General Dynamics (GD) Nassco has officially marked the start of construction of American Petroleum Tankers’ (APT) second ECO tanker, following a keel-laying ceremony at its shipyard in San Diego.

The shipyard started working on the second tanker in December last year.

GD Nassco vice-president and general manager Kevin Graney said: "Today’s keel-laying ceremony symbolises the progression of hard work by Nassco shipbuilders and our commitment to designing, building and delivering high-quality, world-leading products for our customers.

"When delivered, these product tankers will be the most fuel-efficient and cost-saving vessels of their kind."

GD has been contracted to build five 50,000dwt, LNG-conversion-ready product carriers with 330,000 barrel cargo capacity for APT.

"These product tankers will be the most fuel-efficient and cost-saving vessels of their kind."

The specialised ECO design of the vessel provides better energy-efficiency and also offers environmental protection features, including a ballast water treatment system.

The vessels were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

Delivery of all five tankers is expected to be completed by mid-2017.

In May, Nassco started construction of the fourth tanker ship in the series, while the first vessel was started last September, and the third this April.

Construction and operation of the new tankers is being carried out in compliance with the Jones Act.

Meanwhile, Nassco recently began to construct the second of three product tankers for SEACOR’s subsidiary Sea-Vista Newbuild III.

The product tankers will deliver enhanced fuel efficiency with the support of a G-series, MAN ME, slow-speed main engine and an optimised hull form.

In addition, the vessels will be equipped with a ballast water treatment system, offering reduced emissions.