October 9, 2007
Single hull tanker now born-again bulker
As IMO and OPA phase-outs bite, single hull tankers continue to reappear in interesting new incarnations.
One example is a 1981 Hyundai-built 78,571 dwt vessel originally delivered as the Hoegh Foam, several names and owners later it has just been christened the M/V H.A. Sklenar at a ceremony in Mobile, Alabama, following its conversion into a self-unloading bulker at China's Chengxi Shipyard. Among other features, it is now fitted with a 266 ft x 78 inch wide offloading boom conveyor capable of handling 5,000 t/hr of limestone.
It is the third and latest Panamax self-unloader to be owned and operated by Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE: VMC).
Vulcan Materials Company, a member of the S&P 500 index, is America's leading producer of construction aggregates and a major producer of other construction materials.
The Sklenar and its sister vessels, the M/V W.H. Blount and the M/V Bernardo Quintana, transport high quality limestone aggregates from Vulcan's Sac Tun quarry on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to markets along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the east coast of Florida and the Caribbean.
Vulcan acquired and converted the Sklenar to transport an additional volume of aggregates being produced from a major expansion and upgrade of the company's processing facility in Mexico. The increased production and transportation capacity will allow Vulcan to meet strong market growth and demand for construction materials along the U.S. Gulf Coast and the east coast of Florida.
The plant expansion increased annual production capacity at the quarry from approximately 9 million tons to approximately 12 million tons. As a bulker, a typical lift for the converted ship is 66,000 tons on a 40 ft draft and it increases annual shipping capacity from the quarry by over 3 million tons.
"We are pleased to honor our former Chairman and CEO, Herb Sklenar, by naming our third vessel after him. With our plant expansion completed and the Sklenar in service, Vulcan is able to increase its shipments to attractive markets along the Gulf and South Atlantic Coasts," said Don James, Vulcan's chairman and CEO. "Over the long term, population growth and market demand in this region are expected to continue to increase at levels above the national averages, while the availability of local, quality aggregates continues to decline. Over time, we expect to continue to increase production and shipping capacity from our Sac Tun quarry so that Vulcan will be positioned to serve expected growth in markets throughout this region."