DECEMBER 23, 2014 — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard celebrated two significant ship milestones this week. Today, the shipyard held a ceremonial keel laying for the second of four Jones Act product tankers that it is building for its joint venture with Crowley. That followed the start of construction yesterday of a fourth product tanker in the same series.
At the keel laying ceremony, coins were placed on one of the keel blocks before the 580 ton unit, which will be part of the engine room of the completed ship, was lowered into place in the dry dock. This tradition dates back to early shipbuilding and signifies good fortune and safe travels. Representatives from the shipyard and Crowley were in attendance to place the coins and sign the keel block.
Yesterday, representatives from both companies gathered in the fabrication shop to begin cutting the first plate of the fourth product tanker in the series. That plate will become part of the double hull of the tanker that protects the cargo tanks.
When completed in 2015 and 2016, these vessels will be 600 feet long and be capable of carrying 50,000 tons of crude oil or refined petroleum products.
Steinar Nerbovik, Aker Philadelphia's President and CEO, remarked, "We now have all four product tankers we are building with Crowley under construction in various stages throughout the shipyard. I am proud of the hard working men and women of the shipyard and the quality vessels that they produce. Our workforce has grown along with our backlog of work and I look forward to completing these vessels and many more together."
The new 50,000 dwt 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 for propulsion in the future.