NEW ORLEANS, April 13, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- (WITH PHOTO) Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Ship Systems sector today christened "Polar Discovery" in ceremonies at its Avondale Operations in New Orleans, La.
"Polar Discovery" is the third of five "Endeavour"-class double-hulled tankers Northrop Grumman Ship Systems is building for Polar Tankers, Inc., the shipping division of Phillips Alaska, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips Petroleum Company.
The "Endeavour"-class tankers are the first crude oil carriers being built for the Alaskan trade in compliance with the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
"These five 'Endeavour'-class tankers demonstrate Phillips' commitment to protect the environment while providing reliable energy for America. Alaska is a legacy asset of Phillips Petroleum and we plan to maintain production at 375,000 to 400,000 barrels of oil per day equivalent for the foreseeable future," said Kevin O. Meyers, executive vice president of Alaska Production and Operations, Phillips Petroleum, and president and chief executive officer of Phillips Alaska, Inc., as he delivered the principal address at the christening.
The "Endeavour"-class tankers are being built to meet or exceed existing and proposed environmental regulations and will set new standards for innovation and environmental protection. The ships will hold just over one million barrels of cargo at full capacity.
The Polar Tankers ships are built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Avondale Operations in New Orleans, with Ship Systems' Gulfport, Miss., location also fabricating units.
"The 'Endeavour'-class tankers were once a vision of the future," said John J. Hennon, president, Polar Tankers, Inc. "Today, they are a reality because that vision was combined with the leadership, tenacity and stamina of all those who have been involved in the design and construction of these fine ships. We know that we can count on everyone on the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems team. Without them, these ships would still be only a dream."
Ship Systems currently has four 140,000 deadweight-ton (DWT) crude oil carriers under construction at Avondale for Polar Tankers.
"The christening of this third double-hulled tanker underscores our commitment to compete successfully in profitable commercial shipbuilding," said Dr. Philip A. Dur, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. "We are proud to be partners with Polar Tankers in building these revolutionary, environmentally friendly tankers."
"'Polar Discovery' is a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of the thousands of hard-working men and women of Avondale and across Northrop Grumman Ship Systems who contributed to building this fine ship," said George R. Yount, vice president of Avondale Operations. "We can all share in the pride we feel as we christened this great ship, and we look forward to delivering more of these extraordinary tankers."
The new ship's sponsor, Mrs. Dore` Meyers, christened the ship. Mrs. Meyers is the wife of Kevin Meyers. Also participating in the christening ceremony was Ashleigh Liston, maid of honor, Mrs. Meyers' sister.
The vessels will meet pending air emissions regulations for engines. The ships are also being painted with tin-free anti-fouling paint in anticipation of proposed regulations.
Polar Tankers' fleet consists of five vessels ranging in size from 50,000 to 265,000 DWT. The entire fleet is employed in the Alaskan crude trade.
Phillips Petroleum Company is an integrated petroleum company with interests around the world. Headquartered in Bartlesville, Okla., the company has 38,700 employees and $35 billion of assets and had $26.9 billion of revenues in 2001.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, headquartered in Pascagoula, Miss., includes facilities in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss., as well as New Orleans, and Tallulah, La. The sector, which currently employs more than 17,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.
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CONTACT: Ed Winter Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (504) 436-5253