PORT HUENEME : Spill Training Center Contract Is Awarded

The Port of Hueneme took another step toward becoming the nation’s first regional cleanup center for major oil spills Friday as Marine Spill Response Corp. awarded a $3-million construction contract to a Camarillo firm.

MSRC, a nonprofit organization formed in 1990 by a consortium of oil companies, signed a contract with HMH Construction Co. to build an oil spill response and training center and to refurbish an existing warehouse, said John McLaurin, MSRC’s external affairs manager.

The 13,000-square-foot center, scheduled for completion in May, 1992, will house 25 employees and serve as the communications center and training facility in the Pacific Southwest, McLaurin said.

The warehouse is scheduled for completion in April and will be the primary storage facility for oil containment equipment.


“This event marks another important milestone in the development of the MSRC,” McLaurin said.

The company was created after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill dumped nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

The Port of Hueneme will be the first of five MSRC centers in the country to go into operation.

Each center is capable of handling a 216,000-barrel oil spill, about the size of the Exxon Valdez spill.


“This is one of the most interesting and challenging projects we’ve ever done,” said David Hight, president of HMH Construction.

Hight said HMH was chosen from six bidders.

After construction is completed, a 210-foot offshore response vessel will arrive at the port and the response team will be trained, McLaurin said. MSRC hopes to be operational by February, 1993, he said.