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February 19 2004

National Defense Tanker RFP out

Marad has issued the Request for Proposals for the National Defense Tank Vessel Construction program. You can download the RFP here.

Basically, the program is aimed at providing financial assistance for the construction of up to five privately owned product tankers. These vessels must be operated in commercial service in foreign commerce. The vessels must also be capable of carrying militarily useful petroleum products and be available for national defense purposes.

The amount of assistance that could be paid is up to 75% of the actual construction cost of the vessel, but in no case more than $50 million a vessel.

The tanker envisioned is between 35,000 dwt and 60,000 dwt, capable of a minimum of three cargo separations and with epoxy coated cargo tanks. It must be U.S. flagged and certified for USCG Grade A and lower cargoes.

Desirable features that contribute to the national security needs of the U.S. include a minimum cargo capacity of 250,000 bbl, a 28 ft light draft and 38 ft maxim draft and maximum length of 700 ft overall.

The applicant's proposal must not contain any provisions which would make the vessel ineligible for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) or Title XI program. If the applicant intends to apply under the MSP for the new tanker, the applicant must indicate if it proposes to operate a foreign-built tanker under the MSP in the interim.

Phase I proposals are due by May 4, 2004.

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