By Mark Edward Nero
On Aug. 27, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard celebrated the christening and launch of the Constitution, the sixth ship in a series of eight eco-friendly tankers already constructed or under construction by the company.
The Constitution is a 610-foot, 50,000-deadweight-ton, and LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. NASSCO says the vessel symbolizes the transformation of the US shipping industry toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.
The tanker was built for SEA-Vista, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners, and is to be operated by Seabulk Tankers.
As part of the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor, Cristin Thorogood, wife of SEACOR Ocean Transport President Dan Thorogood, christened the ship with a traditional champagne bottle break over the ship’s hull. Twenty-five year NASSCO employee Sandi Dunkel pulled the trigger to release the ship into San Diego Bay.
NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the West Coast of the United States designing, building and repairing commercial and US Navy ships. In July, the company marked its seventh ship delivery in just over a year.
Deliveries within that year included three lead ships: the world’s first containership powered by liquefied natural gas, the US Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base and what NASSCO says is the nation’s most fuel efficient product tanker.