BethShip wins $1.7 million Navy contract Mothballing of tanker means month's work for 160

April 11, 1996|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s BethShip division has won a $1.7 million Navy contract that will provide a month's work for 160 employees.

David Watson, president of the Sparrows Point shipyard, announced the award of a contract to mothball the Military Sealift Command tanker USNS Humphreys.

Ted Baldwin, a company spokesman, said the work includes making the tanker resistant to rust and corrosion so it would be ready for future use. "It's a fairly typical contract for us," he said.

The Humphreys will join two other Military Sealift Command vessels being repaired at BethShip.

The shipyard is renovating the USS El Paso and the USS Mobile for $20.5 million.

That contract will require about 200 people to be working on the two cargo ships for eight months.

When the repairs are completed, the El Paso and the Mobile will be used to transport tactical equipment for Marine Corps use in amphibious assaults.

The Humphreys is scheduled to arrive at Sparrows Point May 20. Mr. Baldwin said he did not know how long the ship would remain deactivated.

Neither contract will mean additional jobs for BethShip, which employs about 800 people.

And, the work is not related to Baltimore's coveted status as a home port, which allows BethShip to bid on short-term ship repairs requiring less than six months' work.

Navy Secretary John Dalton canceled the home port status in June. Under political pressure, he reversed his decision in August.

While Baltimore's designation as a home port makes BethShip eligible for most Navy repair work, the city doesn't need to be a home port for the company to bid for jobs on Military Sealift Command and Maritime Administration ships.

Pub Date: 4/11/96

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