Bulk Carrier 'Star Of Texas7 Launched At Levingston Yard
The second of three U.S.-flag dry bulk vessels being constructed at Levingston Shipbuilding Company was christened and launched recently at the Orange, Texas, shipyard. The 612-foot ship (shown above) hit the water after being christened Star of Texas by Mrs. Thelma Paden and Mrs. Marilyn Voss, co-sponsors, each of whom broke a traditional bottle of champagne on the vessel's bow. Mrs. Paden is the wife of Edward E. Paden, chairman and chief executive officer of Levingston Shipbuilding; Mrs. Voss is the wife of William C. Voss, senior vice president of Ashland Oil, Inc.
Speaking at the ceremony, which was attended by more than 3,000 invited guests, shipyard employees, and their families, were John B. Spring, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Household International, Inc.; U.S. Representative Charles Wilson (D-Texas) ; State Representative Wayne Peveto; and Joe Barrios, president of Levingston Shipbuilding. The Reverend James Thompson, minister of the First Methodist Church of Orange, gave the invocation.
The Star of Texas, which can carry up to 36,000 tons of grain or other dry bulk cargoes, will join her sister ship, the Pride of Texas, in the U.S. foreign trade. The Pride is currently at sea with a cargo of grain for the People's Republic of China. The third sister ship in the series is under construction at the Levingston yard.
Owner of the new ship is the Asco-Falcon Shipping Company of Houston, a partnership between Ashland Shipping Company and Falcon Group of Houston. The Star of Texas will be bareboat- chartered to Equity Carriers, Inc., and managed by Titan Navigation, Inc., both of Houston. She is expected to be completed and delivered by the end of this year; the third vessel of this class will follow about six months later.
The Star of Texas has an over all length of 611 feet 10 inches, beam of 93 feet 2 inches, depth of 50 feet 2y2 inches, and design draft of 32 feet. Bale capacity (grain) is 1,589,570 cubic feet. Built to American Bureau of Shipping classification, the vessel will operate with a crew of 34. Main propulsion is provided by a pair of Transamerica Delaval DMRV-12-4 diesel engines, each with an output of 7,412 bhp at 450 rpm. These 12-cylinder engines are capable of operating on heavy fuel oil as well as No. 2 diesel. Service speed fully loaded is 15.7 knots.
Levingston Shipbuilding Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Levingston Industries, Inc., a privately held corporation. Its 100-acre shipyard in Orange, with about 2,000 employees, builds both conventional ships and offshore drilling rigs. The yard's current orderbook includes the two dry bulk carriers for Asco- Falcon Shipping and four Levingston Class 111-C jackup drilling platforms. The shipyard also operates three floating drydocks and a marine railway, providing maintenance and repair services for the coastal shipping and offshore industry.
Another member of the Levingston Industries group is Texas Gulfport Shipbuilding Company, which operates a shipyard in Port Arthur, Texas, and which also builds jackup rigs and provides ship repair services.