By Mark Edward Nero
On May 19, San Diego-based General Dynamics NASSCO commemorated the delivery of ECO Class tanker Magnolia State to longtime customer American Petroleum Tankers, making it the fifth ship NASSCO shipbuilders have delivered in the past eight months.
It was a week earlier, on May 12, that the Magnolia State returned to the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard following a week of successful tests and trials at sea.
The Magnolia State is the second of a five-tanker contract between NASSCO and APT, 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, which provides a 33 percent fuel efficiency improvement compared to product tankers built only a few years ago.
The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea. The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts through several features, and will also have dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system.
The construction and operation of the new ECO Class tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, requiring 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-Plus notation from the American Bureau of Shipping, representing compliance with one of the highest standards of human factors in engineering design.
The PMA-Plus notation is created to facilitate safe access to vessel structure and spaces in ways that are rooted in the fundamentals of human ergonomics.