The following is the text of a news release from Aker Philadelphia Shipyard:
(PHILADELPHIA) — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI), the sole operating subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (AKPS), began production activities Wednesday on the third and fourth 50,000-dwt product tankers in a four-vessel order for American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan Inc. subsidiary (APT). The two product tankers are scheduled for delivery in 2017 and are the culmination of a series of eight product tankers being built at the shipyard for APSI’s customers.
Construction on the third and fourth 50,000-dwt product tankers for APT officially began in the shipyard’s fabrication shop when guest of honor Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack pushed the button on the shipyard’s state-of-the-art plasma cutting machine. The first steel plates that were cut will later become part of the engine room.
At the ceremony, APSI President and CEO Steinar Nerbovik said: “With construction underway on these two product tankers, we celebrate the capstone of an exciting eight-tanker series that is part of Philadelphia’s contribution to the energy landscape of this country. The 1,100 men and women working at the shipyard will be busy for years to come completing these tankers and the other vessels we have under contract.”
“We are very pleased to be working with the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard on the construction of four, LNG-conversion-ready tankers, and the start of construction of these two vessels marks a milestone for our expanding fleet,” said Robert Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of APT. “There continues to be a strong demand for domestic marine transportation of petroleum products and crude oil, and these tankers will provide Kinder Morgan with additional new tonnage to better service our customers.”
The next-generation 50,000-dwt product tanker is based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design that incorporates numerous fuel-efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. The tankers will also be constructed with consideration for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for propulsion in the future. When completed, each of the 600-foot tankers will have a carrying capacity of 14.5 million gallons to transport crude oil or refined products.
The four 50,000-dwt product tankers for APT are currently under contract with Philly Tankers LLC. In line with the announcement made by AKPS on Aug.10, each of these contracts will be assigned by Philly Tankers LLC to APT at vessel delivery.
Also under construction at the shipyard are three 50,000-dwt product tankers for Crowley with planned deliveries through 2016, the first two 50,000-dwt tankers for APT with planned deliveries in 2016 and 2017, and two containerships for Matson Navigation Co. Inc., with planned deliveries in 2018. On July 16, the company announced that it intends to change its name to Philly Shipyard by the end of the year, pending shareholder approval.