Crowley Tanker Construction Begins at Aker Philadelphia


February 2014


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The New Year began with the promise of new jobs for SIU members thanks to a tanker construction program in Philadelphia.


On Jan. 6, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard (APSI) started production on the first product tanker that it is building for its new joint venture with Seafarers-contracted Crowley Maritime. Crowley and APSI (which employs members of shipyard unions) have signed contracts for the first four tankers, all to be crewed by SIU members. There are options for four additional ships.


A small ceremony with representatives from Crowley and APSI was held in the shipyard’s fabrication shop to commence cutting on the ship’s first steel plate. That plate will become part of the double hull of the tanker that protects the cargo tanks. When completed in 2015, the vessel will be 600 feet long and be capable of carrying 50,000 tons of crude oil or refined petroleum products.


APSI President and CEO Kristian Rokke stated, “We are excited to partner with Crowley to provide safe and reliable long-term transportation options for the growing U.S. petroleum market. APSI has a strong history of building similar product tankers that are each playing a fundamental role in moving our nation’s energy today.”


According to APSI, the new 50,000 DWT product tankers, which will sail in the Jones Act trade, “are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design which incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. The vessels will be constructed with consideration for the use of LNG for propulsion in the future.”


When the joint venture was announced last year, Crowley Maritime President/CEO Tom Crowley said, “Through this expansion and cooperative agreement with Aker we will be providing our customers with more options for transporting their product with greater safety and efficiency than they can get from any other U.S. service provider. We expect these new ships to be well-received by longstanding customers as well as new customers, who should clearly be able to see the advantages of utilizing Crowley’s multi-dimensional fleet and operational expertise.”


The Jones Act requires that cargo moving from one domestic port to another is carried aboard vessels that are crewed, built, flagged and owned American. The law helps sustain around 500,000 U.S. jobs and generates billions of dollars for the economy.


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