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Marine Log

September 6, 2007

Navy charters former Soviet heavy lift ship

A ship originally ordered by the USSR Ministry of Gas is to play a role in helping the U.S. Navy develop the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) ship.

Dockwise USA, Houston, Texas, is being awarded a $25,156,325 firm-fixed-price contract with reimbursables for the charter of a contractor-owned heavy lift ship for the Navy's MPF(F) R&D Program.

The ship covered under this contract is the MV TRANSSHELF, which is Netherlands Antilles-flagged and is contractor-owned and operated.

Transshelf was originally ordered from Wartsila Shipbuilding in Turku, Finland, in 1985 by the USSR Ministry of Gas. In 1994, it was acquired from Russia's Rosneft by Docklift, which had managed it for 14 years.

The Transshelf is a semi-submersible heavy transport carrier of a design which shows strong resemblance to the Servant class vessels, with a deadweight capacity of 34,030 tons and an unobstructed deck area of some 5,280 sq.m. The vesselŐs ballast system enables the vessel to submerge itdeck, allowing floating cargo with a draft of up to 10 metres to be loaded by means of the float-on/float-off method. Any combination of roll-on/roll-off, skid-on/skid-off and lift-on/lift-off procedures can also be employed.

Under the contract with the Navy, the ship will support research and development efforts of the Department of Defense through testing and demonstration of various maritime preposition force future concepts and technologies. Work will be performed primarily in waters off Norfolk, Va., and work is expected to be completed by October 2008.

Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.This contract was competitively procured with more than 200 proposals solicited and one offer received.The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command is the contracting authority (N00033-07-C-3100).