SIU members are sailing aboard another union-built ship.
Two days before Thanksgiving, Philly Shipyard delivered the American Pride, a 50,000 dwt product tanker constructed for American Petroleum Tankers (APT), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc. Delivered 10 days ahead of schedule, the ship is operated by Seafarers-contracted Intrepid Personnel and Provisioning.
The delivery marked the 28th vessel built by Philly Shipyard (formerly known as Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc.). According to the yard, the ship “is based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards design that also incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. The vessel has also received LNG Ready Level 1 approval from the American Bureau of Shipping. The 600-foot tanker has a carrying capacity of 14.5 million gallons of crude oil or refined products.”
“We are proud to deliver the final product tanker in the four-ship series for American Petroleum Tankers that began with the promotion by Philly Shipyard of a new Jones Act shipping venture, Philly Tankers, over three years ago,” remarked Steinar Nerbovik, Philly Shipyard’s president and CEO. “As the American Pride leaves our dock, there is a piece of each and every one of us at the yard that leaves with her. We celebrate this achievement and wave farewell as she joins the other 27 Jones Act vessels built here in Philadelphia that are currently servicing America’s ports.”
The shipyard has delivered 28 vessels in its 20-year history. Currently, the facility is in the process of constructing two 3,600 TEU containerships for Seafarerscontracted Matson Navigation Company, Inc. with planned deliveries in 2018 and 2019. In addition, the shipyard has entered into a letter of intent with SIU-contracted Tote Maritime for the construction and sale of up to four new, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly containerships for the Hawaii trade.
The Jones Act requires that cargo moving between domestic ports is carried on ships that are crewed, built, flagged and owned American. Military and government leaders have hailed the law as vital to U.S. national, economic and homeland security. A detailed study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the Jones Act helps maintain around 500,000 American jobs while contributing billions of dollars to the economy each year.
Last year, Gen. Darren McDew, commanding officer of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), told Congress, “There are several pieces of U.S. law that are part of the industrial base and it’s not just one. The Jones Act is probably the anchor for it, but without the Jones Act, without the Maritime Security Program, without cargo preference, our maritime industry is in jeopardy and our ability [to] project forces is in jeopardy.”
His predecessor at USTRANSCOM, Gen. Paul Selva (now the vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), said in a 2015 address to the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department he is “committed to supporting the Jones Act. The Jones Act isn’t about a political statement and, to be honest, while it is an incredibly patriotic piece of legislation, my interest in it has nothing to do with patriotism. It has to do with coldhearted math.
“The Jones Act trades … support the industry that allows this nation to be successful,” Selva continued. “If I run the numbers, it’s an easy call. There are … merchant sailors who operate on ships that participate in the Jones Act trade that have crewed and will crew Ready Reserve Force ships and surge-sealift ships. It’s easy for me to say the economics favor the Jones Act; national security favors the Jones Act; and my operational requirements demand access to the labor pool that is supported by the jobs that are provided by the Jones Act. Without the contribution that the Jones Act brings to support of our industry, there is a direct threat to national defense.”
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