OCTOBER 17, 2012 — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. has held a ceremonial keel laying today for the first of two Aframax tankers that are under construction for SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation's U.S. marine affiliate.
The construction of the two tankers, valued at $400 million, will create more than 1,000 jobs. When completed in 2014, the Liberty Class vessels will be 820 feet long and be capable of carrying 115,000 tons of crude oil. The tankers are intended to be used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound to the U.S. West Coast.
In a long held shipbuilding tradition, coins were placed on one of the keel blocks before the 230 ton unit was lowered into place in the dry dock. Representatives from SeaRiver and Aker Philadelphia placed the coins as a ceremonial sign of good fortune and safe travels. The shipyard's representatives included its third quarter Safety Team of the Quarter, Team 650, which was recognized for safety greatness during the quarter.
Aker Philadelphia President and CEO Kristian Rokke said, "This is an important milestone, rich in tradition that excites the shipbuilder in each of us. Together, we are part of something special — constructing another quality vessel born here in Philadelphia that will serve the needs of our customer and the U.S. Jones Act market for decades to come."
Since its inception in 1998, the shipyard has delivered 17 vessels for operation in the Jones Act market. In addition to this Aframax tanker, the shipyard as an additional Aframax tanker on order and is completing the second of two 46,000 dwt. product tankers for Crowley