San Diego Business Journal

General Dynamics Nassco plans to lay the keel of its first ECO tanker for American Petroleum Tankers with a ceremony Friday at its Barrio Logan shipyard.

The ceremony will be private and by invitation only.

Katherine Faulconer, San Diego’s first lady and the ship’s sponsor, has been invited to weld her initials onto a steel plate that will become a permanent part of the ship. Mayor Kevin Faulconer will be one of the speakers during the March 6 ceremony.

The 610-foot ship will be able to carry 330,000 barrels of refined petroleum products or chemicals. It will have an up-to-date ballast water treatment system as well as an engine that can be converted to natural gas fuel.

Nassco is under contract to build five tankers for APT. The five tankers, plus other ships in Nassco’s order book, will sustain the company’s local workforce of nearly 3,800 people, Nassco said. The General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) unit said that it has added about 300 jobs at the shipyard recently.