General Dynamics (GD) Nassco has launched and christened the first ECO-class tankers for the SEA-Vista at its shipyard in San Diego, US.
The 610ft-long Independence is the first of the three product carriers being built for SEA-Vista and is a 50,000dwt liquefied natural gas (LNG)-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity.
The vessel designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea, will feature a G-series Man Me slow-speed main engine and an optimised hull form to provide greater fuel efficiency for the vessel.
The vessel will offer enhanced fuel efficiency and also features the latest environmental protection features, including a ballast water treatment system and reduced emissions.
The vessel’s engine will be capable of conversion and accommodating future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system and tanks.
General Dynamics Nassco vice-president and general manager Kevin Graney said: "When delivered, these ECO-class, Jones Act-qualified tankers will be among the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly tankers anywhere in the world."
Upon delivery, the ship will be operated by Seabulk Tankers.
Seabulk Tankers president and chief operating officer Daniel J. Thorogood said: "We are pleased to complete this important milestone for the first in a series of three fuel-efficient, ECO Jones Act product tankers that will be delivering into the SEA-Vista fleet and operated by Seabulk Tankers."
Nassco is also constructing five similar 610ft-long and 50,000dwt product carriers for American Petroleum Tankers at its shipyard in San Diego.