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Profit down as Aker Philadelphia builds Crowley jv quartet

Profit down as Aker Philadelphia builds Crowley jv quartet
Aker Philadellhia Shipyard has reported a $300,000 profit for the first quarter, down from $17.8m in Q1 2014 as the company continues to build four product tankers for its joint venture with Crowley.

The steep drop in profit owes to a $32.3m gain on the sale of assets in Q1 2014, and an increase in negative financial items to $1.5m as the Norwegian Krone weakened.

During the quarter Aker's joint venture with Crowley received commitment on a $325m post-delivery financing facility for four product tankers.

The period also saw the completion of a two-ship project for SeaRiver, the largest ships ever built in Philadelphia. Subsequent to the quarter, the first of four vessels for the AKPS-Crowley joint venture was launched on 7 April, and the rate of production on the other vessels is increasing.

Assessing the demand for Jones Act ships, the company stated: "In the short and medium term, available tonnage continues to be limited compared to expected demand. The company continues to believe that new tonnage planned to come online in 2016 and 2017 will be effectively absorbed in the market."

On top of the eight firm vessels currently on order at the yard for AKPS-Crowley, Philly Tankers and Matson, two options are currently available to Philly Tankers that the yard expects will be built whether the options are declared or not.

The yard's order backlog stretches through to December 2018 and had a total value of $939m at the end of the quarter.