit the export of 13 ships to the AbleUK facility for dismantling and recycling. MarAd employed a variety of procurement methodologies to achieve the best value to the taxpayer and Government in order to remove as many high priority ships as possible from the James River Reserve Fleet.

"It's taken a lot of hard work to give us the results we needed and have not had for close to a decade," said Maritime Administrator William G. Schubert. "Working in cooperation with Congress and other government agencies has provided us the flexibility required to ensure that we can remove ships from the James River Reserve Fleet in an expeditious and cost effective manner."

Awards to two domestic facilities preceded this announcement. ESCO Marine of Brownsville, TX was awarded contracts earlier this month to dismantle three ships and Marine Metals of Brownsville, TX recently completed dismantling two vessels from the James River Reserve Fleet. Together, with the PRP contract, the combined awards will remove fifteen high priority ships from the James River Reserve Fleet. MarAd has also recently initiated PRDA negotiations with another domestic contractor to remove four additional ships from the James River site.

The PRP proposal that utilizes the Able UK facility was selected under a best value basis consistent with Federal Acquisition Regulation. MarAd expects to issue more awards through the Program Research and Development Announcement proposals the agency has already received and future Invitations for Bid. PRDA proposals were submitted to MarAd beginning in November 2001 through a series of proposal submission periods that were widely advertised and circulated.

MarAd received 77 PRDA proposals from both foreign and domestic interests and will continue to negotiate selected provisionally accepted proposals. Future solicitations from MarAd can be tracked on

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