Southwest Marine Purchases Computerized Drydock And Major Shipyard

Southwest Marine, Inc. of San Diego, Calif., recently announced two major achievements in its more than $40-million renovation project — the signing of a contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan to construct a new hi-tech computerized drydock, and the acquisition of a major West Coast shipyard, California Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. of San Pedro.

The new 22,000-ton end-transfer computerized floating drydock is the first of its kind, with delivery to San Diego expected in less than two years. The drydock is totally self-contained with its own electrical and sewage systems that eliminate any chance of waste entering San Diego's waterways.

According to Arthur Engel, Southwest Marine president, the drydock is the state-of-the-art in dry dock construction—"A First of Its Kind." It not only has the normal up-and-down movements of all drydocks, but also has the capability to move horizontally and vertically. "This capability allows us to maneuver and work on three large vessels out of water at one time," stated Mr.


"With the addition of two short platforms we will be able to transfer two of the ships onto these platforms for repairs while the third is being maintained and repaired in the drydock." "In addition," said Mr. Engel, "we will be building two large concrete piers to accommodate three more large vessels for in-water repair work.

This gives us the capability of working on six destroyer/cruisersize ships at one time which literally will quadruple our present facility capability, and in the end will create over 1,550 new jobs in San Diego." The 1,550 new j ob projection will bring with it $60 million in new wages and $2 million in tax revenue for San Diego.

The simultaneous announcement of Southwest Marine's acquisition of California Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. in San Pedro gives Southwest Marine six yards along California's coastline, with facilities in San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, San Francisco, and now two yards in San Pedro.

The new San Pedro facility has one 2,500-ton drydock, one 1,000- ton drydock and a 45-ton Gantry crane. The yard also has total ship capabilities to serve the entire repair needs of offshore support vessels and the tuna fleet.

Southwest Marine now has six drydocks ranging from 1,000-ton to 22,000-ton lifting capacity, and is in the process of finalizing plans for drydock facilities in its San Francisco yard.

Southwest Marine's San Diego yard overall renovation plan, including the new drydock, calls for two large concrete piers, utility and parking lot improvements, two shore platforms, a 65-ton Gantry crane railway, and construction of all new shop facilities.

"We are preparing for the most modern, cost-effective, ship repair yard on the West Coast," said Mr. Engel. "We are in the process of reconstructing our yard into a state-of-the-art, innovative facility that, in our era of the 80s is being created for the 21st century."

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 12,  Mar 1983

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