Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), the wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (Oslo: AKPS), held a ceremonial keel laying Wednesday for the first of four product tankers that it is building for its joint venture with Crowley Maritime Corporation.
Keeping with long held shipbuilding tradition, coins were placed on one of the keel blocks before the unit was lowered into place in the dry dock. Representatives from APSI and Crowley placed coins as a ceremonial sign of good fortune and safe travels. When completed in 2015, the vessel will be 600 feet long and be capable of carrying 50,000 tons of crude oil or refined petroleum products.
Steinar Nerbovik, APSI’s managing director, remarked, “Rich in tradition, the Keel Laying Ceremony is a proud milestone for the shipyard and an important step in the vessel’s construction. These U.S. built vessels play an important role in our country’s energy independence while providing good jobs for the men and women who build and sail her.”
The new 50,000 dwt product tankers are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design which incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. The vessels will be constructed with consideration for the use of LNG for propulsion in the future.
“Adding these new Jones Act tankers to our fleet allows us to continue providing our customers with diverse and modern equipment to transport their petroleum and chemical products in a safe and reliable manner,” said Crowley’s Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum and chemical transportation. “We are pleased with the progress being made on these vessels and with the good working relationships we have developed with Aker.”
APSI has delivered 19 ships in its 15 year history. Also under construction at the shipyard are one 115,000 dwt crude oil tanker for SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., ExxonMobil Corporation’s U.S. marine affiliate and two additional 50,000 dwt tankers for Crowley. The shipyard also has firm contracts for one additional product tanker for Crowley, two product tankers for Philly Tankers and two 3,600 TEU containerships for Matson Navigation which will be delivered in 2018.