Bethlehem Yard Gets $25-Million Contract To Refit Barber Line Ships

Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point shipyard near Baltimore has entered into a contract with Barber Steamship Lines to refit five of its foreign-flag vessels for use in the U.S. Navy's Ready Re- serve Fleet (RRF). The upgrading work will have a value to Bethlehem of approximately $25 million and, according to yard general manager David Watson, "it is very, very welcome here. The Barber contract will mean work for about 350 people, and will help sustain employment at the yard for about seven months." Bethlehem's contract follows closely Barber's $52-million contract with the Navy to refit the five ships for reflagging and supply them for the RRF. Reflagging involves bringing the ships up to U.S. standards in safety and other requirements as specified by the U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping, and other regulatory bodies.

The five diesel-powered RO/RO ships are the Barranduna, registered in Sweden; the Lalandia, registered in Denmark; and the Tarago, Tombarra, and Tricolor, all registered in Norway. The ships were built in 1972-73 and have cargo-carrying capacities ranging from 21,550 to 23,725 dwt.

When the Barber ships have been refitted at Sparrows Point, they will be placed in the Navy's mothballed Ready Reserve Fleet, able to be readied for service within five days in the event of an emergency.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 16,  Mar 1985 Jack Nichols

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