By Mark Edward Nero
On March 1, Southern California-based shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the Liberty, the third and final ship to be constructed for SEA-Vista LLC as part of a larger eight-ship ECO Class tanker program.
The Liberty is the seventh vessel in an eight-ship ECO Class tanker program for two separate customers, SEA-Vista LLC and American Petroleum Tankers. The eighth ship of the program, the Palmetto State, is scheduled to be christened and launched on March 25 at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
In 2013, NASSCO entered into an agreement with SEA-Vista to design and build three 50,000 deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product carriers to include a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity each. The 610-foot-long tankers are a new “ECO” design, offering improved fuel efficiency and cleaner shipping options.
Construction of the first of the three ships began in November 2014. The first two ships, the Independence and the Constitution, have been delivered and are servicing the Jones Act trade.
In the past decade, NASSCO has delivered 29 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customers, including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships. In 2015 and 2016, it processed a record 60,000 tons of steel annually, NASSCO says.