Tuesday, December 15, 2015

NASSCO Delivers LNG-Ready Tanker

By Mark Edward Nero

General Dynamics NASSCO has launched the first ship in a series of “ECO Class” tankers for the fleet of SEA-Vista, a Florida-based company that operates a fleet of US-flag product tankers servicing the US coastwise trade of crude oil, petroleum and chemical products.

The christening and launch ceremony was held Dec. 12 at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard.

The tanker, Independence, is a 610-foot, 50,000 deadweight-ton, and LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. Construction on the ship began in November 2014.

The Independence will be operated by Seabulk Tankers.

“We are pleased to complete this important milestone for the first in a series of three fuel-efficient, ECO Jones Act product tankers,” Seabulk Tankers President & CEO Daniel Thorogood said.

As part of the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor, RaceTrac Petroleum CEO Allison Moran, christened the ship with a traditional champagne bottle break over the ship’s hull, and Jayne Rathburn, former CEO/owner of US Joiner, pulled the trigger to release the ship into the San Diego Bay.

The new tanker symbolizes the US shipping industry trend toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product. On Dec. 4, NASSCO delivered the company’s first ECO Class tanker, the Lone Star State, to American Petroleum Tankers.

A video of the Dec. 12 launch ceremony can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/148725849.