The following is the text of a news release from Crowley Maritime Corp.:
(PHILADELPHIA) (Sept. 24) — The first of four Crowley Maritime Corp. product tankers was celebrated today in a keel-laying ceremony held at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI), the wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA. The 330,000-barrel, Jones Act tankers are being built through a joint venture between Crowley and Aker.
Keeping with the long-held shipbuilding tradition, several coins were placed by representatives from Crowley, APSI and others on one of the keel blocks before the unit was lowered into place in the dry dock. The coins are a ceremonial sign of good fortune and safe travels.
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.”
Crowley’s Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime is providing construction management services for the product tankers. Jensen now has an on-site office and personnel at the Philadelphia shipyard to ensure strong working relationships with Aker staff and a seamless construction and delivery program.
“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.”
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. When completed, the vessel will be 600 feet long and be capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products. Delivery of the new tankers is expected in 2015 and 2016.
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 listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and is majority-owned by Converto Capital Fund, which in turn is majority-owned by Aker ASA. Aker is a Norwegian industrial investment company that creates value through active ownership. Aker's investment portfolio is concentrated on key Norwegian industries that are international in scope: oil and gas, fisheries and biotechnology, and marine assets. Aker's industrial holdings comprise ownership interests in Aker Solutions, Kvaerner, Det norske oljeselskap, Aker BioMarine, Ocean Yield and Havfisk.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of the 122-year-old Crowley Maritime Corp., is a privately held family and employee-owned company. The company provides project solutions, energy and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response through its Titan Salvage subsidiary; vessel management; vessel construction and naval architecture through its Jensen Maritime subsidiary; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found at www.crowley.com.