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Halter Marine Preps Polar Security Cutter for Construction; Tom Vecchiolla Quoted

3 mins read
Tom Vecchiolla
Tom Vecchiolla Chairman

Halter Marine has announced that it will prepare the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) for construction, following its progression through the detailed design phase, the company reported on Wednesday. In July 2021, Halter Marine will complete upgrades to the launch way area where the PSC will be constructed.

“The fortification of the launch way is a significant milestone in Halter Marine’s execution of the Polar Security Cutter program,” said Tom Vecchiolla, chairman and CEO of ST Engineering North America and previous Wash100 Award recipient.  “As the detailed design phase rapidly progresses, our continued investment in the infrastructure of the yard is a key to the success of this and Halter’s other government programs.”

PSC is the heaviest vessel per foot of length that Halter Marine has constructed at its Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard, featuring a 19,000-ton launch weight. The Crowley Taino and El Coqui were previously the heaviest vessels to launch from the company’s dock, measuring 720 feet long, which has provided a greater distance to leverage their weight.

“Based on weight per foot, the PSC outweighs those vessels,” said Bob Merchent, president and CEO of Halter Marine. “The PSC needs 22 tons of capacity per linear foot of rail line, and we have designed the new launch way to accommodate 27 tons per linear foot. We are preparing for our newest vessel while also looking forward to future, larger vessels.”

The upgrade project began in July 2020, when the crew removed 11 launch way rail lines. Following, the team dug more than one thousand holes that were filled with grout and concrete to create new piles, which will transfer the PSC’s heavy load to a deeper level.

“Each drilled hole is 110 feet long, and we are pouring 27 miles of piles,” said Kevin Amis, EVP of Operations for Halter Marine. “We are completing this project with a perfect safety record. I’m proud of the women and men at Halter Marine and Malouf Construction for accomplishing this invaluable project with a true focus on safety.”

The launch way upgrade project is funded with a  grant from the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). “We appreciate the continued support of the MDA along with our federal, state and local officials,” Merchent concluded.