Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NASSCO Christens LNG-Ready Tanker

By Mark Edward Nero

On April 23, General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a christening ceremony for the second ECO Class tanker for American Petroleum Tankers under construction at the company’s shipyard in San Diego.

The Magnolia State is the second of a five-tanker contract between NASSCO and American Petroleum Tankers, which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000 deadweight ton, LNG-conversion-ready product carriers with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity.

The 610-foot-long tankers are equipped with a new “ECO” design that is expected to provide a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. Upon delivery, the Magnolia State will join the ranks as one of the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly tankers in the world, according to NASSCO.

“The revolutionary ECO Class provides our customers with an alternative option for transporting product that is cost-effective and friendly to the environment,” General Dynamics NASSCO President Fred Harris said in a prepared statement.

The construction and operation of the new ECO Class tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between US ports be built in US shipyards.

The Magnolia State, along with others in the ECO Class, are the first in the Jones Act fleet to obtain a PMA+ notation, representing compliance with one of the highest standards of human factors in engineering design. The PMA+ notation is created to facilitate safe access to vessel structure and spaces in ways that are rooted in the fundamentals of human ergonomics.

“We look forward to taking delivery of our second ECO Class tanker from NASSCO, said Robert Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan subsidiary. And we thank NASSCO for their continued support which paved the way for this important milestone to be achieved.”

The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of Busan, South Korea. The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form.

The tankers will also have dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system.