Aker Philadelphia lays keel for eighth Jones Act product tanker

The following is the text of a press release issued Dec. 9 by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard:
(PHILADELPHIA) — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard (Oslo: AKPS), a leading U.S.
commercial shipyard, held a traditional keel laying ceremony today for the eighth MT-46 Veteran Class product tanker being constructed at the yard. When completed, the vessel will join its seven other sister ships and be sold to American Shipping Company and subsequently bareboat chartered to OSG America.

During the ceremony, coins were placed under the keel block before it was lowered into the dry dock as a long held symbol of good fortune and safe travels. Two Aker Philadelphia Shipyard employees who have made great safety improvements in the yard were invited to participate. William Bowman, a maintenance supervisor, and Fred Chamberlain, a shipbuilder and Secretary Treasurer for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, placed the coins to represent the shipyard. Panos Hatzikyriakos, head of the Safety, Quality and Environment (SQE) Program at OSG, placed a coin on behalf of OSG America.

The ceremony comes a short few weeks after an official agreement was signed to enter Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) into a partnership to improve the health and safety of workers. By working together on common safety goals, the program could make the yard eligible to apply for OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) in as early as two years.

The yard currently has three other product tankers under construction in the series of twelve. For more information on Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, as well as a photo from today’s keel laying ceremony, please visit www.akerphiladelphia.com.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market. It possesses a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility and has earned a reputation as the preferred provider of oceangoing merchant vessels with a track record of delivering quality ships.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is a member of the Norwegian-based Aker family of global companies, leaders in global growth markets including energy technologies, energy resources, maritime technologies, seafood and marine biotechnology.

American Shipping Company (AMSC) owns and leases world-class quality vessels for operation between ports in the United States. When the current series of twelve tankers is completed in 2011, AMSC will own the most modern product tanker fleet in the United States; and it will be the first company in the United States to own shuttle tankers for use in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

By Professional Mariner Staff