New jobs for SIU members are on the way following a Jan. 3 announcement by Seafarers-contracted Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG).
The company reported that it has entered into a 10-year bareboat charter agreement for the Oregon Voyager, a tanker that was built in 1999 at Newport News (Virginia) Shipbuilding. OSG plans to utilize the 620-foot vessel in the Jones Act trade, beginning in the second quarter of 2019.
“This is a welcome addition to the SIU fleet, and a clear vote of confidence in the professionalism of SIU crews,” stated SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker. “It also strengthens the Jones Act fleet overall, which benefits U.S. national, economic and homeland security.”
OSG plans to rename the ship as the Overseas Key West. Previous names included HMI Ambrose Channel, Bristol Bay, and Seabulk Energy.
OSG President and CEO Sam Norton stated, “Following closely on our decision to extend all of the leases for our American Shipping Company (AMSC)-owned tankers, the addition of the Overseas Key West to our fleet of Jones Act tank vessels is an important and visible signal of OSG’s continuing commitment to sustaining our leading position in the markets which we serve. The extended duration of this new lease agreement is both an affirmation of our positive outlook for the future as well as a validation of OSG’s reputation as a preferred counterparty in operating Jones Act tank vessels to the high standards demanded by its customers.”
OSG also operates the following SIU-crewed vessels for AMSC: Overseas Houston, Overseas Long Beach, Overseas Los Angeles, Overseas New York, Overseas Texas City, Overseas Boston, Overseas Nikiski, Overseas Martinez, Overseas Anacortes and Overseas Tampa. The Jones Act requires that cargo travelling between domestic ports is carried aboard vessels that are crewed, built, flagged and owned American. On the books since 1920, the law helps maintain nearly 500,000 U.S. jobs. Last year, a new study was released by Seafarers’ Rights International revealing that 91 nations maintain some form of cabotage law.