PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), the wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (Oslo: AKPS), held a ceremonial Keel Laying for the fourth of four product tankers that it is building with Crowley Maritime Corporation (Crowley).
Keeping with long held shipbuilding tradition, coins were placed on one of the keel blocks before the unit was lowered into place in the dry dock. Representatives from APSI and Crowley were in attendance to place the coins and sign the keel block as a gesture of good fortune and safe travels. On behalf of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, upcoming graduates of the shipyard’s apprenticeship program placed the ceremonial coins. Initiated in 2004, the three-year apprenticeship program develops the next generation of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard employees. The upcoming graduation class will add 24 skilled shipbuilders to the workforce, bringing the shipyard’s apprentices to about 10% of its current workforce. Since the program’s inception, 17 apprentices have moved into management positions and many have obtained additional manufacturing qualifications. The shipyard plans to hire 50 additional apprentices in 2016.
Steinar Nerbovik, APSI’s President and CEO, remarked, “Together we celebrate this important milestone for our vessel and our apprentices by wishing good fortune to both. Empowering fine people and building a solid core of skilled employees is part of our long-term plan to maintain our position as a premier shipyard and employer. Congratulations to all of our current and past graduates on a job well done.”
The next generation 50,000 dwt product tankers are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design which incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. The vessels will be constructed with consideration for the use of LNG for propulsion in the future.
APSI has delivered 20 ships in its 15 year history. Also under construction at the shipyard are three additional 50,000 dwt tankers for Crowley and two for Kinder Morgan. The shipyard also has contracts for two additional product tankers for Kinder Morgan and two 3,600 TEU containerships for Matson Navigation, fulfilling its backlog through 2018. For more information on the shipyard, please visit www.akerphiladelphia.com.
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market. It possesses a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility and has earned a reputation as the preferred provider of oceangoing merchant vessels with a track record of delivering quality ships. Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and is majority-owned by Converto Capital Fund, which in turn is majority-owned by Aker ASA. Aker is a Norwegian industrial investment company that creates value through active ownership. Aker's investment portfolio is concentrated on key Norwegian industries that are international in scope: oil and gas, fisheries and biotechnology, and marine assets. Aker's industrial holdings comprise ownership interests in Aker Solutions, Kvaerner, Det norske oljeselskap, Aker BioMarine, Ocean Yield, Havfisk and Akastor.