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Matson christens LNG-ready con-ro ship

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LNG Industry,

Matson, Inc. has announced that it has christened the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off (con-ro) ship ever built in the US in a ceremony at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego on 15 June 2019.

The Lurline is the first of two new ships being built for Matson by NASSCO at a total cost of approximately US$500 million for the pair, and the third of four new vessels that Matson will put into service during 2018, 2019 and 2020. Matson’s two LNG-ready ‘Kanaloa Class’ vessels under construction at the NASSCO shipyard are being built on a 3500 TEU vessel platform.

Lurline is 870 ft long, 114 ft wide (beam), 50 000 metric t, and has a deep draft of 38 ft. It will be Matson’s largest vessel, as well as the largest con-ro vessel ever constructed in the US. In addition to this, Matson claims that it will also be one of the company’s fastest vessels, with a top speed of 23 knots. This will enable the ship to ensure on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.

According to the statement, both new Kanaloa Class vessels will have an enclosed garage with enough space for around 500 vehicles plus ample space for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo. In addition to this, they will also feature state-of-the-art green technology, including a fuel-efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and the first Tier 3 dual-fuel engines to be deployed in containerships serving West Coast ports.

Under the latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for engine manufacturers, Tier 3 engines reduce the levels of particulate emissions by 40% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 20%, as compared to Tier 2 standards.

Matt Cox, Matson’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “The great speed, capacity and environmental improvements of this new ship position us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come.

“As a proud US company and Jones Act carrier, our investment in this new ship is about much more than maintaining a high level of service to Hawaii. It also helps drive substantial economic benefits in and opportunities in communities around the Pacific, where this vessel will operate.

“The construction of this ship requires 150 000 man hours to complete. It’s over a year’s work for about 2000 professionals here at NASSCO…engineers, tradesmen and lots of support people. And over its expected lifespan, this ship will generate approximately 4.5 million man hours of work opportunity for the US mariners who will operate it…not to mention all the dock workers and terminal personnel that move the cargo on and off our ships, and all the people who produced the materials used to build this ship that are sourced here in the US….like the steel that came from Iowa and Alabama.

“These are all living wage jobs, supporting the families of these American workers, the taxes they pay…it all flows from this one ship.

“Multiply that by all the ships NASSCO and other US shipyards are building, and you get a sense of the value of the maritime industry to our country and its economy. In California alone, there are more than 51 000 jobs tied to the American maritime industry, providing over US$3.6 billion in labour income with a total economic impact in the state of more than US$12 billion.”

Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics NASSCO, added: “Designing and building the Lurline brings pride to every member of our team.

“It’s an honour to add the Kanaloa Class vessels to NASSCO’s decades-long history in Jones Act ship production.”

Constance Lau, a member of Matson’s board of directors, was invited to officially christen the vessel by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne against the ship’s hull. As soon as the bottle was broken, the vessel was released from its build ways and slid backwards into San Diego Bay. The vessel was then docked at NASSCO’s nearby testing and trials berth, where the final stages of construction will be finalised. Matson is expecting to take delivery of the vessel in late October this year.

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