GE-Powered Product Carrier For Union Oil Christened At NASSCO

Christening ceremonies were performed recently for the Blue Ridge, one of three 37,500-dwt product carriers being built by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) for Union Oil Company of California. (See MR EN, December 15, 1980, page 26.) More than 400 invited guests gathered at the NASSCO San Diego yard to witness the ceremonies.

Sponsor for the ship was Mrs. Eleanor McConnor, wife of William S. McConnor, president, "76" Division, Union Oil Company, and key speaker of the day.

Mrs. Joan Nootbaar served as matron of honor. She is the wife of Robert F. Nootbaar, senior vice president, Eastern Region, "76" Division, Union Oil Company.

Others participating in the program were C. Larry French, president of NASSCO, and John M.

Murphy, NASSCO vice president of corporate relations.

The name Blue Ridge is in honor of the mountain range in the Appalachians extending from New England to Georgia. The new ship will carry products from Union Oil's Beaumont, Texas, refinery to points on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.

Launched in November 1980, the Blue Ridge will be the first of three sister vess.els to be delivered.

The vessels are a new class designed by NASSCO for Union Oil. Each product carrier has a capacity of 300,000 barrels.

The Blue Ridge will be capable of carrying 20 different products simultaneously.

The 658-foot vessel has a cylindrical appendage-type bulbous bow to improve speed. It will have a General Electric steam turbine engine for maximum fuel efficiency and conservation. Each ship i n c o r p o r a t e s the most modern equipment available and will meet the latest safety and environmental protection standards including double bottoms, a clean segregated ballast system, an inert gas system, a sewage treatment plant, collision-avoidance radar, and a backup steering system.

The vessels were ordered by Union Oil in April 1979; they are being built entirely without Federal subsidy. The second vessel to be launched, the Coast Range, slid into the water on January 10, 1981. The third, the Sierra Madre, was launched on May 2. All three will be delivered before the end of 1981.

NASSCO currently has under contract a total of eight product carriers, three Navy destroyer tenders, and a Navy cable repair ship. The company's current backlog of repair and new construction work is approximately $665 million. NASSCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morrison- Knudsen Co., Inc., Boise, Idaho.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 34,  Jun 15, 1981

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.