Philly Shipyard, just three years after facing an uncertain future, is approaching full shipyard capacity by announcing an order for a fifth and final MARAD training vessel.
US shipbuilder Philly Shipyard has won the contract for the fifth and final National Security Multi-Mission Training Vessels (NSMV) from the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD).
The order was placed under the April 2020 contract with TOTE Services, which allows for the construction of up to five NSMVs. The initial allocation included the first two ships of the NSMV program (NSMV 1 and 2). The next two ships in the NSMV program (NSMV 3 and 4) were ordered in January 2021.
Philly Shipyard said the order for NSMV 5 is valued at approximately $300 million, bringing total orders under the contract for the five-ship program to approximately $1.5 billion.
The five purpose-built NSMVs will serve as state-of-the-art training ships for maritime academies around the country. The ships will include training spaces, a full training bridge and will be able to accommodate up to 600 cadets. Each ship will also be equipped for humanitarian and disaster relief, with hospital facilities, a helicopter pad and the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 people in humanitarian need. The vessels will also provide the necessary roll-on/roll-off and container storage capacity for use during disaster relief missions.
The five shipbuilding orders were placed under the April 2020 contract with TOTE Services, the NSMV vessel builder, which allowed for the construction of up to five NSMVs. The initial allocation included the first two ships of the NSMV program (NSMV 1 and 2). The next two ships in the NSMV program (NSMV 3 and 4) were ordered in January 2021.
Construction of the new NSMV 5 is expected to begin in 2023 with delivery expected in 2026.
“This is truly a great day for Philly Shipyard as we are now responsible for building the full series of the NSMV program – a physical symbol of MARAD’s investment in the future of maritime education and training. “said Steinar Nerbovik, president and CEO of Philly. Shipyard. “The NSMV program continues to mark a turning point in the transformation of our business to serve both commercial and government markets.
With its roots in Jones Act shipbuilding, Philly’s business operations dried up in 2019 after the delivery of Matson’s two Aloha-class container ships, leaving the shipyard’s future in doubt and forcing it to sue. government repair and maintenance work as part of a “go gray survival strategy”.
The contract for the NSMV program has allowed Philly Shipyard to replenish its workforce as the shipyard’s production reaches its planned full capacity by mid-year. The company said its total workforce currently stands at around 1,200 people.
In addition to NSMVs, Philly Shipyard’s backlog also includes a contract from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company for a Jones Act-compliant Undersea Rock Installation Vessel (SRIV), marking Philly’s first commercial order. from Aloha-class ships. The contract is worth approximately $200 million and the SRIV will be built between NSMV 4 and 5.
The NSMVs will be owned by MARAD, which developed the initial concept for the design. The keel laying of NSMV 1 took place in December 2021 and the full start of production of NSMV 2 took place in November 2021. Pre-production activities on NSMV 3 and 4 and SRIV 1 are ongoing .
NSMV 1 and 2 are designated for SUNY Maritime College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy respectively. NSMV 2 and 4 will be used by Maine Maritime Academy and Texas A&M Maritime Academy respectively, while NSMV 5 is destined for Cal Maritime.
“I would like to thank TOTE Services and MARAD for their continued support. This contract brings our order book to six vessels, including five NSMVs and one SRIV. Along with our union partners, workforce and supplier network, our current backlog reinforces that shipbuilding is here to stay in Philadelphia,” Nerbovik said.