Share This:

Once again, the importance of the shipbuilding industry to Philadelphia’s local and America’s national economy was underscored with the recent announcement that Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI) has laid the first of two keels for a pair of new Aframax tankers.

According to the union-contracted shipyard, the construction of the tankers, which will cost $400 million, will create more than 1,000 jobs.

As Kristian Rokke, president and CEO of APSI, noted, “This is an important milestone, rich in tradition that excites the shipbuilder in each of us. Together, we are part of something special – constructing another quality vessel born here in Philadelphia that will serve the needs of our customer and the U.S. Jones Act market for decades to come.”

MTD President Michael Sacco observed that this latest development is further proof of how important it is for Congress and the administration to preserve the integrity of America’s freight cabotage law.

The vessels are scheduled for completion in 2014. They are slated to transport Alaskan North Slope oil from Prince William Sound to the U.S. West Coast.

Since it was formed 14 years ago through a cooperative effort of government, labor and business to reopen the historic yard, APSI has completed 17 Jones Act vessels. Yet another Aframax tanker is on order, while the union workers at the company are completing the second of two 46,000 dwt tankers for Crowley.