It looks like one finished Jones Act tanker will come out of AHL Shipping's failed plan to build three 49,000 dwt tankers in the U.S. using a "virtual shipyard" approach. Mid Ocean Tanker Company, a joint venture of private equity firm Alterna Capital Partners and Mid Ocean Marine, has contracted with BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards in Mobile, Alabama for work required to launch MV American Phoenix.
Mid Ocean Tanker acquired the unfinished ship, said to be 90 percent complete, for $12.65 million in February of this year in the bankruptcy proceedings that followed the AHL Shipping collapse. It intends to complete it for service in U.S. coastwise trade by late 2011 or early 2012.
The ship remains on the premises of BAE's Mobile yard, which is the former Atlantic Marine Alabama Shipyard that was originally to have completed the ship for AHL. The yard was acquired by BAE Systems in July 2010.
MOTC has worked closely with BAE Systems to develop a work scope and schedule that is efficient and will achieve the original goals of the project: to build the highest specification, safest, most reliable twin screw diesel-electric tanker in U..S service.
Nickel Van Reesema, a founder and principal of Mid Ocean Marine, announced the agreement with BAE Systems, stating, "The BAE Systems team has done a terrific job of working with us through the many details necessary to get a project like this completed. We have every confidence that our team will continue to work as partners with the pros at BAE Systems in making this a great success."
Victor Rhoades, Director and General Manager of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards, Mobile, added, "We are extremely pleased to be selected for this opportunity. The award of the American Phoenix allows us to continue to build our workforce and reinforces BAE Systems' commitment to new construction in the commercial market. We are excited to be working with the industry leaders of the MOTC Team. Together, we will deliver a world class vessel. Production is scheduled to commence 04 April 2011 with delivery in October 2011".
Harry Toll, Managing Partner of Alterna Capital Partners, agreed, saying, "A complicated project like this requires the integration of a lot of different types of expertise; technical, operational and financial. It also requires a commitment from everyone involved to work together. We are very fortunate to have Mid Ocean and BAE Systems as the key participants in completing the American Phoenix. In particular, Vic Rhoades and his senior team at BAE Systems went the extra mile in every case to see to it that this effort will move ahead on an efficient, timely, 'right the first time' basis. I don't think we could have asked for a better team."
Alterna Capital Partners is a private equity firm based in Wilton, Connecticut that invests in Core Capital Assets. Core Capital Assets are the vital, core operating assets of capital intensive industries such as rail and commercial air transportation, shipping, power generation and transmission, offshore development and production, and heavy industry. www.alternacapital.com
Mid Ocean Marine is a private ship owning and investment company based in Norwalk Connecticut that specializes in U.S. Flag shipping projects.
April 5, 2011