Crowley christens third LNG-ready tanker in New Orleans

The following is the text of a news release from Crowley Maritime Corp.:

(NEW ORLEANS) ­— Continuing its innovative vessel build program, Crowley Maritime Corp. christened the third of four new Jones Act product tankers on Thursday at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal in New Orleans.

The 50,000-deadweight-ton, 330,000-barrel-capacity Louisiana joins two Crowley sister ships, Texas and Ohio, to be the first tankers ever to receive the American Bureau of Shipping’s LNG-Ready Level 1 approval, giving Crowley the option to convert the tanker to liquefied natural gas for propulsion in the future.

Attendees representing Marathon Petroleum Corp., the vessel’s charterer, and shipbuilder Philly Shipyard Inc. watched as Carrie Templin, wife of Don Templin, Marathon executive vice president, carried out the time-honored tradition of christening the shipyard by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne across the hull at the Port of New Orleans.

“This is a great day of celebration for Crowley, Marathon, Philly Shipyard and all the people who had a role in bringing this great ship to life,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “We also celebrate the men and women seafarers who will be counted on to operate her safely and reliably for our customer, Marathon. There is nothing more important.” 

The new tankers are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design that incorporates numerous fuel-efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. Similar to its sister ships, Louisiana is 600 feet long and is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products, as well as other chemical products. 

Construction management services were provided by Crowley’s marine solutions group, which provides oversight and management in shipyards across the country for Crowley and other third-party companies. PSI (formerly known as Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc.), is the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA. PSI also built the tankers Texas and Ohio for Crowley, and the fourth ship in the program is under construction with delivery planned for third quarter 2016.

“The christening underscores our continued commitment to building and operating innovative vessels that deliver the best possible service and efficiency for our customers who depend on us for safe and reliable transportation of petroleum products,” said Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services. “And, as is the case with its sister ships, we designed and built the Louisiana to have the capability to be converted to LNG propulsion in the future, increasing the likelihood of a long service life as new emissions regulations are developed in the years ahead.”

Crowley is one of the largest independent operators of petroleum barges and tankers in the United States. The company owns and operates a diverse fleet of double-hull, 330,000-barrel-capacity tankers, and articulated tug-barges (ATBs) ranging in size from 155,000 bbl to 330,000 bbl capacity. Additionally, Crowley provides tanker management services for other U.S. companies.

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By Professional Mariner Staff