Page 9: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 2020)
ing on a dry docking contract for the FSS Pollux.
In preparing to build the State-Class ships, Nerbovik said “the biggest investment we can make, and will make, is in our people. If we look back, in 2019, we leveraged the strong partnerships we have with our unions, and signed a new four-year collective bargaining agreement which is effective through January 2023. During that time, we also invested in maintaining a core staff of highly skilled technical em- ployees from each department that have been able to swiftly move into action with the new NSMV contract.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly ev- ery industry, Nerbovik said production at the shipyard has been able to remain operational. “Like most others, the CO-
VID-19 pandemic has infuenced the way we are operating, and we have been diligently following the guidelines from the CDC, as well as from all Federal, State and local direc- tives. Notwithstanding, operations are continuing and ongo- ing projects are moving forward.”
The Build Plan
According to Nerbovik “design, purchasing and planning activities and have started and will continue,” while produc- tion will commence on the frst ship in 2021. Deliveries for both vessels are expected in 2023.
While Philly Shipyard is adept at the commercial ship- buidling process, this ship design differs substantailly in two key areas when compared against the ships it has tradi- tionally built. “People and accommodation,” said Nerbovik. “Most commercial vessels have 20-30 people on board. The
NSMV will potentially have hundreds of people on board at any one time, and in addition to the accommodations, there is space for classrooms, dining areas, and all of the required spaces to actually operate the vessel. Add to that, the specifc requirements related to a helicopter pad, RoRo and container storage, and hospital rooms, the result is a ship that requires much more “outftting” and detail than most commercial builds.”