The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021, and PSI is also actively promoting the formation of a new entrant into the containership trade between the US mainland and Hawaii to operate these ships. Currently, this trade route is only serviced by two carriers, and relies partly on a group of near end-of-life steamships.
PSI is currently in talks with a major US shipping operator about creating a new, financially strong carrier with a fleet of modern vessels constructed by PSI to support commerce between the US west coast and Hawaii. A number of prominent investors and lenders in the US shipping market have reportedly shown interest in participating in this opportunity. Furthermore, PSI claims that a highly regarded maritime leasing company has issued an indicative offer with preliminary terms for a bareboat charter structure.
The President and CEO of Philly Shipyard, Steinar Nerbovik, said: “We are excited to get started on building a new fleet of containerships for a new carrier in the Hawaii trade and are pleased to have received such positive feedback from well-known US marine players and financing sources.
“Philly Shipyard has a strong track-record of building quality vessels for this trade, and we believe local communities can benefit greatly from the safe and reliable service provided by our modern, efficient and ‘green’ ships.”
The company has retained a number of former senior US shipping executives with experience in the Hawaii containership trade to help with this initiative. These executives include John Keenan, who served in a number of leadership roles at Horizon LNG, including as President and COO from 2007 to 2011.
When MARPOL/ECA emissions regulations come into effect in 2020, a number of older steam-powered vessels serving the Hawaii trade route will not be in compliance, unless significant and costly modifications are made. Even if these vessels were modified, they would be less reliable and have greater operating costs than modern vessels in areas such as fuel consumption and manning and maintenance requirements.
PSI claims that these circumstances create a unique opportunity for a new Jones Act carrier to enter into the Hawaii containership trade, with a fleet of eco-friendly and cost-efficient container vessels built by the company. Furthermore, unless these new vessels enter the trade route starting in 2020, local commerce could be adversely affected by the new emissions standards.
As a result of this, the company has started to build a new containership fleet, with two vessels scheduled for delivery in 2020, and the second two vessels scheduled for delivery in 2021. In order to keep to the schedule, PSI has started design work and procurement activities. The ships are being designed to address the present market trends for larger sized containers, faster transit times and LNG fuel. The company has initiated placing orders and making commitments on long-lead times.
These modern vessels will be the direct continuation of the series of two similar 3600 TEU Aloha class containerships with expected deliveries in 2018 and 2019 that the company is currently building for the Hawaii containership trade.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/12062017/psi-starts-construction-of-modern-containership-fleet/
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