Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), the sole operating subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (AKPS), began production activities today on the first of two Aframax tankers it will build for SeaRiver Maritime Inc. (SeaRiver), Exxon Mobil Corporation’s U.S. marine affiliate. When completed in 2014, the vessels will be 820 feet long and be capable of carrying 115,000 tons of crude oil.
Since the shipbuilding contract was signed in September, 2011, engineering, planning, and procurement work have been underway. After a small ceremony in the shipyard’s Fabrication Shop, the cutting of the steel plates began. These plates will become part of the double hull of the tanker, which protects the cargo tanks.
“We are excited to undertake this project, which is an important demonstration of the power of American manufacturing,” said Kristian Rokke, President and CEO of APSI. “Today, we used the shipyard’s brand new plasma cutting machine, which was manufactured in Wisconsin, to cut steel plate rolled right here in Pennsylvania. Thousands of welding and fabrication hours will be spent in Philadelphia making this plate, and many more like it, into a quality vessel to move Alaskan oil.”
SeaRiver President Jack Buono commented that the project, which is known as the Liberty Class, represents “our ongoing commitment to safe and reliable marine transportation.”
“The robust design incorporates important technologies to meet some of the most demanding marine conditions in the world,” said Buono.
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is currently constructing two 46,000 deadweight product tankers for delivery in late 2012 and early 2013, respectively.