May 23, 2007
BIW unveils Ultra Hall cornerstone
Maine's Governor John E. Baldacci praised workers at Bath Iron Works Wednesday morning as the cornerstone was unveiled for a new Ultra Hall at the shipyard.
The Governor said that the multi-million dollar investment at the General Dynamics owned yard will strengthen the shipyard's ability to compete for new work into the future.
"Six years ago we stood here and dedicated the Land Level Transfer Facility, an excellent example of government, at all levels, and business working together for a better future," said Governor Baldacci. "Since that time, the men and women of Bath Iron Works have achieved extensive productivity improvements in their shipbuilding processes by coming together and taking advantage of what that facility has to offer."
The Ultra Hall will cover 1.5 acres of property, or 66,788 sq. ft. The building will be 282 feet wide and 236 feet deep, containing four cranes and four mega doors. The Ultra Hall will allow BIW to construct larger ship sections than the 1,400 ton unitsnow possible. Currently, BIW builds and outfits what are called Mega Units, which are created by joining smaller units together inside a building. The Ultra Hall facility will feature the capacity to build ship units of up to 5,000 tons each. The new facility will continue to decrease the number of hours required to construct a destroyer, while maintaining the quality of work that BIW is known for.
"This facility will help safeguard Maine workers by allowing a greater amount of work to be accomplished within a controlled, more easily accessible and safer environment," said the Governor. "Not only will it strengthen BIW's ability to compete for new work, it will help to ensure that ships will continue to be constructed along the banks of the Kennebec far into the future."
The BIW Ultra Hall is expected to be ready for use in February 2008.
The project is viewed as key to construction of the next generation DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer.