MSC Public Affairs
MSC PAO 05-04
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Katie Dunnigan
February 3, 2005
Navy leases system to pump fuel from ship to shore
The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command awarded a $26.6 million contract with options to Edison Chouest Offshore, based in Galliano, La., for the time charter of one Offshore Petroleum Discharge System, or OPDS.
The OPDS consists of two ships -- a support ship and a tender -- that work together to pump fuel for U.S. military forces from a commercial oil tanker moored at sea to a temporary fuel storage area ashore.
To begin the process, the 348-foot support ship and 165-foot tender work together to install up to eight miles of eight-inch-diameter flexible pipe. Next, the support ship positions the tanker for safe off-load operations. While the tender holds the tanker in place, the tanker's lines connect to the flexible pipe through the support ship. Booster pumps aboard the support ship increase the pressure of fuel, pushing the fuel to shore.
The OPDS is especially valuable in areas where fuel piers are unavailable, and tankers are unable to tie up ashore to off-load fuel. The OPDS can pump up to 1.7 million gallons of fuel per day.
Government-owned OPDSs have been deployed since the mid-1980s, but this is the first time that the system has been leased from a private company.
"You never know where you are going to have to operate," said Griff Hume, prepositioning ship project officer. "Offshore Petroleum Discharge Systems enable us to provide fuel, the lifeblood of any military mission or exercise, wherever and whenever it is needed."
The contract includes a time charter for one OPDS for a total of $125.6 million if all option periods are exercised. The Navy has the opportunity to add a second OPDS with option periods, which could raise the contract total to $241 million.
The OPDS will be maintained in the Guam/Saipan area, ready to be deployed worldwide. The first system will be delivered to MSC in October 2006.
MSC ships replenish Navy ships at sea, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, preposition combat cargo at sea and move 95 percent of military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.
Return to 2005 Press Release archive...