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The shipyard is the sole operating subsidiary of Oslo-listed Philly Shipyard ASA, which is majority-owned by Converto Capital Fund, which in turn is majority-owned by Aker ASA.

“We are proud to deliver another ship to Crowley and the first under our new name, Philly Shipyard. The Texas, like our 21 previously delivered vessels, continues the long tradition of men and women building quality vessels in Philadelphia,” said Philly Shipyard President and CEO Steinar Nerbovik. “As we continue to build the eight ships in our backlog, we are always looking for more skilled men and women to add to our team.”

The 50,000 dwt, 330,000-barrel-capacity Texas and sister ship Ohio, which was delivered to Crowley in October, are first ever tankers to receive ABS(ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval, meaning Crowley has the option to convert the tanker to liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled propulsion in the future. The remaining two product tankers being built by Philly Shipyards for Crowley have planned deliveries from the shipbuilder in 2016.

“We are excited to close out 2015 with the addition of this technologically advanced vessel to our fleet of U.S.-coastwise product tankers,” said Rob Grune, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, petroleum and chemical transportation. “We constantly strive for ways to enhance the services we provide to our chemical and petroleum customers. The introduction of vessels like Ohio and Texas, with their advanced technology and environmentally friendly fuel options, prove that we are innovating the industry and we are doing it with American built, Jones Act vessels.”

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 meets the latest regulatory requirements. The vessel is 600 feet long and is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products.

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 shipyard staff and a seamless construction and delivery program.

Crowley tanker first to get ABS LNG-Ready approval

The LNG-Ready Level 1 approval was issued, along with an approval in principle for the first vessel in a series built by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and operated by Crowley Maritime Corporation, the recently delivered Ohio.

By achieving compliance with the ABS Guide for LNG Fuel Ready Vessels, Crowley has the option to convert the product tankers in the series to LNG fueled propulsion at a later date having already been granted a conceptual review.

“ABS has played a fundamental role in supporting the ambitions of the maritime industry as it moves to embrace the opportunity of LNG as fuel,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “This milestone builds upon our work to provide owners with the guidance and support they need to move ahead with shipbuilding projects that allow them the flexibility to respond to changes over the lifetime of their vessels.”

ABS published the Guide for LNG Fuel Ready Vessels in 2014. The LNG-Ready endorsements allow shipowners and yards the flexibility to limit their initial investment while planning for the future conversion to dual fuel or gas-powered combustion engines. A well-thought-out plan can prepare shipowners to face ever-increasing stricter environmental regulations as well as help save time and money by considering basic gas-fueled ship requirements during the preliminary design and minimizing the potential changes during the future conversion.

“Crowley is proud to be the first company to actually receive this designation from ABS,” says Rob Grune, SVP and general manager petroleum services for Crowley. “As our business continues to shape itself to better meet the requirements of our customers, these vessels that stand ready and able to operate on a cleaner, alternative fuel source are our way of anticipating future demands.”

“Working with ABS and Crowley to build the first LNG-Ready product tanker has been a valuable process and has allowed the shipyard to deliver a vessel with the flexibility to evolve in the future” says Scott Clapham, SVP of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard.

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