Governor Tom Corbett today praised a successful public-private partnership between the state, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and the Port of Philadelphia that helped to keep the shipyard open and building ships.
"This shipyard, which served its country in war and peace, once employed a thousand workers. And it will do so again," said Corbett during remarks at the Aker-Exxon ceremonial letter signing. "The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, working with the Port of Philadelphia and Aker Shipbuilding, found a way to keep the Philadelphia yards building ships."
Today's ceremony commemorated the contract between Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. and SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., ExxonMobil Corporation's U.S. marine affiliate, for the construction of two Aframax tankers. The 820-foot-long, 115,000 deadweight-ton tankers are intended to be used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound to the U.S. West Coast.
The Shipyard is currently employing 400 people and will rise to over 1,000 when the SeaRiver project is in full swing. Most of these additional positions will be skilled manufacturing jobs.
In February of this year, the Corbett Administration invested $42 million in state funding in the Aker Shipyard. Since then, Aker has sold two previously built ships, and signed the deal with SeaRiver.
"To ExxonMobil I want to say, you made a great choice. And to the workers here at Aker I want to say, ExxonMobil made a great choice," said Corbett. "The Shipyard of Philadelphia is the gateway to world trade. The men and women who work here, in jobs preserved by a partnership of state help and private enterprise, will make this happen."