Huge Drydock At Bethlehem's New Sabine Yard Now Operational

Bethlehem Steel Corporation's new Sabine Yard in Port Arthur, Texas went into service recently when its huge floating drydock was used to perform work on the 1st Lt.

Alex Bonnyman, a vessel for the U.S. Navy's Maritime Prepositioning Ship Program. The ship, one of two Maersk vessels reconstructed at Bethlehem's nearby Beaumont Yard, was scheduled for delivery in September.

The drydock raised the ship out of the water to permit painting of the hull and installation of a new propeller. The drydock has a lifting capacity of 64,000 tons, making it one of the largest in the country.

Following a voyage from Hawaii earlier this year, the sections of the U.S. Navy surplus drydock were berthed at the Beaumont Yard for modification and reactivation work.

The sections were then towed downriver to the Sabine Yard and assembled into the ship configuration used for the Bonnyman, which provided a clear docking area of 829 by 122 feet.

For drydocking offshore drilling rigs, the sections can be arranged in two side-by-side batteries. This configuration will provide a clear docking area of 413 by 362 feet.

Formal dedication ceremonies for the new Sabine Yard have been scheduled for the fall of this year.

Other stories from September 15, 1985 issue

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