APSI plans to use the proceeds from the asset sale, together with a combination of construction period financing to be arranged with private lenders and its own available funds, to finance the construction of two newbuild tankers. The vessels would be the 17th and 18th vessels constructed at the yard. The Commonwealthâ€™s approval makes effective the tentative agreement between APSI and the Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corporation (PSDC) that was announced in AKPSâ€™s January 2, 2011 release (the â€œAgreementâ€). The transactions contemplated by the Agreement are expected to close in March, subject to customary closing conditions as disclosed in the January release.
To further support continuing operations of APSI, the Philadelphia Metal Trades Council, which represents 11 unions at the shipyard, ratified a new collective bargaining agreement on January 18, 2011. This new labor contract will extend until January 31, 2015.
As previously disclosed in the companyâ€˜s Q3 2010 report, APSI has already begun preliminary production activities on Ship 17. The company anticipates the acceleration of those activities in the coming weeks so long as sufficient progress is made towards the closing of the transactions contemplated by the Agreement.
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 a member of the Norwegian-based Aker family of global companies, leaders in global growth markets including energy technologies, energy resources, maritime technologies, seafood and marine biotechnology.