By Mark Edward Nero
On Nov. 8, General Dynamics NASSCO shipbuilders delivered Constitution, a Jones Act-qualified ECO-class tanker, to Florida-based vessel operator SEA-Vista LLC.
The ship was delivered during a special signing ceremony at the company’s shipyard in San Diego.
Constitution is a 610-foot-long, 50,000-deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. The new “ECO-class” design symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the US toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.
Construction on the ship began in June 2015 as part of an eight-ship program for two separate customers. It is the sixth ECO-class tanker built by NASSCO shipbuilders to recently join the Jones Act trade.
The Jones Act requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in US shipyards.
“With this program we contracted with two customers seeking similar capabilities,” General Dynamics NASSCO vice president and general manager Kevin Graney said. “A steady production run of eight ships improves hull-to-hull learning and has allowed us to deliver increasingly higher-quality, world-class vessels.”
San Diego-based NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the US West Coast conducting design, construction and repair of commercial and US Navy ships. For its commercial work, NASSCO partners with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.