The US-flagged tanker company Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. (OSG) has announced that the Military Sealift Command (MSC) has awarded its tanker Overseas Mykonos a time charter agreement to assist in the removal of fuel from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii. The ship will also provide ongoing fuel transports to MSC in support of national defenses.
The contract was awarded as part of a tendering process in which twelve other proposals were submitted.
“This ship and her crew are capable of providing maritime transportation services using equipment and communications technology tailored to the needs of the Departments of Defense and Navy,” said Sam Norton, CEO and President of OSG.
Norton added that the time charter will help strengthen OSG’s role as a contributor to the pool of domestic merchant vessels supporting US-flagged tankers in international waters.
“This award underscores the benefits of collaboration between the merchant shipping industry and the military. By working together, we are providing loyal and experienced U.S. seafarers, reliable ships and advanced equipment for the benefit of our country,” he said.
The time charter awarded is for a base period of one year plus an additional option period for MSC to extend the contract to a maximum period of 5.5 years.
The Overseas Mykonos will be delivered to MSC at Pearl Harbor in August. Built in 2010, the ship is a medium-range product tanker with 12 cargo tanks and a cargo capacity of 333,000 barrels. The ship will have Consolidated Cargo Replenishment At Sea (CONSOL) capability, providing flexibility and options to refuel the U.S. military fleet while underway. The Overseas Mykonos has also made other militarily useful modifications, including those to meet US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) requirements.
In March last year, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin ordered the Department of Defense to defuel and permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam after a leak at the base contaminated drinking water. The World War II-era facility has a capacity of 250 million gallons of fuel in support of military operations in the Pacific.
For OSG, the order comes after three of OSG’s internationally traded tankers, including the Overseas Mykonoshave been selected for the Maritime Administration’s new tanker safety program.
Modeled after MARAD’s Maritime Security Program (MSP), the TSP is a newly created public-private partnership program that ensures that a fleet of 10 US-flagged product tankers from the international trade sector are active and available to the Department of Defense to ensure security supplies of fuel in times of armed conflict or national emergencies.
Each ship in the 10-ship program will receive a $6 million annual stipend from the US government for their enrollment.
Earlier this month, USTRANSCOM officially assumed a new role as the sole manager to manage and deliver all fuel shipments for the US Department of Defense, filling existing gaps in the oil joint venture.