By Mark Edward Nero
On Sept. 26, San Diego-based shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the fourth vessel in a series of five ECO-class product tankers under a contract with American Petroleum Tankers.
Bay State, a 610-foot-long, 50,000-deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity, was delivered during a special signing ceremony at the NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard.
The new ECO-class design, according to NASSCO, symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the US toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.
The first three ECO-Class ships, the Lone Star State, the Magnolia State, and the Garden State, are already in service. A keel laying ceremony for the fifth ECO Class tanker being built for APT, the Palmetto State, was conducted Sept. 23.
The construction and operation of the new tankers is aligned with the Jones Act, requiring that ships carrying cargo between US ports be built in US shipyards.
NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the US West Coast conducting design, new construction and repair of commercial and US Navy ships. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered 28 oceangoing ships to government and commercial customers, including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships.
For its commercial work, NASSCO partners with South Korean shipbuilding company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for access to vessel design and shipbuilding technologies.