Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Advertiser catches up a bit on Superferry news
by Larry Geller
Here’s today’s (6/24/2009) Honolulu Advertiser front page (snippet):
Yup, it’s true. But it’s very much last week’s headline.
Here’s the Star-Bulletin story from exactly a week ago, 6/17/2009:
The Advertiser story contains more current news than its unfortunate headline. But hotter news than this is available on the Web and in Hawaii blogs. For example, This story out of Atlanta:
The U.S. Maritime Administration says that it plans to repossess and sell a pair of fast ferries built at Austal USA for Hawaii Superferry Inc. [Press-Register, Government to repossess Hawaii Superferry boats built at Austal, 6/24/2009]
In the same article is an interesting juxtaposition of facts:
Austal Ltd. President Bob Browning said he was disappointed that MARAD decided to seize the ferries without involving Austal in a project to prepare them for military use.
MARAD made the ferry loans under its Title XI program, which is supposed to support U.S. shipyards by reducing their reliance on military work.
The first confirms a military objective, though we can’t, of course, say that Austal hasn’t just thought of it, this very moment. But the second is interesting: the loan was made to reduce Austal’s reliance on military work. Then why didn’t they build a ferry that was sized and suited to Hawaii rather than to Navy requirements?
The article includes a variant of the common mis-statement of why the Supreme Court ruled Act 2 unconstitutional. Nevermind.
More from the web: shipbuilder Austal has got themselves a couple of hundred millions in military contracts that make their Hawaii Superferry loan loss seem trivial (snippet):
Henderson-based shipbuilder Austal has taken a step towards a long mooted defence contract after the US Navy exercised an option to fund the purchase of long lead time equipment for two additional vessels, valued collectively at $450 million.
The equipment, including water jets, diesel engines and reduction gearboxes, will be used for the construction of two additional 103 metre Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV).
Today's award is valued at $125 million.
Austal's contract with the US Navy includes options for nine additional vessels to be awarded between fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2013. [West Australia Business News, Austal set to win more US Navy contracts, 6/22/2009]
More related to Hawaii Superferry is Ian Lind’s post today, linking to original court documents, a valuable service. See the bottom of this article. And then jump to Brad Parsons’ article here for even more.
If you want to keep current on Superferry news, you can’t go wrong bookmarking the blogs, or putting their RSS feeds into your favorite newsreader.
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