Moon Engineering Expands— Moves To Portsmouth, Va.

Moon Engineering Company, Inc. of Norfolk, Va., after 65 years of service to Navy and commercial ships, is moving across the Elizabeth River from her old Front Street berth along the Norfolk waterfront to Pinner's Point in Portsmouth, Va., about two nautical miles downriver from the U.S. Navy yard.

According to company president William E. Thomas Sr., the move entails a major expansion of MECO's ship repair capabilities. With plans for doubling the workforce to 320 or more employees, the new MECO facility at Pinner's Point represents a significant economic boost for the City of Portsmouth. The $7-million initial phase of construction on the new 63-acre site (24 acres of dry land) is, according to the company, well-timed for the Navy ship repair industry. Navy Secretary John F. Lehman is promising a "commitment to competition" that will allow private ship repair yards delivering the "best work for the lowest cost" to "bid for work . . . (they) would never have gotten in the past" as part of the "new way we're doing business" at the Navy Department.

The expansion and move also coincide with the beginning of the Navy's new phased maintenance program where yards such as Moon Engineering may be awarded up to five-year contracts to repair and schedule maintenance on several ships in a given class. The program is said to guarantee the Navy better value for its repair dollar and continuity of maintenance programs.

At the same time, phased maintenance allows yards like MECO to more accurately estimate and more thoroughly perform repairs and better monitor maintenance needs, while being able to maintain larger, more stable workforces. With an expected workforce of between 320 to 350, Moon will be the largest private shipyard in Portsmouth.

Reportedly, about 80 percent of the company's work is for the Navy, either performed at Moon's piers or "downriver" wherever the ship is berthed. MECO has made repairs on a wide range of Navy ship classes, from aircraft carriers (CV), to tugboats (YTB).

The bulk of this work is in ship repairs and conversions including boiler and machinery repair, piping, diesel, hydraulic, habitability, structural and electrical work.

Moon Engineering crews are backed up by an extensive array of specialty repair sections including a machine shop, an electrical shop, a steel fabrication shop, a sheet metal shop, a rigger's shop, and an internal combustion and hydraulics shop.

In a second phase of its business, Moon Engineering provides maintenance and repair services for local industries. This work normally consists of boiler repairs, piping installations, and repairs utilizing the machine and welding shops.

For further information and free literature on Moon Engineering's services and facilities,

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