A new Jones Act tanker has entered the SIU-contracted fleet.
On December 4 in San Diego, General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the Lone Star State to American Petroleum Tankers (APT), seven weeks after the vessel’s christening.
While the ship signifies new jobs for Seafarers, it has additional meaning for the union shipyard that built it. According to NASSCO, “The new ECO Class tanker symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the United States toward cleaner, more fuelefficient modes of transporting product.”
SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker stated, “This vessel and the other ones on order mean job security for SIU members, and the new tankers also are a testament to the Jones Act and American shipbuilding.”
The Lone Star State is the first in a five-tanker contract between NASSCO and APT, which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000 deadweightton, LNG-conversion-ready product tankers with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. The 610-foot-long tankers are a new “ECO” design, offering significantly improved fuel efficiency and the latest environmental protection features including a ballast water treatment system.
“The delivery of this new vessel symbolizes the future of American shipping: innovative, cost-effective, and green. The Lone Star State, along with the four others we are currently building for APT, will be among the most fuel-efficient and environmentally- friendly tankers – anywhere in the world,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO and a former union mariner. “These tankers are 33 percent more fuel efficient than the previous five tankers built by NASSCO for APT. We are proud to be leading the charge in building these next generation of tankers.”
From 2007-2010, NASSCO built five similar State Class product tankers for APT.
“We are very excited to be taking delivery of the Lone Star State. This stateof- the-art tanker is a welcome addition to our growing fleet and will provide safe, reliable and efficient transportation service to our customers for many years to come,” said Robert Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan, Inc. subsidiary. “We thank NASSCO for their tremendous support in achieving this important milestone.”
Since the cut of the first piece of steel at the West Coast shipyard, local dignitaries have been involved in the build process of the tanker. In September 2014, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer signaled the start of construction, citing it as “a great example of innovative technology … and a symbol of jobs and opportunity….” In March 2015, San Diego’s First Lady and wife of Mayor Faulconer, Mrs. Katherine Faulconer, laid the keel. Two months ago, NASSCO shipbuilders christened the vessel, with SIU Executive Vice President Augie Tellez and Vice President West Coast Nick Marrone in attendance.
According to NASSCO, “The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea. The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts through several features, including a G-series MAN Diesel & Turbo ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will also have the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuelgas system.”
The construction and operation of the new tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards in addition flying the American flag, carrying American crews and being U.S.-owned.