On Thursday, May 25, General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony for the Liberty, one of three ECO Class tankers under the same construction contract with SEA-Vista LLC, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings, Inc. and Avista Capital Partners.
As honorees, Tom Denning, Ed Hoffman, and Tom Sofyanos—all representatives of SEA-Vista LLC—welded their initials into the keel of the ship.
The Liberty is a 610-foot, 50,000 deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The new ECO Class design symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the U.S. toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product. Once delivered, the tanker will be operated by Seabulk Tankers, Inc.
The construction and operation of the new ECO Class tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, requiring that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards. Construction on the Liberty began in October 2015.
As a complement to its government new construction and repair business segment, NASSCO has extensive experience in commercial shipbuilding. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered 16 commercial ships—including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships.
NASSCO is the only major shipyard on the West Coast of the United States conducting design, new construction and repair of commercial and U.S. Navy ships. 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.