On Saturday, August 27, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the christening and launch of the Constitution, the sixth ship in a series of eight eco-friendly tankers constructed or under construction at the company’s San Diego-based shipyard.
The ship, the Constitution, is a 610-foot, 50,000 deadweight-ton, and LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The new ECO Class tanker symbolizes the transformation of the U.S. shipping industry toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.
As part of the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Cristin Thorogood – wife of Dan Thorogood, SEACOR Ocean Transport president – christened the ship with a traditional champagne bottle break over the ship’s hull. Mrs. Sandi Dunkel, a NASSCO employee for nearly 25 years, pulled the trigger to release the ship into San Diego Bay.
“The construction of a ship represents an entire community of highly-trained and highly-skilled individuals working together – from design conception to delivery – toward a common purpose: to revolutionize the future of American shipping with the construction of innovative, cost-saving, and environmentally-sound vessels,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager for General Dynamics NASSCO. “The christening and launch of a ship represents the hard-earned efforts of this community. It’s the first time a ship enters the water – and it’s another milestone toward the delivery of a quality product that will service our nation’s maritime needs for decades to come.”
The Constitution was built for SEA-Vista, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners, and will be operated by Seabulk Tankers, Inc.
NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the West Coast of the United States designing, building and repairing commercial and U.S. Navy ships.
In July 2016, NASSCO marked its seventh ship delivery in just over a year. Equivalent to more than 100,000 tons of steel, notable deliveries within that year included three lead ships: the world’s first containership powered by liquefied natural gas, the U.S. Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base, and the nation’s most fuel efficient product tanker.
For its commercial work, NASSCO partners with South Korean shipbuilding power, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), for access to state-of-the-art ship design and shipbuilding technologies.