SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), the wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (Oslo: AKPS), held a ceremonial keel laying today for the first of four 50,000 dwt Jones Act product tankers that it is building for its joint venture with Crowley Maritime Corporation.
In keeping with long shipbuilding tradition, representatives from Aker Philadelphia and Crowley placed coins were placed on one of the keel blocks before the unit was lowered into place in the building dock as a ceremonial sign of good fortune and safe travels.
"Rich in tradition, the keel laying ceremony is a proud milestone for the shipyard and an important step in the vessel's construction," said Aker Philadelphia managing director Steinar Nerbovik. "These U.S. built vessels play an important role in our country's energy independence while providing good jobs for the men and women who build and sail her."
The 600 ft product tankers are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design which incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements.
The vessels will be constructed with consideration for the use of LNG fuel in the future.
"Adding these new Jones Act tankers to our fleet allows us to continue providing our customers with diverse and modern equipment to transport their petroleum and chemical products in a safe and reliable manner," said Crowley's Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum and chemical transportation. "We are pleased with the progress being made on these vessels and with the good working relationships we have developed with Aker."
Crowley's Seattle-based, naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime is providing construction management services for the product tankers. Jensen now has an on-site office and personnel at the Philadelphia shipyard to ensure strong working relationships with Aker staff and a seamless construction and delivery program.
Delivery of the new tankers is expected in 2015 and 2016.