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December 7, 2009

Crowley takes delivery of Sunshine State for APT

Crowley Maritime has taken delivery from NASSCO of the Jones Act tanker Sunshine State for American Petroleum Tankers LLC.

American Petroleum Tankers is the company controlled by the Blackstone Group that started life as joint venture with the ill-fated U.S. Shipping Partners. When Blackstone gained full control, Crowley was contracted by APT to handle the shipyard construction management and the overall vessel management, crewing and operation of the company's Jones Act tanker building program at NASSCO.

The Sunshine State is the first ship that Crowley has taken delivery of under its contract with APT.

It measures 600 feet by 106 feet by 39 feet and has the capacity to carry 331,000 barrels of product. It has a single screw, slow speed diesel propulsion system.

APT's fleet includes the sister ships Golden State, which was delivered in January 2009 and is on long-term charter to BP, and the Pelican State, which was delivered in June and is on long-term charter to Marathon. The Sunshine State is going to be chartered to Chevron U.S.A. Inc. The vessel will be delivered to Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in Pascagoula, Miss.

Two other sister vessels, the Empire State and the Evergreen State, which will both be charted to the Military Sealift Command, are scheduled to be delivered to Crowley in 2010.

"Completed 11 months ahead of our original schedule and under budget, the Sunshine State is the third product carrier NASSCO has delivered this year and reflects greatly upon the skilled shipbuilders in San Diego," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "Overall, 2009 has been an outstanding year for the NASSCO shipbuilding team and our partners, with three product carriers now in the U.S commercial fleet and two dry cargo-ammunition ships delivered to the U.S. Navy this year."

"We are pleased to be able to provide our technical vessel construction expertise to the new-build process for the Sunshine State and look forward to offering the same attention to detail as NASSCO builds the Empire State and the Evergreen State," said Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley's technical services group. "Crowley will manage the operational side of the business for APT, including the vessel management and crewing, with the same high commitment to detail and safety as we provide to Crowley's own fleet of petroleum vessels."


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