US-based shipyard General Dynamics (GD) Nassco has successfully laid the keel for the first Eco tanker for American Petroleum Tankers (APT).
Work on the first of five tankers, APT-1, started in September 2014, and is currently ongoing at GD Nassco’s shipyard in San Diego.
General Dynamics Nassco vice-president and general manager Kevin Graney said: "Nassco is pleased to continue our commitment as good environmental stewards by building the most energy-efficient tankers in the Jones Act fleet and in helping to sustain and grow highly skilled jobs right here in San Diego."
This 610ft-long and 50,000dwt LNG-conversion-ready product carrier will have a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity.
With its new Eco design, the vessel will offer better fuel-efficiency and be equipped with the latest environmental protection features such as a ballast water treatment system.
In addition, the G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and optimised hull form will contribute the improved fuel-efficiency of the vessel.
The new taker was designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea.
The vessel will have dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the provision for accommodating LNG fuel-gas systems in future, GD stated.
In June 2013, APT subsidiary Kinder Morgan Energy Partners awarded a design and build contract for four 50,000dwt LNG-conversion-ready product carriers.
The number of tankers under the contract increased to five after the company ordered an additional unit from Nassco.
Delivery of the vessel is expected to be completed in 2017 with the fifth tanker scheduled to be handed over in the second quarter of this year.