By Mark Edward Nero
On April 28, San Diego-based General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the first ship in a series of three ECO-class tankers currently under construction for Florida-based vessel operator SEA-Vista.
“The new tanker symbolizes the emerging direction of the US shipping industry toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product between American ports,” NASSCO said in a statement.
The ship, Independence, is a 610-foot, 50,000-deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel capacity. Designed by DSEC – a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea – the ship design incorporates fuel-efficiency concepts through several features, including a G-series MAN Diesel & Turbo ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form.
The vessel includes a ballast water treatment system and is also designed to accommodate future installation of a liquefied natural gas fuel-gas system.
It was just five days earlier, on April 23, that General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a christening ceremony for ECO-class tanker Magnolia State for American Petroleum Tankers under construction at the company’s shipyard in San Diego.
The construction and operation of the Independence and its two planned sister ships are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between US ports be built in US shipyards.