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June 10, 2002

Ingalls resumes cruise ship work
According to the local Sun Herald newspaper, about 350 employees at Northrop Grumman's Ingalls Shipbuilding unit, Pacagoula, Miss., have resumed work on the first 840 ft "Project America" cruise ship. Work has been stalled since October last year, shortly after American Classic Voyages filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The Sun Herald quotes Den Knecht, a spokesman for Ingalls, as saying that the U.S. Maritime Administration has asked the shipyard to finish the ship's hull, which is about 55 percent complete. This fall, the ship will be launched and towed to a storage facility or to a buyer, Knecht reportedly said.

"The Maritime Administration has agreed to reimburse us for the work we're doing in finishing the ship for launch," Knecht told the newspaper. There was no estimate how much the work would cost.

Industry sources have told Marine Log that they believe the Maritime Administration now has a buyer. It is thought to be Star Cruises' NCL unit. In that case it seems likely that the ship will be towed to Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven, Germany, for completion.

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