The following is the text of a news release from General Dynamics NASSCO:
(SAN DIEGO) (Sept. 13) — General Dynamics NASSCO and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer today signaled the start of construction of five American Petroleum Tankers at a steel cutting ceremony for the first tanker, the APT-1, at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
Joined by General Dynamics NASSCO executive leadership and Faulconer were representatives from Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Rob Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of KMP subsidiary American Petroleum Tankers.
“Today’s start of construction ceremony signifies our ongoing relationship with American Petroleum Tankers. NASSCO is pleased to continue our commitment as good environmental stewards by building the most energy-efficient tankers in the Jones Act fleet and in helping to sustain and grow highly-skilled jobs right here in San Diego,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO.
The APT-1 is the first tanker of a five-tanker contract between General Dynamics NASSCO and American Petroleum Tankers (APT), which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000 deadweight ton, 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 include the latest environmental protection features, including a ballast water treatment system.
The five-tanker APT contract, along with NASSCO’s existing backlog, will sustain its current work force of more than 3,000 and will add approximately 500 jobs at NASSCO.
“This is a great opportunity to create hundreds of jobs in our burgeoning blue-tech industry,” Faulconer said. “By adding these good-paying jobs, NASSCO expands its role as a pillar of San Diego’s defense and innovation economies.”
The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea, and will include improved fuel efficiency through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will also have dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system.
The Eco-class tankers represent the continuation of NASSCO’s successful partnership with DSEC, which was a partner on the five APT State-class product tankers and currently is contributing to two LNG-powered containerships for TOTE Shipholdings Inc.
“We are very pleased to get the construction phase of this exciting project underway and appreciate the commitment of our customers, which facilitated this fleet expansion through their long-term charter support,” said Rob Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of KMP subsidiary American Petroleum Tankers. “We look forward to taking delivery of these state-of-the-art vessels.”
The new construction and operation of the new vessels are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.