2001 Maritime

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December 10, 2001

Røkke pledges $100 million investment in Philly
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, new Kvaerner chairman Kjell Inge Røkke now says the company will invest an additional $100 million in the Philadelphia yard over the next two years.

The money will be spent for equipment, training and other modifications designed to make the yard more competitive. Future investment will also include putting the yard's building dock under cover. This part of the original shipyard plan was cut by previous Kvaerner management to shave costs in construction in of the yard.

All this is in sharp contrast to European reports that Røkke planned to "resolve" problems at the yard by selling it, or seeking concessions from labor and more money from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

According to the reprt in the Inquirer, though, Røkke says there will be no requests for cuts in pay and no pleas for more public money.

Productivity problems involve organization, equipment and training issues "and are not the workers' fault -- they are working hard," Røkke is quoted as saying.