NASSCO christens ECO tanker, cuts steel on two more

Apt Eco 01172014 Splash

The following is text from news releases issued by General Dynamics NASSCO:

(SAN DIEGO) — General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a christening ceremony Saturday for the first ECO tanker for American Petroleum Tankers (APT) under construction at the company's shipyard in San Diego. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke at the ceremony, and the ship’s sponsor, Helen Downs, christened the ship with the traditional break of a champagne bottle alongside the ship.

The ECO tanker, the Lone Star State, is the first of a five-tanker contract between NASSCO and APT, which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000-dwt, LNG-conversion-ready product carriers with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. The 610-foot-long tankers are a new ECO design, offering improved fuel efficiency and the latest environmental protection features including a ballast water treatment system.

“Incorporating new and innovative green ship technology, these tankers are the future of American petroleum shipping. When delivered they will be among the most fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly tankers anywhere in the world,” said Kevin Graney, general manager and vice president for General Dynamics NASSCO.

“This christening ceremony is an important step forward for Kinder Morgan’s expanding fleet of Jones Act product tankers and demonstrates the strong demand for domestic waterborne transportation to move petroleum products and crude oil,” said Robert Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan Inc. subsidiary. “We look forward to taking delivery of this vessel next month and, along with our seven other operating tankers, providing first-class service to our growing customer base.”

On Friday, NASSCO shipbuilders began construction on a fifth ECO tanker for APT and a third tanker to be built for SEA-Vista Newbuild II LLC, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc. Designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea, the tankers' ECO design achieves improved fuel efficiency through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will have conversion-capable, dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate the future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system and tanks.

The construction and operation of the new tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.

By Professional Mariner Staff