Avondale Launches First Of Four Tankers To Carry Alaskan Oil For Sohio

avondale launches first of four tankers
to carry alaskan oil for sohio

Avondale Shipyards, Inc., New Orleans, La., a subsidiary of Ogden Corporation, recently launched the first of a series of four segregated ballast tankers for The Standard Oil Company (Ohio). The new ships will sail under charter to SPC Shipping Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SOHIO. The tanker is the Atigun Pass, 165,000 deadweight tons, and named after a geographic area in Alaska's Brooks Mountain Range. Her length overall is 906 feet, beam 173 feet, and depth 75 feet. The operating draft of the Atigun Pass carrying Alaskan oil is 55 feet, and her cargo capacity including 11 tanks is approximately 1,200,000 barrels. With steam propulsion and a maximum continuous rated horsepower of 26,700 shp, the ship's service speed 80 percent M.C.R. will be 14.1 knots full load, and 16.0 knots in ballast. Among the most interesting features of the Atigun Pass are her special environmental protection and safety features, which include segregated ballast tanks, inert gas system, fixed tank cleaning equipment, collision avoidance radar, and Loran and Omega navigation systems.

While somewhat smaller than some of the tankers used to transport oil between continents, the Atigun Pass is the largest thus far to be specially built for Alaskan service. It will also rank as being among the safest and most modern.

Launching ceremonies began with the singing of the National Anthem by soloist Mona Bond, followed by a moving invocation by the Reverend Robert E. Malsbary, pastor, John Calvin Presbyterian Church, Metairie.

Edwin Hartzman, president of Avondale Shipyards, Inc., then took the podium to deliver a welcoming address and to introduce the distinguished guests on the platform.

The principal speaker for the occasion was Charles E. Spahr, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Standard Oil Company. He in turn introduced the charming sponsor, Mrs.

Joseph D. Harnett, wife of the president of The Standard Oil Company (Ohio).

Mrs. Harnett, assisted by Mr. Hartzman, then raised a silver hatchet to sever the cord that sent the champagne bottle winging down to the bow of the ship to smash against her side. At this precise moment, hundreds of balloons and live pigeons were released to accompany the thrilling sight of the ship floating free for the first time in the waters of the Mississippi River.

Avondale Shipyards, Inc. employed its $26 million floating drydock to launch the Atigun Pass.

The ship was moved into the drydock from the building ways nearby about two weeks prior to launching.

The Atigun Pass, built by Avondale, will stand out as being among the safest and most seaworthy ships in the world. A long list of modern navigational equipment to be installed includes computerized collision-avoidance instruments, a system that keeps track of courses and speeds of nearby vessels; weather map facsimile reproduction equipment to help avoid storms; echosounders to measure water depths; a Loran navigation system to determine the ship's position within yards by monitoring special radio signals, and an Omega navigation system to electronically fix a ship's position within two miles anywhere in the world.

Other safety equipment assures environmental integrity. For example, the ship will be equipped with segregated ballast tanks. These tanks will never be used to hold oil and will reduce the risk of water pollution.

Inert gas systems on the new tanker will guard against danger of fire or explosion from vapors which can form in empty or partially empty oil cargo tanks.

The Atigun Pass will also be equipped with a waterless cargo tank washing system. The device uses an oil spray in the inerted tanks instead of seawater to clean oil residue from the sides of cargo tanks as they are emptied. This eliminates another potential source of water pollution.

Two main boilers instead of one will assure the tanker of maneuverability in the event of breakdown.

Outfitting of the Atigun Pass at Avondale will take some months, but when she enters service for her owners, she will carry North Slope crude oil from Alaska to ports in the lower 48 states through the Panama Canal.

Meanwhile, her three sisterships will be building at the Avondale yard. The keel of the Atigun Pass was laid July 12, 1976. Avondale Shipyards, Inc. is a subsidiary of Ogden Corporation, which operates in the major market areas of metals, transportation, and food.

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