General Dynamics NASSCO has launched and christened the MT Garden State, the third of five ECO Class tankers to join the Jones Act fleet.
Once delivered, the Garden State will also join the ranks as one of the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly product tankers in the world.
The Garden State is part of a contract between NASSCO and American Petroleum Tankers (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 equipped with a new “ECO” design.
“The launch of the Garden State symbolizes and celebrates the culmination of thousands of hours of hard labor put forth by the men and women of General Dynamics NASSCO,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO and Bath Iron Works. “NASSCO is proud to be building yet another quality product tanker for longtime partners American Petroleum Tankers and Kinder Morgan.”
The ECO-class are the first in the Jones Act fleet to obtain a PMA+ Notation, meaning compliance with one of the highest standards of human factors in engineering design. The PMA+ Notation is created to facilitate safe access to vessel structure and spaces in ways that are rooted in the fundamentals of human ergonomics.
“We are excited to see our third ECO Class tanker, the Garden State, launched and christened,” said Rob Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of American Petroleum Tankers, a Kinder Morgan, Inc. subsidiary. “This marks another milestone in the construction process of our five ship program with NASSCO. We thank everyone at NASSCO for their continued support and look forward to adding this impressive vessel to the APT – Kinder Morgan fleet this coming August.”
The ships were designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The design incorporates improved fuel efficiency concepts through several features, including a G-series MAN ME slow-speed main engine and an optimized hull form. The tankers will also have dual-fuel-capable auxiliary engines and the ability to accommodate future installation of an LNG fuel-gas system.
The Garden State was christened this past Saturday by its sponsor, Mrs. Yvette Romasko, who broke the ceremonial champagne bottle over the ship’s hull. The Honorable Greg Cox, from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, served as the keynote speaker and also laid the ship’s keel towards the beginning of the construction process.
“When people ask about San Diego’s working waterfront, all we have to do is point them to NASSCO,” said Cox, whose first supervisorial district includes the shipyard. “This ship launch is another example of the growing might and reach of San Diego’s Blue Economy of maritime related industries.”
The launch and christening of the MT Garden State follows the first two ECO-class tankers, MT Lone Star State and MT Magnolia State in November 2015 and April 2016, respectively.