OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norwegian-controlled Aker American Shipping ASA on Tuesday announced the signing of an option deal with its Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA unit to build up to 13 tankers worth US$1.3 billion (euro896 million).
The deal expands the number of tankers the ship owner can order from the Pennsylvania shipyard to as many as 25, with the latest 13 scheduled for delivery between July 2011 and July 2015, a news release said.
''We have a unique position in the U.S. market, and our goals are ambitious, said Aker American Shipping's President and chief executive Robert Kurz.
The tankers are of an advanced, double-hull design, and can be used as shuttle tankers or chemical tankers.
Aker American Shipping, which employs about 1,300 people, on Monday announced plans to spin off Aker Philadelphia Shipyard into a separate company as early as next month. The companies are controlled by the Oslo-based Aker ASA group.