Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 07-08
Date: Mar 24 2008
Contact: Shannon Russell
Contact Phone: 202-366-5807

Adonis Sells for More Than $1 Million

Obselete Ship in Beaumont Fleet Brings Best Price in Recent History

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has sold a ship from the Beaumont Reserve Fleet for more than $1 million, the first time under the current program that a ship has brought such a price. International Shipbreaking, Ltd., in Brownsville, Texas, will pay $1,151,727 for the ship Adonis, now moored at the Beaumont Reserve Fleet site in Texas. Three other government-owned, obsolete ships are also being sold to the company for an additional $173,297: the Cape Catawba, the Cape Canaveral and the Buyer.

These sales stand in contrast to most ship disposal contracts in recent years, which have involved the federal government paying to have its obsolete ships recycled. High worldwide prices for scrap steel have recently made such ships more valuable to recyclers, who sell the steel and other materials recovered from the ships.

“Transactions such as these benefit the taxpayers, and help us dispose of these vessels faster than ever before,” said Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton. “Each time the federal government moves an obsolete ship out of storage, we make another important contribution toward maintaining local ecosystems.”

Two of the ships being sold, the Cape Catawba and the Cape Canaveral, are breakbulk freighters and are located at the James River Reserve Fleet site in Virginia. The Cape Catawba was built at the Todd Shipyard in Los Angeles in 1961. The Cape Canaveral was built at the Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana in 1963. When these two ships depart the James River site for recycling, they will be the 70th and 71st vessel to do so since January of 2001.

The Adonis, a liquid-bulk tanker, was built by A.G. Wesser Seeback of Bremerhaven, Germany in 1966. The other ship being sold, the Buyer, is also in the Beaumont Reserve Fleet, and was built as a breakbulk vessel by National Steel & SB in San Diego in 1960.

The Maritime Administration stores ships at three National Defense Reserve Fleet sites: the James River Reserve Fleet, the Beaumont Reserve Fleet, and at the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, Calif. When ships become obsolete, the Maritime Administration arranges for their disposition in an environmentally-sensitive manner.

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