By Mark Edward Nero
On May 7, General Dynamics NASSCO shipbuilders in San Diego launched and christened the third in a series of ECO-class tankers. Once delivered, Garden State would also join the ranks as one of the more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly product tankers globally.
Garden State is the latest 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.
On April 23, NASSCO hosted a similar christening ceremony in San Diego for its second ECO-class tanker for American Petroleum Tankers, Magnolia State.
The 610-foot-long tankers are equipped with a new design enabling improvement in fuel efficiency. They will be used to transport products — such as petroleum — that help fuel America’s businesses and homes.
The construction and operation of Garden State and its sister ships are aligned with the Jones Act, requiring that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.
Garden State, along with others in the ECO class, are the first in the Jones Act fleet to obtain a PMA-plus notation, representing compliance with one of the highest standards of human factors in engineering design.
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, 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.