By Mark Edward Nero
General Dynamics NASSCO has christened the Liberty, the third ECO Class tanker under contract with Florida-based customer SEA-Vista LLC.
On Dec. 17, Debora Denning, wife of SEACOR vice president Tom Denning, christened the ship with the traditional break of a champagne bottle on the side of the hull.
The 610-foot-long, 50,000 deadweight ton, LNG-conversion-ready ECO Class tanker is designed for fuel efficiency, and NASSCO has said it symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the U.S. toward cleaner modes of transporting product.
The ship’s advanced “ECO” design achieves 33 percent increased fuel efficiency through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form.
The Liberty is part of an eight-tanker program for two separate customers.
In 2016, NASSCO shipbuilders processed more than 60,000 tons of steel and delivered a record of six ships, including the first two ECO Class tankers for SEA-Vista LLC – the Independence and the Constitution.
“It’s been a busy and historic year for NASSCO,” company Vice President and General Manager Kevin Graney said.
NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the American West Coast conducting design, new construction and repair of commercial and US Navy ships. In the past decade, the company delivered 30 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customers – including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships.