Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins welded her initials into a steel plate Friday in a keel-laying ceremony at General Dynamics NASSCO for the second of five ships the company is building for American Petroleum Tankers.
The striker plate with Atkins’ initials will be fitted into the 610-foot Magnolia State, a 50,000-ton tanker that will have a capacity of 330,000 barrels. The shipbuilder said the vessels have improved fuel efficiency and include the latest environmental protection measures.
The five-ship contract allowed NASSCO to maintain its 4,000-person workforce and add about 300 jobs at the shipyard in Barrio Logan, according to the company. The vessels will carry petroleum and liquefied natural gas.
“Today’s keel laying ceremony symbolizes the progression of hard work by NASSCO shipbuilders and our commitment to designing, building and delivering high-quality, world-leading products for our customers,” said said Kevin Graney, the shipbuilder’s vice president and general manager.
“When delivered, these product tankers will be the most fuel-efficient and cost-saving vessels of their kind,” Graney said. “We are pleased Speaker Atkins could join us in celebration of this important milestone for the California-built tanker.”
A keel-laying ceremony is the first milestone celebrated in the life of a ship, along with launching, commissioning and decommissioning. It marks the construction of the central spine of a boat.
The first ship in the series, the Lone Star State, is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year, according to NASSCO. The Magnolia State is set for delivery in the second quarter of next year.
NASSCO is building other commercial vessels and Navy ships at what is the largest shipyard on the West Coast.
— City News Service
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