Crowley Maritime Corp. christened its first LNG-ready tanker at the Tampa Cruise Terminal on Tuesday.

The 600’x105’x40’, 50,000-dtw tanker Ohio — the first of four new Jones Act product tankers Crowley is constructing — is the first vessel of its kind ever to receive the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval, meaning that the company has the option to convert the tanker to liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion in the future.

Ohio was was constructed by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI), with construction management services provided by Crowley’s Seattle-based, naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime. The new tankers are based on a Hyundai Mipo Dockyards design. The remaining three product tankers are also being built by APSI for Crowley and have planned deliveries through 2016.

“Crowley is proud to welcome this historical vessel into service,” said Crowley's Chairman, President and CEO Tom Crowley Jr. “As the first of its kind to officially be LNG-ready, it is a testament to Crowley’s promise to seek additional ways to exceed the technological requirements of our petroleum customers while doing our part to reduce environmental emissions.”

Ohio is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products. Under the direction of Capt. Dan Loewer and Chief Engineer Donald Routley, the vessel has made two voyages to date carrying clean petroleum products to Florida.

Crowley is among the largest independent operators of petroleum barges and tankers in the U.S. The company owns and operates a fleet of double-hull tank vessels along with an articulated tug barge (ATB) fleet ranging in size from 155,000 bbl to 330,000 bbl capacity. Crowley also provides tanker management services for other U.S. companies.