ExxonMobil announced today that their affiliate, SeaRiver Maritime, Inc. has signed an agreement with Aker Philadelphia Shipyard for the construction of two Liberty-class crude carriers.
ExxonMobil said that the ships are double-hulled which are helpful in icy waters and the project makes over 1,000 jobs. The ships themselves are valued at $400 million USD.
The crude carriers will be used to transport Alaskan crude to the west coast of the United States. Since these are to be newly constructed vessels, ExxonMobil said that they will be equipped with the latest in navigation, communication technologies. They will also conform to, if not exceed environmental & energy efficiency standards.
In a company statement, ExxonMobil said, “This project is a reminder of the importance of America’s energy industry during the current challenging economic times,” Andrew P. Swiger, ExxonMobil senior vice president, said at a ceremony attended by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
Swiger continued by saying, “The jobs and other benefits generated by the construction of these ships will be in addition to the thousands of jobs and millions in government revenues our industry has already created in Pennsylvania through development of Marcellus shale gas, which is also providing new, affordable supplies of energy to fuel our nation’s economy.”
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard builds vessels in Pennsylvania at their shipyard. They also have a partnership with Samsung Heavy Industries and will use their shipbuilding technologies.
For now, the construction of the two vessels are in the project-planning stage. Actual construction is slated to begin in mid-2012. After construction, they are expected to replace two current double-hulled tankers according to ExxonMobil.
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