Pennsylvania agrees to aid Aker Philadelphia in building 2 tankers

The following is the text of a press release issued by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard:
(PHILADELPHIA) — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), the sole operating subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (Oslo: AKPS), announced today that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has agreed to partner with the shipyard and to fund the purchase of certain fixed assets from APSI for a purchase price of USD 42 million.

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 Commonwealth’s approval makes effective the tentative agreement between APSI and the Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corporation (PSDC) that was announced in AKPS’s January 2, 2011 release (the “Agreementâ€). 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 company‘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.

By Professional Mariner Staff