Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI) has held a ceremonial keel laying for the second of two Aframax tankers that it is building for SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., a 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.
In 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.
Since its inception in 1998, the shipyard has delivered 18 large commercial vessels, representing more than 50% of the entire U.S. ocean-going 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.
The shipyard adds that it also has an agreement with Crowley for up to eight product tankers and Matson for two containerships, securing backlog through 2018.