Avondale Industries, Inc. is one of the largest shipbuilders in the United States, specializing in the design, construction, conversion, repair and modernization
of various types of ocean-going vessels for the military and commercial markets. A majority of Avondale's contracts in recent years has been for the construction of US Navy surface ships,
although it secured its largest ever commercial contract in 1997 for the construction of two
125,000 Dead Weight Tons ("DWT") crude oil carriers for the Jones Act Trade.
At December 31, 1997, Avondale's shipbuilding backlog was approximately $1.8 billion (including estimated contract escalation), exclusive of unexercised options aggregating approximately $1.1 billion held by the US Navy (including estimated contract escalation) and approximately $500 million held by a commercial customer for additional ship orders. The Company continues to depend on the US Navy's ship construction and conversion programs for about 80% of its marine construction and repair business.
In December 1996, an alliance led by Avondale was awarded a $641 million contract to
construct the initial ship in the US Navy's LPD-17 program. In April 1997, the General Accounting Office denied a protest filed by the Ingalls Shipbuilding team and affirmed this contract award. The contract award provides for options exercisable by the U.S. Navy for two additional LPD vessels to be built by the alliance. Under the terms of an
agreement between the alliance members, Avondale will build the vessel covered by the December 1996 contract and, if the US Navy exercises the two options, Avondale would also
construct the second while Bath would construct the third of the three LPD-17 vessels. Raytheon is responsible for total ship integration.
Organized in 1938, Avondale first began building ocean-going ships in the 1950s. From 1959
to 1985, the Company operated as a subsidiary of Ogden Corporation, a diversified New York Stock Exchange listed company headquartered in New York, New York. Prior to the 1980s, Avondale built both military and commercial vessels, including the construction of 27 destroyer escorts for the US Navy. Among the U.S. Navy vessels built or under construction during the 1980s were sixteen T-AOs, five LSDs, four LSD-CVs, five AOJs (which constituted conversions of AOs previously built by Avondale), one T-AGS 45, fifteen LCACs, four MHCs
and three SL 7 conversions. Also included in the current firm backlog for
the military are contracts to construct six
In the early
1980s, the Company was among the first of US
shipyards to successfully implement modular
construction techniques that had been previously
perfected by Japanese shipbuilders.
The Company's corporate headquarters and main
shipyard are located on the west bank of the
Mississippi River at Avondale, Louisiana,
approximately 15 miles from downtown New Orleans.
That facility includes approximately 229 acres of
Company-owned land with 174 buildings enclosing
approximately 2.0 million square feet of space,
approximately 41 acres of leased land, a 900-foot
floating dry dock/launch platform that permits
construction, conversion or repair of vessels up
to approximately 1,000 feet in length, and a 650-
foot floating dry dock principally used for ship
repair and multiple building ways and side
launching facilities. The main shipyard includes
approximately 6,500 feet of wharves, 1,200 feet of
launch ways and 2,900 feet of unimproved
waterfront along the Mississippi River.
The main shipyard is equipped to build
almost any type of vessel other than nuclear
submarines and surface vessels of the largest
classes, such as ultra-large crude carriers.
The company also operates several other
facilities in the vicinity of the main shipyard.
The Westwego Yard is located five miles down-river
from the main shipyard on 16.6 acres of land
leased through July 1999 and includes facilities
for the construction or repair of boats and
vessels up to 450 feet in length. The Algiers
Yard is located 19 miles down-river from the main
shipyard on 22 acres of land leased through
December 1999 and includes construction facilities
used predominantly for the repair and overhaul of
large ocean-going vessels. The Steel Sales
operation is located on 4.4 acres of property
leased on a month-to-month basis in Harvey,
Louisiana, where a steel warehouse is located.
At December 31, 1997, Avondale had approximately 5,500 employees, many of whom have
been employed by the company for many years. None of Avondale's employees is currently covered by any collective bargaining agreement.
On 22 January 1999 Newport News Shipbuilding and Avondale Industries notified the Department of Justice (DoJ) Antitrust Division of their proposed merger.
Sources and Methods
Maintained by Webmaster
Updated Sunday, February 21, 1999 8:07:24 AM