NASSCO Begins Construction of New Commercial Ships
General Dynamics NASSCO began construction of its first product carrier ship for U.S. Shipping Partners (NYSE: USS). NASSCO is building the ship from designs provided through its collaboration with DSEC of Korea, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. The San Diego shipyard is scheduled to lay the ship’s keel in December and deliver the ship in early 2009.
“Start of construction of a lead ship is the most significant activity for a shipyard,” said Frederick J. Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “As the leading builder of ocean-going Jones Act ships in the nation today, we are ready to build this ship. We have taken a proven ship design and adapted it for efficient construction in this shipyard.”
In August 2006, NASSCO received a $1 billion contract from U.S. Shipping Partners to build nine ships. The double-hulled ships will be 183 meters (600.4 feet) in length, displace 49,000 dead weight tons and will have a cargo capacity of about 331,000 barrels. They are designed to carry petroleum and chemical products in Jones Act trade. The Jones Act, among its many provisions, requires ships that carry cargo between U.S. ports to be built in the United States.
U.S. Shipping Partners has decided to name the first ship, Golden State, in honor of California where the ship is being built and expected to operate. The other ships of the class will bear the nicknames of American seaboard states.