SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., Houston, Tex., an affiliate of ExxonMobil, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pa., to build two U.S. flag, 115,000 dwt Aframax size crude oil tankers. The LOI is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this year.
The double-hull tankers will be built in partnership with Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries. The project planning work is already underway at Aker Philadelphia, which is expected to start building the 115,000 deadweight ton tankers mid next year. The 820 ft vessels, each with a capacity of 730,000 bbls, will be delivered in 2014. They will replace two existing double-hull tankers. The new vessels will be used to carry Alaskan crude from Prince William Sound, Alaska, to U.S. West Coast destinations.
All of the ship's cargo and fuel compartments will be equipped with double hull protection. Both vessels will have the latest in navigation and communications equipment. The main engine and auxiliary systems will be energy efficient and generate lower air emissions than what is required by current regulatory standards.
"Today's announcement is consistent with our long-term ongoing commitment to safe and reliable marine transportation in the United States and throughout the world," said Will Jenkins, president of SeaRiver. "These new vessels will provide jobs for American shipyard workers and help support energy needs along the U.S. West Coast for decades to come."
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is currently constructing two 600 ft, 46,000 deadweight product tankers for delivery in late 2012 and early 2013, respectively. It has yet to find a customer for these ships. While its technical partner for the Exxon Mobil Aframax tankers will be Samsung Heavy Industries, its partner for the product tankers is another leading Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard,
July 25, 2011