Though not scheduled for delivery until the summer of 2000, Arco's Endeavour, which is under construction at Litton Avondale Industries in New Orleans, is such an achievement that review of the ship's progress is necessitated in this year's grouping of Great Ship
s. When the Arco Millennium tanker project was announced in 1997, it was recognized as one which would require exceptional adherence to technical excellence in the design, construction and outfitting of what could arguably be described one of the more advanced oil tankers in the world.
With its operation in and around the environmentally super-sensitive U.S. West coast (it was designed primarily for the 2,400 mile round-trip voyage between Valdez, Alaska and Cherry Point, Wash.) the tanker is designed to meet and exceed the provisions of OPA 90. The total contract includes three firm orders and two options, each of which will be uniquely equipped to navigate the rigors inherent in the winter seas of the Alaskan Gulf. Capable of carrying one million barrels of oil in 12 cargo tanks, the inner and outer hulls of the Millennium Class are separated by 10 ft., a measure which exceeds the legal requirement by 50 percent.
The ship series was developed utilizing some of the more outstanding minds and resources, including John J. McMullen Associates (JJMA), MCA Engineers, Inc., SSPA Maritime Consulting AB, Herbert Engineering Co., Glosten Associates Inc., Knutsen Shipping and Astilleros Españoles, S.A.
Endeavour measures 895 x 152 ft. (273 x 46.3 m) with a depth of 83 ft. (25.3 m). With a cubic capacity of 1,017,161 barrels, the 125,000-dwt vessel will travel at more than 16 knots, powered by a pair of B&W 7550 MCC slow speed diesel engines, which generate a combined 30,030 hp. The tanker's continuous operation - even in the case of emergency - is ensured by the fact that it features two fully independent engine rooms separated by a fireproof, watertight bulkhead. Each engine powers separate, reversible pitch propellers, which are capable of going from full ahead to full astern in seconds, without reversing the direction of rotation. Controls onboard are state-of-the-art as well, as a fully integrated joystick are capable of controlling the rudders, propellers and bowthruster from a single lever. The vessels can make a complete 360-degree turn within the ship's own length at slow speed or zero speed.
The new vessel will be outfitted with the latest navigational tools, including: ECDIS, three automatic plotting collision avoidance radars, and GMDSS. All data needed to operate the ship will be available on a single system, presented in a concise form to the operator, allowing the operator the ability to spend much less time gathering data and more time to analyze and formulate correct response.