AHL Shipping has marked another milestone in its construction of a series of three advanced Jones Act tankers. AHL's build strategy involves constructing elements of the ships at multiple sites--which provides multiple opportunities for kick-off celebrations. Back in February, AHL marked the start of construction of the ships with steel cutting ceremonies at R&R Shipbuilding, Inc. (R&R) in Port Arthur, Texas, which is building the power modules and main deck modules for the ships.
On Tuesday, it was the turn of Atlantic Marine's Mobile shipyard (the primary fabrication and assembly yard for the project) to host a ceremony--this time to mark the keel laying for the first ship.
Representatives of AHL Shipping, Shell Trading (US) Company (STUSCO) and Atlantic Marine joined industry and regulatory representatives at the event.
Participants included AHL President Richard Horner and other AHL executives and Board members; STUSCO general manager of shipping Bob Salmon; CEO of Atlantic Marine Ron McAlear; President of Ship Construction Strategies, Inc., Alan Nierenberg; and charter representative Erik Palin. Tuesday's event also featured a tour of the Atlantic Marine shipyard and a luncheon for invited guests and dignitaries.
"Today's event is yet another key step toward completing this ambitious and important project involving many of the nation's most outstanding vessel engineering and construction professionals," Horner said. He continued, "All of us at AHL are grateful for the dedication, creativity and spirit of teamwork exhibited by those present today and their counterparts working at other sites around the Gulf Coast to construct these vessels to meet America's growing energy demands."
Horner stated that "these vessels will set a new standard for Jones Act petroleum transportation with their state of the art diesel electric redundant propulsion system and are the first tankers designed and constructed to meet the Common Structural Rules adopted by the International Association of Classification Societies."
According to McAlear, "We are extremely pleased to be a part of this project with organizations such as AHL as owner and STUSCO as the long-term charterer." McAlear added that, "We are honored that AHL has selected our professional team at Atlantic Marine to build this state of the art ship."
"These vessels will be a component of STUSCO's continued Jones Act chartered fleet rejuvenation, a critical part of the energy supply chain in the United States," said Salmon. "AHL's innovative shallow-draft design will enable these vessels to supply ports with limited water depths, such as those in Florida, while maximizing the carrying capacity of the vessels
AHL's three new 49,000-deadweight ton (DWT) vessels are expected to go on long-term time charter to STUSCO in 2009/2010. AHL finalized contracts and financing of the project in July 2007.
Source: Marine Log