General Dynamics NASSCO plans to christen and launch on Saturday the Lone Star State, a 610-foot vessel that is the first of five environmentally friendly tankers being built for American Petroleum Tankers.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose wife Katherine helped lay the ship’s keel, will be the principal speaker at the morning ceremony at the shipyard in Barrio Logan. Helen Downs, wife of Houston-based shipping executive Tim Downs, will break a bottle of champagne across the vessel’s hull.
Each of the five 50,000 deadweight-ton “ECO” tankers have a capacity of 330,000 barrels of oil, and can be converted to carry liquefied natural gas as well.
The tankers are being built for service between American ports under the nearly century-old Jones Act, which is designed to preserve the national shipbuilding industry for military preparedness.
With a backlog of orders for commercial and military ships, NASSCO employs over 4,000 at the shipyard, which is the largest on the West Coast.
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