In today’s spotted we present you with General Dynamics NASSCO’s Hull 551, also known as the Lone Star State.General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony for Lone Star State, the first ECO tanker for American Petroleum Tankers (APT) under construction at the company’s shipyard in San Diego on March 6, 2015.San Diego’s First Lady Katherine Faulconer authenticated the keel of the ECO tanker by welding her initials onto a steel plate during the ceremony. The steel plate with her initials will be permanently affixed to the ship’s keel and will remain with the vessel throughout its time in service. The ECO tanker is the first of a five 50,000 deadweight ton tankers being built by GD NASSCO for APT. The tanker series features LNG-conversion-ready product carriers with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The 610- foot-long tankers are a new “ECO” design, offering improved fuel efficiency, and include the latest environmental protection features, including a ballast water treatment system.World Maritime News Staff; Image: GD NASSCO
The Weir Group says it is investing an additional $15 million in its Newton manufacturing facility, in Mississippi, US, as part of a total $50-million plan to support an additional 150 jobs at the ESCO division plant.When the investment programme is complete, employee numbers will be more than 400, a 60% increase from 2016, Weir Group said.The Newton facility, one of Weir’s largest manufacturing operations, produces ground engaging tools for mining and infrastructure needs and was brought into the group with last year’s acquisition of ESCO. The expansion is slated to be complete by August 2019, Weir Group said.Weir Group CEO, Jon Stanton, said: “The equipment we make in Mississippi is exported around the world and the increased demand from our mining and infrastructure customers gives us great confidence in the future.”The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is providing assistance for workforce training, as well as statutory tax exemptions, according to Weir.MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr, said: “The Weir Group’s ESCO division with its talented employees show the world each day that global manufacturing leaders find the people and place needed for success in Mississippi. For nearly 50 years, ESCO’s workforce has enabled the company to achieve its goals by producing top-quality mining equipment used around the world, and this continued corporate investment demonstrates Weir’s commitment to doing business in our state.”Approximately 80% of the products manufactured at the Newton facility are exported. This makes Weir’s ESCO division the world’s leading supplier of ground engaging tools for the mining industry, Weir said. The facility began operations in Newton in 1971.
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