$156 Million To Avondale To Construct Catugs For Service To Soviet Union

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Maritime Affairs Robert J. Blackwell has announced the award of a $156,214,680 contract to Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La., for the construction of three new 41,250-deadweightton bulk carriers for subsidiaries of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif. The vessels, described as integrated tugbarge units, will be eligible to engage in worldwide trade, but are intended primarily to carry specialized bulk cargoes between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The vessels will carry superphosphoric acid (SPA) from Jacksonville, Fla., to Odessa, a Soviet port on the Black Sea. They will haul liquid-bulk cargoes, including petroleum products, on return voyages to the U.S.

Each of the vessels, known as Catugs, will actually consist of two units—a catamaran-type tugboat, and a barge. The tug is designed to interlock with the notched stern of the barge to form a rigid but readily separable unit. When joined, the tug-barge units will have an overall length of 677 feet 10 inches and a draft of 36 feet.

Each of the ships will be manned by a U.S. crew of 16 and will be operated under the U.S.

flag. They will have a sea speed of 15.5 knots.

The vessels are being built for wholly owned subsidiaries of Occidental— one each for Suwannee River Finance, Inc., Suwannee River SPA Finance, Inc., and Suwannee River Phosphate Finance, Inc. There is an option by the purchaser to cancel one of the three vessels on or before December 31, 1978.

The Maritime Administration will pay Avondale constructiondifferential subsidy of $25,612,- 310, or 49.39 percent, of the cost of each vessel, along with certain national defense features amounting to $181,250 per ship.

The Maritime Administration also awarded 20-year operatingdifferential subsidy (ODS) agreements to the Occidental subsidiaries.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 8,  Nov 15, 1978

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