International classification society ABS confirmed it will class the first common structural rules (CSR) tankers built in the United States. Three, shallow-draft 49,000 dwt Jones Act product tankers built for Texas-based AHL Shipping Company
are currently under review by the society.
ABS is most familiar with the tanker design having been involved since 2004 when it applied its proprietary SafeHull analysis to the initial design. SafeHull is a dynamic-based ship design evaluation system founded on engineering first principles.
According to Tom Kirk, Director, Technology & Business Development, ABS Americas, this design was originally intended to meet ABS SafeHull standards but has been upgraded to meet the CSRs adopted by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) which came into effect in April 2006. Further enhancements have enabled the tankers to meet requirements for Type II Chemical Tanker per the IMO’s International Bulk Chemical (IBC) Code.
The vessels will be the first of this size to be built in the U.S. using modular construction. Hull construction and final assembly of the vessels will be conducted at Alabama-based Atlantic Marine Alabama LLC, with several other shipyards and specialty companies under contract with AHL also participating. ABS surveyors at various locations will monitor that the tankers are being built to ABS and CSR standards.
The vessels are scheduled to go on long-term time charter to Shell Trading USA by late 2009 through late 2010. The vessels will transport crude oil, chemicals and products within domestic U.S. trade lanes. Each vessel will have cargo capacity of 330,000 barrels.
ABS says the tankers will carry the notationA1, “Oil/Chemical Carrier”, CSR, SafeShip-CM. ABS is also reviewing the design for compliance and subsequent enrollment in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Alternate Compliance Program (ACP).