Crowley Maritime Corp yesterday (Tuesday) christened the innovative MT West Virginia, its fourth new Jones Act product tanker for the US coastwise trade, in Philadelphia at Philly Shipyard (PSI), the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA.
The West Virginia is LNG ready, meaning it can later be converted for propulsion by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a feature that continues industry-leading innovations and service by Crowley’s petroleum services group. West Virginia joins its sister ships, Louisiana, Ohio and Texas, which were received by Crowley in 2015 and 2016 as the first-ever tankers to receive the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval.
Anne Swearingen, wife of John Swearingen, Senior Vice President, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, performed the time-honoured tradition of christening the vessel by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne across the West Virginia’s hull at Philly Shipyard. Marathon Petroleum will utilise the tanker under a long-term charter.
“Today represents a banner day for our company, Marathon Petroleum and Philly Shipyard as we welcome the West Virginia to our tanker fleet,” said Tom Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Crowley Maritime.
“The christening of this vessel, along with its sister ships, represents the best of the US maritime industry – from the men and women who built her to the men and women who will operate her with great safety, integrity and high performance.”
The new tankers are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design that incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability and the latest regulatory requirements. At 600ft long, West Virginia is 50,000dwt and capable of carrying 330,000 barrels of product. The tanker is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products, as well as various chemical cargoes.
Crowley’s marine solutions group provided vessel construction management services for the product tankers. The company has an on-site office and personnel at the Philadelphia shipyard to ensure strong working relationships with shipyard staff and a seamless construction and delivery programme.