The following is the text of a news release from Aker Philadelphia Shipyard:
(PHILADELPHIA) (Sept. 20) — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI), the wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA, held a ceremonial keel laying for the fourth of four product tankers that it is building with Crowley Maritime Corp.
Keeping with longheld 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 were in attendance to place the coins and sign the keel block as a gesture of good fortune and safe travels. On behalf of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, upcoming graduates of the shipyard’s apprenticeship program placed the ceremonial coins. Initiated in 2004, the three-year apprenticeship program develops the next generation of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard employees. The upcoming graduation class will add 24 skilled shipbuilders to the work force, bringing the shipyard’s apprentices to about 10 percent of its current work force. Since the program’s inception, 17 apprentices have moved into management positions and many have obtained additional manufacturing qualifications. The shipyard plans to hire 50 additional apprentices in 2016.
The next-generation 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.
APSI has delivered 20 ships in its 15-year history. Also under construction at the shipyard are three additional 50,000-dwt tankers for Crowley and two for Kinder Morgan. The shipyard also has contracts for two additional product tankers for Kinder Morgan and two 3,600-TEU containerships for Matson Navigation, fulfilling its backlog through 2018.