Artist’s rendering of a SEA-Vista tanker. Courtesy NASSCO

San Diego-based General Dynamics NASSCO has started work on three 50,000-ton oil tankers that will be used by SEA-Vista for shipments between U.S. ports.

“We are proud and honored to partner with SEA-Vista and build three state-of-the-art Jones Act-qualified tankers,” said NASSCO Vice President and General Manager Kevin M. Graney.

SEA-Vista is a joint venture between SEACOR Holdings Inc. and Avista Capital Partners.

Mrs. Debora Denning, wife of SEACOR Vice President of Engineering Tom Denning, signaled the beginning of construction by pressing a button to cut the first piece of steel in NASSCO’s shipyard near Barrio Logan.

These new 610-foot-long vessels will incorporate the latest environmental protection features. They can be converted to carry liquified natural gas instead of oil.

The new tankers come at a time when U.S. production of oil and natural gas is surging due to the new technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In September NASSCO started work on a fleet of five tankers for American Petroleum Tankers.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.