The following is the text of a news release from General Dynamics NASSCO:
(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) — General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony for the first ECO tanker for American Petroleum Tankers (APT) under construction at the company’s shipyard in San Diego. San Diego’s first lady, Katherine Faulconer, was the honoree for the ceremony.
San Diego’s first lady authenticated the keel of the first ECO tanker for APT by welding her initials onto a steel plate during the ceremony. The steel plate with her initials will be permanently affixed to the ship’s keel and will remain with the vessel throughout its time in service. Her husband, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who was present at today’s ceremony, cut the first piece of steel used to build the ship during the vessel’s start of construction ceremony in September 2014.
The ECO tanker is the first of a five-tanker contract between General Dynamics NASSCO and 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 3,800 and has added approximately 300 jobs at NASSCO.
“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 ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea. The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts 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 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.