General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has entered into a contract with an affiliate of American Petroleum Tankers (APT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), for the design and construction of an additional 50,000 deadweight ton LNG-conversion-ready product carrier with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. Construction is scheduled to begin the fourth quarter of 2015, with delivery scheduled for the second quarter of 2017. This new tanker, supported by a long-term charter, will be constructed at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, meeting the Jones Act requirement that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.
This new 610-foot-long tanker is a continuation of the ECO MR tanker design, which delivers improved fuel efficiency and incorporates the latest environmental protection features, including a Ballast Water Treatment System. Including this order, NASSCO is now under contract for the design and construction of eight tankers: five for American Petroleum Tankers and three for Seabulk Tankers, Inc.
All eight ships are being designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea. DSEC’s ECO design achieves improved fuel efficiency through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will have conversion-capable, dual-fuel-capable engines and the ability to accommodate the future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system and Type C LNG tanks.
Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO, said, “NASSCO is very pleased to be continuing our partnership with American Petroleum Tankers by building a 5th ECO tanker. This additional order, plus NASSCO’s existing backlog of tankers and containerships, is a clear indication that NASSCO is the shipyard of choice for Jones Act vessel construction.”
Rob Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of KMP subsidiary APT, commented, “We are very excited to be building an additional tanker at NASSCO. This new order clearly demonstrates APT’s and Kinder Morgan’s continued commitment to the Jones Act tanker market.”