NASSCO Launches LNG-Ready Product Tanker ‘Constitution’

Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO
Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO

Shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the christening and launch of the LNG-ready product tanker Constitution this past Saturday in San Diego.

The ship is the sixth in a series of eight eco-friendly tankers constructed or under construction for different customers at NASSCO’s San Diego-based shipyard.

The Constitution is one of three tankers built for SEA-Vista, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners, and will be operated by Seabulk Tankers, Inc. The first ship in the series, MT Independence, was delivered in April. 

MT Independence
MT Independence

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 tanker is designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The design incorporates several fuel efficient and environmentally friendly technologies, including a G-series MAN Diesel & Turbo ME slow-speed main engine, an optimized hull form, and Ballast Water Treatment System. It is also designed to accommodate future installation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel-gas system.

Here’s a video of the launch:

During 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, then 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.”

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.