California-based shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO launched the first ship in a series of ECO Class tankers for the SEA-Vista fleet on Saturday at the company’s shipyard in San Diego.
The 50,000 dwt ship, named the Independence, was built for SEA-Vista, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners, and will be operated by Seabulk Tankers, Inc.
Featuring a length of 185.9 meters, the vessel is an LNG-conversion-ready product tanker capable of carrying 330,000 barrels of cargo.
“The new ECO Class tanker symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the U.S. toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product,” NASSCO said.
Construction on the ship began in November 2014.
“When delivered, these ECO Class, Jones Act-qualified tankers will be among the most fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly tankers anywhere in the world,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager for General Dynamics NASSCO.