Aker Philadelphia Shipyard (APSI) has officially started construction on the first of four product tankers for its joint venture with Crowley Maritime Corporation.
The new 600ft-long vessel will be able to carry 50,000t of crude oil and refined petroleum products.
APSI’s managing director Steinar Nerbovik said: "These US-built vessels play an important role in our country’s energy independence while providing good jobs for the men and women who build and sail her."
The vessel is designed by Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) is said to be fuel-efficient with a flexible cargo capability.
They will be capable of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) for propulsion.
Crowley Maritime Corporation senior vice-president and general manager (petroleum and chemical transportation) Rob Grune said: "Adding these new Jones Act tankers to our fleet allows us to continue providing our customers with diverse and modern equipment to transport their petroleum and chemical products in a safe and reliable manner."
APSI and Crowley previously signed a $500m contract for the construction four product tankers. The first tanker’s steel was cut earlier this year and it is expected to be completed in 2015.
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APSI is currently constructing two 115,000dwt crude oil tankers for SeaRiver Maritime and has also signed a deal for two 3,600TEU containerships for Matson Navigation.
The wholly owned subsidiary of Norway-based Aker Philadelphia Shipyard has delivered 19 ships to date.
Image: The Aker shipyard in the US. Photo: courtesy of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard.