Aker Philadelphia Shipyard (AKPS) is cruising along these days with a steady stream of work building Jones Act-compliant tankers for both their clients and their new joint venture, Philly Tankers. The orders on their books reflect a backlog of USD $1.1 billion and there’s more behind that as the company expects Philly Tankers to exercise options for two additional tanker newbuilds.
With increased domestic crude production coupled with strong demand for clean petroleum products and coast-wise chemical movements, AKPS sees a firm outlook for Jones Act shipping. Additionally, the company notes in their 2Q 2014 earnings report today “available tonnage in the market continues to be limited in the short and medium term, with increased tonnage expected to come online in 2016 and 2017. ”
Between NASSCO and AKPS, the two companies have at least 17 ships on the books, all product tankers or large containerships, however AKPS is also looking to diversify their portfolio within the Jones Act sector to include, “shuttle tankers, short-sea shipping vessels, offshore service vessels, barges, wind turbine installation vessels, and other large steel fabrication projects.”
They may be interested in diversifying, but considering their orderbook of tankers and containerships will be keeping their drydocks full until roughly 2018, their note about diversification is a bit longer term in nature, according to a phone conversation with Aker Philadelphia spokesperson Kelly Whitaker.
In speaking with a NASSCO official today, they note that with their mix of government and commercial maritime business, the offshore sector will likely not be a focus any time soon.