Tokyo Marine Services Starts Trans-Pacific Drydock Tow

Launching ceremonies for the Port of Portland's giant 982-foot Dry Dock 4 were held on August 8 in Kure, Japan, at Ishikawajima- Harima Heavy Industries' (IHI) shipbuilding center.

A delegation of Oregon public and labor officials, port commissioners and key port staff personnel were on hand for the launching.

Tokyo Marine Services started the 5,200- mile trans-Pacific tow on August 13. A direct route will be followed from Japan to the northern California coast and up the Pacific Coast to the Columbia River. Willamette Tug and Barge Co. will take the drydock under tow outside the Columbia River bar and complete the journey up the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to the port's Swan Island Ship Repair Yard. Arrival in Portland is scheduled for October 1.

When the drydock arrives in Portland, it will undergo a $2.6 million outfitting by Northwest Marine Iron Works, including installation of dewatering pumps, major electrical equipment, utility line connections, access equipment and touch-up painting.

While the drydock undergoes outfitting, work will continue on the Peter Kiewit Sons' contract for the 3,000-foot-long outfitting pier and ship repair berths at Swan Island.

Also underway by mid-October will be erection of six Hitachi cranes. Five of these will be positioned on the new finger pier and one will be on the new drydock wing wall.

Work will be underway on the new ballast water treatment plant and on completion of the new utility plant to serve the expanded shipyard.

Dry Dock 4 will go into service on February 1, 1979, when the S/S Overseas Chicago goes up on the blocks for maintenance and inspection. The ship is owned by Overseas Shipping Group Inc., and is 894 feet long and 105 feet wide. It is involved in the movement of Alaskan crude oil, as are four other large ships that already are booked for Dry Dock 4 during 1979.

Dry Dock 4 will be the largest floating drydock on the West Coast and the third largest in the world. It is 982 feet long with 185 feet clear width between fenders and will lift 81,000 long tons. The drydock has been designed to serve ships in the 120,000 to 275,000-deadweight-ton class.

Construction of Dry Dock 4 involved use of 19,300 tons of steel, 420 tons of paint, 300 tons of piping, 1,300 tons of machinery, 600 tons of electrical equipment, and approximately 1,100 tons of ship service equipment.

The shipyard expansion project was authorized by tri-county voters in November 1976, with approval to issue $84 million in general obligation bonds. This obligation is expected to come off the tax rolls in three to five years, when the facility becomes selfsupporting.

IHI's successful bid on the floating drydock portion of the Swan Island expansion was $17.5 million. About half of this amount was spent by IHI in the United States, with Oregon companies providing parts and components, outfitting and transportation.

The Oregon firms sharing in drydock contracts include Northwest Marine Iron Works, $2.6 million drydock outfitting; Willamette Tug and Barge Co., $145,000 (estimated), transportation; and Fabri-Valve, components, $380,000.

The Swan Island Ship Repair Yard is the only major publicly owned, privately operated shipyard in the country. While the yard is owned and maintained by the Port of Portland, all actual ship repair is performed by local private contractors on a competitive bid basis.

Other stories from September 1978 issue

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