ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Construction of the third and final state-of-the-art oil tanker for Phillips Alaska Inc. is under way, the company said Tuesday.
The keel of the 900-foot tanker Polar Discovery has been laid at the Litton/Avondale Industries shipyard in New Orleans.
The Polar Discovery is the last of the Millennium-class double-hulled tankers being built by Phillips to haul North Slope crude between Alaska and Lower 48 refineries.
The tankers are being built to comply with the tanker standards set by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed after the Exxon Valdez spill.
The tankers were designed by the former Atlantic Richfield Co.
They passed on to Phillips Alaska after its Oklahoma-based parent company Phillips Petroleum Co. bought Arco's Alaska assets earlier this year.
The Polar Endeavour is expected to be in service early next year, to be followed by the Polar Resolution, Phillips said. The Polar Discovery is scheduled to be in service in late 2002.
The vessels are named after ships commanded by Capt. James Cook, the famed British mariner who sailed to Alaska in the late 1700s.
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