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Old 10th July 2007, 16:01
fred henderson's Avatar
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Early VLCCs

I suspect that all of the VLCCs that were rushed into service at the end of the 1960s were very much the same. Esso UK bought six sister ships. They were Esso Cambria from Verolme, which was scrapped 11 years after she was launched; Scotia from Weser and Caledonia from H&W both of which went after 12 years; Ulidia from H&W, Northumbria and Cambria from Swan’s which all lasted 13 years.

All were built on fixed price contracts at a time of sharply rising material and labour costs. All of the yards lost a lot of money building the ships. The Esso superintendents at Wallsend were particularly difficult. Shipbuilders have a lot of respect for owners’ representatives who are exacting professionals, but in my experience some of the Esso team were often merely obstructive. That is not the best way to obtain a quality ship.

One thing is certain Esso and Texaco got far more than they paid for.

Fred
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