Bethlehem's Sparrows Point Yard Delivers 530,000 DWT In 1976
Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point (Md.) shipyard delivered a record-shattering 530,- 000 deadweight tons of shipping in 1976.
The yard launched two 265,000- dwt tankers and delivered two during 1976. The year ended with employment slightly down, but still at a relatively high level, as construction continued on two of these ships as well as on prefabricated units which are going into other vessels.
Donald T. Burkhardt, general manager of the yard, said: "1977 will bring us another record of tonnage delivered, but that record will also signify the end of the current program, which included five of the 265,000-dwt-class tankers and the start of yard concentration on smaller vessels.
"The yard," Mr. Burkhardt said, "has on order or under construction two 27,340-dwt containerships for Farrell Lines Incorporated, and an auxiliary repair drydock for the Navy. Fabricating work on the drydock is already under way. Work is also progressing on construction for outside interests." Mr. Burkhardt stressed that "the yard is very active in seeking new contract possibilities for the types of ships that we can build economically." The tankers New York and Maryland, delivered in May and August 1976, respectively, are— along with their sistership the Massachusetts, which was delivered in 1975 — the largest vessels ever built in the United States.
These vessels are so large that the inclusion of two of them in the Maritime Administration's ship completion list for the year ended June 30 makes the Sparrows Point yard total equal to 45 percent of all commercial tonnage delivered by all of the yards in the country.
The yard continued during the year to upgrade its facilities, and completed installation of electrical power and light lines at subassembly areas to allow preoutfitting of large subassemblies.
A solvent recovery system was installed in the paint shop. The crane runway of the plate yard was replaced and the cranes were upgraded. The boiler shop was rehabilitated. New offices were constructed for the compensation and safety divisions, and a new first aid station offering improved medical facilities for the building basin area was installed.