SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 — General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD), has entered into a contract with Seabulk Tankers, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc. (CKH), for the design and construction of two 50,000 deadweight ton LNG-conversion-ready product carriers each with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity.
Seabulk order follows earlier four ship order from Blackstone controlled APT
The ships are of the same ECO MR design as the four ordered in May by an affiliate of American Petroleum Tankers (APT), a company majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone on behalf of its investors (see earlier story).
With the order from Seabulk, NASSCO is now under contract for the design and construction of six ECO MR tankers.
Construction of the first Seabulk tanker is set to begin in late 2014, with deliveries from the shipbuilder scheduled for the second quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017. The tankers will be constructed at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
These new 610-foot-long tankers are a continuation of the ECO tanker design, which offers improved fuel efficiency and incorporates the latest environmental protection features, including a ballast water treatment system.
The ships will be designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea. DSEC's ECO design achieves improved fuel efficiency through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will have conversion capable dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate the future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system and Type C LNG tanks. The Seabulk contract will be the fourth commercial collaboration between NASSCO and DSEC.
Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO, said, "This contract is an indication that NASSCO remains fully committed to continuing to bring the most economical and environmentally sound technology to Jones Act owners and operators. We are very pleased to begin a new partnership with SEACOR and look forward to delivering two high-quality vessels that will serve SEACOR in the Jones Act tanker market for decades."
The construction and operation of the new vessels meet Jones Act requirements that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.
Charles Fabrikant, executive chairman of SEACOR Holdings, said, "Our decision to build these two new tankers is a clear demonstration of our continued commitment to the Jones Act. We are very excited that we will be able to offer this new ECO friendly design to charterers."