On the 29th of June, General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony for the second ECO tanker, the Magnolia State, for American Petroleum Tankers (APT) currently under construction at the company’s shipyard in San Diego. The Speaker for the California State Assembly, Toni Atkins, served as the ceremony’s honoree.
During the ceremony Speaker Atkins authenticated the keel of the ECO tanker for APT by welding her initials onto a steel plate. The steel plate will be permanently affixed to the ship’s keel and will remain with the vessel throughout its time in service. In December 2014, U.S. Rep. Scott Peters helped signal the start of construction of the same ship by pressing a button to cut the first piece of steel.
The ECO tanker is the second of a five-tanker contract between General Dynamics NASSCO and APT, which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000 deadweight ton, LNG-conversion-ready product carriers with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The 610-foot-long tankers are a new "ECO" design, offering improved fuel efficiency, and include the latest environmental protection features, including a Ballast Water Treatment System.
"Today’s keel laying ceremony symbolizes the progression of hard work by NASSCO shipbuilders and our commitment to designing, building and delivering high-quality, world-leading products for our customers. When delivered, these product tankers will be the most fuel-efficient and cost-saving vessels of their kind," said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO. "We are pleased Speaker Atkins could join us in celebration of this important milestone for the California-built tanker."
"This keel laying for the second of five tankers that we are building at NASSCO is another exciting milestone in our new building program. We look forward to the delivery of this state-of-the-art vessel in 2016 and her many years of safe, reliable service to our customers," said Rob Kurz, president of American Petroleum Tankers.
At the ceremony, Speaker Atkins noted the importance of shipbuilding not only for the region–but "as a contributor to our country’s strong job performance."
The five-tanker APT contract, along with NASSCO’s current backlog, is helping to sustain and grow its current workforce of more than 4,000 highly-skilled individuals.
The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea. The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will also have dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system.
The construction and operation of the new vessels are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.