Shipyard to Close Facilities in Philadelphia

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Metro Machine Corp., a Norfolk, Va., company that came here a dozen years ago with dreams of building a radically new type of tanker ship, is shutting down its Philadelphia operations. The tankers it hoped to build offered innovations to protect the environment, but no one was willing to risk buying the first ship of an unproven design. To sustain its operation here while seeking ship orders, Metro did work including overhauls and scrapping ships. The city is already seeking a ship-repair company to lease the two dry docks at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, at the foot of Broad Street, that Metro has been using. A supplier network is developing around the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, formerly named Kvaerner, which could make the adjacent Metro space more attractive. Three ships are under construction at Aker, and nine more are on its order book. Metro's last job in Philadelphia, to be complete next month, is recycling the 445-foot-long USS Stark, the guided-missile frigate hit by two Iraqi missiles that killed 37 seamen while on patrol in the Persian Gulf in 1987. Metro is employing 100 people on the project. (Source: Philadelphia Inquirer)

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