On Wednesday, June 20, 2001 Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard officially opened. In a ceremony the first section of the first ship built in Philadelphia in the last 30 years was placed in the dry dock. As if this was not cause enough for celebration, two momentous announcements were made at the ceremony. First, President and CEO Ron McAlear announced that Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard became the first shipyard in the U.S. to earn the International Standards Organization 9001 certification for utilizing the newly published 2000 Standard. Second it was announced that a Letter of Intent to build four product carriers had been agreed upon with Keystone Shipping.
The total value of the award for construction of four handy sized (40,000 dwt) clean product carrier vessels amounts to approximately US$240 million. The construction of the first vessel is due to start in the second quarter of next year. Each vessel has an overall length of 184.7m, beam 32.2m and service speed of 15 knots. It can accommodate 5 cargo grades in 10 tanks which represents 54,000 cubic meters plus slop tanks.
"In more ways than one, we're building for the future," said Ron McAlear, President of Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard. "With the completion of this yard - we're creating 1,000 jobs by launching the re-birth of shipbuilding in this city. Today's announcement of an agreement with Keystone as our main launch customer is a solid expression of confidence in this facility."