Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI) held a ceremonial keel laying yesterday for the second of two Aframax tankers that it is building for SeaRiver Maritime, Inc. (SeaRiver), Exxon Mobil Corporation’s U.S. marine affiliate.
When completed in 2014, the Liberty Class vessels will be 820 feet long and be capable of carrying 115,000 tons of crude oil. The tankers are intended to be used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound to the U.S. West Coast.
Keeping with long held shipbuilding tradition, coins were placed on one of the keel blocks before the 230 ton unit was lowered into place in the dry dock. Representatives from SeaRiver and APSI placed the coins as a ceremonial sign of good fortune and safe travels.
Steinar Nerbovik, SVP Operations, remarked, “The keel laying ceremony is an exciting milestone rich in tradition and symbolism that will extend through the life of this vessel. There are many parties involved in the success of this vessel – a special thanks to Exxon/SeaRiver and our own and hired shipbuilders at APSI for ensuring that we build another quality vessel here in Philadelphia, together as one shipyard.”
Since its inception in 1998, the shipyard has delivered 18 large commercial vessels, representing more than 50% of the entire U.S. oceangoing commercial fleet production. The first Aframax tanker was launched last week and moved to the outfitting dock, where it will remain for the next few months as it undergoes testing and commissioning in preparation for its upcoming sea trials and delivery.
APSI also has an agreement with Crowley for up to eight product tankers and Matson for two containerships, securing backlog through 2018.
Press Release, November 19, 2013