On December 4, 2015, General Dynamics NASSCO delivered the company’s first ECO Class tanker, the Lone Star State, to American Petroleum Tankers (APT). The new ECO Class tanker symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the U.S. toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product.
The tanker is the first of a five-tanker contract between NASSCO and APT, which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000 deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tankers with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The 610-foot-long tankers are a new “ECO” design, offering significantly improved fuel efficiency and the latest environmental protection features including a Ballast Water Treatment System.
“The delivery of this new vessel symbolizes the future of American shipping: innovative, cost-effective, and green. The Lone Star State, along with the four others we are currently building for APT, will be among the most fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly tankers—anywhere in the world,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “These tankers are 33 percent more fuel efficient than the previous five tankers built by NASSCO for APT. We are proud to be leading the charge in building these next generation of tankers.”
Between 2007-2010, NASSCO built five similar State Class product tankers for APT.
“We are very excited to be taking delivery of the Lone Star State. This state-of-the-art tanker is a welcome addition to our growing fleet and will provide safe, reliable and efficient transportation service to our customers for many years to come,” said Robert Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan, Inc. subsidiary. “We thank NASSCO for their tremendous support in achieving this important milestone.”
Since the cut of the first piece of steel, local dignitaries have been involved in the build process of the tanker. In September 2014, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer signaled the start of construction, citing it as “a great example of innovative technology… and a symbol of jobs and opportunity…” In March 2015, San Diego’s First Lady and wife of Mayor Faulconer, Mrs. Katherine Faulconer, laid the keel. Two months ago, NASSCO shipbuilders christened the vessel.
The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of Busan, South Korea. The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts through several features, including a G-series MAN Diesel & Turbo ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will also have the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system.
The construction and operation of the new tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards.